Commentary: The Benefits of EFI's MarketDirect Cross-Media Software

EFI recently released a significant rewrite and enhancement to the Direct Smile platform and has named it MarketDirect Cross Media.

Hunter Versus Farmer: Why You Are Doing Your Salesforce a Disservice

Time and time again we speak with sales leaders who refer to their salesforce as “hunters” and “farmers.” I believe these are outdated, over-simplistic stereotypes designed to drive the wrong behavior.

Do You Spend 3 Days a Month Leaving Voicemails?

You are highly likely to spend three solid days every month leaving messages. What follows are several alternatives to Voicemails.

Other Staff Bloggers

EFI recently released a significant rewrite and enhancement to the Direct Smile platform and has named it MarketDirect Cross Media.

When you properly plan a personalized variable data workflow, you will have integrated software, press, and finishing in a workflow where there is accountability and verification at every step in the process. Which is surely what you will need for success.

Did you now that Lean Management has over a 90% failure rate?  Likewise, 45% of features in Job Shop Management Software goes totally unused. In fact, another 19% of a software’s features are rarely used, resulting in a 64% under-utilization ratio. These failure rates, of utilizing and sustaining business processes, reminds me of a conversation I had with a large publishing company CEO.

Business Management

Time and time again we speak with sales leaders who refer to their salesforce as “hunters” and “farmers.” I believe these are outdated, over-simplistic stereotypes designed to drive the wrong behavior.

You are highly likely to spend three solid days every month leaving messages. What follows are several alternatives to Voicemails.

Identifying the leaders in your organization or hiring them is important today and for the long term. As much as some of us believe we can or have to do it all ourselves, the hard truth is without a strong team, you’ve got a weakened business - even if you’re making money. Who will be your successor?


Digital cutters have revolutionized the wide-format print sector, capable of producing almost any shape you can imagine from a flat sheet. But, it turns out that about half of all wide-format work involves simple squares and rectangles, meaning complex cutters may not be the ideal solution.

A few weeks ago, I reported on Muller Martini assuming much of Kolbus' perfect binding and hard-cover systems portfolio. So, I thought I would provide an update. Both firms are giants in the postpress field, with many, many years of history of providing continuous bindery innovation. When you think about it, this was inevitable.

Recent surveys indicate that a majority of printing plant spending in 2018 will be on finishing. That makes perfect sense. The number of new products introduced for digital print has been dizzying. Advances in inkjet are enabling this technology to address an ever-wider segment of print. Inkjet is being used for higher-volume runs, as well as longer duty cycles of upwards of one hundred million pages per month.

Digital Printing - Production Inkjet

Companies watching for installations of single-pass printers for corrugated, learned of another customer for the EFI Nozomi this month.

HP Inc. held its Power of Print analyst briefing on June 15th at its headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., to update the printing industry on its strategy and key initiatives. While there was essentially no new news, what was clear is that HP is building momentum as a leaner and more focused company nearly a year after its separation.

I was fortunate to be invited by Pitney Bowes to attend their annual Innovation Summit, at which over 100 of their clients attend to share experiences, discuss best practices, and get to see and experience new technologies and products and services all in one day. I always jump at the chance to participate in events like this for several reasons.

Digital Printing - Toner

The grapevine has been ripe the past weeks, but now the news is finally out. Fujifilm has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the majority holding of Xerox Corporation and will merge Fuji Xerox with Xerox.

With Canon’s announcement of the Océ VarioPrint 6000 Titan, it’s a good time to revisit the cut-sheet monochrome digital market.

A financial analyst who specializes in the printing industry recently speculated that “the…


So, I was doing some weekend planning on Friday when an email arrived in my inbox with the simple subject line “WOW!” Who could resist opening such a message? The announcement was that Muller Martini was effectively taking over the perfect binding and bookline business of Kolbus.

The education segment has been the subject of a push by various test producing firms to ditch the printed test booklet and go digital.

As we approach Christmas, Don Piontek is feeling more optimistic than ever about print and print finishing.


Because direct mail is the little engine that could for your marketing funnel, it can sustain you through troubled times. Direct mail

When done correctly, direct mail can be a very cost-effective way to reach targeted prospects and customers. Your return on investment

The Postal Regulatory Commission is proposing that publishers’ postal rates increase by an estimated average of 34% to 41%.

