Recent Commentary & Analysis
Requires Premium Membership
Displaying 801-850 of thousands of articles
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Can you say “sesquicentennial”? It’s an anniversary. This company feels the pride and the joy of every one of its 150 years.
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.
A plethora of educational opportunities, a packed show floor, and new product introductions are on tap for this ever-growing show.
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
Exhibits at this innovation-packed event said it all about the accelerating advance of digital technologies into every segment of the label printing market.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The Economic and Research Center Recovery Indicators had a mixed month but other economic data should raise some concerns.
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.
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.
St. Louis’ Triflare specializes in racewear for triathlon participants, swimmers, and other athletes—all produced digitally using dye-sublimation printing.
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.
September 2015 –Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries
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.
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.
A dust-sized anti-counterfeiting tag for medicine pills? Turns out the idea isn’t hard to swallow or digest.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Even in the industry's most profitable and growing years, the mantra “there's too much capacity in the industry” was always heard. It's been a misplaced and inaccurate portrayal of the business, yet it persists.
Mobile technology can interact with the consumer at the most contextually relevant time and location possible. Mobile can and will work when it is used properly. This article discusses the fundamentals of creating a true customer experience and explores how Target Stores created an effective mobile campaign for the 2014 holiday season.
Anyone who has ever picked up a glossy magazine probably has touched SAPPI publication paper. Now the company hopes to achieve the same kind of ubiquity with its packaging papers.
One of the most common calls we get is from people frustrated about trying to build storefronts for their customers. The questions we get are often along these lines: “I’ve had this software for 6 months and we have only launched one store. Why is it taking so long?”; “Are my people qualified to build these storefronts?”; “I have no idea where to start, where should we start?”
In 1981, L.A. photographer Steve Reisch captured legendary director John Cassavetes and his stock company backstage as they rehearsed and performed an experimental series of plays. Unseen for 34 years, the images have been brought back to life thanks to a partnership between Reisch and Canon USA.
The advantages of flexible films—economy, versatility, convenience, and bio-adaptability—will make flexible packaging one of the most opportune growth markets in packaging over the next several years.
Print is a manufacturing process built on technology. As new technological developments emerge, the print industry grows in capability, productivity, and value. In the last twenty years, a boom in global innovation has coincided with new business models and brought print into the fold in a lot of newfound industries. Allan Brow, Kodak's Vice President Software Solutions Division shares his thought on the future of print in this article sponsored by Kodak.
Dr. Joe wonders why there isn't a little spring to the industry's step with 14 months of better sales levels. It could just be that printers a feeling a sense of relief as they wonder what's next. And then there's the economy. Second quarter GDP look great, but was really less filling. He scratches the economic surface and finds some skepticism inside. If he didn't, he wouldn't be Dr. Joe.
By improving the customer experience, businesses can drive value, reduce cost, and build a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Customers are seeking partners that deliver solutions beyond simple variable data, pURLs, and customized landing pages. The article explores how businesses can gain a competitive advantage by delivering an improved customer experience.
If it jets ink, it’s a hot technology, and while production inkjet got the bulk of the buzz at last week’s Graph Expo, wide-format and specialty printing continue to play a much larger role.