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The Inkjet Paper Chase

Paper has always been critical to the printing process. After all, paper is both the raw material and the end product. Nowhere is that more apparent than when transitioning to production inkjet printing. Paper selection will have a tremendous impact on the production quality and profitability of your inkjet solution.


Transforming and Automating Workflows: Getting work into the plant Part Two - Have We Arrived or is it Just a Rest Stop?

In Part two of this two part article, David looks at some of the current solution offerings that are designed to bring your client’s jobs into your plant to see if and how they are meeting the challenges of today’s service provider.


2014: It’s Time for Service Providers to Embrace Change (Part 3) (Premium Content)

The communications world is changing, and printers of all sizes are realizing that it’s time to reposition their businesses. This article is the third in a three-part series on the top trends of 2014 that can help you grow revenues and profitability. It evaluates the options for transforming your business model.


PIA and NAPL: Where They Are, and Where They Go from Here

Because they mirror the industry they serve, the printing industry’s two principal trade associations are seeing a picture they may sometimes have trouble recognizing. But, the groups say they have adapted to circumstances, learned from mistakes, and committed themselves to strategies for stability.


Finishing Digitally Printed Labels: What Do You Really Need?

In the world of label production, finishing or converting a label is as important as the accuracy and quality of the printing process itself. The decision whether to use inline or offline finishing/converting solutions depends on the make-up of incoming orders and the specific market needs of the customer.


With the Ring of a Bell and a Self-Confident Flourish, Kodak Returns to the New York Stock Exchange

Kodak’s renewed self-confidence as a B2B company focused on imaging for business was on full display as the company grandly relisted its common stock at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on January 8.


2014: It’s Time for Service Providers to Embrace Change (Part 2) (Premium Content)

Service providers must support their customers with strategies that integrate print, mobile, online, and social media. This article is the second in a three-part series on the top trends of 2014 that can help you grow revenues and profitability. It discusses the implementation of emerging technologies to effectively engage customers and showcases new capabilities/applications that can open new revenue streams for your business.


Xerox Appoints Jacobson to New COO Role for Technology Business, Promotes Copley to President, Graphic Communications Business Group (Premium Content)

Xerox announced a significant organizational change, creating a new position as Chief Operating Officer for its Technology (versus Services) Business for industry veteran Jeff Jacobson, who joined Xerox in 2012 as President of Xerox’s Graphic Communications Operation. Andrew Copley, who joined Xerox 18 months ago, will step into the role vacated by Jacobson. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Copley in an exclusive WhatTheyThink interview to get the inside scoop.


Inflation-adjusted Annualized US Publishing & Advertising Agency Revenues

This chart shows the inflation-adjusted revenue trends for selected content-creation businesses. Note how advertising revenues have increased despite the declines in the revenues to publishers. Agencies have shifted much of their efforts to developing “earned media” (a/k/a search engines, social media, e-marketing and numerous other digital formats), and the production of it.


Maximizing Your Recycled Waste Revenue

Sometimes waste is something to get rid of. Other times, it can make money. Depending on your situation it can be your choice. With a bit of time and effort as well as assigning responsibility it can pay you dividends.


Ipex 2014: Spotlight on London

The return of Ipex to London in March 2014 is adding up to be a welcome capital gain for exhibitors and visitors alike. In this guest article by Trevor Crawford (Event Director, Ipex 2014), we get the rundown on what to expect.


2014: It’s Time for Service Providers to Embrace Change (Part 1) (Premium Content)

The most successful firms in today’s graphic communications market have taken strong traditional printing businesses with a solid customer base and evolved into multi-channel companies that are equally focused on print and integrated offerings. This article is the first in a three-part series on the top trends of 2014 that can help you grow revenues and profitability. It focuses on the opportunities that exist for service providers of all types and sizes.


Manage Your Future: Building Your Personal Brand

How are you described by your family, friends, colleagues and your clients? It should be pretty obvious that each of has a “personal brand”; a brand that should define your unique value to those around you. The real issue is whether or not you are pleased with your brand and how you manage it.


Harland Clarke and Valassis: There’s a Real Strategy in Play (Premium Content)

So, why would a firm that started life as a check printer and that still focuses primarily on financial institutions spend $1.8B to buy a retail coupon and advertising printer?


A Visit by the Ghost of Printing Yet to Come

Predicting the future is easy; predicting what will happen next month is almost impossible. Prediction is especially difficult in the printing industry because we adapt technologies from other disciplines.


Social Media for PSPs: Get Linked Up and LinkedIn for Business Development

The explosive proliferation of social media is the hottest topic in marketing today. For print service providers (PSPs), it brings both intrigue and confusion: “Should our business be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram? My kids are on Pinterest, Vine, Tumblr and Foursqure, so should my business be there, too? What am I supposed to do with Google+?”


