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Walter G. Anderson Thrives on Change in An Increasingly Complex Food Packaging Market (Premium Content)

As consumers demand more variety, food packaging production gets harder to stay ahead of—but not if the producer is as well equipped and as versatile as this market leader.


Dr. Joe: News Corp CEO Whining or Leading, Global Economic Mess is Becoming a Quagmire (Premium Content)

The News Corp CEO says that social media companies are responsible for the 'unnatural act' of redistributing content. The company that overpaid for MySpace, failed in social media, repeats the fears of copiers and VCRs from decades ago. We found out that Amazon is a great company and a horrible employer in a story perfect for cross media. Central banks play the devaluation game and say that they were manipulated into doing it. Sure, blame Kazakhstan. How can making something float cause it to sink? Dr. Joe explains it all.


Production Inkjet Printing: Disruption or Opportunity? (Premium Content)

Are inkjet presses a disruptive technology? This article will discuss the definition of a “disruptive technology,” determine if the data surrounding inkjet presses fulfills the criteria, and explore the ongoing impact of production inkjet printing.


Study Sees Underlying Strength in the U.S. Market for Flexography

Technical advancements and process improvements in flexography should keep it secure in its key applications. even in the face of competition from digital.


Per Capita Commercial Printing Shipments Stabilize; Forecast Models Project Levels to Continue

The per capita value of US commercial printing shipments has stabilized at nearly $270, and the recent change in the direction of shipments in the last year or so has changed the forecasts. Forecast models place heavy weight on recent history, and that fact has changed the forecast for 2020 to remain at current levels. It was not long ago that the models forecast 2020 consumption at near zero, an unlikely outcome, but one worth pondering. Will shipments stay at these levels? That's unlikely, too, as media formats and loyalties are still changing.


Global Flexible Packaging Market Set for Rapid Growth

Advancements in flexible materials have made them mainstay substrates for food and beverage packaging all around the world. A new report foresees solid growth for the sector in most regions from now through 2020.


The Top Print Software Question: When Will This Be Done?

Print software is eating your budget because software is becoming the tool of choice for industry leaders to create differentiation in the marketplace.


Taking Paper to the Next Level

Creative businesses are leveraging new digital finishing technologies to drive new business, new designs, and entry into entirely new markets for printing and packaging companies. Brands are also turning to paper structures to get their message out and enhance their displays. Learn how digital finishing techniques are revolutionizing the world of paper creations in this article sponsored by Highcon.


Pivotal Moments: A History Lesson

Dan Marx, VP–Markets & Technologies at the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association looks back at pivotal moment in the history of the SGIA Expo.


Inkjet – State Of The Art Or Sci-Fi Fantasy Print? (Premium Content)

Parents know this refrain well – “Are we there yet?” – just as they know the answer – “In a little while.” I spend my working life with printing technology and have heard this for many years. In the case of inkjet, this is a recurring theme. And while we are not there yet, we are getting much closer.


Key Indicators that Have Not Improved Since the Recession and Recovery

There are numerous data series that explain that the economy has never recovered from the recession. These are not obscure data series, but mainstream ones. Gross Domestic Product should be the standard for determining the status of an economy (thick blue line). Movements in GDP should be confirmed by other measures. This week's chart uses the start of the recession, December 2007, as the base, which is 100.


The Pathway to Profitability: How Value-added Services can Contribute to Business Growth (Premium Content)

To remain competitive in today’s transitional market, printers are embracing the importance of adding value. This article leverages InfoTrends’ research to explore how value-added services can contribute to business growth.


Q: When Is a Package Not a Package? A: When Inspiration Strikes

For many people, an empty package is an artist’s kit full of creative opportunity. Brand owners may not fully appreciate how they benefit when their packaging is repurposed for fun or practicality by end-using consumers.


Transitioning Web-to-Print Solutions

Maintaining and paying for multiple web-to-print solutions is more expensive than you think. Transitioning off legacy systems has positive repercussions for your technical resources and your customers.


“Experience Epson” Event Showcases a Wide Variety of Tech

“Our aim is to become a company that is truly indispensable to our customers,” said Minoru Usui, Global President of Seiko Epson, kicking off “Experience Epson,” a day of interactive demos of a cross-section of Epson technologies, from wide-format printing, to interactive whiteboards, to golf swing analyzers, to Augmented Reality-based headsets, to…well, you name it. The event was held last week in New York City.


Blue Octopus: High Quality and a Helping Hand

Blue Octopus is furthering its ability to create employment opportunities for veterans with disabilities by improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of its printing operations. Learn more about how this entrepreneurial organization is blending print and social consciousness to make a better world, in this article sponsored by HP.


