WhatTheyThink

Commentary & Analysis

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Full Time Employment Still Not Recovered

The number of workers with full time jobs has still not exceeded levels at the start of the recession about seven years ago. This is despite continuous population growth and higher GDP levels for 21 of the last 22 quarters. Of last year's +2.2 million increase in employment, about 970,000 were part time positions. Many part time positions are by choice of the employee, an unknown number may be from distortions resulting from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and others are from uneven economic conditions and low expectations about future business conditions. There is some employment optimism in recent surveys of the National Federation of Independent Business and both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing surveys of the Institute for Supply Management.

What Is Wide-Format?

As I was planning the 2015 editorial calendar for our Wide-Format section, I began by drawing up a list of topics that I had covered, topics that were heavily featured at trade shows like SGIA and ISA, and topics tend to get covered elsewhere in the industry press. And aside from the basic technological topics like “Roll-to-Roll Printers,” “Flatbeds,” “Finishing,” and so forth, the majority of the subject matter was on specific applications—and applications that were all over the map (and some even included maps!).

Will You Thrive, Survive, or Die in 2015?

In the coming year, trying something new rather than continuing with business as usual can be the difference between success and failure. This article leverages recent research from InfoTrends to explore how industry leaders are making the most of today’s turbulent market.

SGIA Webinar Considers Web-to-Print for Wide-Format

Web-to-print is not a new technology, but despite its many advantages, when evaluating solutions, be sure to ask some specific wide-format questions.

December 2014 – Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

The Darwinian process of growth, change, merger, and failure proceeded with full vigor during 2014. The 241 transactions announced during 2014 in the printing, packaging, and related industries in the US and Canada represent a 40% increase compared to the 172 transactions that we noted during all of 2013. The vibrancy of the market is consistent with the M&A activity noted across many industries over the past year

Precision and Pride Drive Label Manufacturing at Mossberg & Company

Mossberg & Company, a commercial printer since 1930, has built an equally successful label printing business through judicious investments in technology and scrupulous attention to quality assurance.

Looking Toward Hunkeler Innovationdays

2015 is already shaping up to be a busy year, and one of the highlights is Hunkeler Innovationdays scheduled for February 23-26 in Lucerne, Switzerland. Cary Sherburne speaks with Standard Finishing President Steven Reny to learn what we might expect at this year’s event.

The False Security of the Print Software RFP

The checklist RFP (Request For Proposal) fails to deliver the best purchasing decision. Your peers (the voice of current customers) are your most trusted source of information about how print software products perform in live environments and how print software companies support their customers after the sales process.

This Is the New Year and I Have No Resolutions

New year’s resolutions are ephemeral things. January 2, for example, is a kind of Black Friday for gyms and fitness centers, but by the end of the month, the crowds have returned to normal.

Innovairre: Rebranding Done Right!

In today’s world, the introduction of new offerings is not always enough; rebranding is sometimes required to truly respond to changing market dynamics. This article explores how Qdmh has rebranded itself as Innovairre.

Federal Debt as Percentage of GDP Over 100%

Economic press coverage of the Federal budget is usually limited to the annual deficit, the shortfall of tax and fee collections versus spending. While the deficit as a percentage of GDP is down to about -4% from 2009 when it was more than -9%, the deficits do accumulate. Now, the total debt of the US exceeds GDP. This is likely to keep political pressure on the Fed to keep rates down. It also means that a 1 percentage point rise in interest rates would cost $180 billion and can double the annual deficit. But the Fed may not be able to increase interest rates when they want to no how hard they might try. International rates, such as those in Germany, have recently been below 0.5% for the 10 year bond. US rates are comparatively high in the 2% range, and any push upward by the Fed would probably be met by arbitrage actions in the other direction.

2015 Should Be Chock-a-Block with Opportunity for Packagers, Market Watchers Say

The end of the year always brings a flurry of state-of-the-market reports from research organizations and commentators tracking the global packaging industry. Here are pulls from some of the year-end pronouncements for 2014 that we gathered last month. They tell us that despite the unpredictability that always has to be factored into forecasts like these, 2015 is shaping up to be a promising year for the world’s packaging printers and converters.

