PPAI Magazine January 2024

Send feedback on articles in PPAI Magazine or opinions on industry issues to JamesK@ppai.org. Feedback 01.24 Visual Generation / Shutterstock.com The Post-Pandemic Labor Market Claudia St. John, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, president of Affinity Group HR, shared a rundown with PPAI Media in November on the state of the U.S. labor market, which has lost about 8 million workers since the COVID-19 pandemic. The right decisions can ensure a business can maintain the workforce it needs to thrive for years to come. Excellent read and very insightful statistics – thank you. I would agree wholeheartedly. Treat employees as valued assets – I cannot emphasize this enough – consider utilizing quality offshore teams to augment staffing needs and improve your technology. To this, I would add taking a hard look at your internal processes, but with fresh eyes. In my experience, too many companies operate within a legacy of “tried and true” processes that may have outlived their usefulness. Internal staff, managers and even leadership tend to go with what they know or make only incremental adjustments. Industry experts are available to help these people see opportunities in overall process improvements, which they may otherwise overlook. Improved processes can reduce staffing requirements, lower costs and improve overall performance. Scott Nussinow, MAS Executive Vice President ArtworkServicesUSA Auburn, Maine PPAI 231735 The Emotional Quotient In November, Brian Swift, president of Miami, Florida-based Swift Sourcing and a former PPAI board member, shared his perspective in a column on PPAI Media on the value of emotional intelligence in being a good leader and building an effective team. I agree 100%! Emotional intelligence is the best predictor of success, not IQ! Scott Opper Co-Owner Clothpromotions Plus Boca Raton, Florida PPAI 359202, S4 Growth In The Industry PPAI Magazine’s December issue highlighted findings from the Association’s research team on the state of growth in the promotional products industry, for both distributors and suppliers, and highlighted some standout performers. The new client revenue numbers seem to be pretty consistent across the board, which is interesting. The gross margin sweet spot is the $1-10 million range, small enough to have the relationship, but not too big where profitability suffers. Overall, it seems like the industry is fairly healthy, even though we hear differently on news sources. People are spending money! Paul Zafarana, MAS Owner Pica Marketing Group Dearborn, Michigan PPAI 394875, D2 8 • JANUARY 2024 • PPAI