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Industry pundits have long been discussing the value of Web-to-Print. Firms that have developed easy-to-use Web-based services are successful because customers of all sizes are seeking convenience. This article uses data from a recent InfoTrends study to show how Web-to-print has become an essential ingredient when serving the enterprise market.
Wide Format Graphics Printing: The Numbers Speak Loud and Clear for those with the First Mover Advantage
Wide format graphics ink jet printing is entering its second decade of commercialization and is belatedly being discovered by commercial print-service-providers. The ubiquitous availability of wide format output at the consumer level is opening the door to promote wide format graphics print as an alternative to traditional advertising for small businesses.
This new series by David L. Zwang focuses on the processes and products that can lead to the transformation of your current workflows and business, to prepare you for the new challenges ahead. This series runs once a month over the course of the year, with the first article appearing in January 2013. Zwang looks at process transformation and automation, and the steps you need to take to be successful. He will also look at some of the current product offerings and how they are being, or could be, used to help you transform your business and strengthen your customer relationships.
Technology is driving changes in all aspects of our business; the way we manufacture, the way we go to market, the way we engage our clients as well as our employees. So why not expand the use of technology to the way we attract, recruit, hire and on-board our next generation work force?
Please excuse this article coming after my retirement last year and my statement that you had seen my last article. I am taking the opportunity given to me by Randy Davidson to write the occasional guest editorial if I see a subject that I feel needs my own ‘unique’ take.
There has been lots of press about the struggles of traditional publishers in making the transition to a more digitally-enabled business model, but less attention has been paid to the impact of digital on catalogs and other retail-oriented pieces that typically have been produced in print. Printers take note: There is significant change coming your way if you are in the business of producing print for retail.
During EFI’s recent 2013 Connect user conference in Las Vegas, CEO Guy Gecht took time out to talk to Senior Editor Cary Sherburne, followed by a discussion after EFI released its financial results on January 24th.
Some marketers are taking funds out of their print budgets and investing in online, while others are cutting back on direct mail to focus on e-mail. In a recent InfoTrends study entitled Understanding Vertical Markets: Enterprise Communications Requirements, InfoTrends surveyed more than 1,000 enterprises with 500+ employees. The results confirmed that marketers are planning to shift more dollars to alternate media. This article discusses how print and digital channels will be linked for success in 2013.
A walk down the street, a drive on the highway, or a trip on mass transit today provides ample opportunities to experience one of the hottest specialty graphics growth areas: vehicle graphics. From personal vehicles with custom graphics, to commercial vans and tractor-trailers, to buses, rail cars, and even planes, fleets of all kinds are becoming more picture-esque than ever.
As the publishing market continues to seek ways to innovate and to take advantage of the opportunities extent in digital publications, Adobe continues to support their efforts with ongoing enhancements to its Digital Publishing Suite and a growing number of publications on board with the solution. And the executive editor of Fast Company magazine shares his thoughts on the digital transformation.
Don’t look for exhibits by Eastman Kodak Co. at Print 13 in Chicago this year, at IPEX 14 in the U.K next year, or at most other graphic communications trade shows after that. In a statement published last Friday, the company announced it would significantly reduce its participation in conventional trade shows and turn to other means of engaging with its customers.
Over the weekend, those blazing a virtual trail in the industry relative to digital printing and its applications will be blazing a different kind of trail on their way to Las Vegas to attend the 2013 PODi AppForum. WhatTheyThink will be there as a long time supporter of the event and here’s what to expect.
During the fourth quarter of 2012, InfoTrends published its most recent research on The True Cost of Business Communications. This report examined the entire document lifecycle for an array of different applications including manuals, brochures, sell-sheets, and presentations. This article provides a brief overview of the survey’s findings and explores strategies for success among service providers.
