PRINTING United Alliance partners with IT Strategies to address evolution of printing industry classifications

March 01, 2021
Industry professionals are invited to participate in special Standards Committee tasked with creating taxonomy roadmap that can be adopted into global and US systems Industry professionals are invited to participate in special Standards Committee tasked with creating taxonomy roadmap that can be adopted into global and US systems

PRINTING United Alliance announces its partnership with IT Strategies on an initiative to provide the printing industry with a comprehensive taxonomy designed to address the printing industry’s under-representation in government statistics and to help prepare the printing industry for growing business in the future.

According to Ford Bowers, CEO of PRINTING United Alliance, “The primary purpose of this initiative is to create uniformity of nomenclature, which helps discoverability of content and information online, at events, and across the industry. Using the same names and definitions in the same way will allow printers, OEMs and suppliers, and everyone else involved in printing to utilize a common 'language' that eliminates some of the confusion that currently exists. It will also be very useful in providing statistical tracking and analysis across the industry in a more coherent manner. Getting the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to adopt a new and more precise classification, if we are successful, will help everyone understand the breadth and depth of the printing industry much better.”

Under the guidance of Marco Boer, Vice President of IT Strategies, and David Zwang, President of Zwang & Co., PRINTING United Alliance is drafting an open standard printing industry taxonomy for the global printing industry to bring together the various printing taxonomies currently in use by the US Government (NAICS codes), taxonomies in use by the various printing trade associations, and taxonomies by private companies like Dun & Bradstreet under one consistent and comprehensive taxonomy that will be available to all.

The need for a printing industry standard taxonomy is even more critical as printing commerce becomes increasingly global and marketing and buying of print becomes ever more virtual. Surprisingly, the printing industry does not have sub-segment representation on the Global Standards body (formerly the Uniform Code Council responsible for the advent of UPC barcodes, and now called GS1). GS1 standards are critical for e-commerce, with companies like Google and Amazon requiring Global Trade Item numbers (GTIN) in order to be correctly classified in their search engines and listening.

At a national level, the printing industry’s inadequate representation is costing the printing industry billions of dollars in opportunity cost. The inability for printing customers to easily and consistently search and discover ever-expanding print options; the inability of the Department of Labor Statistics to comprehensively roll up print market data or drill down for more details; and the difficulty to calculate the full economic contribution of the printing industry to the economy; has allowed the narrative of the value of print to become distorted.

Join the Standards Committee

In March, Boer and Zwang will be establishing a Standards Committee comprised of various printing industry stakeholders, including print providers, converters, equipment and supplies manufacturers that will be tasked with creating a taxonomy roadmap that can be adopted into global and US systems.

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