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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.
The print industry is facing a tectonic level change in the communication business. You have to chart a new course that takes these changes into consideration in order to remain competitive. There are many options; the only one that isn't viable is the status quo.
The Dscoop Print United event enabled owners, operators, sales personnel, and marketing professionals to exchange experiences with peers about HP Indigo equipment, applications, and related solutions. In this article, Barb Pellow discusses her participation in this event and explores the topics that were covered.
Since 1963 Tukaiz has built a $35 million, family-owned-and-operated marketing services production company. The philosophy has paid off with continued revenue growth. In fact, in 2011 Tukaiz achieved an impressive 8.3% revenue increase, earning the company a spot on a list of the 50 fastest growing companies in Chicago.
There are over 1.8 million non-profit organizations in the U.S. And direct mail is still the favored medium for non-profits. In 2010 approximately 17% of the US bulk mail sent, roughly 11 billion pieces, was related to the non-profit sector.
There was no uncertainty about the election results, but there was plenty of whining about "uncertainty" for months and months prior to the election. Now that the election is over, is there really any less "uncertainty"? Why do executives get the big bucks? To make decisions when there's uncertainty, real uncertainty. Dr. Joe explains what's uncertain and what's not... at least we think he does. Guess you'll have to read it to be sure.
With this eighteenth and final article of the series, David looks backward and forward at Digital Print, its evolution and the many changes that will continue to come. These changes will continue to have a significant impact on the print industry and marketplace as it continues its digital evolution.
Richard Romano talks about UV printing from a technology standpoint, identifies where LED technology fits into the overall scheme of things, and looks to see what the future may hold for it.
On October 29, 2012, the U.S. Postal Service released its promotions calendar for 2013-offering discounts by integrating mail with mobile and emerging technologies. There is a clear drive to make print integral to the direct marketing mix by making it interactive. This article outlines the USPS's newest promotions and discusses what they mean for the industry.
Although predominantly known as a workflow company-"Fiery" is essentially synonymous with RIPing-EFI was demonstrating at SGIA a couple of weeks ago its prowess in developing wide-format hardware, with models on display that showcased two of the company's new technological developments.
Frank Steenburgh says one thing his long experience as a business-builder has taught him is that growing revenues and profit will always be more fun and rewarding than cutting costs. Read why.
Like many of our readers, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne is increasingly depending on a tablet computer for a growing array of activities. In this article, she talks about the business opportunities these devices offer for printers, and the tools provided by Adobe that make it easy to do.
Training and coaching are critical elements in the talent challenge. Whether you are focused on developing your current workforce to improve their overall performance or re-training them to prepare for your future strategies, a systematic approach is essential. As you struggle to attract and recruit the most talented individuals from multiple generations, you will repeatedly hear the question, "how will I be trained and coached so I can grow professionally?"
All consumers are different, and these differences drive purchasing behaviors. This article explores how savvy marketers are leveraging these differences to create direct-to-consumer communications that cater to individual preferences and characteristics.
Behind the many accolades SGIA has received is the undeniable fact that the specialty graphics industry in general, and the wide-format digital graphics industry in particular, is the current epicenter of today’s printing industry. The purpose of this article is to define why.
70 Strong At Graph Expo, AlphaGraphics and Its Franchisees Look Forward to Better Times Under New Ownership
AlphaGraphics franchise owners came en masse to Graph Expo 2012, where Art Coley, the president of the network, briefed WhatTheyThink on steps taken to revitalize the business centers and the company as whole.
Thanks to Ben Miyares of the Packaging Management Institute for bringing this absolutely unique Absolut Vodka packaging story to our attention. Four million bottles, each different. How did they do it? Read more.