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Displaying 1-49 of thousands of articles

 

MIS/ERP Systems: How Are You Managing Your Business? (Premium Content)

The best way to look at MIS/ERP systems is holistically, in the context of the bigger picture of managing your business as a whole. Just as you should have a production workflow system, ultimately an MIS system is a workflow system for your business operations.


Technical Textiles: When Do Possibilities Drive Demand? (Premium Content)

Funxion was founded about a year ago as a spin-out from North Carolina State University’s Wilson College of Textiles, where its founders obtained their Ph.Ds. The company is focused on building out a platform for smart wearables that can be adapted to various use cases. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Dr. Raj Bhakta, co-founder and CEO, to learn more.


Industry Profits: Mind the Gap

Annualized profits for the second quarter of 2019 were down from $3.61 billion in Q1 to $3.05 billion. However, the gap between large and small printers has only narrowed very slightly.


Around the Web: Chameleonic Kicks. Twisted Twister. Fooling Facial Recognition. Plastic Priests. Kaput Cameras.

Sneakers that put on a light show. An inflatable Twister mat may be just what your next party needs. Adversarial fashion takes on face recognition systems. A.I. priests. A.I. passes an 8th-grade science test. An animation tracks the rise and fall of web browsers. Camera sales fall off a cliff.  All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.


The Role of Tradeshows in Modern Business Planning

With so much knowledge at their fingertips, decision-makers no longer need to travel—or even pick up the phone—to stay informed. Although the role of trade shows has changed as a result, these events remain an important component of modern business planning. This article explores how the role of trade shows has shifted in today’s digital age.


New Ryerson University Study Evaluates Expanded Color Gamut Printing

Ryerson University has just published a detailed study of expanded gamut printing, based on a series of extensive tests using commercial color management systems to process and print test forms containing PANTONE spot colors. The author of the study, Dr. Abhay Sharma, presents some of the top-level findings and conclusions.


Solving Print Software Challenges by Borrowing from Other Features (Premium Content)

Define the challenge you're trying to solve before you jump into a shortcut that borrows from another feature in your Print MIS or web-to-print. If you borrow too much, you’re implementation of the software will get detached from the vendor’s product roadmap—which can be expensive and painful.


Small Business Goals, Challenges, and Marketing Tactics

According to the Small Business Administration, 89.0% of all businesses in the United States have less than 20 employees. What are the primary goals, challenges, and marketing tactics of these companies? This survey from Taradel provides some insights.  


Don’t Call It Wallpaper: “Wallcoverings” Are Just One Aspect of Décor (Premium Content)

Digital wide-format printing and new substrates are changing the face of wall décor, both in commercial and residential spaces. In this feature, we look at some unique applications and detail some prevailing trends.


Enabling Sales with the Right Story—Cater to People’s Interests and Hobbies (Premium Content)

Car enthusiasts. Hiking and biking clubs. Adult hockey leagues. Senior golf associations. Dance troupes. In the latest installment of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she provides some tips for approaching hobbyists and other groups and clubs, as well as the unique printed product requirements these kinds of groups have.  


The Target Report Annual Recap—August 2019 M&A Activity

M&A activity in commercial printing continues unabated, mostly tuck-ins; packaging deals are driven by PE; newspaper and magazine publishing segment in turmoil; and more…


Web2Fabric™: Lessons Learned (Premium Content)

Web-to-print has become well-entrenched in commercial printing, and same on-demand production model is now making its way into the textiles and apparel industry. Cary Sherburne talks to Steve Smith, founder of DPInnovations, about the company’s Web2Fabric, a set of tools that can be modularly configured to meet the needs of individual companies.


Converted Paper Product Manufacturing Establishments—2010–2016

In 2010, there were 4,128 establishments in NAICS 3222 (Converted Paper Product Manufacturing). By 2016, that number had declined -12% to 3,638.


