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Economic data have been conflicting of late, but there is one consensus in the data that is clear: the small business economy did not recover from recession, and looks like it’s back in recession territory. There are many indicators we use for small business but one that is watched often is that of the NFIB. It is published monthly and has a long history. US government data focuses attention on the largest businesses because they represent big chunks of the economy and report some kind of data, especially payroll data, with great frequency. Think of it as counting whales rather than minnows. Their recent analysis said “The small business sector... is underperforming, doing little more than operating in maintenance mode. Slow economic growth is now just a result of population growth, more haircuts, retail customers, health care patients, etc. But there is no exuberance, no optimism and not much hope, the numbers make it clear.” Economies stuck in +2% growth mode tend to do that.
In one of the latest and most visible cases, High Quality Printing Innovations (HQPI) a shell company, under the troll company of Modern Universal Printing, LLC v. numerous print service providers and OEMs, all of the lawsuits were dismissed.
The print industry’s technology is too closed, too proprietary, making it overly difficult for print businesses (the entities that make this whole ecosystem work) to access, use, distribute, and learn from the data their business’ generate every day. If we keep at this, we will choke off the only thing that matters (growing print businesses).
The US Department of Commerce recently released its Annual Survey of Manufactures Capital Expenditures report, issuing data for 2014.
HP’s sense of itself as a change agent for digital printing is strong. The very broad range of digital solutions it will show at drupa 2016 befits the size of its ambition.
When the auto industry crashed and burned in 2007–2008, and their biggest client pulled most of their business, Michigan’s Landaal Packaging Systems saw an opportunity to reinvent itself with digital wide-format printing.
In this article, David looks at HP Indigo, the technology, and what we can expect from them at drupa 2016. Even though Indigo is not inkjet, there will be a number of new products at drupa and it is worth covering in these series.
Motivated by an increasingly sophisticated range of online and offline shopping opportunities, consumers are eager to experience higher-quality shopping experiences. Retailers can delight their customers by providing an experience that is relevant, personalized, and engaging. This article provides examples of augmented reality applications that are designed to deliver much more effective and engaging communications
This week’s chart shows the aggressive actions of the Federal Reserve after the housing bubble. For decades, the Fed’s balance sheet increased by about 6% per year, averaging about half inflation and half economic growth. The rocket-like rise when the bubble burst is clear, and then the three steps up of each of the quantitative easings are plainly seen. The Fed has wanted to raise rates for some time, but they have also wanted to stop the buying of government instruments that characterized the QE programs. They create shortages of publicly traded bonds which increases their prices, which makes the effective interest rates low. Rather than ending their purchases, the Fed has been replacing matured obligations. In effect, this keeps QE3 going. Can the Fed ever end it? They may hold on and hope that over time that economic growth and inflation catches up to them in time, but that can take forever, or perhaps longer. It will be difficult for the Fed to end its policy without robust economic growth that will give them the flexibility and opportunities to unwind their holdings. Should a recession begin, or a new financial crisis emerge (even an internationally) the Fed might need to create an additional QE effort.
At a pre-drupa briefing last month, duomedia hosted a large crowd of press and analysts from around the world to hear from eight different companies about their drupa plans and general strategies. This article includes links to other WhatTheyThink reporting on these announcements as well as a focus on the announcements made by the Danaher family of companies including Esko, Enfocus, X-Rite and Pantone. This included a flexo platemaking breakthrough announced by Esko that is set to create a shift in that market.
Technology decisions can be costly, not just in licensing/subscription fees but in the time and effort it takes your team to implement, learn, and launch technologies to your customers. One of the aspects of the Infigo product suite is the ability to add modules as you continue to diversify.
In this article, David looks at HP, and its drupa 2016 introductions of the PageWide Corrugated and HD production inkjet presses.
