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A landmark event for photographic association history took place on the 10 January 2002, with the launch of the Photo Imaging Council (PIC) at the European Headquarters of Canon in Reigate, Surrey.
PIC is being formed from the collective memberships of the British Photographic Enterprise Group (BPEG) and Photographic Waste Management Association. These founding associations represent a wide spectrum of the industry of around 110 of the leading manufacturers, importers, exporters and photo waste companies together with several of the major trade and professional organisations ranging across camera, film, chemicals, minilabs, accessories and specialist services.
The four associations will become Groups or Divisions within PIC. The BPIA, founded in 1952, will become the Marketing Group, BPEG, founded 1977, will become the Export Group and the PWMA, founded 1993, will become the Photographic Waste Group. In effect, the four Members require PIC to be an Association that is easy to understand and explain - an organisation with a clear vision and strong constituent Groups. Besides having a clear brief to represent the interests of the photo-imaging sector in the UK, PIC will provide easy access to information and services, across its activities.
As an Association recognised by its Members, Government and Government agencies as representative of the sector, it will be resourced, responsive and representative. PIC members will benefit from economies of scale in publicity (newsletters, web site, promotional publications) and action (with no duplication) but will provide members with an opportunity to promote new activities across its constituent Groups - social, political or informational.
PIC will provide a platform for better industry networking and will provide consistent exposure in the trade and general media. As a unified Association, it will build a new set of leadership characteristics able to meet rising Member expectations and make strategic alliances. PIC's new structure will be fast and flexible, pro-active and willing to adapt, extend and create new services to meet Members' needs.
The founder Directors of PIC, a company limited by guarantee, are:
Peter Blackwell, Chairman and MD of Kodak Ltd
John Boyce, MD of Odyssey Sales and Chairman of BPEG - now PIC Export Group
Gerry Dingley, Chairman of BPIA - now PIC Marketing Group
Rob Oliver, Chief Executive of BIPA - now PIC Manufacturing Group
Tashio Nakamura, Managing Director of Fuji Photo Film (UK) Ltd
Groups will continue and develop the work of the old associations in a 'joined up' manner. Member companies will belong to the Groups most appropriate to their interests and will benefit from sharing and joining in some of the activities of other Groups.
Additionally, the PIC Advisory Board, open to all trade and professional organisations that are stakeholders in the photo imaging sector, will encourage and ensure active liaison between organisations and Governmental and other institutions - and promote issues of common interest.
The new PIC has been formed in response to challenges in today's operating environment:
- Pressure from government and members for more effective representation mechanisms
- An increasing degree of concentration within the industry as a consequence of takeovers and mergers
- Globalisation of business and matters affecting business e.g. regulation is moving to the European level
- Information technology developments which affect the speed and quality of information sent and expected
- Increased use of the Internet, which is changing purchasing and retailing methods in the industry
- Requirements for sustainable development and environmental legislation.
Pam Hyde, Company Secretary for PIC, states 'The continuing transmutation of the industry makes it essential that industry associations strategically plan for the future in order to be in a position to provide the services which member companies will appreciate most. The formation of PIC will place it in a unique position to serve members and industry interests on the supply side of the photographic industry."