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Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’ - November 2015 M&A Activity

Saugatuck Capital bolts Plymouth Printing onto Pharmaceutic Litho & Label, Rondo-Pak adds Contemporary Graphics to US pharma printing platform, Firespring evolves into MSP, Circle Graphics corrals grand format printer Imagic, the Mittera Group continues traditional printing rollup.


Print Business Leadership – Give Yourself a Promotion

Rather than face the reality that all print businesses need to evolve, many print owners default to staying “busy” running the business the way it’s been run for years. Don’t be tempted to “numb yourself” by keeping busy, the market conditions are indisputable, the past performance of your print business is not indicative of future results. We are operating in a different reality with very compelling digital alternatives to print communication.


Holiday Retailing Season Is Shaping Up Nicely - with a Few New Twists

For the holidays, “shop early and shop often” is still good advice—assuming that you know what “early” now is starting to mean in the retailing world.


Commercial Printing is Closing 2015 with Historic High in Key Metric (Premium Content)

Last week's unemployment report did it again, it was all wrapped up in a pretty package but it seemed empty when you looked inside. Contents must have settled during shipping. Speaking of content, employment in agencies and designers are up strongly compared to last year. The content creation business is doing well. Commercial printers are reconfiguring their businesses and produced an historic high in shipments per employee. Dr. Joe has the details.


Aiming at Packaging, HP and KBA Introduce the Widest Inkjet Web Press Yet Developed (Premium Content)

Two technology leaders want to take digital printing for packaging to the next level—and to several levels after that—with a 110-inch-wide web inkjet press specifically for the corrugated market.


Wide Format: Evolving Applications and the Supply Chain (Premium Content)

Digital wide-format printing is one of the most significant growth areas in the entire print industry. InfoTrends offers some of its data on the top-growing wide-format printing applications, and takes a look at how the supply chain for equipment, supplies, and consumables is changing.


HP 3D: Changing the Future with Additive Manufacturing

After doing a multi-year stint managing the established imaging and printing businesses for HP, Steve Nigro is back doing what he loves – running a start-up business. His current role is President, 3D Printing, at HP, Inc., with worldwide responsibility for creating and scaling HP’s 3D business.


Recovery Indicators Cause Concern

The recovery indicators turned in a mixed performance that warrants some caution, concern but not worry, yet. Some outside economic analysts starting to raise concerns about the economy in 2016. Citibank analysts peg the chances of recession in 2016 at 65%, the first such prognostication of a major investment firm that we have seen.


US Commercial Printing Shipments Have a Strong October, +$204 Million

For 17 consecutive months the US commercial printing industry has scored increased shipments compared to the same month of the prior year. In current dollars, the Commerce Department reported that shipments were $7.729 billion. That meant that October 2016's shipments were +$204 million compared to 2015, a +2.7% performance. For the year through October, shipments are +3.3% on a current dollar basis.


Mobile Plays Big Role in Black Friday

The rise of mobile marketing has been long expected, and it looks like Black Friday 2015 is key milestone: mobile was more than half of web site traffic for e-commerce sites. Black Friday “brick-and-mortar” traffic was disappointing, but retailers were aggressively pushing sales online because it reduces the risks of riot-like runs for bargains as stores open. Target Stores had so much online traffic for CyberMonday its servers could not handle the volume. It wasn't the first time that Target misforecast demand for online sales. Some of Black Friday shopping may have been “window shopping” for mobile ordering. IBM, which still has a big business in systems for retailers issued a free download report about what was learned on Black Friday. In that report is the chart we highlight this week. If you sell to retailers or to businesses that sell to retailers, the report is worth reading.


B2C And Web-to-Print: What It Takes To Build A Successful Online Business (Premium Content)

Most printers are business to business (B2B), they do business with other businesses that they have a working relationship with. Business-to-consumer (B2C) is the term used for online businesses that serve anyone who shows up on the website (not necessarily just consumers). As printers consider B2C, they need to understand what it takes to build a successful online business.


Gelato: It Could Sweeten Your Business and Make You Mobile!

Henrik Müller-Hansen, Gelato’s Founder and CEO, had a vision for democratizing the world of printing. This article provides an overview of the Gelato Group’s offerings and explores how these solutions can make a difference in today’s mobile world.


Delphax elan Set for 1Q2016 Commercial Availability

As the production inkjet market continues to gain traction, more choices are coming to market, many of which were first shown at drupa 2012. As we approach drupa 2016, there is no doubt that a growing number of production inkjet solutions will be making their way to commercial availability. Delphax elan is one of those.


Are You Talking to Brand Owners?

As printing companies continue to transform their businesses by offering marketing and related services, establishing direct communication with the brand owner at client or prospect companies – the person who ultimately has responsibility for driving brand initiatives – can pay big dividends. Learn more about what these new services might look like.


