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Electronic Statements: The Times, They Are a’Changing … (Premium Content)

Bills are necessary, and necessarily a little boring … or maybe not. A great deal is happening in the electronic statement realm and it is pretty exciting stuff.


Selling: It’s More Than Showing Up! (Premium Content)

A first sales call is a make-or-break situation that only happens once. Prospects expect sales people to show up PREPARED and understand their unique needs. This article offers practical steps to harness Internet resources to learn a prospect’s business, marketplace, and key pain points.


As Interior Décor Experiences Record Growth, Smart PSPs Seize Opportunity

In recent years, we have seen explosive growth in the interior décor market with digital décor increasing at a rate of more than 20 percent year-over-year .


Neopost USA: A Conversation with CEO Dennis LeStrange (Premium Content)

At PRINT 13, Neopost USA unveiled an interesting cloud-based Delivery Preference Manager (DPM) solution designed to help companies manage customer delivery preferences. A little over a year after Neopost S.A.’S acquisition of GMC Software Technology, we checked in with Dennis P. LeStrange President & CEO of Neopost USA to find out more about DPM, what else is new at Neopost and look into the impact of the GMC acquisition.


68 Great Wide-Format Opportunities (and One Donut)

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend a major printing trade show in Chicago—you may have been there as well. A quick take on the show is that it was well-executed and well-attended, but smaller than we’ve come to think the quadrennial Print event should be.


10 Tips For Smart Purchasing

This article includes tips for saving money and improving your operational excellence by using all your resources – especially your vendors. Areas covered include: consumables, freight, paper, and recycled waste. By picking one or two of these ideas you can improve your operation and lower your costs.


It’s Time to “Disrupt” Traditional Thinking (Premium Content)

There is a lot of talk in the printing industry about transforming and changing business models based on new technologies. Luke Williams’s book Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business offers a five-stage process for practicing the disruptive thinking needed to facilitate change. This article highlights key points in the book and real-world examples of printing firms disrupting the status quo.


Update from Benny Landa on Digital Press for Folding Cartons

Print 13 started out very nicely for me as my first official meeting was a breakfast meeting on Sunday morning with Benny Landa and three of my “packaging” colleagues.


From the Web to a Label

With run sizes per print job going down and the variety of labels going up, new solutions are needed to supply label printers an affordable, efficient option. The concept of using the Internet as a custom printing-enablement tool is based on a high degree of automation coupled with the benefits of digital color printing


A Passive Print Business Doesn’t Work Anymore (Be Assertive) (Premium Content)

The default for decades has been, when you want to communicate something (a marketing message, information, education, compliance message, etc.) you contacted your printer and discussed the timeframe, manufacturing specifications, and quantities. Printers could be passive


Transforming and Automating Workflows: Workflow Dominates Print13 Part Two

In part two of this article, David looks at new and updated MIS/ERP business management systems that were introduced at Print13 in Chicago.


Transforming and Automating Workflows: Workflow Dominates Print13 (Part One)

In this article, David looks at many new production workflows solutions that were introduced at Print13 in Chicago. Due to the sheer volume of new announcements, this is Part One of two articles covering this new product review.


Wide-Format Goes Mainstream at Print 13

Wide-format printing has always been an endeavor for the highly creative, and it would be hard to find someone more creative than Armstrong.


Some Ways to Make Them Say, “I Didn’t Know They Could Do That with Print!”

Print has abundant possibilities as a creative medium—an attribute that deserves more attention from creatives than it sometimes gets.


Apple Holds Out on NFC Enablement in New iPhone (Premium Content)

Apple unveiled its new flagship device, the iPhone 5S, along with a cheaper model. To the disappointment of many, the devices do not support NFC (near field communications). This article highlights NFC and the alternative Apple is pursing, wireless transmitters called beacons.


Murders and Accusations or “Why not to do a deal at all.”

No, that title isn’t a typo. Mergers and acquisitions are getting lots of attention again. That means mine will probably be the most contrarian voice on the subject. Over the past 14 years, I’ve watched 8 different deals up close. So let me apologize in advance: I’m not a fan of mergers or acquisitions. Here’s why..


MPA and Adobe Work to Standardize Engagement Metrics for Digital Publications

Adobe, MPA, 4As and a group of publishers collaborated to develop a set of metrics to standardize the measurement of engagement for digital publications. Previously there were a variety of inconsistent measurement methodologies with no standard reports and varying metrics. Hear what MPA’s Ethan Grey and Adobe’s Lynly Schambers-Lenox have to say about these new standardized audience metrics for digital publications.


