In today’s printing industry, uncertainty is the rule rather than the exception. Citing Eric Ries’ New York Times Bestseller entitled The Lean Startup, this article explores how print service providers can leverage the advice in this book.
At the SGIA Expo in Orlando several weeks ago, EFI garnered a Product of the Year award for its GS Pro-TF thermoforming system. Interstate Graphics Inc. (IGI), based in Machesney Park, Ill.—just outside Rockford—was the first company to install the GS Pro-TF.
Graphics Canada is held every two years and celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To mark this milestone, says Dan Mustata, show manager for Graphics Canada, “we’ve brought together more features, more conferences, and more colocated events than ever.”
Minneapolis-based John Roberts has installed the first 7-color HP Indigo 10000 digital press in North America. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with CEO Michael Keene to delve into why the company made this decision and what they expect to achieve going forward.
Embracing a vertical market approach offers a number of benefits to the marketing and operations sides of a business. This article outlines the benefits of vertical marketing and explores how MSP Digital is profiting from this approach.
It’s less about belts and gears and more about software,” says Ron Diaz, press operator at Secaucus, N.J.’s Strategic Content Imaging (SCI), summing up what he sees as one of the primary differences between digital production inkjet and traditional offset printing. “We have to move four gigabytes of data in a very short period of time.
Web-to-Print is a concept that has grown rapidly, right along with the internet and e-commerce in general, and represents an efficient and effective way for printers to interact with customers and partners as they plan and execute print jobs. From submission, to online prepress previews and reviews, all the way to production, web-to-print enables customers and printers to use a variety of tools and rich user interfaces to produce impressive results.
When Walter Payne entered the printing business from another career, he knew he’d want to do more than printing. Today, his company is so multi-functional that Kodak is using part of the plant as a demo facility for some of its most advanced digital production technologies.
A recent Scanbuy report indicates that mobile barcode marketing continues to attract a global crowd of consumers as well as leading brands. This article provides key takeaways from Scanbuy’s study and discusses the ways in which QR codes are being used to make a difference.
At the beginning of day one of the SGIA Expo, SGIA President Michael Robertson had announced a pre-registered attendee count of around 21,000. By Friday morning, the third and final day of the Expo, the count had topped 22,400.
Postal rates in the United States are going up again. I think it’s pretty safe to assume that wherever you are, they have done the same or will in the near future. That is a bigger deal for some than for others.
For those in the direct mail business, for companies that mail transactional statements, and for print providers that serve those industries, it is a really big deal.
The announcement of the intent on the part of RR Donnelley to acquire Consolidated Graphics sent a few shock waves through the industry. What will it mean for the 70+ CGX locations and its more than 5,000 employees?
Last Friday, Landa announced a strategic relationship with Komori for the manufacture of the transport systems for all of Landa’s sheetfed systems, the first being the S10FC. Kevin spoke with Benny to get a bit more information on this topic.
I recently joined about 30 of my press and analyst colleagues at a media event held at Screen USA headquarters in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Parent company Dainippon Screen celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. Screen USA used the event as an opportunity to bring the press and analyst community up to date on its latest product offerings with a peek into its strategic future. Is there a new trend here among Japanese companies in our industry?
Eighteen months is a long time in the world of politics, consumer electronics, the growth of an infant and the gain or decline of a 401K but in the development of digital printing solutions for folding cartons that time is not so long at all.
Newspapers and the companies that publish them are facing a fundamental business transformation. The ways people choose to get their news have changed a lot in the last four centuries, so publishers have had to adapt to those changes and embrace new opportunities in news delivery to uncover different opportunities for revenue sources.
Seismic shifts have left marketing executives in a very different landscape from what they faced just a few years ago. Savvy print service providers must assess how they can fit in the continuum of today’s more lucrative marketing value chain.
Over the last few days, I've been asked more than a dozen times for my take on RR Donnelley’s pending acquisition of Consolidated Graphics (CGX). Frankly, I have been surprised by the number of people who found the announcement puzzling. And most of the speculation has suggested that it’s purely a defensive move on RRD’s part in the face of declining industry sales volume.
Dainippon Screen wants to be a major part of the conversation about the rise of inkjet and the fall of old assumptions about print production. But, as inkjet comes to the fore, the conversation could get uncomfortably blunt for some.
