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SEC’s Rule 30e-3 Said to Threaten Print Revenues and Employment

The Securities and Exchange Commission wants to modernize the way the investment industry reports on what it does. The plan could include freeing these companies from having to print and mail certain shareholder documents.


Stepping Up to the Data Challenge… What’s Your Role? (Part 2) (Premium Content)

Data offers businesses new opportunities to better understand their customers through a limitless number of sources, including purchasing behaviors, interactions, demographics, and history. Last week’s article discussed the challenges that marketers face in today’s data-driven world, and this one explores the strategies that Innovairre is pursuing to help clients effectively use data.


Latest Printing Shipments Reflect Rebound

July's inflation-adjusted US commercial printing shipments continued to outshine prior year shipment levels. This was the best July since 2008 on a current dollar basis and since 2010 on an inflation-adjusted basis. On average, monthly industry shipments have been about $200 million higher than the year before. They are also tracking closer to GDP growth rates, a feat the industry has not done for almost two decades.


Is Your Print Business Sales Focused or Production Focused?

A sales focus is external. A production focus is internal. A sales focused print business leader is constantly asking the question, “How does this activity/investment improve my customer’s experience or business?” A sales focused print leader escorts the external rate of change into the business at a rate that often makes their employees uncomfortable.


Recovery Indicators Mixed with Slight Downward Bias; Sluggish Economy Remains

Four of the six recovery indicators fell last month, but the non-manufacturing new orders indicator remained very strong. World markets had a rocky month, and the NASDAQ fell -7% since the last indicators.


US Commercial Printing Shipments Up for 14 Consecutive Months

US commercial printing shipments were nearly $7.04 billion in July, a $392 million increase (+4.9%) on a current dollar basis compared to 2014. This was the strongest July since 2008.


Packaging Production Will Have a High Profile at Graph Expo-CPP

Packaging professionals who haven’t yet decided whether to invest in a trip to the show still have time to give the idea the serious consideration it deserves.


Wide-Format: A Growing Presence at Graph Expo

As wide-format and specialty graphics play a larger role in the industry, they are also playing a larger role at general commercial printing shows like Graph Expo. Here is a preview of some things to look for at this year’s show.


Tsunami Coming: Prepare Now

You remember the effect the Internet had on your business from 1995 through today? It’s nothing compared to what’s coming your way now. That’s the basis of a new book that is a must-read for anyone who owns or manages a business. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with Scott Stawski about Inflection Point: How the convergence of cloud, mobility, apps and data will shape the future of business.


Stepping Up to the Data Challenge… What’s Your Role? (Premium Content)

Corporations are increasingly relying on data to learn about customers, invest in new products and services, adjust sales and marketing activities, and assess new market opportunities. This article discusses the challenges that marketers face in today’s data-driven world.


Q2 GDP Revised Up, Bigger Rebound from Q1... But What's Ahead?

The first report of Q2-2015 real GDP was +2.3%, and now it's been raised to +3.7%, well ahead of forecaster expectations. On a longer-term year-to-year basis, the growth rate is +2.5%, still almost a full percentage point below post-WW2 average.

Longer term rate +2.5%. The effects of inventory increases is still a major factor in the growth, but there were other positives in the report implying that Q2 was broadly better than originally thought. There are concerns among professional forecasters that the inventory buildup will result in slower growth as those stockpiles are reduced. Considering that two thirds of the third quarter is almost complete, we know that international trade is being disrupted by currency and solvency issues in China and other countries. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta GDPNow estimates that third quarter GDP will be at +1.4%. Please also note a recent chart where we showed important key indicators that have yet to surpass their recession levels from Q4-2007.


Top 5 Web-to-Print Sales Demonstration Tips

A web-to-print demo is your chance to demonstrate how your print software technology solves the relevant challenges of a specific customer. The key words are “relevant challenges” and “specific customer”. Do your homework so your demonstration addresses what the customer actually cares about.


Is It a Package, or Is It a Warning Sign?

It’s impossible to take controversy out of certain kinds of products—or the packages they come in. More consumer-goods packaging is starting to feel the heat.


Canon on Color A Conversation with Canon Solutions America (Premium Content)

In an increasingly complex and demanding printing environment, color management is critical. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Canon Solutions America executives to learn more about how Canon is approaching this issue.


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.


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