March 2016 – Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries
The USPS exigent price increase has expired, and USPS says they “will lose approximately $2 billion in annual revenue resulting from a price reduction” which they knew was going to expire. The increase was to help “recover for the massive volume and revenue losses resulting from the Great Recession.” Yet, Dr. Joe shows that the declines in USPS volume kept declining after the economic recovery began in mid-2009. Then Dr. Joe talks about recession in light of recent economic data. Yeah, they’ll be calling him Dr. Doom again.
Today’s consumers have grown comfortable with the ideal of establishing a one-on-one dialogue with marketers, and many consumers have come to expect this level of intimacy. This article cites recent research to explore consumers’ practices and preferences when interacting with direct mail and other types of content.
Find peers to collaborate with at all levels of your company. When your web-to-print person gets stuck, they should have life-lines to other printers who have the same technology. Don’t rely solely on the vendor. Industry events are the best places to meet peers who share your challenges.
The USPS is always in the news, and last month's Annual Compliance Determination report was not particularly positive. “The majority of products failed to meet service performance targets for FY 2015” read the Postal Regulatory Commission press release. The PRC directed “the Postal Service to improve service performance and provide a comprehensive plan within 90 days.”
If you are planning to attend drupa 2016, make sure your agenda gives you plenty of time to review what HP will be bringing to Hall 17. There is going to be a great deal to see.
The US Department of Commerce issued its latest report of US commercial printing shipments (NAICS 323) and the data show 21 consecutive months of positive comparisons to the prior year current dollar shipments. The trend started with June 2014, and has been an average increase of +3.3%, +$225 million per month, for that period.
We may have gone through the first six week recession in history. That's said a bit tongue-in-cheeck, but many of the economic measures seem to have bottomed or are in the process of doing so. Besides that, recessions are measured in quarters, not weeks. The doom of the global economic slowdown and the worldwide currency crises seems to have left with a whimper.
A decision to attend drupa 2016 represents a major investment of time and travel expense. The director of the global event talks about why label and packaging producers are among those who should most seriously consider making it.
Senior Editor Cary Sherburne has been a long-time customer of Zazzle and was thrilled with the recent opportunity to visit the company’s manufacturing sites in San Jose CA. Learn more about the successful business this unique company has built in this article sponsored by HP.
Landa has announced that its lineup of Nanographic Printing presses at Drupa will include sheetfed presses running at 13,000 B1 sheets per hour as well as one meter-wide (41 in.) web presses printing on plastic packaging films. The company will also unveil Landa Nano-Metallography, a zero-waste metallization technology that will halve the cost of metallized printing compared to foil transfer processes.
SGIA’s Marci Kinter offers a comprehensive set of environmental sustainability tips and strategies that go beyond merely choosing the right substrate.
The concept of creating relevant communication is becoming table stakes, and marketers with the most targeted strategies will be the ones that win. This article cites recent research from InfoTrends and explores how pii is stepping up to the data challenge.
In Part Two of this two-part article, David continues his review of Landa, the Nanographic Printing technology, and additional new development and offerings in preparation for drupa 2016.
Profits bounced back from a terrible third quarter which had an industry-aggregate loss of -2.57% as a percentage of revenues, and went back up to a more reasonable 4.38%. The difference was the massive writedowns of the third quarter which resulted in a -10.97% loss in printing companies with more than $25 million in assets.
In a clear case of dealing with a two-handed economist when asked about economic conditions, the Bureau of Economic Analysis increased their estimate of fourth quarter GDP to +1.4%. The initial report was +0.7%, and then it was revised to +1.0%, and now it is +1.4%. They were off only by $100 billion from the first report, greater than the size of the printing industry, just to add some perspective about how big the US economy is.
Your customers don’t want to be trained, your customers want you to make them look good in front of their boss, get them promoted, and generally make their lives easier. Don’t try and educate your customers, sell them on what’s in it for them if they adjust their behaviors (e.g. use your web-to-print system, submit print-ready PDF files, etc.)
In this two-part article, David looks at Landa, the Nanographic Printing® technology, including additional new developments and offerings in preparation for drupa 2016.