In the Print M&A Marketplace, Amateurs and Generalists Need Not Apply

You’ve placed your company's future into the hands of a self-styled M&A adviser. But do you truly understand what your agent’s qualifications are and where the relationship is going to take you?


PRINT 13 Exceeds Expectations

PRINT 13 was held September 6-10 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. This article provides a brief overview of just some of the hardware and software announcements that greeted visitors on the show floor.


No Matter What Its Critics Say, Print Is Doing Just Fine, Thank You

Ah, the travails of traditional media. Who among us hasn’t stifled a groan, or at least a yawn, upon being reminded by the digerati that the path ahead for print leads nowhere else but down?


Determined to “Prosper” in Digital Print, AGS Turns to Kodak Inkjet Web Press

The centerpiece of digital production at AGS Print & Marketing Communications is an inkjet web press with a combination of capabilities that the president of the company calls “marketing’s Holy Grail” for print.


Kodak Proclaims, “We Are Ready” for Whatever Life after Chapter 11 May Bring

On Kodak’s first full day in business after emerging from bankruptcy, Antonio Perez, its chairman and CEO, detailed the company’s plans to rebuild its stature as a supplier of technology solutions in a narrower cross-section of markets than it once served.


Maximizing the Retail Shopping Experience with Signage

Capturing consumers’ attention while they are in a store is critical, and this often involves blending signage with mobile technology. This article discusses some of the ways that today’s retailers are accomplishing this goal.


Adobe PDF Print Engine 3: The Next Step in Digital Printing Efficiency

On September 5th, Adobe announced the Adobe PDF Print Engine 3 (APPE3), bringing significant enhancements to its RIP architecture that enable its OEM partners to stay current with digital printing market demands. WhatTheyThink Senior Editor Cary Sherburne and WhatTheyThink Contributor David Zwang collaborated on this analysis of the anticipated impact of APPE3’s market entry.


Investigating Wide-Format Markets & Products

The information included in this article is a short summary of the data presented in SGIA’s soon-to-be-released 2013 Market Trends & Product Specialties Benchmarking Report. The data presented is culled from the responses of 136 U.S. sign and graphics producers, and provides an excellent snapshot of the graphics and sign segment today. A full report will be available on SGIA.org later this year.


Fuji XMF Workflow

Workflows have been around since the start of computer to plate, when the printing industry looked much different than today. The convergence of offset and digital as well as the other cross media applications has made a streamlined workflow more important than ever. Fujifilm has recently developed a whole new workflow called XMF. This has allowed them to build their software based on today’s needs.


Resilience and Perseverance in this Time of Change

Resilience and perseverance are crucial behavioral competencies when individuals and organizations must overcome significant obstacles. The capacity to be flexible as well as demonstrate the range of responses to adversity will dramatically impact our level of future success. One of senior management’s responsibilities is to ensure that during these transitional times we surround ourselves with the people that approach these challenges with the most appropriate behavioral competencies.


Engaging Consumers and Transforming Them into Brand Advocates (Premium Content)

A number of tools and resources are emerging that help maximize social Web presence, including techniques for rewarding social influencers to promote products and services. This article discusses industry players that are driving customers to become powerful marketing assets.


Digital Growth Ignites Innovation

Stakeholders in the sign and display market can look back on the past 18 months and note solid growth attributed to the steady and measured ascent of digital printing. Globally, we witnessed the continued adoption and embrace of digital as innovative new technologies helped print providers convert analog pages to generate new business and increase opportunities with existing clients.


Let’s Proactively Evolve Print from Outbound to Inbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is promotion-based; spread the message about my company, my products, and my services to as many people as I can interrupt in the hope that some will find the message relevant. Print examples of this are blasting out huge direct mail campaigns to strangers, newspaper advertisements, and billboards.


Flying High with SundaySky (Premium Content)

Following a recent experience with a personalized video bill from AT&T, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne interviewed SundaySky President and chief revenue officer Jim Dicso to learn more about the company’s operations. SundaySky provides the infrastructure for high volume personalized videos from AT&T, Lenovo, Office Depot and more.


Canon USA: A New Era?

Senior Editor Cary Sherburne recently joined 36 other industry analysts and journalists at a special event at Canon USA’s brand-new Melville NY headquarters located at One Canon Park. Also attending the event were WhatTheyThink’s Frank Romano, Richard Romano, David Zwang and Patrick Henry. Sherburne shares her thoughts about the visit.


Direct Mail Market Trends

Within the last few years we have seen the introduction of two high-speed inkjet technologies aimed at the direct mail space. One is the new high-speed color inkjet presses and the other is high-speed color inkjet heads that can be mounted on existing offset presses.


