WhatTheyThink

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Interviews with Industry Executives, Commentary & Analysis from WhatTheyThink Contributors and other video features.

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Frank Flexes

While at PRINTING United, Frank stopped by the Kodak booth and was impressed by Kodak and Uteco’s development of an inkjet technology that can print on flexible film. He was especially impressed by the quality of the fleshtones—one of the limitations of flexography was its shortcomings in being able to print photorealistic images. He thinks that inkjet is now able to challenge flexography for certain jobs. He is also predicting that drupa will be the “Inkjet On Anything” show. Watch Video

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Siris Executive Al Zollar Shares Thoughts About EFI Acquisition

Al Zollar, Executive Partner at private equity firm Siris and a 34-year veteran of IBM, attended EFI Connect 2020 and took the time to share his thoughts about the event, the industry, and the EFI acquisition overall. Watch Video

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The Importance of Customer Obsession

EFI's Chief Revenue Officer Frank Mallozzi shares his thoughts about leveling up from thinking about the customer experience beyond simply customer satisfaction to building a culture of customer obsession. He explains some of the impact and effect this approach has had on EFI's customer community. Watch Video

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FASTSIGNS Intl. Celebrates 35 Years

Kelley Holmes talks to Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS Intl., at the FASTSIGNS Convention in Phoenix, Ariz. FASTSIGNS is celebrating its 35th anniversary, and this year’s event is the largest they have had yet, with 166 vendors, larger than any regional sign show. The event showcased new products and technologies FASTSIGNS franchisees can offer.  Watch Video

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Warren Werbitt Says, “Awesome Company! The People Are Even More Awesome!”

WhatTheyThink's print evangelist Warren Werbitt visits Taylor Printing Group in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and talks to CEO Scott Williams about Taylor’s recent acquisition of Halifax’s Bounty Print Limited. The acquisition was a journey for Taylor, and Williams talks about some of the challenges, as well as the reasons for, and the mutual benefits of, the acquisition. Watch Video

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EFI CEO Jeff Jacobson Shares Thoughts on Building for Success

EFI Connect 2020 is the 21st edition of this users group event. As new EFI CEO, Jeff Jacobson explains the event theme: "The Now and Future Pendulum," as well as the importance of a "stratactical" approach to business. Watch Video

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Paper Handling Solutions Identifies Customer Needs

Kris Oosterling of Paper Handling Solutions talks to Kelley Holmes about the evolution of the company, from what had been a traditional finishing equipment dealer to a more consultative solutions provider, helping customers navigate changes in the printing landscape. Watch Video

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Get It Now Print Streamlines Its Workflow

From 20 jobs per day to 100, Get It Now Print has increased production and their customer base with the help of EFI’s Fiery Workflow solution. Simple, efficient, and agile, Fiery automation can help your print business get more work out the door. Watch Video

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Frank Makes Book(s)

Frank talks about his three latest books which essentially comprise a history of his years in the industry—a personal, yet encyclopedic trilogy that covers the history of hot metal, the phototypesetting era, and desktop publishing. Watch Video

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David Gross of Conde Systems Explains How Easy and Affordable It Is to Enter the Product Decoration Market with Heat Transfer Dye Sublimation

David Gross of Conde Systems explains how his passion for heat transfer dye sublimation has grown into a highly diverse business that provides everything customers need to decorate just about any product, not only creating and producing items but helping them with marketing strategies as well. Users can enter this market with a minimal investment. Watch Video

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Warren Werbitt Says “I Just Don’t Understand It”

WhatTheyThink's print evangelist Warren Werbitt talks about the only thing there is to talk about: the proposed HP-Xerox merger: “Terrible! Terrible! Terrible!” The industry can’t afford to lose another player. And an $11 billion company making a play to take over a $35 billion company? “I just don’t understand it.” Who is the only one who is going to win? Follow the money. How many jobs will be lost? And what about the customers? Warren struggles to make sense of this. Watch Video

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Heidelberg Gears Up for drupa

Sonja Mechling, Chief Marketing Officer for Heidelberg, talks to Cary Sherburne about Heidelberg’s plans for drupa 2020, which include artificial intelligence (AI) applications to help improve productivity, as well as its digital solutions. Watch Video

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ColorZone’s Joshua Feller Is a Technology Early Adopter

Cary Sherburne talks to Joshua Feller, owner of ColorZone. Feller bought ColorZone 15 years ago and began to acquire wide-format equipment—as much as $8 million worth—in order to reduce the amount of work he had to outsource. An early adopter of printing technologies, he has expanded from wide-format to label printing, which has proven highly successful Watch Video

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The Typewriter Revolution

Frank visits with Tom Furrier of Cambridge Typewriter in Arlington, Mass., one of the last typewriter repair services in New England. Over the past 15 years, he has seen a resurgence of interest in mechanical (but not electric) typewriters—in particular among young people. His business is booming; his repair services have a two-month backlog. Watch Video

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drupa Preview: Front-End Trends

Wim Fransen, General Manager of Enfocus, talks to David Zwang about some of the major trends he has been seeing as we head toward drupa, including the emergence of faster technologies, the need to handle shorter job runs with faster turnaround times, and new front-end solutions that bridge the gap between job entry, MIS, and prepress. Watch Video

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Warren Werbitt Says, “Happy New Year!”

WhatTheyThink's print evangelist Warren Werbitt wishes everyone a Happy New Year, and follows up on his previous video about FSC and SFI chain of custody certification programs. He has vowed to investigate these programs further and uncover what the true benefits are, what the expectations are, and how audit fees can be lowered. Also: Warren shows off his drupa press pass. Watch Video

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ColorKarma: Making it Easier for Designers and Producers to Communicate

Shoshana Burgett discusses why she founded ColorKarma: to help improve communications between designers and producers, who often speak different "languages." She also aims to make it easier for designers to connect with producers across a wide range of physical product types. Watch Video

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S-One Labels & Packaging Working to Help the Flexible Packaging Industry Address Its Digital Transformation

Ralph Giammarco, Vice President at S-One Labels & Packaging, discusses the similarities of the analog-to-digital transformation in flexible packaging to the sign industry's transformation. Digital now comprises 1% to 2% of flexible packaging, and Giammarco estimates growth to a double-digit share over the next few years and delivering a more sustainable product. Watch Video

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Frank's Reading Rainbow

Frank is in a colorful mood this week, reporting on some color-related stories that caught his eye. First, Opaque Couché is declared the World’s ugliest color, for some reason, and in 1692, more than 200 years before PANTONE, an artist described every color imaginable—and even assigned them numbers. He also exposes “The Secret Lives of Color” via a recent book by Kassia St. Clair that traces the history of every color. Watch Video

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People Love Embellishments—But Often Fear Them

Trish Witkowski, Chief Fold Fanatic for Fold Factory, talks to David Zwang about “embellishments”—people love them, but are often scared of them. There is a perception that “special effects” are only for special projects, and embellishment examples are often highly elaborate and aspirational. As a result, printers don’t often see how embellishments can be scaled down and used for more day-to-day print applications. Watch Video