Build it or buy it? That’s the question PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, faced when it decided to expand its digital presence. The answer hinged on the group’s ability to find a complementary partner.
There was no doubt that PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, would expand its digital offerings for members—that was determined during a strategic planning session last spring. How it would implement the digital strategy was a different question.
Purchasing a proven platform gives us significantly greater speed to market and a faster potential return on our financial investment.
“As we considered how to build a digital platform, it became clear there were two paths to choose from: build it or buy it,” PMMI President and CEO Charles D. Yuska said in an email exchange with Associations Now. “Building a platform would be a significant undertaking, requiring considerable staff time and financial resources. On the other hand, purchasing a proven platform gives us significantly greater speed to market and a faster potential return on our financial investment.”
While exploring its options, PMMI identified Summit Media Group, a well-known publications and events producer in the packaging and industrial automation industry, as a model of what it hoped to accomplish.
“It rose to the top as an example of a successful digital enterprise,” Yuska said. “Our executive committee realized our two organizations strongly complement each other, and Summit’s partners agreed.”
At its annual meeting earlier this month, PMMI announced it had entered into an agreement to purchase Summit Media Group, Inc. The sale, expected to close in late October, will bring Summit’s staff into the fold, along with its many publications. PMMI’s editorial staff—which produces PMT magazine—will be integrated into Summit’s titles, according to Yuska.
“Summit is a well-known, highly respected publisher, with print publications and a significant digital presence that truly complements PMMI’s strategic plan,” PMMI Chairman Bill Crist said in a statement. “[Our] vision is to create opportunities where businesses and people along the packaging and processing supply chain can convene to network, problem-solve, and do business. The robust platform Summit brings to the table will enhance our ability to do that.”
The goals for the new platform are threefold: increase attendance at PMMI tradeshows, increase and diversify revenue, and enhance the organization’s status as an authority and thought leader in the industry.
“Our focus is always on finding solutions that will support all of our key audiences,” Yuska said. “We didn’t go into the process thinking about acquiring a publishing house. We went in thinking about supporting our strategic plan, our members, their customers, and our industry. We had to ask ourselves: Who are we serving, what do they need, and how can PMMI best serve them?”