Wide-Format Roll-to-Roll Printer Roundup

In today’s wide-format market, flatbed printers are all the rage and, for certain applications, deservedly so. But the earliest wide-format printers were all rollfed (or roll-to-roll) devices, and it wasn’t until the early 2000s that flatbeds existed as a product category. Flatbeds emerged to take time and materials out of the “print-then-mount” process; after all, why not just print directly on the surface you want the graphic?

Print MIS Product Spotlight: PrintVis

The PrintVis MIS solution has a phenomenal product span, meaning the ability to “flex” in both directions, respond to growth and decline. In this Product Spotlight, Jen Matt reviews the PrintVis MIS solution.

In Eastern Europe, HP Flexes Packaging Muscles It Wants the Whole World to See

With the help of partners in Germany and the Czech Republic, HP aimed to show printers and converters everywhere how digital strategies for packaging production can be attuned to changing demand and “future proof” at the same time.

We Have Always Done it This Way

Change is viewed as risky because we want to believe that past success guarantees our future success. Your customers are changing, technology is changing, and your competitors are changing, why would you think that maintaining the status quo is anything but the riskiest thing you can do? Standing still is the only way to assure your business’ decline

Ho, Ho, Ho… Christmas Catalogs Go Mobile!

eMarketer estimates that worldwide smartphone users will surpass 2 billion by 2016, so it is no wonder that retailers of all sizes are making it easy for on-the-go consumers to link to catalogs with mobile applications. This article explores how retailers are integrating mobile to accelerate the purchasing process.

EFI plans Connect on Steroids in 2015

EFI Connect 2015 is shaping up to be one of the best ever, so much so that EFI COO Marc Olin describes it as “Connect on Steroids.” Read what he has to say about Connect, EFI’s future strategies and his role as COO of the company in this interview with WhatTheyThink Senior Editor Cary Sherburne.

Profits Still Below $4 Billion on Annual Basis

Four billion dollars was the approximate bottom of 2005's inflation adjusted annual profits. The four-quarter total annual profits have had a difficult time breaking through that level for more than eight years.

What Kind of Day Has it Been?

2014 has been a year of incremental—but substantial—improvements in wide-format systems. These improvements are creating ever more opportunities in a variety of applications. Here’s what to keep an eye on in 2015.

Miyakoshi Showcases Its Equipment Portfolio for Label Printing and Other Applications

A print equipment supplier for almost 70 years, Japan's Miyakoshi Printing Machinery Co. Ltd. is an OEM partner to many of the industry's top technology providers. At a recent open house, the company put the spotlight on presses for labeling and other uses that it markets under its own brand.

Mark Cuban and Print Shop Owners Score with Shark Tank – November 2014 M&A Activity

Less than a year after swimming with the sharks on the popular TV show Shark Tank in January 2014, husband-and-wife team and printing company owners, Julie and Brian Whiteman, sold their digital photobook app, GrooveBook, to Shutterfly for $14.5 million.

Increase Print Software User Adoption by Showing Less

Often the best way to drive a print software solution’s adoption rate is to eliminate the complexity. How ironic is this? We buy print software products based on extensive feature lists and then we drive adoption of the software by turning most of the features off so people will actually use the tool. Isn’t that an awesome irrational cycle we put ourselves into?

Ho, Ho, Ho… Greeting Cards on the Go!

This holiday season, greeting cards are taking on a whole new dimension. This article explores how tried-and-true greeting cards are becoming more innovative with the inclusion of interactive elements.

Semiconductor Manufacturer Maxim Integrated Finds Sales Power in Adobe Digital Publishing Suite

As our readers will know, we have been following developments with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, both in terms of how it is helping publishers tackle the “dollars to digital dimes” conundrum of digital publishing as well as some interesting views into how enterprises are adopting DPS for sales enablement. Today’s story takes us to Maxim Integrated, a designer and manufacturer of semiconductors, who has benefited from the integration of DPS with Adobe Experience Manager for increased sales power.