Digital textile printing began in earnest in the 1990s, but technology, market, and supply chain challenges have kept it from going truly mainstream. However, all of these challenges—technology, market, and even supply chain—are gradually being overcome, and digital textile printing.
Companies of all types are increasing their budgets for blogs, whitepapers, videos, Webinars, and other types of content marketing campaigns. This article examines how service providers are using social media across a number of platforms to effectively share content and differentiate their businesses in the eyes of their customers.
In Esquire's October issue, I read a quote from Arthur Miller that reminded me of the publishing industry in general, and of my experience at PRIMEX last week. "Fear, like love, is difficult to explain after it has subsided, probably because it draws away the veils of illusion as it disappears."
David looks at Marketing Campaign process automation. This is a new and interesting area that can help support a Print Service Provider transformation into a Marketing Services Provider business model, and potentially integrate into an automated print production workflow.
Social networks, communities, blogs, forums, and friends/followers are useful from a brand-building and marketing perspective. This article explores some of the ways that print service providers are building out their business-to-business social strategies.
When I interview print sales representatives and ask them why their customers do business with them, they almost always say because we have a great relationship, our service is great, and our people are great. Relationship selling is a very common way to sell.
New York City-based RICG recently rebuilt its Website, and the company is clearly optimized to appeal to B2B marketing executives. This article covers the key areas that RICG addressed during its quest to make a good B2B Web presence a reality.
Half of the printing companies that were in business in 1995 are gone. We are losing 1,000 to 1,500 more per year. And…since those firms are gone, i.e., they didn’t survive; it seems likely that they failed to change in some way that might have led to their survival.
A first sales call is a make-or-break situation that only happens once. Prospects expect sales people to show up PREPARED and understand their unique needs. This article offers practical steps to harness Internet resources to learn a prospect’s business, marketplace, and key pain points.
At PRINT 13, Neopost USA unveiled an interesting cloud-based Delivery Preference Manager (DPM) solution designed to help companies manage customer delivery preferences. A little over a year after Neopost S.A.’S acquisition of GMC Software Technology, we checked in with Dennis P. LeStrange President & CEO of Neopost USA to find out more about DPM, what else is new at Neopost and look into the impact of the GMC acquisition.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend a major printing trade show in Chicago—you may have been there as well. A quick take on the show is that it was well-executed and well-attended, but smaller than we’ve come to think the quadrennial Print event should be.
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.
There is a lot of talk in the printing industry about transforming and changing business models based on new technologies. Luke Williams’s book Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business offers a five-stage process for practicing the disruptive thinking needed to facilitate change. This article highlights key points in the book and real-world examples of printing firms disrupting the status quo.
With run sizes per print job going down and the variety of labels going up, new solutions are needed to supply label printers an affordable, efficient option. The concept of using the Internet as a custom printing-enablement tool is based on a high degree of automation coupled with the benefits of digital color printing
The default for decades has been, when you want to communicate something (a marketing message, information, education, compliance message, etc.) you contacted your printer and discussed the timeframe, manufacturing specifications, and quantities. Printers could be passive
In this article, David looks at many new production workflows solutions that were introduced at Print13 in Chicago. Due to the sheer volume of new announcements, this is Part One of two articles covering this new product review.
Apple unveiled its new flagship device, the iPhone 5S, along with a cheaper model. To the disappointment of many, the devices do not support NFC (near field communications). This article highlights NFC and the alternative Apple is pursing, wireless transmitters called beacons.
No, that title isn’t a typo. Mergers and acquisitions are getting lots of attention again. That means mine will probably be the most contrarian voice on the subject. Over the past 14 years, I’ve watched 8 different deals up close. So let me apologize in advance: I’m not a fan of mergers or acquisitions. Here’s why..
Adobe, MPA, 4As and a group of publishers collaborated to develop a set of metrics to standardize the measurement of engagement for digital publications. Previously there were a variety of inconsistent measurement methodologies with no standard reports and varying metrics. Hear what MPA’s Ethan Grey and Adobe’s Lynly Schambers-Lenox have to say about these new standardized audience metrics for digital publications.