EFI Walks the Digital Fashion Runway - July 2015 M&A Activity

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


Dr Joe: Industry Sales Per Employee Near Historical Highs, Employment in Printing and Content Creation, The Overall Economy (Premium Content)

Increasing printing shipments could give him a new name of “Dr. Boom” rather than his old doomish monicker. Employment is up in advertising and public relations, yet again. Dr. Joe swirls in some comments about the overall economy and explains his role in a new management program to be unveiled at Graph Expo.


Reinventing Business: Making the Move to Digital Packaging (Premium Content)

According to Josh Linkner’s book entitled The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation, some leaders freeze instead of acting because they are concerned about the consequences of change. This article explores how McBattas disrupted the status quo and reinvented itself with digital folding cartons.


US Commercial Printing Shipments +3.5% for First Half of 2015, Exceeding Real GDP Growth

US commercial printing shipments are up about +3.5% for January to June compared to the same period in 2014. The industry has been restructuring, as employment continues to decline. Usually employment and shipment levels move together in a tight range if not almost in lockstep.


What to Measure (KPIs, metrics) in Your Print MIS

The richness of the data your Print MIS can give you can be the stuff you dream about when you wait for your next untimely delivery of manually-produced Excel spreadsheets.


Are We Printing More Nutritional Labels than There Are Eyes Willing to Read Them?

Companies that print food labels work hard to make sure that the information on them is correct. It’s a matter of professional pride and, very often, also one of complying with the law. But, out there in the consumer marketplace, who cares?


Hybrid Press Profile: FFEI Graphium Updated (Premium Content)

Flexo and inkjet make a whole greater than the sum of the parts in an advanced UV label press that combines the most useful features of each process.


Wooden It Be Nice? Sacramento’s ARB Digital Specializes in Printing On Unique Substrates (Premium Content)

From wood, to glass, to textiles, to animal pelts—and even to paper—ARB Digital takes on challenging projects, thanks to founder Alvaro Rodriguez’s background in tech support, color management, and software development.


Tukaiz: The Evolution Continues With Launch of Creative Division (Premium Content)

Earlier this month, Chicago-based Tukaiz announced the opening of its in-house boutique creative division known as agenz. Highlighting points from a recent Rick Webb book, this article explores how today’s businesses can make the transition to offering agency-oriented services.


Q2 GDP +2.3%, Below Economist Expectations (Premium Content)

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released the report of 2015's second quarter GDP. At +2.3%, it was below expectations of financial forecasters who were looking for +2.6%. This advance report of GDP was in line with the GDPNow estimate of the Atlanta Federal Reserve which was at +2.4%.


Inflation Multipliers Updated

Inflation is supposedly tame, but if you're making comparisons of current year financial data to prior years, you still need to adjust for the years when inflation was not. The chart was created from Consumer Price Index data for each of the years specified. When looking at your company history, multiply your data for each year by the multiplier specified. This will give you an approximation for the effects of inflation on your business, and make your historical analysis, especially in the process of budgeting, to be more realistic. Adjusting your data, even in periods of claimed low inflation, creates a sense of more urgent action. Inflation means that to stay at the same level you actually need more dollars. Staying the same is actually a cut.


Motivating Your Team to Use the Print MIS

The data that you rely on from the Print MIS will only be useful and reliable if it is complete and accurate. So, how do you encourage your team to participate completely and consistently in the Print MIS?


Adobe Takes Digital Publishing to New Levels (Premium Content)

Adobe is taking mobile app creation to a brand-new level with the launch of Adobe Digital Publishing Solution 2015. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Adobe’s Bridget Roman and Colin Fleming to learn more.


Risk: The Biggest Threat To Capturing Ownership Value

Much has been written about what business owners should do to improve the value of their business. So much so, that when it comes to developing a set of priorities to get ready for a sales or other transfer process, uncertainty and confusion reign supreme.


Paper Industry “Unfolds” Deep-Pocketed Image Campaign to Halt Slide in Demand

Paper suppliers have made an all-out commitment to putting a floor under the declining use of their products—including levying a volume-based fee on themselves to pay for the effort.


Sustainability Reality Check: It’s a Journey, Not a Destination

What is the difference between a “green” business and a “sustainable” one? What are some unique approaches to the concept of sustainability that printing companies—large- and small-format—are taking? In the end, it’s not just about making the company sustainable, but rather the entire supply chain.


How Have Big Metro Area Printing Establishments Fared in the Recovery?

Dr Joe took a look at how the number of commercial printing establishments in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, DC, and San Francisco metropolitan areas has changed since 2010.


The Power of Personalization: Get Data and Get Going! (Premium Content)

Today’s marketers are seeking partners that can help them deliver the right message at the right time, while also delivering the most effective data strategies to ensure that offers are not dead on arrival. This article explores how print service providers can capitalize on this opportunity by building data expertise.