Inflation-adjusted Sales of S&P 500 Firms Still Below Pre-Recession Levels

GDP may say that the recession ended in June 2009, but there are still data series that have not yet confirmed that five years later. Total employment is one of them, as is median household income, but so is the inflation-adjusted sales of companies in the S&P 500. Even though the companies in the S&P 500 index have revenues lower than the peak of June 2008, the S&P 500 stock index is getting closer to all-time high levels of Spring 2000 (The Dow Jones average already is, the Russell 2000 has been for a while, but the NASDAQ is still off by about 15%). These sales of 500 of the world's best companies have not kept up with real GDP growth since the recession ended (about 2% per year). Some economists believe that this is an indication that GDP data should be viewed with great suspicion, and that there has yet to be a true recovery.

Print MIS Product Spotlight: PressWise

The online channel is vital to the future of your print business. The online channel includes all the ways you engage with your customers online. Every new channel you open up with a customer increases the overall loyalty of that customer, creates barriers to entry for your competitors, and has the potential to decrease the customer burden of doing business with you by offering self-service access to your business.

Solid Five-Year Outlook for Corrugated and Paper Boxes

There's encouraging news for producers of corrugated and paper boxes in a newly released research report which forecasts that demand for these products will increase 2.6% per year to $39.4 billion in 2018.

Business Goes Swimmingly for Digital Dye-Sublimation Printer

Epson’s beachwear “fashion show” highlights the possibilities of digital dye-sublimation fabric printing, and how it could change fashion design.

How Heidelberg Is Realigning Its Product Offerings to the New Realities of the Label and Packaging Market

Heidelberg's profile as an equipment manufacturer is not the same as it once was, but its interest in label and packaging production is as keen as ever. This report comes from a high-level briefing that WhatTheyThink received on the company's current ambitions in the L&P equipment market.

Landa Digital Printing Provides Update, Outlook to drupa 2016

We haven’t heard much from Benny Landa lately. But the team has been at work perfecting the first press, the S10, and lining up customers. A blog post from Landa and a link to a video tour of the press and the factory are highlights of this post.

Is Upgrading Worth the Risk?

Making the decision to upgrade a Print MIS or web-to-print system can cause anxiety about the unknown issues that may result. A well-planned out implementation can minimize risk and disruption to both the printer and their customers.

Ho, Ho, Ho… Mobile Barcodes on the Go!

Today’s consumers have truly embraced a number of new channels, and the penetration rate is something that marketers couldn’t have even imagined a decade ago. The holiday season is here, and this article explores how retailers are embedding mobile technology into their holiday campaigns.

Revised GDP Pushed Higher, But Did Not Change Longer Range Growth Rate

Third quarter GDP was revised from +3.5% to +3.9%, but the change was mainly in net inventories, and did little to affect the assessment of underlying and longer range growth compared to the prior year of about +2.43%. Inventories have been bouncing around a bit over recent quarters and are running a little higher than they should be, indicating that some minor correction is forthcoming, especially if non-US economies are slowing down.

Rapid Digital Press Maps Out Wide-Format Success

With a little research, a clearly defined strategy, and fast, high-quality wide-format printing equipment, Phoenix, Ariz.’s Rapid Digital Press has carved out a successful niche in map and GIS printing applications, and is now poised for growth.

Rotolito Establishes Digital Production Unit to Meet Changing Demands for Book Printing

Rotolito, one of the largest printing companies in Europe, has built a €10 million business in digital book printing since the inception of its digital operation in 2010. Read what Rotolito’s Gabriella Moretti has to say about the changing dynamics of its book printing business in this article, sponsored by HP.

Flexographic Printing: Five Critical Steps Forward

The good news is that flexographic printing for labels and packaging has resisted economic downturns and competition from digital while becoming a higher-quality, more efficient production method in its own right. The better news is that continuing technical improvements are carrying flexo toward still higher levels of performance.

From Europe, a New Definition for Labeling

This summer, members of FINAT, the international trade association for self-adhesive labeling and related industries, met in Monte Carlo for an annual congress around the general theme of "The Battle for Shelf Appeal." What emerged were an updated redefinition of labeling and a frank reassessment of the role that labels play in a greatly altered selling environment for packaged goods of all kinds.

Embrace Print Software as Complimentary to Your People

Your people have the power to resist print software technology changes by focusing on the challenges instead of finding solutions. Your job as a leader is to portray technology as a complimentary tool for your people to work more effectively.

