Published May 6, 2013
The profitability gap between the best-performing and the weakest printing firms is wider than ever. It reflects the difference between the “haves”—firms with effective strategies for competitive differentiation—and the “have nots,” which lack them.
Published April 29, 2013
Although it may be difficult for traditionalists to imagine, “printing” can be done in more dimensions than two. The Inside Printing 3D Conference and Expo made clear why this high-touch manufacturing process is gaining increased attention both as an emerging technology and as an investment opportunity.
Published April 1, 2013
In one of his first official acts since his election as pontiff, Pope Francis has unveiled a radically new strategy for proselytizing to the world: he’ll carry on the work of St. Peter through an international network of printing companies he intends the Church to acquire.
Published March 26, 2013
Although the ink is barely dry on the deal that has made Impika a unit of Xerox, the acquirer believes that bringing its target into the fold will give it the major-player status in inkjet that it has been seeking.
Published March 22, 2013
Regional printing trade shows mostly are things of the past - vendors can’t justify the expense of exhibiting at these local affairs, and printers can’t find the time to attend them. All of the above may be true, but in spite of that, members of the industry still find value in the knowledge-sharing camaraderie that only face-to-face encounters can provide.
Published March 20, 2013
Kodak has had some serious losses to report lately. But, the company insists that other numbers make more sense to focus on as it drives ahead with its plan to emerge from bankruptcy.
Published March 7, 2013
If silence is golden in most of the affairs of life, in M&A transactions, it’s pure platinum. Nothing assures a better outcome for a deal—or yields a worse one if it’s violated—than maintaining a policy of tight information control while negotiations are under way.
Contrary to Reports, Ferrostaal Continues to Operate in North America; Relationship with Ryobi Remains Intact
Published February 22, 2013
Rumors were circulating earlier this week about the reported closure of Ferrostaal Equipment Solutions North America Inc., but the facts don’t bear them out. WhatTheyThink has learned that the Houston, TX based print equipment and services provider remains in operation, albeit with a new president, a smaller staff, and a reduced portfolio.
Published February 15, 2013
Sometimes, sheer embarrassment can kill a merger—the shock of suddenly having to account for issues that ought to have been dealt with earlier in the process. Privately held printing companies can be prone to the kinds of errors that embarrass sellers and thwart M&As.
Published February 11, 2013
Many in the industry are still speculating about where B2-format digital presses fit into the scope of commercial print production. Sandy Alexander is weighing the merits of B2 digital printing for itself by beta-testing one of the most advanced examples of the technology.
Published February 7, 2013
No trade show has taken more lumps lately than Ipex, the quadrennial print and graphic media expo in the UK. But its owner has declared that when Ipex opens for a six-day run in London on March 24, 2014, it will be a new show with a sharper focus and greater value for exhibitors and attendees alike.
Published January 28, 2013
Don’t look for exhibits by Eastman Kodak Co. at Print 13 in Chicago this year, at IPEX 14 in the U.K next year, or at most other graphic communications trade shows after that. In a statement published last Friday, the company announced it would significantly reduce its participation in conventional trade shows and turn to other means of engaging with its customers.
Published January 18, 2013
WhatTheyThink recently visited two German printing houses that provide an aspirational lesson for printers everywhere who want to know how far investments in production technologies can take growth-minded companies.
Published January 15, 2013
Still #1 in sheetfed, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG nevertheless is adjusting to a new place in an industry over which it used to loom larger. Its leaders outlined the company’s go-forward strategy in a year-end media briefing that hinted at significant change to come.
Published January 14, 2013
In real estate, they say, it’s all about location, location, location. In business consulting, the triple crown is perspective, perspective, perspective. The most recent addition to the consulting team at New Direction Partners brings a long and multi-angled view of the printing industry to his new role as an architect of mergers and acquisitions within it.
Published November 26, 2012
As it has at previous stages of its effort to put its troubles behind it, Kodak has reached out to the trade media with another update on the progress it claims to be making toward orderly emergence from bankruptcy. We spoke recently with Chris Payne, Kodak’s vice president - marketing, business to business, about the latest developments and about Kodak’s long-term plan to renew itself as a provider of graphic production technologies.
Published November 6, 2012
Frank Steenburgh says one thing his long experience as a business-builder has taught him is that growing revenues and profit will always be more fun and rewarding than cutting costs. Read why.
Published November 2, 2012
No small part of the $50 billion economic loss being attributed to storm Sandy will come from business interruptions suffered by printing firms throughout the tristate metro region. Wherever the damage was worst, the toll taken on these highly vulnerable manufacturing operations was highest. Many remain out of commission, their electrical power gone, their communications severed, their work piling up, and their employees stranded at home with gas gauges pointing at empty.
70 Strong At Graph Expo, AlphaGraphics and Its Franchisees Look Forward to Better Times Under New Ownership
Published October 30, 2012
AlphaGraphics franchise owners came en masse to Graph Expo 2012, where Art Coley, the president of the network, briefed WhatTheyThink on steps taken to revitalize the business centers and the company as whole.
All the News from Lake Ontario: Kodak and Xerox Offer Updates on Their Strategic Plans at Graph Expo
Published October 23, 2012
At Graph Expo, both presented status reports: Kodak, on continuing to manage its emergence from bankruptcy; Xerox, on maintaining its commitment to graphics as the company shifts increasingly towards services.
Published October 22, 2012
For printers seeking to acquire another company or to be acquired by one, the options are straightforward. Where does your business fit in the M&A planning matrix?
The "Great Communicator" Wows 'em in the Windy City with Something Very Tiny-and Potentially Very Huge
Published October 11, 2012
Nobody else could have made as persuasive a case for an as-yet unproven technology as Benny Landa did at Graph Expo when he captivated a crowd with his vision of nanographic printing.
Published October 10, 2012
If you listen closely, you can hear the new, quieter sound of Graph Expo. It's easier on the ears, and it makes for a much improved trade show experience.
Published September 18, 2012
Given present trends, the industry could be dominated by a relative handful of firms in a few years. Some companies can grow profitably into this new landscape. Others can make a safe exit before it fully unfolds. Each outcome demands a strategy-now.
Visit to HP “Experience Center” Finds the Graphic Solutions Business Unit in “Business as Usual” Mode
Published August 24, 2012
Recent news from HP has been turbulent, raising questions about the status of the company’s graphics business. Some light was shed last week at a customer event at HP’s Graphic Arts Experience Center.