By the mid-1990’s, many of the technological advantages (desktop computers, Internet connections, etc.) that mainstream business had enjoyed for years had barely scratched the surface in most reprographics shops. As a strategic component of the future, digital capabilities were missing from most reprographic business plans, though in hindsight, their future importance could not be overstated.
Through a series of educational contributions and influential white papers, ARC executives began to outline their vision of what the future would hold for those who embraced the inevitable “digital transition” in the reprographics industry.
Through those efforts, ARC inspired a general shift in attitudes and understanding of what our industry would become as a result of the new digital tools, and how reprographers had to respond if the industry were to remain viable in the future.
In 2000, after laying the groundwork for e-commerce-based business models and conceptualizing many of the products that are currently in use across the industry today, ARC launched one of the first and most enduring online tools in the reprographics industry today: PlanWell®.
In 2003, the company recognized that there was no single company with the appropriate resources, scale and understanding to provide a standard for document management technology in the reprographics industry. At that point, licensing PlanWell to the broader reprographics community became a necessity.
As a means to drive PlanWell technology adoption throughout industry and embrace the advocacy role we were obligated to perform as the industry’s largest player, we formed the PEiR Group (Profit and Education in Reprographics), a wholly-owned trade organization that leveraged our educational programs and our purchasing discounts to attract and aggregate independent reprographers. Today more than 200 non-ARC reprographers make up the membership of this trade association.
Today, ARC considers it inevitable that nearly all of our business will be conducted in digital form, and over the Web in the future. At that point, we will effectively be in the construction information management and distribution business.
Today, ARC is well-positioned to emerge from this continuing industry transition with our leadership role expanded and firmly in place.
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