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Upcoming FESPA Americas 2011 to Offer Unique Hands-On Events for Screen, Textile, and Wide-Format Printers

FESPA Americas 2011 comes to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, in February, and offers business strategies, market trends, new technologies, and unique hands-on workshops for commercial printers, wide-format specialists, and screen printers. The Wrap Cup Masters is an open competition where contestants vie to wrap a variety of vehicles right at the show.


We Three Things of Disorientation Are (Premium Content)

Dr. Joe digs into the details of the economy now that it's three years since the recession started, and eighteen months since the recovery started. Does it really feel like a recovery? The headlines of the various economic news stories seem to be quite different than reality, so Dr. Joe explains what's happening behind the scenes as he starts his ninth year with WhatTheyThink. And they said it wouldn't last.


Tips for Improving Operations in the New Year (Premium Content)

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.


Dr. Joe Webb interviews Richard Romano about the iPad: What it Is, What It’s Not, and What it Means

Dr. Joe interviews Richard Romano to discuss the iPad report.


Eleven New Year’s Resolutions for 2011 to Add Value (and Profit) (Premium Content)

It's a New Year, and we all know what that means... resolutions! Deciding what we want to achieve is easy, but actually reaching our objectives can be quite challenging. This article outlines eleven value-added strategies that graphic communications service providers can consider for additional success in the year ahead.


Former HP Executive Bill McGlynn Talks About New Role at Memjet (Premium Content)

Bill McGlynn was well-known to many of our readers during his 25 years with HP, where he helped accelerate the company’s printing business from $150 million to $24 billion in annual sales, including his role in the Indigo acquisition which led HP’s entry into the commercial printing space.  Now McGlynn is building Memjet’s Home & Office Business as its President.  Read more…


Pitney Bowes Launches Digital Mail Initiative (Premium Content)

Mailing giant Pitney Bowes has announced a new secure online mailbox initiative.  Volly is a secure repository for bills, promotional mail and even household documents that attempts to solve many of the issues that have been barriers to more rapid adoption of online billing.  Read more...


Hunkeler CEO Stefan Hunkeler Discusses Hunkeler Innovationdays

As the WhatTheyThink team prepares to head for Lucerne, Switzerland in February to attend the Hunkeler Innovationdays, we talked with Hunkeler CEO Stefan Hunkeler to gain insight into what to expect at this unique event. We also asked Hunkeler to share his thoughts about the current state of the industry.


CGX CEO Joe Davis Shares Latest CGX Strategies, Industry Insight

What better way to end the year than by having a conversation with Joe Davis, CEO of Consolidated Graphics and WhatTheyThink’s Print CEO of the Year.  Davis tells us what’s new at Consolidated Graphics, talks about acquisition strategy, and shares valuable insight into the strategies that have delivered business success for the company.


Deck the Halls with... New Year’s Resolutions for the M&A-Minded

In the time-honored tradition of ending the present year with resolutions for improvement in the year to come, New Direction Partners offers guidance for print company owners who may find themselves on one side or the other of an M&A transaction in 2011.


Employment Trends to Propel Business Success

Press headlines and reported hiring trends in both the U.S. and Canada indicate a modest increase over the past few months. PrintLink believed employment would start to moderately improve at the end of Q3/beginning of Q4 2010... and our stats demonstrate this is indeed the case. See how this should impact the way your thinking about hiring.


Just in case you didn’t get it… (Premium Content)

In the twelfth and last article of this series, industry expert and WhatTheyThink contributor David Zwang finishes his discussion about cross-media communications and production basics, this time with a review of what you should be doing and why you should be doing it.


Christmas is Coming and So is Mobile Marketing… Get Ready! (Premium Content)

Retailers are working to combine the power of mobile and print as they attempt to convince consumers to shop with them. They can get the word out about holiday sales via print, SMS, the mobile Web, and branded applications, while brands can use various forms of mobile advertising to achieve their holiday-specific goals. This article provides examples of several retailers that are using mobile marketing to increase their reach.


