The Independent Print Industries Association (IPIA) is a not-for-profit membership organisation that sits at the heart of the UK's 13.8 billion print industry. It has supported the sector for over 30 years.
The IPIA set up 'The Sourcing Bridge' on Guild - a space for buyers and member suppliers in the print industry. This private space has become an active community where business relationships are being developed.
'The Sourcing Bridge' private community comprises IPIA's members, buyers and others from the world of print.
The IPIA also uses Guild as an internal communications messaging tool to facilitate quick and convenient communication amongst their senior leadership team. It has replaced “cumbersome email chains” and also ensured that WhatsApp isn't used professionally for messaging and chat within their organisation.
The IPIA was originally set up to connect buyers and suppliers in the print industry, strengthen the long-term health of the sector and create new business opportunities.
During the Covid19 pandemic, the IPIA recognised an increased need for industry buyers and sellers to stay connected with each other in different ways.
Print businesses were looking at how they reduce costs as work decreases, while supporting staff and customers in a safe and sensible way. Many are pushing work out to trade print suppliers.
The IPIA wanted to find a way to bring the industry closer together and to enable them to help each other during a challenging time for businesses.
How has Guild helped your business?
We spoke to Brendan Perring, the General Manager at the IPIA, who spearheaded 'The Sourcing Bridge' initiative.
Brendan explained how Guild improved internal communications at the IPIA. He also describes how 'The Sourcing Bridge' is supporting the industry and has helped IPIA members self-organise, taking administrative pressure off of the IPIA.
"We originally introduced Guild to improve communication within the IPIA administration & council teams. We would start email threads with 20 council members which quickly became very difficult to manage and follow. We wanted to find a better way to streamline these email conversations to make group discussions easier to keep up with."
"The IPIA team is dispersed across the country, Guild has helped us streamline communications internally and has replaced many cumbersome email chains."
"We considered WhatsApp, but realised that it is non-GDPR compliant and doesn't offer the kind of business compliance membership organisations like us need."
Brendan shares the benefits of allowing IPIA's members to connect in a private group on Guild.
"Guild is a great tool for our members. We were getting a lot of requests from our members, who were asking us to introduce them to suppliers and buyers in the print industry.
However, working with the Government Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to help shape the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme meant that we were very stretched.
We needed a better way to manage communications between our members, whilst continuing to maintain strong relationships with the government to support our members through the crisis and beyond.
We recognised that bringing these businesses together on Guild would provide an opportunity for organisations to form business relationships.
We wanted this to be an organic process, without intervention from us.
As soon as we set up the group the community began to self-organise and make arrangements and connections amongst themselves - this was great to see."
We're delighted that Guild has been able to support the IPIA and its members. We're looking forward to more innovative uses for Guild from the IPIA team.
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