Blogs

These Boots are Made for Walkin'

As some of you may know, the whole Mallozzi circus (and thusly Success.In.Print as well) is pulling up stakes early next week. We will be relocating the whole shebang to Connecticut. Chicago’s loss is the East Coast’s gain.

Just When You Thought Loyalty Was Dead...

Print service providers are given the opportunity to earn the trust of designers every day, by doing their homework and listening to the needs and ambitions of their customers.

Don't Tap Dance Around Bad News

Being upfront with your print customers usually works best. If a proof is running late, or a delivery date can't realistically be met, or that special paper hasn't yet arrived, don’t hide it. Tell your customers. They’d rather find out there’s a potential complication and hear how you’re resolving it than find out after the fact that you knew all the while there was trouble brewing.

Other Staff Bloggers
Sales and Marketing
These Boots are Made for Walkin'
Kelly Mallozzi

As some of you may know, the whole Mallozzi circus (and thusly Success.In.Print as well) is pulling up stakes early next week. We will be relocating the whole shebang to Connecticut. Chicago’s loss is the East Coast’s gain.

Don't Tap Dance Around Bad News
Margie Dana

Being upfront with your print customers usually works best. If a proof is running late, or a delivery date can't realistically be met, or that special paper hasn't yet arrived, don’t hide it. Tell your customers. They’d rather find out there’s a potential complication and hear how you’re resolving it than find out after the fact that you knew all the while there was trouble brewing.

A Sales Lesson Worth Repeating
Bill Farquharson

Back in the day, a framed sign hung in the lobby of a book printer in Baltimore. It’s words embodied the thinking of a different era. In this week’s blog by Bill Farquharson, a message from the past is renewed and a sales lesson worth repeating gets repeated.

Consumables
Just When You Thought Loyalty Was Dead...
Sabine Lenz

Print service providers are given the opportunity to earn the trust of designers every day, by doing their homework and listening to the needs and ambitions of their customers.

 

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

 
2015 Film Fest Calendar (Video)
Sabine Lenz

Lights! Camera! Design! This holiday calendar gift from Taylor Design sets an identity-packed scene with engaging script, brilliant paper plotting and thrilling illustrations.

Binding/Finishing
Attn: Bindroids—I Need Your Feedback!
Don Piontek

Tell me your thoughts and concerns for your finishing operation, and I’ll summarize them all for my follow-up column next week!

 
New Members Join the Digital Postpress Club
Don Piontek

Digital printer vendors have something of a natural preference for running their presses in "print only" mode with nothing extra attached to potentially gum up the works. But the very nature of continuous inkjet (no plates, very short back-to-back runs) argues strongly for integrating finishing so that a complete product can come out the end with little labor involved.

We haven't seen the introduction of new perfect binders from major finishing vendors in some time. But the recent Hunkeler Innovationdays event proved to be the perfect venue to introduce some new technology. Both Muller Martini and Meccanotecnica showcased new perfect binders with new technology in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Business Management

If you have reached a decision to sell, don’t delay setting the process in motion. If selling isn’t yet a step you’re ready to take, keep building your business in ways that will bring you to the attention of the private equity players. They’re attracted to companies that show they aren’t afraid to make the investments that set them apart as leaders of the positive change the industry is undergoing.

For Those Who Have Ears
Philip Beyer

WHY do so many owners choose to endure PAIN on a daily basis? WHAT could I possibly say to convince them, that without written processes for their day-to-day operations, they are doomed to endure longer and longer hours, stress, errors, lost revenue, rework, sleepless nights, tears, internal backbiting, dissatisfied customers—two steps forward and three steps back?

The next time you feel that your jobs are too complex to automate, or that your job mix is too broad to automate, think again. Perhaps you don’t have sufficient volume for it to make sense, but you certainly don’t need to have 1,000 jobs a day to justify it. And if Standard Register can make this work in their high-complexity, high-variety, high-volume world then perhaps something like this could work in yours.

Mergers and Acquisitions

If you have reached a decision to sell, don’t delay setting the process in motion. If selling isn’t yet a step you’re ready to take, keep building your business in ways that will bring you to the attention of the private equity players. They’re attracted to companies that show they aren’t afraid to make the investments that set them apart as leaders of the positive change the industry is undergoing.