2014 SGIA Expo: Finding new Business Opportunities and Areas for Growth

October’s SGIA Expo was about more than just new technology, it was about finding new business opportunities and areas for growth. Here are some examples of printing companies who gleaned practical information from the show to take their businesses in new directions.

M&A: Still a Buyer’s Market?

Printing companies are experiencing a modest reprieve from the very tough market of the past several years, leading many owners to wonder, is now the time to sell?

Memo to self: get all the *?@#! toothpaste out of the tube, or die trying

Did you know—well, heck, how could anybody know?—that some people are willing to injure themselves if that's what it will take to force the last drop of product out of a container? Or that consumers would rather go to the dentist than see product they've purchased go to waste in packages they can't empty completely?

Dietary Supplements Meet Digital Printing at Labels in Motion, Courtesy of Xeikon

Dietary supplements and nutraceuticals are big business for a small in-plant label printer with digital capabilities that match its marketing ambitions and objectives. An update on Xeikon strategies and financials is also included in this article.

Collaborative Commerce: The Necessary Evolution of Web-to-Print

Web-to-print technology and the customer facing resources working in print today need to evolve together so we can support online “collaborative commerce”: a procurement process that requires collaboration between the buyer and the seller.

Transforming and Automating Workflows: Packaging Workflow Standards and Futures Part 2

David Zwang looks at process transformation and automation, and the background and steps you need to understand to be successful. He also looks at some of the current product offerings and how they are being used by service providers, to give you ideas about how you can transform your business and strengthen your customer relationships.

Plan for a Culture of Continuous Process Improvement in 2015

One of the biggest challenges with print software technology today is achieving its full potential. We often get lost in the running of our day-to-day business which prevents us from ongoing process improvement. After the initial implementation, we get distracted and back to the reality of getting customer jobs out the door. We fall into the bad habit of reactive improvement, or if you prefer a more technical term, “Band-Aids”.

Accelerating Growth through Strategic Acquisitions

While hard work is always a key ingredient for successful business growth, printers of all sizes are pursuing strategic mergers and acquisitions as a mechanism to further strengthen their businesses. While growth through acquisition was once considered the domain of large enterprises, companies of all sizes are now discovering that they can gain access to new printing technologies or services by acquiring or merging with another company. This article explores how First Edge Solutions has achieved business expansion through strategic acquisitions and partnerships.

Mimaki Mini-Expo Hits the Spa City

Mimaki’s 25-city road show includes hands-on product demonstrations and educational presentations that highlight new features of, and top applications enabled by, today’s wide-format printing equipment. Here is a report from one stop on the tour.

Print MIS Product Spotlight: CoreBridge

CoreBridge is a cloud based, multi-tenant software solution whose business model is subscription based. Like pure technology startups, CoreBridge’s pricing model is easy to understand, available on their website, and allows you to start small and grow with CoreBridge through volume and/or functionality.

Past Is Prologue: 150-Year History Spurs DWS Printing Associates to New Ambitions in Label Production

Continuous reinvestment and continuous reinvention sum up the strategic thinking at DWS Printing Associates, a Long Island label printing firm with deep roots in the past and a progressive view of the future.

And the Winner Is...the Package!

What lends itself more readily to creative competition than a well designed package? The packaging industry is full of contests that showcase the high degree of graphic innovation that can be found in packages of all types and materials. Here is a short list of some of the competitions that celebrated the art of packaging design in 2014.

Teaching and Telling Stories Online

First impressions of your business matter, especially to new prospects. More and more first impressions are online. How does your online presence compare to your offline one?

Canada Per Capita Commercial Printing 1992-2014

Using printing shipments and population data from Statistics Canada, we have prepared this chart that shows per capita shipments of commercial printing in Canada current dollars and Canada inflation-adjusted dollars.

HP Prepares for Jetcomm: First Production Inkjet User Group and Global Conference

HP has begun planning for Jetcomm, its first-ever Production Inkjet User Group, with a conference to be held in March 2015 in Washington, D.C., immediately preceding DscoopX. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with David Murphy, WW Director of Marketing for HP’s production inkjet business, to learn more.