Using information from a number of surveys conducted by SGIA during 2012, I’ve put together a snapshot of a “typical” specialty imaging company. While the specialty imaging industry is highly diverse, with lots of companies doing lots of things, it is both interesting and thought-provoking to create a typical company using trends and high points from the data we’ve received.
As you attempt to execute your thoughtfully designed strategies, the greater the value your employees can add to your internal and external clients' lives, the easier it will be to differentiate your offering and gain a competitive advantage
For the last several conferences, a highlight at EFI Connect has been the fireside chat between CEO Guy Gecht and an industry luminary. This year’s “luminary” was Benny Landa, and the fireside chat was a highlight of the event. Read more EFI Connect highlights.
There is no shortage of talk about web-to-print technologies; there is too little talk about printer’s online strategies. Printers can talk for hours about how this or that web technology has failed them or this or that technology is what made all the difference.
WhatTheyThink recently visited two German printing houses that provide an aspirational lesson for printers everywhere who want to know how far investments in production technologies can take growth-minded companies.
Richard looks at the printing shipment trends that happened over the previous year, and provides a bit of analysis.
This two-part series shares Barb Pellow’s perspective on the top 10 trends that service providers should be thinking about as they plan for 2013. Part one focused on the areas where it is important to “stay the course” in terms of investing in digital print, and this second part explores the opportunities that are emerging from new media options.
Carl Gerhardt, Chairman of the Allegra Network gives some of his initial and personal observations about the recently formed National Print Owners Association.
Senior Editor Cary Sherburne recently had the opportunity to visit Allegra Network’s Marketing Resource Center, established more than two years ago to provide support to Allegra Network’s franchisees as they expand horizons into new business opportunities.
Still #1 in sheetfed, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG nevertheless is adjusting to a new place in an industry over which it used to loom larger. Its leaders outlined the company’s go-forward strategy in a year-end media briefing that hinted at significant change to come.
In real estate, they say, it’s all about location, location, location. In business consulting, the triple crown is perspective, perspective, perspective. The most recent addition to the consulting team at New Direction Partners brings a long and multi-angled view of the printing industry to his new role as an architect of mergers and acquisitions within it.
HP recently had a unpublicized change in management in its Graphic Arts business with the retirement of SVP Chris Morgan. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Stephen Nigro, who has rejoined the group as Global Business Leader for Graphics Solutions and Inkjet.
This two-part series shares Barb Pellow’s perspective on the top 10 trends that service providers should be thinking about as they plan for 2013. Part one focuses on the areas where it is important to “stay the course” in terms of investing in digital print, while part two will explore the opportunities that are emerging from new media options.
In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, becoming more “green” is one resolution that few can find fault with. Unfortunately, green printing is difficult, if not impossible, to clearly define.
Change management clearly requires talented leaders; frequently the managers on your team do not exhibit the leadership competencies that are required. Defining the critical leadership competencies required and the ability to predict who has those traits is a crucial process.
In this article, David lays out the key steps necessary to prepare for a successful transformation. While it is important to look toward the final destination goal, without a map delineating the best path to achieve that goal, there are many more pitfalls along the way and unseen problems in the future.
The 2006 merger of NAPL and NAQP has seen its share of naysayers and bumps in the road, but is a new industry association the answer? Find out why some former NAQP members think so.
In “Survival of the Small to Mid-sized Printing Company in Today’s Chaotic Environment”, I talked about the four attributes of long-term successful companies, this article will address the first attribute – Viability
I.T. Strategies surveyed Wide Format Print Converters and buyers in the US to gauge output-selling price for wide format printed output. They interviewed sellers and buyers of output produced on low-end, high-end, flat-bed and roll to roll printers, and all ink chemistries-UV, solvent, eco solvent, and latex to get a sense of current retail output prices.
The skeptics have all but writen us off The pundits call us a sunset industry Misguided marketers think electronic substitution replaces print But print will prevail
SGIA just released its Industry Pulse Benchmarking Report for the third quarter of 2012. The purpose of the report is to provide specialty imaging companies with information they can use to compare their business with the broader community.
