18 November 2012
Warren Werbitt urges smarter spending for printers
TORONTO—Warren Werbitt doesn't rely on statistics to make a statement about the state of the industry.

Instead, Werbitt (who rose to online fame through a video praising print) speaks from the heart, and he didn't disappoint during his keynote speech at Print World in Toronto on Sunday morning.

The president of Pazazz Printing in Montreal stressed the importance of the printing industry in the global market - "without us, the world doesn't function," he said.

He made a plea to colleagues to "get out of the industry" if they're feeling negative about the business. "We can't sit around and surround ourselves with people talking negative. Print is not going down. It's just changing."

He also spoke about the importance of strong leadership. "My biggest asset is my people," said Werbitt. "If you're happy at the top, your people will feed off it and give it back to you." Without "coming down on" salespeople to perform, ask them for regular reports so they can also see the numbers and motivate themselves, he added.

He also urged printers to invest more in marketing (including dropping off posters and other printed material to clients), and do small things to support the industry, such as ordering annual reports, reading print magazines and picking up pamphlets. "If you're ticking off the 'paperless' option, get out of the industry," he said.

Werbitt also noted that printers are undervaluing their own work, and that they shouldn't take every job that comes through the door. Assess operating costs first, he said. "I'm not taking a job three times if I didn't make money the first time," he said. "If you keep selling below cost, you won't have any money to reinvest in the business."

And lastly, he urged printers to join a national association, while the CPIA and CPISC are in the midst of a merger. "They're working behind the scenes for us. If we don't have a voice, we're screwed. The annual membership fee is cheaper than the mistakes you'll make."
— Jeff Hayward
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