A Brief History of NPOA

The National Print Owners Association (NPOA) is the outgrowth of the efforts of an initial group of nineteen dedicated print owners (the NPOA founders) who began communicating with each other in August 2012. During the months that followed, this group of printers gathered both formally and informally to voice their growing frustrations regarding the absence of a trade association that could best serve the interests of print owners. Those discussions eventually led to the creation of a brand new industry trade association in December of 2012: The National Print Owners Association, Inc. (NPOA). NPOA set out to offer a viable alternative to printers (both independents and franchisees) who were, at the time, members of other trade associations, but were dissatisfied with their return on their investment. This new association also sought to attract many other printers who had chosen not to join any organization because none appeared willing or able to satisfy their needs as owners of small-to-medium size printing firms. Today, we believe that NPOA offers just that alternative. NPOA has become the fastest growing trade association in the printing industry.

NPOA is dedicated to better meeting and serving the needs and goals of what for many years was referred to as the "Quick Printing" segment of the printing industry. Although the phrase "Quick Printer" was often scorned by many, it became quickly identified as the fastest, most profitable segment of the printing industry throughout the 1980s and 1990s. While the phrases "Quick Printing" or "Quick Printer" tended to lose favor over time, many printers still embrace the basic principles those phrases were meant to imply: printers who utilized the latest in technologies (then and now) to provide a broad variety of products and services on a fast turnaround basis. These printers tended to be smaller both in annual sales volume and plant size when compared to their larger commercial counterparts, but they excelled in one key area often overlooked by other trade associations: their ability to consistently produce higher profits and growth rates than those being reported for other segments of the printing industry. These "smaller" printers also appeared to be faster in reacting and adapting to newer technologies, thus helping them maintain their higher levels of profitability.

Some of these firms initially concentrated on offering strictly copying services, while others offered a blend of both copying and offset services. In the early days, copying and offset services were limited to either B&W copies or one and two-color offset printing. However, as the industry developed, the capabilities of our segment of the industry expanded as well. We can now offer a full range of four-color process products on a variety of offset and digital devices. Many of the printers in NPOA’s core target membership, especially in recent years, have stretched the boundaries of what we offer by expanding into complementary areas such as mailing services, sign-making and large-format services - ancillary services that promise even greater opportunities for increasing revenue, while maintaining our profitability.

The founders of NPOA felt something new was needed to meet the current and future needs of small printers. Many of our founders have served the industry in a variety of capacities, including serving as presidents and board members of NAQP. Others have served as conference chairpersons, and the majority of the NPOA founders have served on various industry advisory groups. It was decided that we needed a new, member-driven association that was dedicated to a better understanding of our industry, offering its members useful programs and one that was more capable of meeting the needs of print owners. In short, we needed the kind of drive and desire the original printers had, those who had founded NAQP in the 70s, and we needed to accomplish this with modest and reasonable dues. With the needs clearly identified and an understanding of the responsibilities owed to fellow printers, the founders and executive officers of this new organization proudly formed the National Print Owners Association, Inc. (NPOA).

NPOA's goals are simple and straightforward: We have created an association with reasonable dues, modest overhead, and yet one that we believe is capable of providing specific member-oriented products and services from its very inception. We intend for our services and products to be better than those offered by other associations, but we recognize and accept that you will be the ultimate judge as to whether we have fulfilled these intentions. We look forward to talking with you and listening to your ideas and conversations about where our industry is headed, and what it will take to become and remain a viable member of this challenging yet exciting industry.