WhatTheyThink

Articles by John G. Braceland

John G. Braceland is Managing Director for Graphic Arts Alliance a member run purchasing cooperative. He is also President of JB Solutions, a company that creates and manages purchasing cooperatives in various industries. Previously, he was President and owner of Braceland Brothers, a multi-plant printing company headquartered in Philadelphia, PA.

Please offer your feedback to John. He can be reached at john@jbsolutionsllc.com.

Displaying 1-47 of 47 articles

Why Humidify Your Shop?

Published October 10, 2014

There are a number of environmental influences that affect the quality and productivity of a printing operation. Humidity is one that some shops never really address. By maintaining an ideal humidity a number of problems can be controlled.

Labels without Limits: Meet the Graphium Hybrid Press

Published August 22, 2014

Developed in partnership, the Graphium offers a unique combination of digital printing, conventional flexo and various finishing options geared towards the tag and label market. It is a totally modular solution that lets printers configure the press to fit the needs of their customer bases.

Are You Utilizing All Your Purchasing Options?

Published July 29, 2014

There are a variety of ways that you can gain leverage and reduce costs in purchasing. Peer groups, Associations, Purchasing Groups and your Vendors can all be utilized to lower your costs.

Reducing your Spot Color Ink Cost

Published June 20, 2014

Over the years the cost of spot colors has increased due to reductions in ink company branches, minimum quantities, rush charges and additional delivery costs. If you use a lot of spot colors your ink costs have most likely grown. GFI Innovations manufactures an ink dispenser that can help you reduce your spot color ink costs and reduce your environmental impact.

The Promise of Process Free Plates

Published May 30, 2014

The printing industry continues to look at how to improve processes and reduce the environmental impact of printing. Kodak has developed a new plate, Sonora, which is process free. Process free plates have been around for a long time but they have been more of a niche product. The Sonora plate may change that.

Why be a Certified Sustainable Printer

Published April 21, 2014

Any company can say they are environmentally responsible. But what does it really mean? Print buyers who have a mandate from their management to use environmentally responsible suppliers have a tough task sorting through the claims. The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) is an independent, non-profit organization providing a certification label for sustainability in the graphic communications industry. Here is what certification means to four printers.

Partnering for Printing Sustainability

Published March 21, 2014

SGP is helping to define what it is for a printing company to be sustainable. Sponsoring organizations play a large part in guiding and supporting SGP. The following article looks at the reasons why some of the sponsors participate.

Certifying Your Sustainability

Published March 3, 2014

Any company can say they are environmentally responsible. But what does it really mean? Print buyers who have a mandate from their management to use environmentally responsible suppliers have a tough task sorting through the claims. The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) is an independent, non-profit organization providing a certification label for sustainability in the graphic communications industry.

Maximizing Your Recycled Waste Revenue

Published January 13, 2014

Sometimes waste is something to get rid of. Other times, it can make money. Depending on your situation it can be your choice. With a bit of time and effort as well as assigning responsibility it can pay you dividends.

Looking for extra Cash – check your Trash

Published December 16, 2013

Companies are always looking for ways to save money or reduce costs. The more you do the harder it is to find ways to improve the bottom line. Looking at your trash may not be the first area you investigate but it does offer the opportunity to reduce costs. The concept is to recycle/reuse/repurpose and reprocess all materials which had been “thrown into the dumpster”. This takes some time and effort as well as the cooperation of your employees. Done properly not only can it reduce your costs and lessen your environmental impact, it can increase your sales as well.

Getting the Most from Your Press Rollers

Published October 22, 2013

Rollers are intended to last a long time. Proper care and maintenance will insure good print quality and reduced costs. This article talks about some of the factors that affect roller life.

10 Tips For Smart Purchasing

Published September 27, 2013

This article includes tips for saving money and improving your operational excellence by using all your resources – especially your vendors. Areas covered include: consumables, freight, paper, and recycled waste. By picking one or two of these ideas you can improve your operation and lower your costs.

Fuji XMF Workflow

Published September 3, 2013

Workflows have been around since the start of computer to plate, when the printing industry looked much different than today. The convergence of offset and digital as well as the other cross media applications has made a streamlined workflow more important than ever. Fujifilm has recently developed a whole new workflow called XMF. This has allowed them to build their software based on today’s needs.

Getting Started in Wide Format Inkjet

Published August 9, 2013

The wide format inkjet market is growing rapidly with expanding new products and applications. The equipment cost is relatively modest when compared to offset presses and bindery equipment. What do I need to consider before I jump on board?