Kodak Puts in A Good Word for Print Before, During and After the Advertising Age “Media Evolved” Conference (Premium Content)

In the minds of media professionals whose the icon is the iPad, how much attention can print and other traditional channels expect to command? Speakers at this high-level event indicated that no matter what media are used, the quality of the content is what spells the difference between virality and oblivion for the brand message.


What Business Are You In?

In a recent article titled “How Well Is Your Business Positioned for the Future”, we posed a series of six strategic questions designed to prompt some reflection.  In this article we elaborate on the question: What Business Are You In?


Pearson Leads the Switch to Color Digital Book Printing (Premium Content)

This past year several publishers realized they could increase their print runs for digital books beyond what was previously thought profitable. The key was high-speed, continuous inkjet printing. WhatTheyThink caught up with Pearson Publishing to explore their thoughts on this new format.


Countdown to FESPA Americas 2011

Set to open February 24th, FESPA Americas 2011 is the best opportunity the print industry gets to bring its international community together. We’ve highlighted six special features of the show that promise to entertain and enlighten.


U.S. Commercial Printing Businesses Produce Estimated $1.1 Billion in Profits in Third Quarter 2010 (Premium Content)

The third quarter of 2010 continued a welcome continuation of profitability for the industry. It has had seven consecutive months of increased sales, but it's clear that the profits trend is increasing, but the long term sales trend is flat.


Evaluating the Total Cost of Ownership (Premium Content)

Even if you know the price of new equipment, do you really know the total cost? We show you the questions you should be asking to get a comprehensive picture of what your total cost of ownership looks like.


Cross-Media Communication: It’s Not Just Buzz, It’s Your Future! (Premium Content)

The formerly manageable world of marketing that primarily used print and mass media has exploded into countless choices related to cross-media communications. Marketers can now successfully engage their customers to achieve higher brand awareness and consumer ownership of their brands.


How Well Is Your Business Positioned for the Future?

Six strategic questions designed to prompt reflection and introspection. All are designed to get you thinking about positioning your business with more clarity.


OK… I get it, but where do I start? (Premium Content)

David Zwang continues his discussion about cross-media communications and production, this time with a discussion of how you should begin your new voyage into Cross-Media Production.


October U.S. Commercial Printing Shipments Up +1.4% (Premium Content)

October 2010 commercial printing shipments were $7.61 billion, up $108 million (+1.4%) compared to 2009. Adjusting for inflation, shipments were up +0.3%.


A Short Course in the Fundamentals of M&A

New Direction Partners has taken its M&A consulting on the road in a series of presentations. In these briefings, NDP offers an overview of the business climate for mergers and acquisitions, along with practical advice for owners pondering the next step in the life cycles of their companies.


Deinking… What Does It Mean to the Environment? (Premium Content)

Recovered paper is currently one of the most important raw materials in paper and paperboard production. To keep products other than cardboard and packing paper lightweight, the ink must be removed during recycling. As such, most recovered paper undergoes the deinking process. In October 2010, INGEDE News reported issues with HP’s deinking processes. WTT Contributor, Barb Pellow, had the opportunity to interview Nils Miller of HP. This article discusses the specifics of the interview and provides HP’s perspective on the INGEDE piece.


The “Right Size” is the Same Size: Heidelberg Offers Another 40" Press in the Speedmaster CX 102 (Premium Content)

Believing that there’s room in the 40" market for an addition to its Speedmaster line, Heidelberg rolled out the Speedmaster CX 102 in a customer event at its U.S. headquarters earlier this month. This newly engineered machine is said to transfer the best features of Heidelberg’s XL-series presses to the 102 format, its most successful product category.


X-Rite – The Color Company (Premium Content)

X-Rite has long been a leading supplier of color measurement tools, and with their recent acquisition Pantone they’re in the business ink color specifications. Now X-Rite is looking to move beyond the print world to become “The Color Company” for all your color needs.