PRINT 13 was held September 6-10 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. This article provides a brief overview of just some of the hardware and software announcements that greeted visitors on the show floor.
The centerpiece of digital production at AGS Print & Marketing Communications is an inkjet web press with a combination of capabilities that the president of the company calls “marketing’s Holy Grail” for print.
On Kodak’s first full day in business after emerging from bankruptcy, Antonio Perez, its chairman and CEO, detailed the company’s plans to rebuild its stature as a supplier of technology solutions in a narrower cross-section of markets than it once served.
Capturing consumers’ attention while they are in a store is critical, and this often involves blending signage with mobile technology. This article discusses some of the ways that today’s retailers are accomplishing this goal.
On September 5th, Adobe announced the Adobe PDF Print Engine 3 (APPE3), bringing significant enhancements to its RIP architecture that enable its OEM partners to stay current with digital printing market demands. WhatTheyThink Senior Editor Cary Sherburne and WhatTheyThink Contributor David Zwang collaborated on this analysis of the anticipated impact of APPE3’s market entry.
The information included in this article is a short summary of the data presented in SGIA’s soon-to-be-released 2013 Market Trends & Product Specialties Benchmarking Report. The data presented is culled from the responses of 136 U.S. sign and graphics producers, and provides an excellent snapshot of the graphics and sign segment today. A full report will be available on SGIA.org later this year.
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.
Resilience and perseverance are crucial behavioral competencies when individuals and organizations must overcome significant obstacles. The capacity to be flexible as well as demonstrate the range of responses to adversity will dramatically impact our level of future success. One of senior management’s responsibilities is to ensure that during these transitional times we surround ourselves with the people that approach these challenges with the most appropriate behavioral competencies.
A number of tools and resources are emerging that help maximize social Web presence, including techniques for rewarding social influencers to promote products and services. This article discusses industry players that are driving customers to become powerful marketing assets.
Stakeholders in the sign and display market can look back on the past 18 months and note solid growth attributed to the steady and measured ascent of digital printing. Globally, we witnessed the continued adoption and embrace of digital as innovative new technologies helped print providers convert analog pages to generate new business and increase opportunities with existing clients.
Outbound marketing is promotion-based; spread the message about my company, my products, and my services to as many people as I can interrupt in the hope that some will find the message relevant. Print examples of this are blasting out huge direct mail campaigns to strangers, newspaper advertisements, and billboards.
Following a recent experience with a personalized video bill from AT&T, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne interviewed SundaySky President and chief revenue officer Jim Dicso to learn more about the company’s operations. SundaySky provides the infrastructure for high volume personalized videos from AT&T, Lenovo, Office Depot and more.
Senior Editor Cary Sherburne recently joined 36 other industry analysts and journalists at a special event at Canon USA’s brand-new Melville NY headquarters located at One Canon Park. Also attending the event were WhatTheyThink’s Frank Romano, Richard Romano, David Zwang and Patrick Henry. Sherburne shares her thoughts about the visit.
Within the last few years we have seen the introduction of two high-speed inkjet technologies aimed at the direct mail space. One is the new high-speed color inkjet presses and the other is high-speed color inkjet heads that can be mounted on existing offset presses.
A number of savvy marketers have transformed large format signage in public locations into virtual shopping centers that are accessible to on-the-go travelers. This article discusses how retailers are leveraging QR codes to bring consumers the ultimate in shopping convenience.
A 2002 Standish Group study of software projects found that 45% of features were never used and only 20% features were used often or always. We base our software investment decisions on the number of features a product has and then we fail to utilize 80% of those features. Does that make sense to anyone?
As the first HP Indigo 30000 units begin to come to market, we are checking in with new owners to see how these B2 sheetfed presses, optimized for folding carton work, will be affecting their converting businesses.
In this article, David looks at cloud-based production management systems, a relatively new concept and product category, what they look like and how they compare to the more conventional workflow management offerings.
Consumers are changing the way that they interact with brands and how they ultimately buy. Service providers that have worked to add cross-media communications to their mix must now assess how they can help marketers deliver an engaging brand experience. This article cites recent research to show how emerging technologies can enhance the consumer experience.
