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Mixed news on the U.S. Postal Service revenue front… annual rate increases in the offing? …marketing mail program delayed…say goodbye to IMb.
The fifteenth year of Dr. Joe at WhatTheyThink comes to a close, and he’s got a lot of topics (and some charts, of course) to get off his mind. Tax reform, recruitment, hours online, profits, consolidation...you name it, it’s probably mentioned in this year’s final column. Oh, and we forgot Bitcoin...that’s here too.
More industry consolidation in response to decreased demand. Yet, encouraging business conditions, and challenges with managing productivity. Meanwhile, inkjet continues to conquer the world and new print product and business opportunities emerge in strange new places. Let’s take a look back at the year that was.
There has been a lot of hype over the last few years about 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, being the next big thing in the print-related world. We recently learned that EFI hired Gal Barak as its Inkjet Eastern Region Sales Manager. Barak most recently worked for 3D printing company Stratasys. Why did he make this move and what are his thoughts on 2D versus 3D? Read more.
When approached to participate in a survey, the initial response for many is to decline because participation takes time and the value proposition is not always clear. This article explores the benefits that survey data can deliver to the industry as a whole.
With the exploding growth in e-commerce, the ability to prove print’s value as a primary driver of online activity becomes increasingly important. This includes m-commerce, which is growing even faster than e-commerce in general. This makes investment in print-to-mobile technologies a must.
Print MIS implementations are complex, they touch every corner of your business. It is critical that you actively looks for ways to simplify the project in order to increase your chances of success.
Are you reaping the benefits of free consumer trends reports to benefit your client base? If not, you are leaving opportunity to help your clients refine their targeting, improving their messaging and channel mix, and better understand the competitive landscape.
Direct-To-Shape (DTS) has become a commonly used term in recent times. We want to try to clarify a little around the definition of DTS and to describe the state of this particular art. We are prompted to do this by our recent visit to the InPrint Europe Industrial Print show in Milan, Italy, where there was a lot of discussion of the potential of DTS as a market.
TC Transcontinental executes long term strategy in flexible packaging, Graphic Packaging acquires again; Kingery Printing acquires United Graphics; and more…
This holiday season, savvy retailers are working to meet customers on the channels where they are shopping and buying, whether it’s in a physical store, online, or via social media. This article highlights how various retailers are driving sales and encouraging engagement with multi-channel integrated campaigns.
I’ve been interacting with a lot of customers of web-to-print lately (the people who order from web-to-print, not the printers). In every single interaction I learn something new.
Brick and mortar retailer has been struggling with foot traffic. According to early estimates all signs are pointing to more ecommerce, less in-person commerce this holiday season. What does this mean for retail graphics?
When we think about the cloud, we think about benefits such as anytime, anywhere access, cost savings from the elimination of servers, and automatic updates. But there is one benefit that many people don’t think about—computer agnosticism.
What’s more important than tax reform? A tenth anniversary! It’s been ten years since the recession started. What does one get as a gift? We’re told it’s tin or aluminum. Does that mean someone’s giving all of us litho plates? Tax reform is a much better gift for the celebration. The reform is flawed, but better than nothing. There are some signs that the economy is improving for real, and Dr. Joe has his unique twist to offer.
Even in this digital age, tried-and-true direct mail communications continue to get noticed. This article cites recent research from Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends to explore how direct mail can be used to cut through the clutter and capture the attention of today’s “always on” consumers.
Creating results in your company takes coordinated effort by a group of people – some would call that a “project”. Project management is the art of keeping all the contributors to the project on task “herding the cats.” This skill set and this role is underappreciated in our industry. When you need to get complex things done with a group of people – you need a project manager to drive the project to successful completion.
Whether it’s for administrative, production, or marketing initiatives, the cloud brings significant benefits to businesses of all sizes. One of those benefits, and one that is the easiest to implement, is collaboration. Let’s take a closer look at this low-hanging fruit from the cloud.
Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a powerful tool that can be used to benchmark, identify areas for improvement, and measure progress. It combines equipment availability, performance, and quality (waste) into a single metric.
As an industry, have we moved past the terms “prepress” and “workflow”? Are they too broad to provide any significant benefit to the industry discussion? There is an argument to be made that it’s time to break up the process and discuss it in terms of its discrete elements.
When you buy print software for your business, it needs to “fit” into the technology stack you already have. This means that it solves challenges you cannot solve with your existing software and it will fit with the other pieces of your technology.
A new report from eMarketer looks at the growing use of marketing automation to help marketers better manage their marketing consistency and effectiveness across channels. Data is drawn from third-party data over the multiple years. The results beg the question: What are the implications for MSPs and print?
One of the pioneers of digital art walks through the steps involved in printing images for a recent book project and complementary dye-sublimation aluminum prints.
Look at the shiny object, and please don’t peek behind the curtain. It’s a data game that’s played by many, and it starts with a good headline, and sometimes includes a great chart. A rising stock market without increasing revenue? Declining e-book sales that conveniently ignore niches that are contrary? And then there’s one for the record: the LP record. A pretty chart makes that story convincing, but only if you forget history. Don’t fall into that vinyl LP trap: there’s a hole in the middle of it.
Printing business executives and managers who have learned to fortify their companies' business plans and strategies with a consistent flow of useful and compelling business data will be much better positioned to unlock growth potential and protect against sales declines. This article explores how business leaders can use internal and external information to drive business expansion.
