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FLEXO Magazine : March 2008
PLANTS & PROCESSES P's & Q's 54 FLEXO MARCH 2008 www.flexography.org Printers & Questions Wide Web Leadership Council By Christian R. Bonawandt One of the many committees and collec- tives of Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) and it's Foundation (FFTA) is the Wide Web Leadership Council. Chaired by Tom Thackeray, the Council brings together wide-web printer members of the Association to assess the value of F TA membership and its programs. Recently, the Council has made efforts to recruit new members, seeking fresh voices for its purpose. FLEXO sat down with Thackeray to discuss details about the Council and why printers should get involved. What is the Wide Web Leadership Council? What is its purpose? The Wide Web Leadership Council is a collective of FTA printer members who speak on behalf of the wide-web segment. A Council like this exists for many dif- ferent areas FTA membership---Narrow Web, Corrugated, Envelope, Newspapers, Prepress, Suppliers, Consumer Products Companies, and Education. These Councils have existed for many years in one form or another, but recently, have been given new life as part of the Association's Strategic Planning Initiative (SPI). The purpose is simple---to review and discuss past, pres- ent and future FTA/FFTA projects to ensure that they meet the needs of this particular segment of flexographic printing. What are some of the goals of the council? The Council itself only has one goal, which is to establish specific objectives for FTA/FFTA and its working commit- tees. For example, during one of the more recent Council conference calls, the topic of high-speed presses (3,000+fpm) was brought up repeatedly. Council members tossed around ideas for how FTA can flow more information about this and related technologies to the membership. These ideas are then reported in the Council minutes, which are relayed during the monthly SPI Management Team meeting, whereby discussion ensues as to what kind of action can be taken, and how. Why is it important for more wide-web printers to get involved? Many wide-web printers face simi- lar challenges. However, not all wide- web printers face the same challenges. Therefore, it is valuable to share a variety of experiences to get a well-rounded perspective of the needs and wants of this segment. The more printers who get involved in the Council, the more diverse the opinions and the better equipped the Council, and hence FTA, will be to serve wide-web flexo printers as a whole. Another great reason is that, as an active Council member, it gives you proximity to the CPC Leadership Council---your customers. The Council leaders and staff liaisons share information from each other's respective meetings during SPI Management Team meetings. This puts you closer to valuable information coming from your customers, and vice versa. What value might participation in the Council bring to an individual's operation or business? The value is immeasurable. Remember, the goal is to shed light on what FTA/ FFTA can do to better serve your busi- ness. This is what membership in the Association is all about. It's a great net- working opportunity, and provides a chance to get a bird's eye view of your entire segment. Participation will give you an understanding of what challenges you face that your peers are also strug- gling with, and to work together as a team to resolve those challenges. Since the Council consists of printers from all over North America and the world, the people attending the meetings are not necessar- ily your competition, but instead merely like-minded colleagues who are eager to find answers for common questions, just as you are. In addition, participation in the Council puts your company on the forefront of the battle to meet customer demands, keeps you in close touch with FTA/FFTA activities, and essentially makes your needs as a flexographic printer the Association's top priority. How does one become a member of the council? Are there qualifications for participating? The qualifications are twofold: 1. Be a wide-web flexographic printer, who's firm is a member of FTA. 2. Be willing to share common challenges with your peers on a monthly basis through conference calls. That's it. Any wide-web FTA printer member can become a part of the Council simply by contacting myself or FTA's staff liaison, Chris Bonawandt. Once you do that, you'll start receiving e-mails notifying you about the monthly conference calls. If you're uncertain as to how much information you want to reveal, feel free to just listen on the first call. I'm fairly certain you'll find yourself wanting to participate in the ongoing conversation. Just remember: if the talk during the call isn't touching on subjects that are important to you, it is more than welcome that you pipe in. What are council members required to do as part of their commitment? Participate in a monthly conference call and offer insight as to what FTA/FFTA can do to better serve your business. The calls usually last around one hour, give or take. All in all, it's not a lot to ask for the chance to truly have your voice heard. To be a part of FTA's Wide Web Leadership Council, simply contact Chairman Tom Thackeray (hhunt@ woh.rr.com or 859-640-9352) or FTA Staff Liaison Chris Bonawandt (email@example.com or 631-737-6020).