Offline Coating

Published June 10, 2013

Successfully integrating digital printing into your manufacturing process requires more than a digital press. Prepress and post press workflow changes and equipment are often required. Most printers have inline coating on their offset presses. Offline coating may be a new area with the addition of digital presses. What is right for you depends on your customer’s needs.

Bundling - Know What It’s Costing You

Published May 10, 2013

There are many ways to structure a deal. One way is to bundle other services, equipment or consumables together to alleviate upfront costs. This type of deal can be very beneficial for the printer and the vendor. It does make it harder to do comparison shopping and evaluate true costs. Make sure you make an informed decision before agreeing to this type of deal.

The Goal Revisited

Published April 19, 2013

The Goal is a book written in the 1980's. It does not get as much attention as it did a number of years ago. However, visiting older ideas can sometimes stimulate new thinking.

Once you have built the trust and credibility, these deals are worth a lot, but it takes time to get there.

Published March 15, 2013

There are many relationships in business today. One that is often not given enough weight is your vendor relationship. In the past, this relationship could be adversarial. Today, cooperation is needed more than ever. Looking at how you can get more out of your vendor relations can have a large positive effect on your bottom line.

Thought for Improving Your Purchasing

Published February 18, 2013

As companies continue to focus on cost reduction, it gets harder and harder to locate ways to accomplish this. Freight and recycled waste are two areas where you may still be able to find some savings.

Making a Pitch to the Printers of the Future

Published February 8, 2013

The printing industry is undergoing rapid changes. How do you discuss the industry and its future with high school students who are considering various careers? Coming up with a pitch provided a lot of food for thought and speculation about our future.

Setting Yourself Apart Through Technology Part 3

Published November 16, 2012

Technology can be used creatively to solve problems and create products that weren’t there before. Red Fluorescing Dry Ink from Kodak is one of those products that can do just that. And the judges for this year’s InterTech awards thought so too.

Setting Yourself Apart Through Technology Part 2

Published September 28, 2012

The Fuji J Press 720 was the only inkjet press to win an InterTech award for 2012. As with any piece of equipment the market and needs of the customer should dictate the piece of equipment. This press allows for an easy integration into the offset environment due to its hybrid nature and use of existing bindery equipment.

Setting Yourself Apart Through Technology

Published September 4, 2012

Food packaging safety is become a more prominent area in the United States. Insuring that chemicals and odors do not penetrate the package is of great importance to the end customer. Sun Chemical has designed a system of products and procedures to do this.

Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Published July 23, 2012

Steven Covey died recently. He helped people be more effective by helping them develop a set of Habits based on principles. Start with an end in mind and then create personal and interpersonal habits to help you get what you want effectively.

Look Before You Leap

Published June 25, 2012

Developing a business plan focused on the needs of your market is more critical now than ever to help you stay in business. Rapid advances in technology give you more options on how to grow and take your business forward. Equipment and service decisions need to be driven by your market needs – not your competition.

Who Makes Your Purchasing Decisions?

Published May 25, 2012

Organizations have reduced staff due to a drop in sales and the recession. How is purchasing structured in your organization? Now is the time to review your structure, personnel and process for purchasing in your organization and set your objectives.

Everything you wanted to know about UV Lamps

Published May 7, 2012

UV curing technology is seeing increased use in the printing industry, primarily for inks and coatings. UV lamps are a high performance component of the drying system. Proper maintenance as well as shopping around for sources can help you get the most from these systems.

Are You Having Fun Yet!

Published March 6, 2012

Printers are facing an increasing number of challenges due to rapid changes in the economy, technology and the marketplace. It is easy to get mired in viewing these changes as negative and the demise of an industry. However, for this article I will focus on the positive side of these changes.

Pressroom Chemistry Gets Green

Published January 10, 2012

As printing companies move towards environmentally friendly processes and products they must sort through the misinformation in the marketplace. This article helps to educate the printer on what to look for in pressroom chemistry.

Environmental Aspects of Printing Inks

Published November 7, 2011

As printing companies move towards environmentally friendly processes and products they must sort through the misinformation in the marketplace. This article helps to educate the printer on what to look for in printing ink.

Looking Back on Graph Expo 2011

Published October 17, 2011

Graph Expo is an important event to our industry. In the last few years the show has evolved to address industry changes and economic conditions. Today Graph Expo is more valuable than ever as a place to interact with peers and determine where our industry is headed.