Digital Printing - Wide Format

In a short period of time, Ricoh has built an impressive portfolio of high-speed rollfed inkjet presses and cut-sheet toner presses, software, plus a line of services that include color management and workflow analysis. Ricoh continues to invest in this market.

During the One Canon press/analyst event (March 7-9) in Boca Raton, Fla., Canon unveiled worldwide the Colorado 1640 and Mal Baboyian, Senior VP of Canon U.S.A.’s Business Imaging Solutions Group for Océ Product Marketing and Support, thinks it is Océ’s most important wide-format graphic arts product introduction in 25 years.

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.

Data Management

Last week I went to a NAPCO conference in New York City called DigiPub. Its advertised mission…

With the new generation of finishing systems, connectivity has become a big selling point. Given the shift to shorter runs, machine availability, makeready time, and productivity are all critical to profits. So, accurate metrics have become more important than ever.

Smart Data brings you the specific information you need using benchmarked and correlated analytics compared against your company’s specific business strategy. The result is a curated set of smarter data that can be used in every day strategy executions.

Training and Education

What a dazzling showcase the 2017 SGIA Expo was.

So, why did I title this small piece “bragging rights?” Well, when we (IBIS) attended the awards dinner on Wednesday at our first Inkjet Summit, it turned out that we had been nominated for the best case study in the publishing segment. We didn’t WIN, mind you, but we got a nomination, in company with some of the biggest industry vendors. It was a great way to end our first Inkjet Summit.

Dscoop is part tradeshow and part education event, with an agenda that included A-List keynotes and mentalist Lior Suchard as emcee. The sessions were the expected array of customer success stories, successful selling solutions and product reviews, but there were also a variety of sessions covering finishing, packaging and 3D printing.

Offset Printing

OK, I digress from my usual finishing tech. discussion this week. Although I’m on the digital finishing side, I spent enough time in the high-volume offset world to become quite familiar with publication, periodical and catalog production.

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.

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.

Consumables - Paper

Designers are visual people and the best way to teach a visual person is to show them. What follows are 10 ways you can use your smartphone to reach out to your designer clients, add value to your company website and make life easier for yourself.

Concerned about all of that paper we’re writing and printing on, the Yadong Yin research group at University California Riverside decided to come up with a substrate that could be “written" on, and subsequently erased, through a variety of methods. This piqued my interest.

A multi-country survey on "The Attractiveness and Sustainability of Print and Paper" was conducted in June 2016 by global polling firm Toluna Inc. and showed some positive results on how people perceive and use print and paper. In general, there was a preference for print on paper across all age groups, likely indicating a more fundamental and more human way that people react to the physicality of print on paper.

Interactive Print

On Thursday May 11, around 150 Konica Minolta production print users gathered in Vienna for a day of presentations at the inaugural meeting of PROKOM, the Konica Minolta user community. With the focus, at least at first, on users of cut-sheet light to mid-production color and black-and-white digital print, the opportunity for PROKOM is unlike many other user groups, which tend to focus on higher levels of production.

Advertising media, interactive displays, product labeling and packaging, security—all are perfect playgrounds for NFC technology. Yes, some of the marketing applications are similar to QR codes, but without the ugly square that has been driving design-minded folks crazy for years.

Some marketers want to use technology whether it makes sense—and thus provides a good user experience—or not. A good user experience takes work. Lots of work. It has to be planned and executed well.

Digital Printing - Digital Offset

What follows is an interview with Rosemarie Breske Garvey, VP at Blooming Color in Lombard, Ill. Blooming Color is doing some pretty spectacular work beyond traditional four-color printing and I wanted to learn more.

A young designer I spoke to the other day was very frank about the fact that she did not like digital printing because you could only print on white paper. Granted there are some print providers that prefer to print on white coated stock all day long (digital or offset, it does not matter to them). And these few give our whole industry a bad reputation.

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.

Consumables - General

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.

Consumables - Ink

The fifth housing station in the upgraded Xerox 800i/1000i series can now also deliver metallic inks: gold and silver.

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?