Show Your Work: A Plethora of On- and Offline Channels Lets Specialty Printers Strut Their Stuff

From your own physical location—and website—to social media, to local business media, there is no shortage of options for showing off and promoting cool, creative projects you have completed.


The Economy Stays Positive But Weak (Premium Content)

The US economy was reported to be stronger in the third quarter than originally thought, but much of it was a rise in inventories. If retailers were stocking up for Black Friday, that might have been a mistake based on early reports. What's happened to the relationship of commercial printing and department stores? Dr. Joe has the history of that and also previews what's coming in this week's economic data.


Expect New Looks and New Roles for Corrugated

Take another look at the tried-and-true stuff that shipping cartons are made of. Some top developers of packaging printing technology are.


Off the Wall at Comic-Con

If you been to Comic-Con in the last five years, you have seen Las Vegas based Off the Wall Signs & Graphics’ work. Its updated fleet of grand format printers have enabled bigger projects with shorter cycle times and are the basis for the company’s growth. Learn more in this story sponsored by HP.


Kodak CTO Terry Taber: Commercialization and Monetization of Technology (Premium Content)

Five years ago, Kodak CTO Terry Taber began building a technology pipeline that he hoped would lead the company into new businesses, including a key focus area for CEO Jeff Clarke, Functional Printing. He speaks with Senior Editor Cary Sherburne about the current state of the organization from a technology perspective.


“We Say Yes Where Others Say No”: At Island Pro Digital, Words to Live and Work by (Premium Content)

Packaging isn’t everything at Island Pro Digital, a printing company with a highly diversified product base. But, it represents some of the most interesting work that the firm fabricates for its clients.


Canon Supports Literary and Print Production with “Future Authors Project”

The scale of the program is modest, but when the young writers who take part in it see their words in print, its achievement seems far-reaching.


For SpeedPro of Central New York, Display Graphics Are Not Purely Academic (Premium Content)

Four-and-a-half years ago, Bob Kelleher of East Syracuse’s SpeedPro Imaging of Central New York made the transition from software sales to wide-format printing and has never looked back.


Printing's Birth-Death Data Show Improving Industry Health (Premium Content)

Even the usual industry dynamics are dynamic. The latest commercial printing industry birth-death data comparing 2012 to 2011 show a rising birth rate and a declining death rate. The +1608 births and -2262 deaths in 2012 were recent lows, as was the net change of only -654 establishments.


Thermochromic Imaging: the Color Shift That’s Supposed to Happen

That old hippie mood ring you’d die of embarrassment to be seen wearing now? It was the cutting edge of an important decorative technology for labels and packaging.


Former Wunderman Exec Joins Tukaiz

The news story reporting that James Eby, a 25-year veteran of Wunderman, joined Tukaiz as Chief Creative Office caught my eye. Tukaiz, which recently started an in-house agency, agenz, has long been an innovator and thought leader in the industry. Now they have taken that to a whole new level with Eby leading agenz.


Key Questions to Ask When Investing in Print Software Integration (Premium Content)

Integration projects span a wide spectrum, from cheap and easy to complex and very expensive. Focus all your attention about print software integration from one place – your business objectives.


Allison Payment Systems: More than 120 Years of Innovation

Allison Payment Systems was founded in 1888 by Noah Allison, who is credited with the invention of the coupon payment book. The focal point for Allison Payment Systems is personalized customer communications through electronic delivery and first class mail … and lots of it.


So you’re buying a new digital press. What about the DFE? (Premium Content)

The choice of a digital front end (DFE) is perhaps one of the most overlooked decisions in the purchasing process. In some cases, there is only one choice. But for a wide range of toner-based digital presses, two (or even more) options are available. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with a number of printing professionals to better understand how they are approaching this decision and what criteria they use. Read more for advice from the front lines.


Growth in Folding Cartons to 2019 Will Be Meager but Measurable, says Paperboard Packaging Council (Premium Content)

A growth forecast of half a percentage point per year may not sound like much, but it indicates undeniable post-recession momentum for the folding carton market.


Present at the Creation: Frank Steenburgh Remembers the Launch of Xerox DocuTech

Building the world’s first “print shop in a box” was a watershed achievement for Xerox. So was marketing and selling it—a story that “DocuFrank” knows from the inside.


Xerox DocuTech’s 25th Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that the Xerox DocuTech Production Publisher was launched 25 years ago last month. This was truly a breakthrough product that is credited with launching the print-on-demand market and ultimately generated billions of dollars of revenue for Xerox and its customers.


USPS EDDM Volume Decline Continues

What could be an important product for local retailers to make their baby steps into direct mail, keeps declining as the USPS raises prices on the Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) service.