Models for Change Part 2

Published August 26, 2011

In part two I look at how manroland and xpedx are working to increase revenues and better position themselves for the future. The ideas of expanding product lines and forming strategic alliance are both reviewed, along with ways to bring new products and services to market.

Models for Change Part One

Published August 1, 2011

Printers are faced with unprecedented change in the industry. Each company is examining their own strategy for meeting these challenges. Industry suppliers are facing the same issues. This article looks at how an industry supplier is changing to meet the challenge. These strategies can provide models for change in your company.

Where do we go from here?

Published July 5, 2011

Rapid changes in communication technology have forced printers and print suppliers to examine their overall strategy and positioning in the marketplace. By focusing on shared value, companies and communities can prosper together.

Printing Industry Suppliers Work to be Green

Published May 13, 2011

Printing industry suppliers have worked hard to introduce products to be more environmentally friendly. A number of suppliers are also working to lessen their environmental impact in manufacturing and distribution. Here are a few of the many examples of how industry suppliers are practicing good environmental stewardship.

Paper is Getting a Bad Rap Part 2; What can you do?

Published April 14, 2011

This is a follow up to last month’s article, “Paper is Getting a Bad Rap”. It focuses on what individuals and organizations are doing to help clear up some of the misinformation surrounding paper and print.

Paper is Getting a Bad Rap

Published March 18, 2011

We have all seen the words at the bottom of the email “Save a tree – Don’t print this”. Paper is getting a bad rap and it is important that we communicate the positive aspects of paper. Domtar and other industry members have been working to educate the public on paper use and its impact. This article summarizes some of the key issues.

Differentiation through large format presses

Published February 16, 2011

This article examines how to differentiate your printing company through the use of large format press equipment. It looks at how large format presses can create a competitive advantage for your company. Costs associated with moving to large format press equipment are also considered.

Tips for Improving Operations in the New Year

Published January 14, 2011

This article includes tips for saving money and improving your operational excellence by using all your resources – especially your vendors. Areas covered include: consumables, freight, paper, and recycled waste. By picking one or two of these ideas you can improve your operation and lower your costs.

Evaluating the Total Cost of Ownership

Published December 10, 2010

Even if you know the price of new equipment, do you really know the total cost? We show you the questions you should be asking to get a comprehensive picture of what your total cost of ownership looks like.

The Paper Chase

Published October 29, 2010

Planning for paper is one of the most important factors when running a print shop. Getting a read on the current state of the printing industry though, can feel like firing at a moving target. John Braceland tries to simplify your paper planning process and point your team in the right direction.

Maximizing Your Recycled Waste Revenue

Published June 22, 2010

The print industry keeps growing more competitive, and finding new revenue streams can be difficult to find. An often-overlooked area to increase your profits is recycled waste. John Braceland takes you through a thorough review of your recycling process to help you determine if you can’t squeeze a little more revenue out of the trash.

The Buck Stops Here - Managing Your Purchasing

Published June 11, 2010

As the Manager of a purchasing cooperative I get to see firsthand how many different printing companies manage their purchasing decisions. Companies that don’t manage this critical area don’t stay in business. Although some companies do a good job, I find that old habits die hard.

Getting the Most Out of Vendor Relationships

Published April 30, 2010

There are many important relationships in business. Certainly, the customer relationship is critical. The employer - employee relationship is a key one as well. But one that is sometimes overlooked is the vendor relationship. At one time vendor relationships were seen as adversarial. Less was more when revealing information to your vendor about your operation. Then, when it came time to negotiate price, each side's goal was to get as much as possible.

Bundling - Know What It’s Costing You

Published March 26, 2010

Bundling is a popular way to sell more products or services. You, as a buyer, hope that the extra money spent delivers a bargain. Just make sure to keep your eyes open!

Freight: Additional Profit Opportunities

Published February 23, 2010

Most companies do a reasonably good job controlling costs in the outbound freight area. This responsibility usually rests in the shipping department, where shippers take pride in getting the lowest price. However, there are ways to lower your freight costs which may be overlooked.

Are You Utilizing All Your Purchasing Options?

Published January 15, 2010

At one time, size was the primary means for independent printing companies to gain leverage in the purchasing arena.  Few other options were available.  Today, however, companies can maximize their profitability in a variety of ways.  Here are a few ideas...