Sign Expo 2016 comes to Orlando, with four days of educational sessions, keynotes, and a packed exhibition hall. As an added bonus, both Roland’s ImagiNATION 2016 and Durst’s Retail 2020 are colocated with this year’s Sign Expo.
This past week, Quad/Graphics released a study entitled Millennials: An Emerging Consumer Powerhouse. One of the key areas of focus was how printed materials are used by today’s “connected” generation of Millennials. This article provides an overview of how Millennials interact with printed media.
Now that 2015 data are complete, we have run the forecasting models again and present them in this chart.
One workflow for all job types results in wasted labor, unrealized profits, and slower turnaround times. The modern print business has to drive automation by creating different routes for different job types. The approach has to be strategic, because automation in one area can create congestion in another.
Now, what was it you wanted to sell me? If the format of your advertising pitch is one that inspires confidence and trust, we may be able to do business.
The company finally has made a full commitment to digital, most notably with the coming launch of a B1 inkjet press. But conventional production will still anchor its presence at the show.
In this article, David looks at Xeikon, its new Trillium Liquid Toner technology and press, as well as its latest offerings in preparation for drupa 2016.
Outsell, Inc., those folks who got our industry's attention by saying “print can be a legitimate spinoff from the Web,” are out with their latest estimates of media spending for 2016. Their latest data should make print owners and executives take notice because they offer a view into the problems that communications decision-makers face, and we're all about solving problems, aren't we. Dr. Joe adds his commentary to theirs and his insights into some of the latest economics news.
A new iGen, new production inkjet models, and software solutions were pre-announced to Xerox customers and the media at a special event held last week at the Gil Hatch Center in upstate New York.
Born between the early 1980s through about 2000, Millennials are a highly connected audience who don’t know a world without personal computers and mobile devices. This article cites recent research from InfoTrends to explore how tried and true direct mail campaigns can still be highly effective within this diverse generation.
Advertising Agency Revenues Have Major Revision Down for 2013 & 2014, but Remain in Long-term Uptrend
The US Department of Commerce released its latest Quarterly Service Survey last week, and it reduced shipments for the third quarter of 2013 by -$4 billion (whoops – a -15% statistical error).
Web-to-print is a strategic initiative that creates two service level paths through your organization; self-service and full-service. Your leadership is the key ingredient required for success.
Digital Package Printing As an Innovation Tool for Consumer Brands: an Interview with Mike Ferrari ()
Digital printing is no longer a tangential technology for packaging—it’s a mainstream process for brands that want to stay fully engaged with consumers. An authority on brand management explains why.
There are a number of different printing technologies used to print fabrics and textiles. One of the most common—and the one that is getting the most attention these days—is dye sublimation. What is dye sublimation printing, and what do you need to take advantage of the technology?
Marketing attribution is the science of determining what channels are driving desired actions and assigning them appropriate credit. Print is an important channel in the marketing mix. This article highlights recent InfoTrends’ research that attributes the value of print in the mix.
February 2016 – Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries.
The latest printing shipments were discussed in the “Mondays with Dr. Joe” of March 7. The chart offers more details. Revenues turned around on a current dollar basis with June 2014 shipments (blue line) and the positive comparisons to the prior year kept going until the most recent report, January 2016. In current dollars, January’s shipments were barely above those of 2015, keeping the positive comparison streak intact.
Starting a trade association isn’t the same thing as establishing a trade association. Giving it a base for an extended life of service to its members requires long-range planning and determined execution. This is the story of NPOA.
As we move more business online, utilize digital communication channels, and look to diversify – our print business marketing becomes more critical to our overall business success.
The Printing Industry and Patent Trolls – An Update on the CTP and HQPI Patent Infringement Litigation Cases and their Negative Impact on Industry’s Companies
At a time when the printing industry is searching for new growth and development opportunities, it now faces new obstacles: patent trolls, the epitome of greed, thoughtlessness, and unethical behavior impacting the survival, growth, and development of printing and related companies.