Year-to-Year Real Retail Sales Peaked in January, and Are Weaker Since

June retail sales adjusted for inflation fell -0.6% compared to May. Month-to-month changes are somewhat volatile, so it's better to look at the comparisons to the prior year. The chart shows that June retail sales were +1.2% compared to last year, the worst comparison since March 2014. There are signs that the economy is slowing again. In the first quarter, real retail sales were +2.6% compared to the prior year, but this second quarter is only +1.6%. The economy always has conflicting positive and negative data, but this downturn in a key sector of the economy is likely to raise some eyebrows among economists and policymakers.


The Fear of Launching Print Software

Launching any new print software technology can feel risky. With the rate of change in both our businesses and software technology, we have to create a culture that is comfortable with launching early and iterating through issues. It is impossible to predict every possible scenario; it is liberating to accept that finding issues post-launch is part of the plan.


Yes We “Can,” and Do, Says New Promo Campaign for Aluminum Containers

“Open Up to Cans” is what consumers are being urged to do by a can makers’ trade association. But, when it come to beverages, most already have.


Is Small Business Slowing Down Again?

The NFIB Small Business Index was released this week, “The weakness was substantial across the board, showing no signs of a growth spurt in the near future,” according to Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB Chief Economist. “Declines in spending plans accounted for 30 percent of the Index decline, and weaker expectations for real sales and business conditions another 20 percent. The deterioration in earnings trends accounted for about a quarter of the decline.”


Refining Packaging Cycle Time: The “Last Mile” Power of Digital

Packaging is one area of the printing industry where growth continues. But it is not without its challenges. Learn how leading packaging converters are leveraging digital technology to address time-to-market challenges and developing new revenue streams in this article sponsored by Highcon.


2015: The Current State of the Industrial Printing Community (Premium Content)

SGIA’s Dan Marx shares some of his organization’s most recent research on industrial printing. What technologies are companies in the industrial printing space using? What products and technologies have they been investing in? Where do they see the most (and least) growth opportunities? What is their business outlook?


Two Keys to Increasing Productivity: Software Automation and Hardware Utilization (Premium Content)

One of the keys to effectively running a world-class company is finding ways to constantly increase productivity. This article explores the importance of measuring operational performance and discusses various strategies for doing so.


Print Software as an Infrastructure Investment (Premium Content)

Print software is an infrastructure investment in our increasing online and digital economy. Adopting a strategic infrastructure approach to investing in and implementing print software will be a key differentiator for print businesses moving forward.


Interview with EFI's Udi Arieli on FedEx Office's Use of EFI Workflow and Productivity Technology

Yesterday, EFI and FedEx Office announced that FedEx Office is using EFI products for a more cost-effective and streamlined delivery of professional print services. I spoke to Udi Arieli, EFI’s Director, High End Market Business Development, EFI Productivity Software, to get the scoop for this WhatTheyThink exclusive.


Fortis Solutions Group Grows by Acquisition and by Technical Leaps and Bounds

An investment banker turned label printer is building a network with a widening geographic reach and a deepening capability in flexo and digital production.


Cloak and Dagger Inks Fight Counterfeiters – June 2015 M&A Activity

Analysis of June 2015 Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries


The Great, Outdoors: Attention to Detail Goes a Long Way Toward Creating Effective Outdoor Graphics

New applications for outdoor graphics are appearing all the time, and new printing technologies are revitalizing some older applications. Some considerations if you are looking at outdoor graphics, and a look at one South Florida shop that has carved out a niche in the great outdoors.


Cross-Media? Multi-Channel? Omni-Channel?

UK-based Blackdog Digital is a terrific example of a company that has morphed from being a commercial printer to a digital printer to a variable data printer to a full-service provider of cross-media campaigns. Blackdog’s Phil Copperwheat shares his thoughts on the company’s transformation and what other companies need to do to get in the cross-media game.


Inflation-adjusted US Commercial Printing Shipments Better than 2014

Commercial printing shipments have been much higher than they are in today's market, but the bounce off the lows of 2014 this year have been notable. The comparisons toward the end of 2015 will be harder to top since the industry started to show this bounceback at the end of 2014. The transformation of commercial printing businesses has been an arduous one, with volume declines of many mainstream products, but a rise in specialty applications. Those new applications are often based in digital printing, such as wide format specialties. There's also a new generation of print business managers who are not burdened by the myopia of history, where print was paramount. These executives and owners have grown up with computers and gadgets and have a better sense of print's new role in media communications


Two Sides North America Defends Paper and Print on Many Fronts

Corporate promulgators of spurious “green” claims that disrespect printing, be warned: a riposte and a recantation may be in your future.


OneTouchPoint: Delivering on the Promise of Customer Intimacy (Premium Content)

Without leaving their homes or offices, individuals can assess and evaluate an array of products and services. The most successful firms understand that the lifetime value of a customer is more important than the value of the initial transaction. This article explores how Kohler Co. partnered with OneTouch Point to stand out from the competition and maximize the value of long-term customer relationships.


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