To Prepare for 2011, Imagine It Is 1994 Again (Premium Content)

Dr. Joe must have a time machine, because all he wants to talk about is 1994. He wonders why the planning process used by companies large and small always seems to miss critical market shifts and reinforce the status quo, actually constraining the ability to change. What can make the planning process more effective and our companies more adept when the marketplace takes an unexpected turn?


Enter the Dragon: A Chinese Press Manufacturer Probes the Market at Graph Expo 2010

By bringing just one offset press to Graph Expo 2010, it accounted for one-sixth of all offset presses at the show and one-third of the conventional (non-DI) printing machines on the floor of McCormick Place. That would be an unusual distinction for any exhibitor of press equipment, but it seems to have worked out well for Gronhi Graphics International, the U.S. arm of a Chinese vendor seeking a reputation and a toehold in the American market.


Having the Capability to Personalize Communications is Not Enough Today

The concept of personalized communications – in the way we all think of it today – has been around for well over thirty years. And, acquiring the capability to create and produce personalized communications is still a hot topic in our industry. Yet, for each communication you’re involved in, can you answer the question: Am I contributing to “communications pollution” or am I compelling enough to survive in our world that has become an electronic messaging free-for-all?


Analytics: What am I doing and can I prove it? (Premium Content)

In the tenth article of this series, industry expert and WhatTheyThink contributor David Zwang continues his discussion about cross-media communications and production, this time with a discussion of you need to do to get audience attention, and what tools and services you need to prove you are succeeding.


FESPA Brings Global Wide-Format Printing Expertise to the U.S.

For the first time ever FESPA Americas will be held in the United States. FESPA has existed for almost 50 years, and this years’ event promises not to disappoint. Richard Romano has laid out all the details you need to learn more about the organization, the event and its history.


Googled: A Book Review

Google is arguably one of the most fascinating companies of our times. Founded in 1998, the typical Silicon Valley “two guys in a garage,” the company quickly skyrocketed to prominence as the preferred search engine for many as well as a premier advertising platform. In his book, Ken Auletta does an outstanding job of documenting the company’s history and accomplishments to date.


Building an Innovation Platform (Premium Content)

This article discusses how Apple’s iPad has created a scalable technology platform for growth where the end customer becomes loyal and continues to invest in new applications. It also strikes a comparison to Mail Print’s Web services platform, which has created new ways of doing business and a growth platform for new offerings, applications, and services.


Océ's New Strategy for the Future (Premium Content)

Océ is already the leader in continuous feed inkjet presses. If things are working so well, it seems unlikely they would make a drastic change. At the recent Canon Expo though, they made an announcement that Andy Tribute claims will dramatically shift their strategy.


Sharp Decrease in Layoffs Due to Bankruptcy Reflect Industry Improvement (Premium Content)

Even something that sounds bad, like the number of printing industry layoffs due to bankruptcy, can be good if they're declining. Dr. Joe explains the sharp decline in the last four quarters and why it's very good news.


Conventional Print at the GASC Shows: What Was, Isn’t, and Will Be

The Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC) events were due to reach an inflection point, and it seems clear that at Graph Expo 2010, they reached one from which there will be no turning back. The break in the connection between showing heavy printing equipment and selling it made Graph Expo 2010 a watershed event. No longer do press manufacturers makers need elaborate displays of machinery at the GASC shows in order to achieve the marketing impact they desire.


Personalized Packaging Brings Sweet Success (Premium Content)

Irongate Digital of Derby, U.K. has used its Web-to-print and digital color printing expertise to develop personalized chocolate boxes to catapult its clients’ candy sales. Irongate leveraged its existing technologies to enhance the value of print for its customers. WhatTheyThink.com caught up with them and assembled some recommendations for print service providers that are hoping to expand their Web-to-print offerings into packaging applications.