The Customer Experience: Going to the Virtual Store (Premium Content)

A number of savvy marketers have transformed large format signage in public locations into virtual shopping centers that are accessible to on-the-go travelers. This article discusses how retailers are leveraging QR codes to bring consumers the ultimate in shopping convenience.


The Software You Buy vs. the Software You Use

A 2002 Standish Group study of software projects found that 45% of features were never used and only 20% features were used often or always. We base our software investment decisions on the number of features a product has and then we fail to utilize 80% of those features. Does that make sense to anyone?


Folding Carton Converter ASG Turns to HP Indigo 30000 for New Business Development (Premium Content)

As the first HP Indigo 30000 units begin to come to market, we are checking in with new owners to see how these B2 sheetfed presses, optimized for folding carton work, will be affecting their converting businesses.


Transforming and Automating Workflows: Cloud Based Workflow Management Systems

In this article, David looks at cloud-based production management systems, a relatively new concept and product category, what they look like and how they compare to the more conventional workflow management offerings.


This is the Dawning of the Age of Experience! (Premium Content)

Consumers are changing the way that they interact with brands and how they ultimately buy. Service providers that have worked to add cross-media communications to their mix must now assess how they can help marketers deliver an engaging brand experience. This article cites recent research to show how emerging technologies can enhance the consumer experience.


Morikami Museum Produces First Digitally Printed Catalog (Premium Content)

As part of its ongoing philanthropic and community support efforts, Canon Solutions America spearheaded an effort to support Delray Beach’s Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens in the production of a catalog featuring its world-class exhibit of Japanese Kokeshi dolls. Learn how this first-ever digitally printed catalog has opened new doors for the museum.


Multi-Packaging Services Chooses HP Indigo 30000 to Expand Packaging Capabilities (Premium Content)

Multi-Packaging Services, based in New York City, is an early adopter of the HP Indigo 30000 folding carton press. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with them to learn more about why they bought this press and what benefits they expect to gain from adding it to their production portfolio.


Presstek Acquires VIM: WhatTheyThink Exclusive Interview with CEO David Savage (Premium Content)

In this exclusive interview, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne talks to Presstek CEO David Savage to understand the strategy behind the acquisition and where Presstek plans to go from here.


Getting Started in Wide Format Inkjet (Premium Content)

The wide format inkjet market is growing rapidly with expanding new products and applications. The equipment cost is relatively modest when compared to offset presses and bindery equipment. What do I need to consider before I jump on board?


CMO Challenges Create Opportunities for Service Providers (Premium Content)

To be successful, service providers need to focus on the challenges that keep the world’s CMOs up at night, including the explosion of data, engaging with customers through social media, the proliferation of channels and devices, and changing consumer demographics. This article cites recent market research to discuss how savvy service providers are meeting the changing needs of today’s CMOs.


FESPA 2013 Show Review: Moving Beyond Wide-Format Inkjet

FESPA is the Federation of European Screen Print Associations. It started as an annual exhibition by Display Graphics, Textile, and Specialist Screen Print suppliers of products for their customers and over time came to include inkjet wide-format print offerings by their various vendors.


The Label Sector; excerpts from 2012 PRIMIR Research

In past articles we have brought forward excerpts from a 2012 PRIMIR study that Karstedt Partners was commissioned to write titled Packaging: Evaluation of Vertical Markets & Key Applications. This study was unique to many industry studies in that it looked at the force being placed on Brand Owners, the originator of packaging orders.


Why Going It Alone in an M&A Can Mean Going Nowhere at All

Printers are self-reliant by nature. But, the pitfalls of selling a company or buying one without expert assistance should make even the most rugged individualist think twice.


Can Inkjet Do Direct Mail?

There’s a perception that inkjet can’t do direct mail and achieve the necessary image quality. Is that true?


Content Marketing: Driving Profitable Customer Actions (Premium Content)

Most print service providers are serving the business-to-business market space. These B2B marketers need to target specific audiences with significant sales cycles and price preferences. This article discusses how service providers are evaluating content marketing in their go-to-market strategies.


Wide-Format Gets Bigger (Will You?)

I’m currently in my 22nd year serving the specialty graphics industry. During my time with SGIA, I’ve been witness to the complete changeover in imaging equipment technology.


Challenge: Attracting, Recruiting and Hiring Talented Employees

The challenge of attracting, recruiting, hiring and the on-boarding of talented employees continues to be high on the priority list. How we determine who the most talented candidates are, where we find them, engage them and motivate them to seriously consider our industry for their career path requires a well-executed strategy. And as the workforce transitions from the Baby Boomer generation this process is becoming even more complex.


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