Industry Trends and Topics Shared at Latest Imaging Network Group (INg) Conference

By Alexandria Gregory

This is my seventh year attending the spring session of the Imaging Network Group (INg), an established networking association created exclusively for the print and electronic service provider industry. INg always leads to stimulating and informative conversation, and this year was no different.

One of my favorite recurring INg sessions is ‘What keeps you up at night.’ In years past, discussion centered around data, security and compliance. However, this year’s session also included a conversation about how to handle nonprofitable customer relationships, such as a client who continually asks for price concessions to the point that working with them results in a loss. As demonstrated in the session’s case studies and examples, it can be difficult to determine when to retain such a customer and when to move on from that relationship.

 Transformations recently published an article in Mailing Systems and Technology magazine on this same subject. The article shared tips for deciding when to retain a piece of business and when to walk away by conducting a customer profitability analysis. When done correctly, a customer profitability analysis can yield eye-opening insights into your business. The article, which details exactly how to complete such an analysis, can be accessed on our website here.

 Another point of discussion at INg was how companies can successfully move toward more automated processes, by taking a close look at every stage of the production cycle and determining how each might be streamlined to run smarter and more efficiently. This led to an exploration of the challenges associated with attracting and retaining top talent at a time when companies are still experiencing the effects of the labor shortage. A related and equally interesting discussion was on how the emergence and acceptance of artificial intelligence is changing the labor landscape.

 The state of the economy also loomed large, both during sessions and networking events. Concerns were raised about the rising costs of everything from labor to materials to interest rates, in addition to questions about how to prepare for a potential economic downturn The consensus was clear: If you have been in business for at least a decade, you most likely have a playbook your can dust off for how to prepare and survive a downturn should there be one, and continue to work on investing in growth.

 Finally, while never a popular subject in the past, the noted decrease in print and mail brought up the need for every company to continue a strong path toward digital transformation. This push is one that began with COVID and continues now, especially as a new generation of customers increasingly prefer to use their devices to view transactions and pay their bills. On top of the recent paper and envelope shortage, this exploration of generational differences was a great reminder of how important it is for companies to have strong capabilities in the digital space.

 Each of the topics discussed at INg are all acutely relevant in one way or another to our businesses today. The value of an organization like INg is that it provides a face-to-face opportunity to build and nurture mutually beneficial relationships with people who share in a similar set of challenges and opportunities. If you are in the print and electronic service industry and not already a member of INg, I encourage you to check out their website at I know you will be glad you did – and I look forward to seeing you next year!




Back to Blogs