The Three-Letter Problem! (Premium Content)

Why are so many companies in the print industry choosing three-initial names that prove completely indistinguishable from the next three-initial name. Whether it’s ABC or XYZ, Andy Tribute tries to sort out the confusion.


Reading Past the Employment Headline: Someone's Got to Do It (Premium Content)

Sometimes you actually have to read past the first paragraph to find out what's going on, and looking at the tables of statistical reports with the real data leads to conclusions that are quite different than the headlines. Dr. Joe does the statistical equivalent of going into the kitchen to see how clean it is before believing a restaurant's reviews. You may have heard that there were elections last week, and that they might have been important. Keep it all in perspective, and don't get ahead of things. There's political chaos ahead that may only increase the uncertainty.


What are the required and available tools for Print + eMedia (Premium Content)

In the ninth article of this series, industry expert and WhatTheyThink contributor David Zwang continues his discussion about cross-media communications and production, this time with a discussion of what tools you need for your new workflows. It will cover the options you have for Design and Workflow tools to help you determine what will work most effectively for you.


Sales Strategies: Sell Print and More by Connecting the Dots (Premium Content)

How do you wring more out of the sponge? How do you provide your clients with greater benefit? How do you match your services to your clients needs? Mike Philie of the NAPL has some advice on how to “hear” what your customer is really asking for.


Pulling the Trigger: Marketing Service Providers Are Stepping Up to the Challenge (Premium Content)

To send timely messages, marketers must have a clear understanding of the customer’s situation so they can generate the best event-based marketing activity. This is where something called trigger-based marketing comes into play. Trigger-based marketing works on the premise that you communicate with your customers at the precise time when they have a high propensity to purchase. This article provides information on two companies (RT Associates and Associates International) that are stepping up to the challenge of trigger-based marketing.


September U.S. Commercial Printing Shipments Up +3.4%; Six Consecutive Months of Growth Versus 2009 (Premium Content)

September 2010 commercial printing shipments were $7.58 billion, up $248 million (+3.4%) compared to 2009. Adjusting for inflation, shipments were up +2.2%. “This continues the consecutive gain in current dollar shipments for six months, a welcome change for commercial printers,” explained Dr. Joe Webb, director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center.


Thinking Creatively: It’s Time to Revisit the Basics of “Conversation”

In a world where text messages outnumber mobile phone calls...and social network usage eclipses email…and customer service has turned into self service… the nature of conversation is being revolutionized. Specifically, this means “the commercial conversation”.


That Book of Business You’ve Acquired: Could It Be Missing Some Pages?

How do you know that business you just bought is going to keep earning what you’ve been promised? What questions should you be asking, what contingency plans should you be building, and what hang-ups should you be looking out for? The partners at New Direction Partners have some answers for us.


Memjet: Bringing disruptive change to packaging and labeling? (Premium Content)

Memjet may be a new name to many of our readers.  The company was founded in 2002 and designs and manufactures low-cost high quality inkjet printheads, print controllers and inks designed for use in printers for packaging and mailing applications.  Although OEMs have only had product components for 60 days, Memjet has been busy—five shows in the last six months in North America and Europe.  Read more about this potentially disruptive technology.


Q3 2010 Real GDP on Quarter/Quarter and Year/Year Basis (Premium Content)

Dr. Joe looks at the advance report for GDP in 2010's third quarter and explains what it means, what it doesn't, and why it might be worth ignoring.


Former HP Executive Bill McGlynn Talks About New Role at Memjet (Premium Content)

Bill McGlynn was well-known to many of our readers during his 25 years with HP, where he helped accelerate the company’s printing business from $150 million to $24 billion in annual sales, including his role in the Indigo acquisition which led HP’s entry into the commercial printing space.  Now McGlynn is building Memjet’s Home & Office Business as its President.  Read more…


The Paper Chase (Premium Content)

Planning for paper is one of the most important factors when running a print shop. Getting a read on the current state of the printing industry though, can feel like firing at a moving target. John Braceland tries to simplify your paper planning process and point your team in the right direction.


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