As part of its ongoing philanthropic and community support efforts, Canon Solutions America spearheaded an effort to support Delray Beach’s Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens in the production of a catalog featuring its world-class exhibit of Japanese Kokeshi dolls. Learn how this first-ever digitally printed catalog has opened new doors for the museum.
Multi-Packaging Services, based in New York City, is an early adopter of the HP Indigo 30000 folding carton press. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with them to learn more about why they bought this press and what benefits they expect to gain from adding it to their production portfolio.
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?
To be successful, service providers need to focus on the challenges that keep the world’s CMOs up at night, including the explosion of data, engaging with customers through social media, the proliferation of channels and devices, and changing consumer demographics. This article cites recent market research to discuss how savvy service providers are meeting the changing needs of today’s CMOs.
FESPA is the Federation of European Screen Print Associations. It started as an annual exhibition by Display Graphics, Textile, and Specialist Screen Print suppliers of products for their customers and over time came to include inkjet wide-format print offerings by their various vendors.
In past articles we have brought forward excerpts from a 2012 PRIMIR study that Karstedt Partners was commissioned to write titled Packaging: Evaluation of Vertical Markets & Key Applications. This study was unique to many industry studies in that it looked at the force being placed on Brand Owners, the originator of packaging orders.
Most print service providers are serving the business-to-business market space. These B2B marketers need to target specific audiences with significant sales cycles and price preferences. This article discusses how service providers are evaluating content marketing in their go-to-market strategies.
The challenge of attracting, recruiting, hiring and the on-boarding of talented employees continues to be high on the priority list. How we determine who the most talented candidates are, where we find them, engage them and motivate them to seriously consider our industry for their career path requires a well-executed strategy. And as the workforce transitions from the Baby Boomer generation this process is becoming even more complex.
We collectively make a lot of poor software decisions, according to my very bias and unscientific research we make way more mistakes in this area than we do with other business decisions. What is it about technology that causes a collective brain freeze when it comes to making good decisions?
The HP Indigo 10000 B2 press caused a bit of a stir at drupa 2012. Now, more than a year later, the first sold units are making their way into the marketplace. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne takes a look at two very different installs to see how this new press is fitting in and the impact it might be having on conventional printing technologies.
Dscoop, the Digital Solutions Cooperative, recently appointed Mike Fogarty as its new Global Executive Director to replace long-time Executive Director Eric Hawkinson, now at Canon. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Fogarty to learn more about why he joined the organization and what he expects to achieve there.
In a rapidly changing industry, traditional printers must view the dynamics surrounding the offset-to-digital transition and new media as opportunities for much-needed growth. This article provides an overview of how Snyder Printer, Inc. leveraged digital color technology to improve its market opportunities.
With Print 2013 rapidly approaching, ‘tis the season for product updates, many of which were shown as technology demos or prototypes at drupa 2012. Delphax Elan is one of those products. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with Delphax CEO Dieter Schilling to see what’s new.
Signage and wide format graphics have become an integral part of the marketing mix. This article highlights recent InfoTrends research and also explores how PIP Printing (Peoria, IL) is leveraging wide format to expand its own business opportunities.
Now in its fifth full-year since its introduction, the continuous-feed inkjet printer market shows no signs of maturity. There are few other markets in either the printer segment or consumer electronic segments that continue to show growth after five years. This doesn’t mean that the path forward is lined with rose petals.
With the adoption by Procter & Gamble of PantoneLIVE to better control its iconic library of brand colors throughout the production process, we wondered what that means for the packaging supply chain as a whole. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne talks to Pantone’s Cheryl Johnson to learn more.
AT&T Mobile now features personalized video explaining bills for new customers or those who change their plans. In addition to reducing the call volume at AT&T call centers (a significant reduction in bill-related calls, according to a company blog), it has a real WOW factor, with almost 80% of recipients watching the video all the way through. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne explains.
WhatTheyThink is the global printing industry's leading independent media organization with both print and digital offerings, including WhatTheyThink.com, PrintingNews.com and WhatTheyThink magazine versioned with a Printing News and Wide-Format & Signage edition. Our mission is to provide cogent news and analysis about trends, technologies, operations, and events in all the markets that comprise today’s printing and sign industries including commercial, in-plant, mailing, finishing, sign, display, textile, industrial, finishing, labels, packaging, marketing technology, software and workflow.