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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.


The Secret to Success: Digital Lizard sees 500% revenue growth

Digital Lizard of Las Vegas reports an astounding 500% growth from 2011 to 2014. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with Digital Lizard President Bill Wieners to find out how this growth was achieved and what his expectations are for the future in this article sponsored by HP.


SGIA Expo Heads to Atlanta

A plethora of educational opportunities, a packed show floor, and new product introductions are on tap for this ever-growing show.


Attracting the New Industry Workforce: Do We Know How to Do It?

There's a new poster that hopes to attract students to the printing workplace. Dr. Joe wonders if it can. He's got some ideas. Is getting involved in events a real business opportunity? There are so many touchpoints in the event process that there are numerous opportunities to help your clients and build your business


Labelexpo 2015: What Keeps a Trade Show Young?

Exhibits at this innovation-packed event said it all about the accelerating advance of digital technologies into every segment of the label printing market.


NFC Tags: Adding Innovation to Print (Premium Content)

A number of applications that blend print and mobile technologies are emerging, and some of these creatively leverage Near-Field Communication (NFC) tags. This article explores how certain firms are merging print with NFC tags to deliver exciting new applications for their customers.


Recession Coming? Third Quarter GDP Looks Weaker than Experts Forecasted

The latest estimate (October 20) by the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model indicates that third quarter GDP will be +0.9%. That is, until the next data for their model comes in.


The Transition from Physical to Digital Communication

This pace of change is outrunning your print business’ technology decisions. A web-to-print platform decision you made two years ago could be completely out of date with the mobile-first world we live in today. Your aging ERP/Print MIS system has no way of understanding a product that exits your building via an Ethernet cable rather than a shipping truck.


Label Seminar in Brussels Reviews the State of the Release Liner Segment

Pressure-sensitive labels account for half of all release liner applications. Conferees at this event found no shortage of opportunities to discuss technical advances and market challenges.


Crossing the finish line – a Cinderella story

At drupa 2016, expect post-press to emerge as a Cinderella story. Already, prepress and print have benefited from technologies that speed work through the production process, but for many companies post-press processes are still a bottleneck.


Economic Headlines Miss Factors that Explain Economy (Premium Content)

There's no COLA for Social Security recipients this year, and that has nothing to do with the popular drink. The campaign trail leads to all kinds of abuse of economic data, so Dr. Joe adds a different perspective to things. Income isn't always income, because it's spending that really matters. Dr. Joe explains why. The winner of the Nobel Prize in economics explains the contentious political environment.


Is There Enough Extra Room in That Package for a Lawsuit?

People don’t like packages that look as though they contain more than is actually inside them. But, prosecutors and class-action attorneys do.


The Xerox Premier Partner Congress: Your Network at Work!

The 2015 Xerox Premier Partners Congress (October 6-7 in Prague, Czech Republic) explored how the power of networking can be put to work. This article highlights just a few of the positive experiences that attendees and business partners enjoyed at this year’s event.


Recovery Indicators Mixed; Weak Employment Data Raise Downside Concerns (Premium Content)

The Economic and Research Center Recovery Indicators had a mixed month but other economic data should raise some concerns.


Pew Internet Survey Shows Social Media Use Up, Way Up, in Last Ten Years

The Pew Internet Survey has released their latest survey (free download) of social media use and the long term trends are striking. The organization started tracking use in 2005 when social media use was by just 7% of the US population. Now, 65% of adults use social networking sites. Our chart shows the increases by age group.

Ninety percent of those between 18 and 29 use social media, which is not a surprise. Those social media users who are 65+ has more than tripled from 11% in 2010 to 35% in 2015. The report includes data about social media use by various demographics including income, race, gender, community, and education.


Commercial Printing Shipments in Uptrend: 15 Consecutive Months of Growth, Best Growth Rate Since 1996

US commercial printing industry shipments are up for 15 consecutive months compared to the same month of the prior year.


HP Indigo 10000 a Game-Changer for Dreamworks Graphic Communications

Dreamworks Graphic Communications calls its HP Indigo 10000 a game-changer, eliminating one offset press and increasing the amount of hybrid offset/digital work it does. EVP John Perkins shares his thoughts on the benefits of digital printing with Senior Editor Cary Sherburne in this HP-sponsored article.


Dye-Sublimation Printing Helps the USA Synchronized Swim Team Swim In Ink

St. Louis’ Triflare specializes in racewear for triathlon participants, swimmers, and other athletes—all produced digitally using dye-sublimation printing.


The Training Benchmark: How Does Your Company Compare to Industry Leaders? (Premium Content)

Although cross-training is certainly important, it is only one component of the overall training pie. This article discusses other considerations that are equally or even more important, including how well our industry trains and how your company compares to the leaders in the industry.


Turmoil in the Garden of Meredith - September 2015 M&A Activity

September 2015 –Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries


Changes in Commercial Printing Employment by State

The chart shows the changes in the average number of employees per establishment in the US and large printing states. The average size of printing businesses in an area offers clues to the kinds of printing produced there and the history of the industry in that area.


A Strategic Approach to Print Workflow Automation

All printers should be thinking about “workflow automation” as a strategic initiative; produce more with less labor, less waste, in less time as a way to remain competitive. Time savings should be strategically invested in diversification, new skills acquisition, and cross-training.


TruTag Technologies Pushes Back Against the Pharma Fakers, One Tablet at a Time

A dust-sized anti-counterfeiting tag for medicine pills? Turns out the idea isn’t hard to swallow or digest.


Image Test Labs: New Sheriff in Town for Grading Press Performance

Three pairs of eyes that have seen it all in print measurement are looking straight at the acceptability of press output from machines of every type.


Cracked Rear View

We’re always trying to look at things—trends, technology, etc.—from a historical perspective. We try to compare new phenomena to older phenomena that we understand. That’s normal. History is cyclical, isn’t it?


Profit Leaders Take It All, Again (Premium Content)

The PIA Financial Ratios have been published for decades, and may be the most recognized of the association's publications. There are, of course, problems with all kinds of research gathering efforts, but the positives of the Ratios reports outweigh the negatives from a methodological standpoint.


Debt as a Percentage of GDP

Many people confuse debt and deficit when they see it as part of the Federal government's annual budget. Deficit is the annual shortfall between a government's spending and its revenues. Debt is the accumulation of all of the deficits and surpluses of the prior years in that government's history.


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