SG360°: Helping Customers Handle the Data Challenge

Research confirms that there is a growing disconnect between what marketers want and need from their data and what they are actually getting. This article discusses some of the challenges that today’s marketers are facing and explores how SG360° is taking a different approach to improve its clients’ marketing efforts.

Top Challenges When Executing Personalized Communications/Campaigns

InfoTrends’ study entitled Understanding Vertical Markets: Enterprise Communication Requirements surveyed over 1,000 enterprise executives. When asked about the top data challenges that they faced related to executing personalized campaigns, respondents highlighted tracking responses, understanding response drivers, and analyzing and mining data.

Marketing Equals Lead Generation – Give them a Quota

Unless you are a large public company who needs to “protect their brand” and produce appropriate messaging for Wall Street (otherwise known as corporate marketing), the primary role of marketing in your organization should be lead generation.

A Wide-Format Digital Print Perspective from Graph Expo

InfoTrends revisits September’s Graph Expo and recaps some of the highlights from a wide-format perspective. At the same time, the show itself is evolving into entirely new directions, reflective of how the industry itself is evolving.

Holiday Season Marketing and Packaging Trends

Can it be mid-November already, with preparations for the year-end holidays getting into full swing? Just ask International Paper. The Wall Street Journal recently quoted IP’s chief executive Mark S. Sutton as saying that box orders for the online retail segment have been up 15% year-over-year in 2014 and could continue rising, depending on demand. The story reports that the surge in demand for holiday packaging from both online and traditional retailers is helping to improve the performance of IP’s industrial packaging unit, which provides cardboard boxes, specialty packaging, retail displays, and paper bags.

Why are These Millennial-Generation Printers Smiling? – October 2014 M&A Activity

October 2014 –Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

New Survey Report Takes Fact-Based Look at Label & Packaging Market Realities

Filtering what we know from what we think we know about label and packaging market trends is the objective of “Emerging Technologies for Packaging Innovation,” a newly published report from GrCI Cal Poly and Packaging World.

Print Software: Dreaming vs. Executing

The raw potential of what technology can do for our business is unlimited, like a book a matches there is great possibility. Execution is about determining which match (project, goal, objective) you are going to put your energy into to ignite and then sustain your focus to create real change. Dreaming helps you think big, executing forces you to act within the constraints of your environment (resources, market, customers, and budget).

Generation Z: Changing Communications Forever

It is estimated that Generation Z—those born between 1994 and 2004—represents over 25% of the U.S. population. These individuals are rapidly coming into their own in terms of influence, consumption, and spending power. This article considers the ways in which businesses can reach these up-and-coming consumers.

SGIA Recap II: Chalk it Up to Experience

The SGIA Expo was about more than just new hardware—new substrates were also on display, as well as what keeps the hardware productive: color management, production, and RIPing software.

The Top Three Functional Additives in the Plastic Packaging Market

Functional additives help plastic packages do a better job of protecting their contents. Of the many different kinds of functional additives, the most widely used are those that remove unwanted oxygen, block UV and IR radiation, and eliminate or reduce static.

Bridgeport National Bindery Turns to Production Inkjet to Revolutionize Its Business

Massachusetts-based Bridgeport National Bindery has turned to production inkjet press technology to revolutionize its business and to significantly outweigh the decline in its traditional library binding business as discussed in this article, sponsored by HP.

Fostering a Great Relationship between Your Web-to-Print and Print MIS Systems

Having an integrated web-to-print and print MIS system isn’t just about being able to technically connect the systems. To get the most out of this integration you want to enable communication between systems that makes the two systems truly seem like one in terms of information exchanged

Digital Publishing Delivers Significant Business Results for Stryker Orthopaedics

Our continuing coverage of the impact of digital alternatives on the world of print and publishing features Stryker Orthopaedics’ use of digital publishing technologies to more deeply engage its sales force and surgeon customers while reaping significant cost and time savings. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with Stryker’s Orthopaedics’ Creative Director Stephen Brown to learn more about the journey.

What Does the iPhone 6 Mean For Printers

As a print service provider, your services help your customers build their business and their client base. To stay competitive, it's vital that you stay ahead of the game, keeping abreast of changing technology that can change the way you do business and the services you offer your customers. That's why you need to know about the new iPhone 6 and its NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, brand new for this iPhone model.