Around the Web: AI vs. WTT Round 2. Temporary Text. Fast Food. Siri-ous Sneaker. Dim Bulbs. Forest Bathing. Plastic People. Erse Erudition.

Artificial intelligence attempts to write a wide-format story. “The World’s Most Dangerous Writing App.” Digital signage is too fast. Editor & Publisher sold. Nike’s Self-Lacing Sneakers. How to keep Slack from driving you crazy. All about “forest bathing.” Hide and seek in IKEA. Are we in a true “Age of Plastic”? A revised online dictionary of Medieval Irish. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.


Sustainability Today: Trying to Close the Loop (Premium Content)

WhatTheyThink talks to Renée Yardley, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sustana Group—parent company of Rolland Paper and Sustana Fiber—about the company’s new sustainability initiatives as well as the current state of sustainability in the paper and printing industry.


What’s Next for Mail? (Premium Content)

Given all the changes that have occurred within the mailing industry, what’s next? This article provides a overview of some current trends within the mailing industry and considers what the future might hold.


Got Sustainability? PebblePost Says Print Does!

Usually, when a printer has a sustainability page on its website, the page talks about things like carbon emissions, tree planting, or use of environmentally certified papers. But PebblePost has a sustainability page, too—but it is talking not about consumables and energy use, but how its trigger-based direct mail programs, in themselves, are environmentally friendly. This is a great model for presenting direct mail as an environmentally friendly option that can help marketers meet their sustainability goals.


The Migrating Value Chain: Print Production to Software (Premium Content)

The value in the print industry today is migrating from the production floor to the mobile device of your customers. How are you investing in providing your customer access to your business from their phone?


Production Inkjet: Welcome to the Revolution—Memjet Targets Light Production (Premium Content)

The adoption of production inkjet so far has narrowly targeted mid to high-end production requirements. However, light production including higher-end departmental MFP devices currently addressed by EP (toner) devices is a significant portion of the market. Memjet just introduced a low-cost single pass OEM printhead solution to target that market. The tide may be turning…


Printing Establishment Births and Deaths

From 2015 to 2016, there was an increase of +1,586 printing establishments and a decrease of -1,881 establishments, for a net loss of -295 establishments.


Around the Web: Fashion Pact. Bug Barrier. Book Sales. Caption Contretemps. Capital Ideas. AI vs. WTT. 80s iPhones. Elemental.

G7 takes on fashion sustainability. Graphene vs. mosquitoes. AAP’s latest book sales figures for January to June 2019. Is captioning audiobooks illegal? How to capitalize headlines. Can AI write for WhatTheyThink? What would a 1980s-era iPhone have looked like? Whither the Periodic Table? All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.


Do You Know the Print Cost of Every Job that Goes out the Door?

Not all print service providers fully understand the costs of the print jobs they create on a daily basis, and this is troubling. Without accurate, detailed reports of cost breakdowns, print companies will continue to struggle to turn a profit, instead investing in a random number of jobs—only some of which will turn a profit. With technology growing more robust, managed information systems can help organizations keep accurate, up-to-date tracks of exactly how well each print job is performing for the company. In this paper, InfoTrends outlines exactly how this information can be gathered, as well as a more detailed explanation of why it is so crucial to do so.


Labelexpo Europe 2019: Getting Ready for the Big Event! (Premium Content)

drupa 2020 is only about eight months away and the rumors and anticipation are starting to heat up. Very much like drupa, Labelexpo is truly a global event. And don’t let the name fool you: it isn’t just about labels. There is also flexible packaging and of course lots of innovative finishing and media being showcased. Even if you are not in label or flexible packaging production, this event offers you a preview of things to come—although you may need to connect the dots.


How Are Consumers Engaging with Digital Content?

Highlights from 2019 Adobe’s Brand Content Survey, including consumers’ daily digital content usage, usage of multiple devices, and some head-scratching data on their attitudes toward personalization.