The Print MIS/ERP system is the foundation to your overall print business technology stack. It is the system that should run your business. Many Print MIS solutions have and continue to expand their support for a diversified printing operation. One of printIQ’s strengths is its approach to and the execution of a modular approach to supporting additional manufacturing processes
The solution sale only works if you’re solving the problems that are most important to the customer. The race to find solutions often results in sales teams wasting tremendous effort solving the wrong customer challenges. When you first agree on the challenges and their importance to the customer – solution selling works.
CMYK, XCMYK, CMYKOVG, ECG, Fixed Palette – so many terms to describe various types of process printing. What do they all mean and why should you care? We’ll explore all of that in this article.
Overview of the annual update on release liner for pressure-sensitive labels by industry market research firm AWA (Alexander Watson Associates).
The company’s unique rebranding project resulted in an anthology of current authors writing about work, a series of videos, and a book launch event with author readings at New York’s venerable 92nd Street Y.
Call tracking provides vital insight and marketing intelligence to help clients optimize their marketing channels, messaging, and focus. This post takes a look at how three clients benefited from using call tracking to prove and optimize the value of their direct mail.
Wide format printing is a profitable and complementary product offering for print service providers that are seeking new markets and higher-margin businesses. This article discusses the three key practices for success in this market.
OSG Billing Services, now owned by PE firm Aquiline Capital, adds first bolt-on with acquisition of Microdynamics, label printer Brook & Whittle acquired in secondary buyout, Vomela buys another commercial printer; and more…
Following last week’s announcement of the strategic alliance between EFI and Xeikon, transferring sales, marketing and service responsibility for Jetrion inkjet label presses to Xeikon, Zwang and Sherburne had the opportunity to speak with Benoit Chatelard, President & CEO of Flint Group Digital Solutions, to gain a bit more depth to the story. He was joined by Mark Brussel, CFO.
Purchasing new software is exciting; it’s full of potential, the vendors invest a lot in making the sales process enjoyable. This influences our reaction to when our existing technology gets hard or frustration – it can feel easier to quit and buy a different platform thinking that will solve all our challenges.
In our rapidly evolving world of often disruptive technology, making sense of the options available to printing companies can be challenging. Buying a new press is no longer a sufficient investment to ensure ongoing profitability. Printing companies must also invest in a range of solutions that optimize productivity and streamline workflow. In this article, Bondy and Sherburne provide concrete advice that will help printing companies in making the right technology decisions as they plan for 2018 and beyond.
Cloud production doesn’t have to be complicated. A simplified definition, along with three ways to use the cloud for business, change the conversation from “why should I?” to “what’s the big deal?”
Fed Change Means Fed Same, Shipments Tumble, Economy Muddles, and Can I Interest You in the Best Leftovers Ever? ()
We have a new chair at the Fed who is likely to stay the course, no matter how damaging that is. This month’s shiny object is the unemployment rate; don’t look at how it got there. A kerfuffle and a scuffle, and it all happened because of used equipment, which means the once mighty aren’t any more. And printing shipments… can we talk about something else?
This week, after several months of negotiation, EFI announced a strategic partnership with Xeikon whereby sales, marketing and servicing for the Jetrion line of digital UV inkjet label printers would be transferred to Xeikon with the Jetrion trademark and ownership of ink manufacturing remaining with EFI. Zwang and Sherburne dug into the details.
Are your customers mapping their customer journeys? If so, those journey maps can provide critical insights into where your customers are using their channels well and where opportunities are being missed. These insights can help you help your customers while also getting a greater share of wallet.
We are biased towards solutions when the most valuable thing we can do it clearly define the problem first. The tech startup world calls this innovator bias (falling in love with solutions) – there are always many ways to solve something, the more time you spend understanding the problem, the better chances of getting to the optimal solution.
I was recently given the opportunity to review a new book, Pioneers of German Graphic Design. Did you know that modern graphic design originated more than 100 years ago in Germany? I didn’t. The book is fascinating and includes fabulous imagery. I’ll recap some of it here, but you might want this one for your personal library!
It seems like we just finished with drupa 2016, yet Labelexpo Europe 2017 appeared to be a subset extension of that event. Everyone in Label production on any level from around the globe was there, showing and looking at the latest products and trends. It is a very exciting time, with a very promising future for label production. In part one of this two-part series, we looked at some of the major trends and product announcements at the show. In part two of the series, David continues to look a bit deeper at some trends and some interesting futures.
Radtech’ first UV+EB Packaging Conference last week featured suppliers, vendors, and brand owners surveying the current packaging landscape, with an emphasis on food packaging and safety.
Ricoh hosted a small group of media and analysts at its Global Executive Briefing Center in Boulder CO last week. This is one of four sites worldwide that has extensive capability to demonstrate Ricoh’s production printing portfolio, with the others being in Telford (UK), Thailand and Singapore. The company shared its strategy for the Commercial and Industrial Print Group, formed last April, as well as provided a tour of the facilities, including the demo center and some of the labs.
All too often, it seems that within the printing industry, we spend more time talking to each other than to customers. Ask yourself: How well do you truly understand your customers’ businesses, the issues they face every day, and how your services could help them meet their goals and objectives in truly unique ways? What services could you add to be able to do this even better?
A case story isn’t just something that you leave behind before you walk out the door. It is a tool that is delivered in a framework to bring personality and credibility to your business. This article explores how the ability to tell a compelling story can create a meaningful connection between a brand and a customer/prospect.
Two printer case studies on speeding receivables show another way that cloud business can save print shops money.
This article contains a young professional’s perspective on how to find a successful career in graphic communications. While it is directed at students, it is also an excellent piece that teachers and professors can use to inspire their students, and that parents can also use with their kids.
There is no magic innovation button, there is a boring execution button that can differentiate your business. Consistent execution on complex tasks is a path to profitability – checklists are a key tool to help you get there.