Define the Problem First

I am involved in a lot of conversations where companies and people are trying to solve a business challenge with software. Communication is so compressed nowadays, people’s time is limited, and we are almost always communicating across multiple time zones and frequently across cultures. This makes a common understanding difficult and opens up lots of opportunity for confusion.

HP Adds New Dimension to “Blended Reality”

At a launch event in New York City Wednesday morning, HP made two new technology announcements under a category it is calling Blended Reality—a 3D printing platform called Multi Jet Fusion, and a new type of interactive workstation/workspace called Sprout. Both these initiatives are part of what HP is calling its Blended Reality ecosystem designed, says the company, “to break down the barriers between the digital and physical worlds.”

Getting Ready for 2015: Helping Marketers Generate Leads

We live in an interesting time for lead generation marketing. With e-commerce and self-service sales, some companies don’t even need a sales force. They just need very effective lead generation marketing to help bring customers to them. This article highlights recent data and offers success strategies for service providers.

The Future of Kodak: A WhatTheyThink Exclusive Interview with CEO Jeff Clarke

Senior Editor Cary Sherburne recently had the opportunity to spend quality time with Kodak’s new CEO, Jeff Clarke. Read on to hear what Clarke has to say about what attracted him to Kodak, where he plans to take the company, and his strategies for getting there.

High-Wire Acts: Adventures at the 2014 SGIA Expo (Part 1)

SGIA Expo exceeded virtually everyone’s expectations. In Part 1 of our show coverage we look at some of the major hardware introductions.

Memjet Tears Up Rapid’s inkjet Agreement

Memjet, the US company that in 2012 acquired the patent portfolio of Sydney-based Silverbrook Research relating to MEMS-based inkjet digital printing, has terminated its OEM partner agreement with Australia’s Rapid Packaging Services. The agreement has three more years to run until 2017.

What Can Recent Trade Shows Tell Us about the Industry?

Now that most of the year's big trade shows are behind us, we can think back on what we've seen. The September Label Expo Americas show in Chicago offered what we believe is a good lesson—for a print-related trade show to stay vital, labels and packaging are a key source of longevity.

The Beauty of Packaging

Sometimes, it’s good to step back from the speeds, feeds, and tech specs to reflect on the fact that packages and labels can be, well, downright beautiful. Eye-beguiling examples of the aesthetic gems that high-end production makes possible are all over the Internet.

Getting Found: Yellow Pages to Online Search

Online search has replaced the Yellow Pages as the primary way local businesses get found. This change requires a very different approach by businesses and a steep learning curve. The online world requires you to compete to be “found” for a lion share of the search traffic. The competition is constantly changing, therefore local businesses need to make a sustained investment.

Transforming and Automating Workflows: Packaging Workflow Standards and Futures Part 1

There have been many new digital label and packaging presses released recently, and there are more to coming in the near future. However, these new digital presses will never reach optimal production levels or support and drive the new market requirements, without new standards and workflows.

What Does “Change” Mean to You?

Change evokes fear in some, excitement in others, and dread in many. What we can all agree on, change is picking up the pace.

If You Think Selling Your Business is Like Selling Your House – Guess Again! Part Two: Improving Value

This is part two of a series on the differences between selling a house and selling a business. In part one, we discussed some of the key drivers and the effects that improvements have on home value. In part two, we drill down into the effects that various improvements in a business can have on transaction value.

Xerox’s European Premier Partners Jump on the Innovation Bandwagon

There’s a quiet revolution happening in the printing industry. In an effort to jump-start innovation, printing companies are collaborating with vendors to apply new strategies, digital tools, and technologies. Xerox’s Premier Partner Congress in Madrid, Spain explored how market innovations continue to enhance print’s value as part of the overall communications mix.

Dr. Joe Truncale to Leave NAPL after 30 Years

After serving for 30 years at NAPL, Joe Truncale has decided to leave the association to accept the positon of CEO of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Effective January 12, 2015, Ken Garner will become the CEO for AMSP/NAPL/NAQP. Garner was the CEO of AMSP at the time of its merger with NAPL/NAQP. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne talks with Truncale about the past, present and future of his career.

