BY RACHEL CRIPPIN CLARK
NAQP members overwhelmingly approve the merger with NAPL during the NAQP’s annual meeting luncheon in fall 2006.
SUPPOSE YOU RUN A SMALL
BUSINESS WITH A FEW GOOD
EMPLOYEES. YOU’VE CARVED
OUT A GOOD NICHE FOR
YOURSELF, HAVE A NUMBER
OF LOYAL CUSTOMERS AND
ARE FINANCIALLY SOUND.
BUT ALTHOUGH YOU’RE MAK-
ING A DECENT PROFIT, IT’S
NOT SIGNIFICANT. AND YOU’RE
CONCERNED ABOUT THE
FUTURE OF YOUR POTENTIAL
CUSTOMER BASE; IT SEEMS
TO BE SHRINKING.
Is now the time to sell the organization or merge with another
one? Or is it just time to sharpen what you do? Many would try
to ride out the storm. Arguably the hardest choice is merging
with another group because of all the change: losing control,
potentially losing your identity, having to do things differently,
dealing with a new culture.
But that’s exactly what the Des Plaines-based National Association for Quick Printers did. After seeking a merger with the
New Jersey-based National Association for Printing Leadership,
the trade association underwent a years-long process beginning
in September 2004 that involved negotiations, extensive member
outreach, a trial period and the legalities and logistics involved
in merging the two groups.
Today, NAQP successfully maintains its identity as a membership segment within the NAPL Network, though governance,
finances, operations and membership services are largely integrated. NAQP now enjoys long-term security, a more robust
array of products and services for its members, and more flexibility to act on new ideas to help members.
The benefits have been mutual for NAPL. The association
has been able to enhance its offerings to members with no
additional dues investment. NAPL also got broader exposure to
NAQP’s original members to sell products and services, and it
gained an office in Chicagoland — which is known in the industry as one of the country’s largest print centers.
Two and a half years later, those involved agree the full
integration of the two groups, the branding and realization of
all the benefits of the merger are still works in progress. Yet