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After 50+ years in the printing industry, and over a thousand articles, Andy's final article looks back to where it all began and looks forward to what the future may hold.
Heidelberg recently hosted a customer event at its North American Print & Packaging Technology Center in Atlanta for nearly 100 printing professionals and WhatTheyThink's Senior Editor Cary Sherburne was there. We spent an extra day with Heidelberg executives and product managers to gain more insight into what we saw at the event and at drupa as well as to discuss future strategies for Heidelberg in North America. Read more.
The process of assessing people for specific jobs is one of the most important tasks within an organization. Winning the talent war can impact all aspects of your business from sales, management effectiveness, client retention as well as product/service innovation.
In 1978, Gregory Muzzillo and a college friend founded Proforma because they saw an opportunity to start a business with no capital investment. Print distributors are independent agents that sell the services of printing firms. This article discusses how Proforma expanded its business and those of its customers by moving to a visionary franchise model.
Given present trends, the industry could be dominated by a relative handful of firms in a few years. Some companies can grow profitably into this new landscape. Others can make a safe exit before it fully unfolds. Each outcome demands a strategy-now.
Will inkjet ink prices come down? Sean Smyth of Digital Demand World, the publication for the digital print industry, looks at the current trends
The Fed took a look at the economy last week and panicked. In printing industry terms, they increased their run lengths and their page counts, and there's more money printing on the way. It's not much, just $1.4 trillion. What's a few billion dollars amongst friends?
Web-to-print has to become the set of tools that enable printers to be competitive on the web. This is a whole lot more than a B2B business card site. It requires us to rethink the way we shop for solutions and partners.
For the majority of its 65-year history, Bridgeport National Bindery (Agawam, MA) established its name by providing bookbinding. In 2003, Bridgeport began printing to satisfy the demand for single-run production. This article outlines how BNB has evolved its services to meet customers' changing needs.
In last week's feature, guest writer Dan Marx outlined five "essential truths" about wide-format printing, and in his introduction he mentioned that he's witnessed "a full-blown revolution: a complete movement away from old-school analog technology." Over the past several months, as I have spoken to equipment manufacturers and suppliers for these weekly features, as well as other analysts, one thing that always comes up is the fact that more and more traditional printing companies are expanding into wide-format printing
This white paper deals with some of the most immediately beneficial strategies that leaders can pursue in increasing their opportunities to survive and thrive. We show how to make an immediate impact and how to improve your long-term business fundamentals.
Dr. Joe explains last Friday's employment report, takes a look at employment in our industry, and explains why ad agency revenues are going up when everything else seems to be going down. Speaking of down, sit down before you read his comments about the latest recovery indicators. Yes, Dr. Doom seems to have infiltrated this column, again.
Optimizing the performance of your sales organization can be accomplished by great strategy and superior execution but if you don't begin with the best talent available, successfully executing your strategy will be comprised. And you won't be able to identify, recruit and select the best talent if you don't have a structured, effective set of processes in place.
Like many other local companies, Pel Hughes was affected by Hurricane Katrina. In the aftermath of the hurricane, the company transformed itself from a traditional commercial printer into a marketing service provider. This article outlines the services that Pel Hughes offers its customers and also explores its success with "Drip Marketing" campaigns.
Dan Marx, Vice President Markets & Technologies, SGIA, draws out some "essential truths"-real kernels of wisdom-that can benefit any company looking to enter wide-format or grow their existing efforts in this area.
Food packaging safety is become a more prominent area in the United States. Insuring that chemicals and odors do not penetrate the package is of great importance to the end customer. Sun Chemical has designed a system of products and procedures to do this.
Caslon, the management company of PODi, the digital printing initiative, recently analyzed PODi case studies in the financial services industry to determine if there are common challenges and interesting solutions for those challenges.
Senior Editor Cary Sherburne recently had the opportunity to visit two X-Rite and PANTONE locations, in Grand Rapids MI and Tewksbury MA, respectively, including hands-on with X-Rite instrumentation, a tour of the manufacturing floor, discussions with software engineers, and time with the company’s CEO Tom Vacchiano.
Ricoh recently made a significant investment in PTI Marketing Technologies. Barb Pellow interviewed two company executives to garner a better understanding of the implications of this transaction.
In last week’s feature, we spoke about flatbed wide-format printers, and remarked that one of their big selling points was that they could print on a bewildering variety of materials—increasing the number of applications that creative shops could develop, the more niches shops could carve out for themselves, and the better they could serve their clients.
The effectiveness of your recruiting, hiring and promoting strategies has a definitive impact on revenue and profit streams. In a time of industry transformation, when high performing employees are required, it is even more critical that you examine and re-engineer the processes you use to hire talented sales professionals.
With price pressure and volume reductions being forecast for print, the industry it is on the lookout for new opportunities. Adding electronic capability has been on the horizon for many years. After a hiatus instigated by the global slowdown, there are encouraging examples of how print might evolve to create new high-value print products.
Visit to HP “Experience Center” Finds the Graphic Solutions Business Unit in “Business as Usual” Mode
Recent news from HP has been turbulent, raising questions about the status of the company’s graphics business. Some light was shed last week at a customer event at HP’s Graphic Arts Experience Center.