Impact of the Internet on Print

Messe Düsseldorf, the organizer of the drupa trade fair, recently published a “drupa Global Insights Report” on the impact of the Internet on print. It’s based on responses to a survey from more than 1,000 senior decision-makers in the printing industry, including 240 who furnished personal examples of the impact in their own companies.

The Wrap: Label and Packaging Production Solutions at Graph Expo/CPP 2014 (Part 3)

Post-processing equipment and software solutions for labels and packaging were well represented at Graph Expo/CPP, which has come into its own as a showcase for these applications.

Graph Expo 2014: A Few Highlights

WhatTheyThink was at Graph Expo in full force, including our annual Economic Outlook Breakfast with Dr. Joe Webb and our popular WhatTheyThink Video Studio. We also made time to attend press conferences and walk the show floor in order to bring news and insight to our readers. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne shares a few thoughts about the show.

Every Print Job Doesn’t Deserve an Estimate

Efficiency requires the segmentation of your workflow into at least three different workflows: self-service, light-service, and full-service. Each workflow applies the appropriate amount of labor and technology to deliver on the promise to the customer in the most efficient manner possible.

If You Think Selling Your Business is Like Selling Your House – Guess Again!

Part 1 in a two part series on the differences between selling a house and selling a business. In part one, we discuss some of the key drivers and the effects that improvements have on home value. In part two, we drill down into the effects that various improvements in a business can have on transaction value

Marketing is All About the Customer Journey!

In today’s ever-changing business world, CMOs are now responsible for forging a bond with new customers, retaining existing customers, and expanding the relationship with all customers. This article provides a brief discussion on the ways in which marketing executives are expected to shape the customer experience. It also offers insight on what service providers can do to deliver extra value to these executives.

7 Reasons to Look Forward to Next Week’s SGIA Expo

For those of us who cover wide-format and specialty graphics printing, the biggest show of the year is the SGIA Expo, coming up next week in Las Vegas. It can be tough, travel being what it is, to muster enthusiasm for far-flung trade events, but there is a great deal of value in getting out of the office and attending these kinds of shows. So in this “listicle,” here are the top seven reasons I am looking forward to next week’s show.

iBeacons: This Year’s QR Codes?

Over the past twelve months or so it seems that iBeacons, a new-ish piece of mobile tech, has pretty much every B2C marketer or technologist so excited that they’re jumping up and down like a 3 year-old with ADHD.

The Wrap: Label and Packaging Production Solutions at Graph Expo/CPP 2014 (Part 2)

The productive, colorful, versatile, and cost efficient digital systems for labels and packaging on display at Graph Expo 2014 will come to be seen as inevitable investments for every printing company that is serious about making it in the label and packaging business.

Turnkey Technology Makes HP T350 Attractive for Hudson Printing

In this article, sponsored by HP, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne follows up on progress at Hudson Printing in Salt Lake City with its customized HP T350 Color Inkjet Web Press. Paul Gardner, Director of Innovation, talks ink, applications, substrates and strategy.

What Advice Would You Give?

Wayne Lynn reflects a long successful career, the changing industry, and offers advice for future leaders.

Why Humidify Your Shop?

There are a number of environmental influences that affect the quality and productivity of a printing operation. Humidity is one that some shops never really address. By maintaining an ideal humidity a number of problems can be controlled.

Reinventing Your Business: It’s a Journey, Not a Destination

To breathe new life into their businesses, service providers must develop strategies that reflect the changes occurring in the graphic communications market. This article provides an overview of some of the strategies that industry players are using to transform their businesses.

Graph Expo 2014 Forecast: Mostly Cloudy, Precipitation Likely, with a Bright Finish

Graph Expo this year is at the mid-point between two drupa's and although a bit smaller show than previous years, proved to be rich with many exciting developments.

Labor Force Participation Rate and Employment-Population Ratio Below 1980 Levels

What's made the economic recovery since June 2009 so intriguing has not been its below-history GDP growth rate, but also the deterioration in key measures of employment. The labor force participation rate has been declining as idled workers decide not to return to the workforce.

Roland to Kick Off First Ever User Conference

One day prior to the SGIA Expo, Roland DGA is launching their inaugural ImagiNATION 2014 user group conference, designed as an information exchange for owners and operators of Roland’s wide-format printing equipment.