New Printing Opportunities for Flexible Packaging Converters

Over the last decade digital printing has moved from a niche market to a high growth segment embraced by a large number of print service providers (PSPs) that acknowledge the added value and higher profits of digital. One of the results of the proliferation of digital technologies is a convergence of once separate activities.


Personalization Goes Mainstream (Premium Content)

With a rapidly growing number of customers expecting their communication experiences to be tailored to their specific needs and wants, it’s more important than ever for companies to segment and personalize their marketing efforts. This article discusses how personalization tactics like data mining, audience segmentation, and predictive modeling now play a prominent role in driving e-mail marketing, content marketing, and online advertising.


Transaction Statement In-Plant Printers: A Perspective on their Needs

The number of transaction statement in-plant printers has been in decline for some time, due mainly to a decline in print volumes caused by suppression and more recently the effect of electronic bill presentment, which has become a default option for many who open a new financial or insurance account.


Is a box just a box? How packaging is impacted by the digital revolution.

Those who have been around the packaging industry can tell you that no one can predict its future. From experiments gone awry – like Jacques E. Brandenberger’s failed attempts at transparent tablecloths that ultimately resulted in the invention of cellophane in 1908.


Is Digital Printing for Corrugated Packaging; The Holy Grail or Third Rail?

My first exposure to digital printing for Corrugated Packaging occurred when I joined Inland Container. This occurred in late 2000, and Inland was in the process of developing a prototype digital press to evaluate the potential for digital printing in Packaging.


Need to Scale Your Sales? Invest in Marketing (Premium Content)

The online world enables good online marketing to escort prospects through the sales process (know me, like me, trust me, and pay me). Online marketing is a path to scaling your sales reach.


Phoenix’s AZ Pro Uses Vehicle and Fleet Graphics to Keep on Truckin’ (Premium Content)

From so simple a beginning. Avondale, Ariz.’s AZ Pro Signs and Graphics, based just outside Phoenix, started nine years ago with a 21-inch plotter—and has seen no less than double-digit growth every year, even during the recession years.


Looking for extra Cash – check your Trash

Companies are always looking for ways to save money or reduce costs. The more you do the harder it is to find ways to improve the bottom line. Looking at your trash may not be the first area you investigate but it does offer the opportunity to reduce costs. The concept is to recycle/reuse/repurpose and reprocess all materials which had been “thrown into the dumpster”. This takes some time and effort as well as the cooperation of your employees. Done properly not only can it reduce your costs and lessen your environmental impact, it can increase your sales as well.


With Planning and Preparation, Commercial Printers Have a Growth Opportunity in Special Effects for Packaging and Labels

Commercial printers are increasingly examining the label and packaging market—and they like what they see. As digital technology lowers both the cost of entry and the learning curve for excellent execution, particularly in the area of special effects, the business benefits can be substantial.


Sizing Up Inkjet’s Paper Requirements (Premium Content)

Sean Smyth of Digital Demand World, the publication for the digital print industry, looks at how paper grades are changing to meet inkjet requirements.


It’s Time to Think about Print to Mobile! (Premium Content)

Technological advances have drastically changed the way people consume information. Today’s businesses must facilitate the movement between print and mobile formats to add value to communication. This article highlights how Roberts Communications is supporting consumers in the move toward mobile channels while still supporting print.


Really Great Deals! Eight Keys to Create One (Premium Content)

Consolidation looks like the obvious play in a shrinking industry space: put two friendly competitors together, eliminate redundant / duplicative activities, pocket the savings and move along happily. Sounds simple and neat. Uh oh.


Digital Publishing Model for Magazines Gaining Steam (Premium Content)

Recent data published by Adobe sheds light on what’s happening with digital magazine publications. Since the launch of Adobe DPS less than three years ago, more than 150 million Adobe-DPS powered digital publications have been downloaded and read on mobile devices.  (Adobe DPS has 80% market share in digital magazine publishing). And more time is being spent with publications in digital form than in print. This is a trend our readers should be watching and looking for ways to capitalize on.


Printed Books versus eBooks: Telling the Story (Premium Content)

Ricoh commissioned an I.T. Strategies study titled The Evolution of the Book Industry: Implications for U.S. Book Manufacturers and Printers. The study looks at the impact of ebooks on printed book volumes, reader preferences for print versus electronic formats and more. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with I.T. Strategies VP Marco Boer and Ricoh’s Worldwide Manager Inkjet Technologies, Mike Herold, to learn more.


What’s next for Digital Printing for Packaging?

The potential of digital print is broadening, and packaging companies are only just beginning to realise the benefits on offer in terms of personalisation, customer engagement and integration with online campaigns.


