Blogs

Be Your Own Bookbinder

You can produce short-run, hardcover orders in-house, and with great quality.

Mardi Gras Capitaine - Leader of Chaos

When disorder breaks out in business, and it’s not contained, it demonstrates poor leadership to employees and customers. Those types of business owners are un-masked and unable to hide from the cost that chaos brings. Our business mission is to teach and coach leaders of industry to STOP the chaos and help them become like the lead conductor over a "symphony of order."

Are You Missing Sales Leads?

There is a chance that a company is upset with you for not getting back to them with information and you have no idea. Why not?

Other Staff Bloggers
Binding and Finishing

You can produce short-run, hardcover orders in-house, and with great quality.

Hardcover book production seemed to be under serious threat not too many years ago.

The manufacture of hard-cover books has never been more advanced or accessible for the average printer.

Business Management

When disorder breaks out in business, and it’s not contained, it demonstrates poor leadership to employees and customers. Those types of business owners are un-masked and unable to hide from the cost that chaos brings. Our business mission is to teach and coach leaders of industry to STOP the chaos and help them become like the lead conductor over a "symphony of order."

There is a chance that a company is upset with you for not getting back to them with information and you have no idea. Why not?

Given the current robust health of the M&A marketplace there’s a good fit out there somewhere for every seller and buyer.

Sales and Marketing

For many, a strategy is developed through trial and error with the goal of significantly improving the top and/or bottom lines. These are worthwhile goals but in this era of nearly ubiquitous products and services, it's wise to engage with clients first before making any changes to your strategy. What follows are three case studies concerning client engagements MarketCues conducted that show how to link customer insights to strategy to win big.

Earlier this year, my partners and I were asked to lead a panel discussion on this topic for an audience of 120 C-level executives. Our research, which includes direct client interactions, Voice of the Customer and Net Promoter Score surveys all indicate that INNOVATION is the #1 desire of end-user customers.

Sustainability

Establishing the exact amount of the CO2 produced by sending an email includes many variables: the energy it takes to move the email across the Internet, process it, view it, store it, reread it and, after some time, delete it. One email may indeed produce an insignificant amount of CO2 but when all those tiny footprints are measured at a global scale, the footprint becomes astonishing in size.

If we are to manage our forests wisely for the benefit of current and future generations, we need to understand the situation of the world’s forests and ongoing trends.

It’s that time of year when we’re all hearing lots of talk about New Year’s resolutions. Whether we keep these resolutions and fulfill our commitments or find them more challenging than expected, it is still a good idea to assess our habits, decisions and practices, and ask how we can bring about the most positive and widespread benefit to our world. We all want our legacy to tip the scales to the good.

Workflow/Web-to-Print

There are still a few more items in the Workflow Quiz to work through before we can say that every stone has been turned over in the quest for optimization and documentation. In this segment it’s time to look at what processes you have that might qualify as islands of automation that should be linked together.

Touch points are the discrete processes required to move a job through the workflow.

In this series we are looking at the world of workflow. Based on your feedback it is a hot topic, especially during the budgeting season. One thing that emerged from the conversations is that we are all using the word workflow, but we don’t all mean the same thing.

Production Inkjet Printing

Maybe it was the mountain air. But seeing cool technology for print and direct mail can leave you a little breathless.

We were in Japan last month, and as luck would have it, we were there at the same time that Komori held an open house to showcase its newest digital print solutions. This international event took place at Komori’s facility in Tsukuba, Japan, and drew hundreds of attendees from all over the Asia Pacific region. It also provided the opportunity to showcase its Impremia IS29, a B2-format, sheetfed, UV inkjet printer.

Last week I went to Boca Raton, Fla., for the 2016 thINK Conference. The sessions that I attended were well done and thought provoking.

Mergers and Acquisitions

It looked like a good fit. The seller, unfortunately, didn’t see it that way.

As a trade association president, I knew that one of my most important jobs was to offer our members a friendly, well informed, third-party perspective on strategic business issues. Today, our New Direction Partners clients want the same thing: not just information about the mechanics of M&As, but also a genuine understanding of the industry and the mindsets of the people who own those companies.

For many years, I had the privilege of serving in leadership positions with Printing Industries of New England (PINE), the largest printing trade association in the Northeast. Then as now, I was greatly impressed by the resiliency of our members and their ability to adapt to changing business circumstances.

Wide-format Digital Printing

It’s no surprise to see wide-format shops attracting their fair share of attention in the M&A marketplace. We’ve represented a number of them as sellers in transactions this year, and they make an interesting contrast with our commercial printing and packaging clients.