Making Brutal Software Feature Decisions (Premium Content)

Print software is a pile of features that solve business process challenges. You have to learn how to prioritize what’s the next most important feature in the software by comparing its impact against all the other features.


High Folding Carton Growth Driven by Sustainability and Increasing Demand in Emerging Regions

With a market value exceeding $110 billion in 2019, the cartonboard packaging industry will experience high growth at the end-user level, approaching $150 billion in 2024, according to Smithers Pira’s latest report, The Future of Folding Cartons to 2024. This growth is driven by the sustainability movement and increasing demand in emerging regions.


Enabling Sales with the Right Story—Take Advantage of Trade Shows (Premium Content)

In the latest installment of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she provides some tips for using trade shows—not necessarily printing industry shows, but home and garden shows, car shows, hobbyist shows, and other private events—to develop new business opportunities.


Echo Chambers, Finding Open Water, and Navigating to Create Your Own Economy

In any industry, just like in life, there are normally two great barriers that stand in the way of people and companies changing: ego and education (knowledge). When we believe we have all the answers, we find ourselves in a terrible dilemma. Tim Baechle, CEO of Idealliance, explains how stepping outside the industry’s echo chamber and making outselves open to alternative viewpoints can make us more open to change—and make better decisions. 


Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing Establishments—2016

In 2016, there were 451 establishments in NAICS 322212 (Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing). More than half of these establishments (57%) have 50 or more employees and more than three-fourths (79%) have 20 or more employees.


Around the Web: Bogus Books. Letterpress Lovecraft. Online Occultiana. Crazy Cards. Bothersome Billboards. Migrating Mattresses. Farewell, FogCam.

Amazon sells fake Orwell titles. An experiential letterpress-printed book inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. Amsterdam’s occult library digitizes its collection. Memorable baseball card photos. The Apple Card: Leave home without it? New York’s continued war on digital offshore billboards. “Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Is an Economic Indicator.” The longest-running webcam is going dark. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.


Where’s the Packaging Opportunity for Commercial Printers?

The ongoing digital transformation has created problems for commercial printers, namely electronic displacement. As a result, many have turned to digital wide-format equipment to add new revenue streams. Nevertheless, with more PSPs adapting wide format, this service is no longer the differentiator it once was. Commercial printers looking for the next value-add product stream should examine packaging, particularly the folding carton and label segments, to find new revenue opportunities.


Where Do Sales Reps Fit Into the Pricing Story? (Premium Content)

Sales reps are key players in your business. Their knowledge of the market and their customers are a central part of the process of optimizing pricing. Your objective is to attract and retain the best ones while motivating them to attain even better results. The objective should to get them on the team and make their interests parallel that of the firm. In this article, Robert Lindgren discusses the various sales rep compensation options.


Transpromo Messaging: More Likely to Be Seen in Print

Are your clients buying into the paperless billing trend? If so, this survey from Consumer Action shows that they might want to think twice, especially if they are doing transpromo messaging.


The Trap of One More Software Feature (Premium Content)

Don’t let a feature stop you from implementing what works for you today. Don’t let the people in your organization that are good at looking for all the ways something won’t work win. Implement what works and then find ways around the missing features. Waiting is keeping your business in neutral.


Production Inkjet: Welcome to the Revolution—Let’s Talk Corrugated (Premium Content)

One of the hottest topics in packaging print today is corrugated, and for many reasons. One of those is that it is a market area showing a solid growth trajectory. So, what are the areas of growth, and what are some of the challenges that will affect the growth of digital print, more specifically production inkjet, in corrugated?


Customer Spotlight: Konica Minolta’s AccurioJet KM-1 Inkjet Press Opens New Business Opportunities for Hummel Integrated Marketing Solutions

Senior Editor Cary Sherburne interviewed John Hummel, fourth-generation owner and CEO of Hummel Integrated Marketing Solutions, to gain insight into how the acquisition of a Konica Minolta AccurioJet KM-1 UV inkjet press has enhanced his business.