From Challenger Sale to Challenger Customer: An Expanded Perspective on B2B Selling (Premium Content)

Following on the success of their 2012 book entitled The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation, authors Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson have published a new book entitled The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results. This article outlines ideas from the new book and explores how winning the right types of customers can enable salespeople to do their jobs more effectively.


LED Technology Gains in Importance as UV Curing Solution

Printers working with UV curing have a new technology to learn about, if they are not already acquainted with it: UV LED


Top 5 Mistakes in Choosing a Print MIS Solution (Premium Content)

Your Print MIS or Print ERP is the most important print software in your business. The process for purchasing a Print MIS is dysfunctional; avoid these five common mistakes in your Print MIS sales process.


Recovery Indicators Bounce Back

The recovery indicators had a better month than last. Five of the six indicators increased and one fell below the level of the start of the recession. New orders for manufacturing and non-manufacturing were impressive in their increases, in stark contrast to government reports about September's durable goods and factory orders.


SGIA 2015: The New Fall Collection

We wrap up our coverage of last week’s SGIA Expo 2015 with a look at a handful of the major new product announcements that were made at the show.


The Box is in Demand - October 2015 Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

The Box is in – paperboard, corrugated, decorated, foil-stamped, bar-coded, laminated, textured, embossed, pearlized, diecut, folded, glued, large and small. Folks in the business of printing love the box. Unlike the box’s troubled cousin, commercial printing, the box is reordered on a regular basis and is far less subject to disruption by online internet-based technologies.


Despite the Economic Muddle, Printing Shipments are Rising. What's Ahead? (Premium Content)

The economic pundits were out in full force about the unemployment rate falling to 5%. Was it meaningful? Is this the sign of a bullish economic rebound? Then there's the 16 month rise in printing shipments. You'd think there'd be cheers from the audience that Dr. Doom is dead, and long live Dr. Boom! Instead, we hear nighttime crickets. What's behind the rise in shipments, is it real and will it last?


SGIA Expo 2015 Opens to Large Crowds—and the Future of Retail Graphics

The Atlanta skyline may have been shrouded in fog, but inside the Georgia World Congress Center, all was clear on Wednesday as the SGIA Expo 2015 officially opened.


Can We Trust Government Data?

A recent academic paper published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives (Volume 29, Number 4, Fall 2015), “Household Surveys in Crisis,” illustrates the problems of government surveys that are used to make multibillion dollar and multiyear decisions of government and business.


Third Quarter US Commercial Printing Shipments Have Highest Growth Rate Since 1996

The US Commerce Department reported that commercial printing industry shipments are up for 16 consecutive months in current dollars compared to the same month of 2014.


SGIA 2015 Kicks off in Atlanta with Educational Sessions Galore

It’s not so much Hotlanta as Humidlanta, and although the SGIA Expo officially opens on Wednesday, Tuesday saw a full slate of programs that ran the gamut from the highly technical (the Printed Electronics Symposium), to the specialized (the vehicle wrapping hands-on workshop), to the very basic (Wide-Format 101).


Why Web-to-Print Matters More Now Than Ever (Premium Content)

Web-to-print is a critical piece of your online presence. The ability for your customers to easily transact with you online is no longer a differentiator, it’s an expectation.


How Quality Comes in a “Chain Reaction” at New York Label & Box Works (Premium Content)

A label and carton company doesn’t get to be 137 years old without having made an unwavering commitment to quality. The 137-year-old label and carton company profiled here has done it by adopting a well-known philosophy of continuous improvement as its playbook.


From “Packademia,” Solutions Not to Be Sniffed at (Premium Content)

Stink-squelching film, inkless color printing, and built-in 3D bar codes are three recent laboratory innovations that could be commercialized as packaging problem-solvers.


Omni-Channel Communications: Delivering the Customer Experience (Premium Content)

Consumers have all channels turned on and they are in control of how they gather information, obtain advice from friends and family in their social networks, and complete transactions with suppliers. This article cites recent research from InfoTrends to explore the role that service providers can play in delivering an omni-channel experience.


Third Quarter GDP Not Good, but Better Under the Surface

The advance estimate of third quarter 2015 real GDP is +1.5%. We much prefer the year-to-year comparison, and also without the fluctuations of inventories. Those figures, also indicated in the chart, are +2.03% and +2.18% respectively. Net inventories have been running very high, but in the third quarter were $56.8 billion. This figure was cut in half from Q2, and is close to the 2010 to 2014 average.


Print vs. Printers

There’s an important point that needs to be made upfront, boldly and italically: Print and printers are two distinct things. We all love print. But we love printers and the people who work in print businesses more.


A Night to Remember for DWS Printing Associates

Can you say “sesquicentennial”? It’s an anniversary. This company feels the pride and the joy of every one of its 150 years.


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