No one predicted that wide-format inkjet would open a new market for printers for signage, vehicle wraps, building wraps, back drops, and more. Go back and look. The first wide-format printers were introduced as proofers for color printing. As Benny Landa has said: anything that can go digital will go digital. That is why the growth markets are packaging and new media — and by media I mean new substrates.

On July 1st, EFI made two announcements: One was the acquisition of the Israeli Matan Digital Printer, and the second was the acquisition of Reggiani Macchine. Both acquisitions are part of EFI’s stated strategy to invest and grow its product portfolio in adjacent markets and technologies.

Productivity/Process Improvement

Businesses with beautiful showrooms, great quality and service, with a recognizable logo and brand colors are usually well-known, successful franchises. These type businesses have an X-factor, those unseen investments that are actually invisible to their customers. However, if you are a professional observer, like myself, it's only natural that you’ve developed a kind of X-ray Vision, to see these invisible investments.

One of the great lessons I’ve learned from having three business careers, and years of watching the "Phantom" in action is, that with almost every pivot I made in business, the change paid a dividend.

"Leaders are born, not made," some say. In some cases, that may be true. But, in my three careers, what I have witnessed is: Leadership is learned and developed. It's a DECISION to step up in a lead position! There's hope...

Mailing/Postal

In 2016, mailing list gaffes simply shouldn’t happen. But one might have cost the University of Michigan a prized football recruit.

Households with incomes above $100,000 receive three times as many periodicals as households earning less than $35,000.

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Japs-Olson of Minneapolis—a printer that can trace its roots all the way back to 1907! Japs-Olson embodies the lean manufacturing approach to today's direct mail. What I saw was a "holistic" integrated process. Japs-Olson is capable of sending more than four million pieces a day into the USPS mail stream. To do this efficiently, you need critical thinking to be applied at every stage of the process.

Consumables

Quick! Name two consumables that are indispensable to operation in the bindery. If you named adhesives as one, you'd be on the mark. But...if you included knives, (yes, they are a consumable), you would be quite savvy. Cutting and trimming are part of almost every finishing operation. And the quality of those cuts are essential to the quality of the finished product.

Adhesives are widely used in finishing, this includes perfect binding, folding, mailing, and folding carton applications. And coatings and various chemical solutions are used in the digital print process to both enhance image quality and make the paper more "finishing-friendly." Both chemistry and environmental control have a lot to do with systems performance.

Digital printing has thrown a curve at both coating and film systems manufacturers due to the surface properties of many toner printed pieces. These make it difficult for many films and coatings to properly adhere to the substrate.

Color/Quality Control

Whether it's uncoated, coated, gloss or matte, every sheet reacts differently on-press. That’s the reason why our industry has developed sets of guidelines and recommendations to help print buyers, designers, and specifiers work more effectively with their print suppliers.

A new Pantone book is not only there in case your issue has faded or to update you on the new colors Pantone has added...Pantone reserves the right to adjust some of your tried-and-true colors from year to year. I learned this the hard way on a press check a few years ago when my printer’s PMS 362 did not match mine.

Sabine’s out-of-town client, a very sophisticated direct marketing agency, had examined the press okay process, jettisoned accepted assumptions, and along the way demolished the model entirely. Air travel, hotels, loupe, D50 lighting, heck, even dots. Who needs any of it?

Sheetfed Offset Printing

In a sense, Berlin Industries was once the king of Chicago. Last week, the remaining assets were auctioned off. If you were there, you could have purchased a Heidelberg Sunday M3000 five-unit web press for a mere $47,000.

The 150 VIP attendees at Heidelberg’s recent President’s event witnessed a mix of high and low energy. The “high” was a kickoff tribute dinner for former president Jim Dunn; the “low” was an educational program focusing on low-energy UV printing.

UV Offset Printing

We were told upon the arrival of the sales and tech rep from the roller manufacturer that the $30,000 worth of rollers that were previously ordered and installed by my client were not compatible with full UV inks.

Starting out with the topic of LED UV, Steve Metcalf and Jon Graunke gave an update on where this new technology is currently and where it’s going. They noted that AMS successfully installed its first production unit in Japan on a four-over-four machine last fall, with more units to be installed here in the states this year.

With yet another sold-out conference last week, Print UV 2011 opened with a record audience count. The attendee list included almost 170 participants with representatives from more than 60 individual printing companies, along with some of the leading vendors.