Executive Q&A - Wim Maes, Summa

Many of our readers will remember Wim Maes for his tenure as the CEO of Xeikon, a role he held from 2009 to March of 2017. From Xeikon to Summa, Wim Maes helps make the company a worldwide industry leader.


WTIN Shares Insights on Smart Textiles for Fashion, Entertainment, Lifestyle (Premium Content)

Last week, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne tuned in to an interesting WTIN webinar, Smart Textiles for Fashion, Entertainment, and Lifestyle. She summarizes some of the key points here, but recommends that industry professionals interested in smart textiles review the entire free webinar.


June Printing Shipments: The Dog Days of Summer Begin (Premium Content)

Printing shipments for June 2019 were—as expected—down from May, and came in slightly below June 2018.


Around the Web: Graphene Gown. Adversarial Fashion. Smart Ovens, Dumb Choices. Amazon Airbnb. Big Apple Retail Apocalypse. Crazy Train. Implantables.

A fashion line designed to mess with surveillance cameras. The smart device invasion. A Seattle Airbnb that offers a mock Amazon job interview. High-profile shopping meccas in NYC shut down. Ozzy Osbourne is an actual genetic mutant (as we all suspected). You can now store your data—and your car keys—inside your body. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.


Tips and Tricks for Cashing in on This Season’s Print Shows

Approaching print-related conferences with a plan can deliver a wealth of new ideas while also carving a path for business growth. This article offers some tips for making the most of your time during the upcoming trade show season.


Rules of Engagement: Meet an Employee’s Needs, Watch Them Perform (Premium Content)

The average person uses around 70% of their available energy reserves to perform their normal activities, including meeting the requirements of their jobs. The remaining 30% is called “discretionary energy.” How can we tap into an employee’s discretionary energy and get them to apply it to their job? The key is engagement. Wayne Lynn explains how to measure and improve an employee’s level of engagement.


Jeff Jacobson Shares Thoughts About EFI’s Past and Future (Premium Content)

In a surprise announcement this week, EFI reported that with the departure of CEO Bill Muir for personal reasons, Executive Chairman Jeff Jacobson would be taking on the additional role as CEO of the company. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke to Jacobson to gain insight into his plans for the company’s future.


Takeaways on Triggered and Automated Direct Mail

Takeaways from a recent webinar on triggered and automated direct marketing, both from a high-level technology perspective and from the perspective of a mid-sized printer producing real programs every day.


The Primary Reason Print Software Gets Thrown Out (Premium Content)

Print software gets thrown out by printers primarily because of factors that are 100% in the printer’s control.


Summer Stroll: The Signs Around Us (Premium Content)

What kinds of signage and display graphics are in fashion? You don’t need elaborate market research surveys to find out—sometimes all you need to do is get out of the office and have a look around. Just doing a little recon can often generate ideas for new product areas to expand into.


Enabling Sales with the Right Story—Using Targeted Print Samples: Restaurants (Premium Content)

In the latest installment of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she builds on the previous installment and puts together a print sample kit for a different specific vertical market: restaurants. If you or your sales reps are trying to sell your services to these kinds of establishments, what kinds of items should you include in your Restaurant Marketing Sample Kit?


Digital Printing of Textiles: A Growth Opportunity (Premium Content)

World Textile Information Network (WTIN) has released its latest data regarding worldwide digital printing of textiles and we recap some of that information here.


Surface Tension: Specialty Substrates Are Proliferating, but Printing on Them Has Its Challenges (Premium Content)

"Inkjet devices can print on any surface" is a common industry talking point, but the practical reality is a bit more complicated, involving the chemical and physical interplay of inks and substrates. This article offers an inkjet printing reality check.


Getting to Critical Mass in Augmented Reality (Premium Content)

Welsh artist Alexander Ward designs stunning augmented content—like a recent interactive book cover—with Spark AR Studio.


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