Transforming and Automating Workflows: Getting work into the plant Part One: A Trip Down Memory Lane

In Part one of this two part article, David looks at Some history of, and some of the solution types for getting work into your plant.


Heard the Buzz about Digital Print for Packaging?

If you’re a product marketer, packaging developer or brand manager, chances are that you’ve heard about digital print. But how much do you really know about it?


Wide-Format: Understanding the Hourglass (Premium Content)

Since the highly-successful SGIA Expo, which took place a little more than a month ago, I’ve been putting some new thought into wide-format digital printing, trying to come up with a new way to describe the industry to those who are new to it, or have simply put a toe in our wide-format pool.


One Chance to Make a Good First Impression (Premium Content)

B2B customers are more connected than ever, and this brings increased opportunities to reach prospective buyers with relevant, targeted information when they need it. This article discusses three areas of focus for service providers that are striving to make a good first impression.


Developing the Future Leadership for the Graphic Communication Industry

Cal Poly and NYU “East Meets West” Graphic Arts Partnership Approaches 10-Year Anniversary


Getting Into Wide-Format – A Commercial Printer’s Blueprint for Success

While the commercial printing industry has seen an overall decline in demand for print over the last 15 years, the demand for wide-format printed graphics is actually increasing. As a result, more and more commercial printers are looking at adding wide-format to their offerings.


Use Technology to Change Behavior (Premium Content)

Technology promises great potential to create leverage in our business. Leverage isn’t created in the purchase of technology; real leverage comes from how the use of the technology changes the behavior of the people who use it.


HP Boise Hosts Print Days for Media

Last month, I had the opportunity to visit HP’s Boise offices along with other members of the media. While the session focused on print solutions for small to mid-sized businesses, many of the solutions we saw have implications for commercial printers.


Why Are Traditional Print Sales People Struggling With Business Development?

Traditional print sales professionals continue to struggle with the business development process and companies of all sizes are trying to figure out their next moves. Building a next generation sales team doesn’t have to be that difficult if you design an effective work flow process.


Customized W2P: the New Ingredient for Success in M&As (Premium Content)

Pinpointing the characteristics that make some printing companies more economically attractive than others is the short version of the mission of New Direction Partners (NDP), a consultancy specializing in mergers and acquisitions in the graphic communications industry. Some of these earmarks are classic indicators of the health of a business: cash flow, accounts receivable, EBITDA, and so on. Others, however, stem from emerging trends that NDP monitors as M&A influencers for the industry as a whole.


Big Changes at Printing Industries of America

Last week, with no public announcement, the Printing Industries of America dismissed 15 employees with little or no notice, according to sources. Some had over 30 years of service to GATF, with whom PIA merged in the late 1990s.


Elli Cloots: Adding Value to Marketing at EFI

Elli Cloots, formerly Director of Product Marketing at Enfocus, recently joined EFI as Senior Product Marketing Manager in EPS, the company’s software group. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne talks with her about her new role and the importance of workflow and automation in the graphic arts industry.


Evaluating Performance of Today’s Digital Plate Technology

Industries worldwide are moving rapidly toward “green” operations, seeking to reduce environmental emissions, hazardous materials and waste streams, while at the same time striving to conserve energy and materials. In line with this trend, printing industry leaders have focused on improving the environmental aspects of their supply chain and operations to reduce waste and improve efficiency.


The Lean Startup: Lessons for a Print Service Provider (Premium Content)

In today’s printing industry, uncertainty is the rule rather than the exception. Citing Eric Ries’ New York Times Bestseller entitled The Lean Startup, this article explores how print service providers can leverage the advice in this book.


Interstate Graphics Feels the Heat with New Thermoforming System

At the SGIA Expo in Orlando several weeks ago, EFI garnered a Product of the Year award for its GS Pro-TF thermoforming system. Interstate Graphics Inc. (IGI), based in Machesney Park, Ill.—just outside Rockford—was the first company to install the GS Pro-TF.


On-pack Traceability Points to Digital Print Future

Sean Smyth of Digital Demand World looks at digital print’s growing role in pack traceability.


Graphics Canada Marks Its 50th Anniversary By Looking to the Future of Print

Graphics Canada is held every two years and celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To mark this milestone, says Dan Mustata, show manager for Graphics Canada, “we’ve brought together more features, more conferences, and more colocated events than ever.”


Digital Package Printing – The Value Proposition for the Brand Owner

With all the news chatter around digital printing for packaging coming out of Print 13 and Label Expo this fall I thought it appropriate to bring the readership some insights we have on the topic.


Transforming and Automating Workflows: Web to Print or getting work into the plant

David looks at how you get the work from your customer into your plant. What does web to print mean to you; and is it the answer to getting work into your plant, or are there multiple answers?


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