In approaching integration, businesses must consider scope and scale, choose between internal versus external execution, and address the associated technical issues to ensure an effective end-result. Given the complexity of the systems integration process and the systems that need to work together, printers may need to seek systems partners rather than walking away from opportunities. This article covers strategies for success when utilizing external systems integration resources.
Since the advent of the wide-format printing market in the late 1980s/early 1990s, the vast majority of the output devices on the market have been rollfed devices, printing on flexible substrates like paper or canvas that unfurled into the device, rather like a web press. The finished graphic was then often mounted onto a rigid material for display, installation, or other end use.
Andy gives his take on why he thinks Heidelberg has made the decision to withdrawl from Ipex 2014
Don't be uncertain about the risks of reading Dr. Joe's column about risk and uncertainty. It's not often he gets to use the word “actuarial” in a column about printing. Everyone thinks they know what ROI means, but just one little letter makes a big difference.
With this fifteenth article of the series, David begins to look at companies and their ‘future’ production inkjet offerings and applications. In this article he looks at Komori, its products and apparently new role in the sheetfed inkjet space.
Who do we respect most in business? The individuals or companies who talk the best game or the individuals or companies who execute?
Although awareness and adoption of QR Codes and other mobile response technologies is growing, there are a number of challenges associated with driving audience interaction and adoption. Best practices are coming to light as companies continue to utilize QR Codes more effectively, leaving little room for excuses when delivering a poor experience to the target audience. Conducting rigorous testing before launching a campaign will help create a great experience that generates results.
This week, we’re going to take a step back from our look at the nuts and bolts of wide-format printing technology and look at the industry and the economy from “20,000 feet”—and hopefully not have a William Shatner-esque experience.
A pent-up eagerness for deals makes it all the more important for those venturing back into the M&A marketplace as sellers to be clear about why they should sell—and why buyers should want to acquire them.
Dr. Joe's glad he didn't buy Facebook stock, and explains why the company's stock price matters little to media decision-makers. And then there's the magazine circulation thing. Why is everyone so surprised that it's down? Yet again he rails about inflation, but at least he has some fresh new inflation multipliers to annoy company controllers and CFOs
Savvy businesses know that they can build a loyal customer base by providing extraordinary value-added customer service. This article references recent industry research to describe how print service providers can improve loyalty by becoming strategically important to their customers.
Richard provides some features and issues to keep a special eye out for when looking at RIP's for wide-format printing.
Andy gives a followup on some of the responses he received to a recent article where he commented on HP’s decision not to exhibit at the IPEX trade show in 2014.
The role of the sales person has dramatically changed and companies are struggling with how they recruit, hire, compensate, train and manage these essential employees. In order to address this challenge a systematic approach should be designed and implemented. In this series of articles we will address this challenge.
Digital postal mail system provider Zumbox recently announced that it had secured $10 million in Series C capital, bringing total capital raised to $28 million. What’s driving the interest on the part of investors? Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with Zumbox to learn more.
ORION Holdings and Pitney Bowes have launched a strategic partnership enabling ORION Holdings to create a new unit, ORION Printing. Through its partnership with Pitney Bowes, ORION Printing will focus on supplying print management solutions to IPG companies globally. This article discusses the actions that marketers can take to increase the efficiency of their processes for ordering, storing, and delivering marketing materials.
Selling print is a commodity business. In search of higher margins, the mantra is to become a Solutions Provider, aka Marketing Services Provider. Unfortunately the terminology seems to take on many meanings and the message gets diluted.
Those new to wide-format printing—and even some veterans—often give short shrift to what happens to a print once it comes off press. In wide-format printing, however, the real added value is often in the finishing.
Much like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for humans, printers need to elevate their offerings above quality, service, and price in order to stay competitive.
It may be possible to run a printing company without a formal plan, but buying or selling a printing company will be very difficult to bring off successfully without the help of a written roadmap. An acquisition plan is a vital navigation aid that guides the process and certifies the desirability of the deal.
In this fourteenth article of the series, David looks at Founder, its production inkjet offerings and applications.
Charlie Corr of mimeo.com looks at some of the history surrounding the On Demand Show
Using advanced data management and cloud-based marketing tools, marketers can send trigger-based communications and create individual campaigns specifically designed to be sent to members of a defined target audience at precisely the right time. This article provides an overview of trigger-based marketing techniques and describes how small and medium-sized businesses are leveraging trigger-based marketing to improve their bottom lines.
With the Olympics starting in London, let’s turn our attention to Europe and specifically the future of print and paper in Europe.
Those of us used to traditional offset and digital printing rarely give the concept of white ink a second thought. After all, “white” is typically synonymous with the color of paper, so when we want something to be white, we design it with the absence of any color. (Tellingly, in Adobe InDesign, we select the color swatch labeled “Paper.”) There are situations, however, when—oxymoronic as it may seem—we need to specify the color white.
Last week the following significant announcement was made about the future of Heidelberg. Bernhard Schreier, CEO of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg), will not be extending his management contract when it expires midyear 2013 and will be leaving the company at the end of 2012.
Steven Covey died recently. He helped people be more effective by helping them develop a set of Habits based on principles. Start with an end in mind and then create personal and interpersonal habits to help you get what you want effectively.