The CMO Council recently published The State of Marketing 2012: A Global and Multi-Regional Marketing Assessment. Findings indicate that marketers are positive as they head into 2013 with confidence in their roles and their business performance. This article highlights some of the report's findings as the New Year approaches.
HP recently announced that Hamburg, Germany, based RAKO Etiketten acquired five new HP Indigo WS6600 digital presses. This large investment caught the attention of Senior Editor Cary Sherburne, who spoke to RAKO about its investment, production platform and strategy moving forward.
Developments in web-to-print are moving the industry toward automated artwork generation, says Sean Smyth of Digital Demand World, the publication for the digital print industry.
Last time, Dr. Joe explained why business development is rising as a critical function in print organizations. The nature of selling is changing just as the nature of print in the communications mix is changing. And no, cold-calling has nothing to do with Winter temperatures.
We have a choice how we react to mistakes/failures. This is an area where we can learn from the technology startup world. Mistakes are learning events; sometimes very expensive but invaluable learning opportunities which should be analyzed to get everything you can out of them. Learning from mistakes requires you to remove the moral mindset to your reaction and replace it with an economic mindset.
This new series by David L. Zwang focuses on the processes and products that can lead to the transformation of your current workflows and business to prepare you for the new challenges ahead. With this introductory article, David lays out the business drivers and some of the series topics. As the print industry and the marketplace as a whole continue their digital evolution, business process transformation becomes an increasingly critical success factor.
The rationale for adding social media services is very compelling. It's the new word-of-mouth machine that drives customer perceptions and purchasing decisions. This article outlines just a few examples of the new social media services that today's marketing service providers are offering to their customers.
New developments, and at least one new system, are opening up magnetic media to entire new applications for small- and wide-format printers and installers. Vehicle graphics is one burgeoning field, as is magnetic signage, and even entire wall coverings.
Zumbox, a digital postal mail service, recently announced that Chuck Teller, formerly of CatalogChoice.org and TrustedID, has joined the company with the objective of identifying new industries that can be served by digital postal mail and broadening the range of mail (documents) recipients can migrate to digital-only. Here's what he had to say to Senior Editor Cary Sherburne.
As companies look for ways to grow the digital printing portion of their business, they're finding multiple options. And this is great news. Every company is different. Not every company that adopts digital printing needs to become a marketing solutions provider.
WhatTheyThink's Senior Editor Cary Sherburne had the opportunity to visit Boston-based King Printing Co., Inc. recently and found an amazingly efficient manufacturing operation with a great family story behind it.
Hunkeler Innovationdays has become a tradition in the digital printing world. The organizers promise an even more exciting event in 2013, with visitors able to see live demonstrations of an impressive line-up of end-to-end multivendor digital solutions. The WhatTheyThink video team will be there to capture the action. Read more.
Although social media is clearly a vast space of infinite possibility for marketers and service providers, it is largely misunderstood, untapped, and unknown. Fortunately, there are great benefits for print service providers who can pioneer this area. This article explores the ways in which service providers are leveraging social networks to promote their businesses.
Effectively managing a team of sales professionals requires a well thought out and designed structure. Once your management system(s) are in place and the key performance indicators (KPI) are defined and communicated, management can focus on managing the system and coaching the people. Your goal should be to optimize the performance of each individual.
In Part One of this two-part column, Dr. Joe explains how the changing dynamics in the printing industry are dynamically changing the sales process. It used to be that a sales call didn't need to start with explaining print-everyone already knew what it was, and the needed it. Not so much today…successful businesses are increasingly turning to business development practices. This is much more than sales lead generation and that will be the topic of Part Two.
Technology can be used creatively to solve problems and create products that weren’t there before. Red Fluorescing Dry Ink from Kodak is one of those products that can do just that. And the judges for this year’s InterTech awards thought so too.