For Sellers, the Curtain Rises Once
James Russell

In some ways, owning a printing company you intend to sell is like investing in the stock market. Because the value of what you own can fluctuate unpredictably, waiting for a market "peak" before you act can be a needlessly risky thing to do. It’s better to begin working with your M&A advisor so that when the right offer comes along at the right time, you will be ready.

Pick What You Want—and Go for It
Tom Williams

Knowing from the get-go exactly what you want to accomplish by purchasing another firm puts you in a winning frame of mind and increases the acquisition's likelihood of success. At New Direction Partners, we know that when a prospective buyer comes to us with a clear picture of the kind of company he or she wants to buy, we can zero in that much more quickly on candidates that will be complementary or accretive to the buyer's present business.

Digital Printing

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

The key to making this strategy a success is getting to know your customers as well as you can and then presenting a customer experience of exactly what they have been searching for. The funny thing is, they’ve been listening all along. Marketers need to catch up!

Look Outside Your Own Hula-Hoop
Sabine Lenz

Think outside your own Hula-Hoop; don’t be caught out by your clients knowing more about what is available than you do. We are doing our customers, and our industry, a disservice by claiming something is not available just because we do not offer it.

Inkjet
Peace, Love and, Yes, Printing
Mary Schilling

With no yoga required, you, as a manager, can sense changes in your facility and start a conversation with senior management.

Last week, I participated in the Canon Solutions America anniversary event and had a chance to see, first hand, what they’ve accomplished and where they’re headed. Today, I’m going to write about what Canon Solutions America is doing to drive growth in the inkjet market.

Production Inkjet: Work It Baby
Mary Schilling

Inkjet has created wonderful personalization and marketing options for customers. How does your sales team “work it” to benefit your customers’ marketing message?

Workflow/Web-to-Print

The next time you feel that your jobs are too complex to automate, or that your job mix is too broad to automate, think again. Perhaps you don’t have sufficient volume for it to make sense, but you certainly don’t need to have 1,000 jobs a day to justify it. And if Standard Register can make this work in their high-complexity, high-variety, high-volume world then perhaps something like this could work in yours.

Brazil Makes a Big First Impressão
Nicholas Gawreluk

Greetings from South America! I am spending my summer working for Heidelberg in its lead market, São Paulo, Brazil. Similar to my time with Heidelberg in Germany, I am working within the company’s integrated workflow system, called Prinect.

The Cloud Gets Personal
Julie Shaffer

The “cloud”—once the purview of IT geeks and software developers—has gotten personal. For several years, there’s been a movement to transition software from the desktop or local server to the cloud. One example is Web-to-print software, typically offered as Saas (software-as-a-service).

Sustainability Issues

From working at a computer to socializing, playing games, paying bills, taking notes in class, doing homework, reading books, watching TV and texting, we are all spending an increasing amount of our lives looking at screens. But at what cost to our health?

Despite what many people think, harvesting trees for wood and paper production in a sustainable manner does not cause deforestation. The area occupied by forests in Canada has remained stable over the last two decades while in the United States it increased by 3 percent over the last 60 years.

Most consumers want a paper option for their bills and statements. Like earlier studies carried out in the United States and the United Kingdom, a recent nationwide survey conducted for Two Sides US by the research firm Toluna showed that 64 percent of consumers say they would not choose a company that did not offer a paper bill option and 88 percent want to be able to switch between electronic and paper bills without difficulty or cost.

Market Watch
The End of Trade Shows?
Don Piontek

I don't think the large shows like drupa, Ipex, and GRAPH EXPO will be shutting down any time soon. But we will increasingly see major targeted events run by manufacturers that will compete with (and draw attendees away from) the traditional shows.

Kodak’s 'No Show' at Trade Shows
Noel Ward

Shows are expensive, requiring big checks up front. Kodak says it sees a better return from bringing more prospects to its demo center in Rochester, NY and stroking customers at GUA, the company’s user association. The question is whether this is enough.

For the past year or so, the Ipex email machine has been spewing out regular updates, telling me how spectacularly wonderful the show is going to be in its new digs at the ExCel conference center in London.

Mailing/Postal

I’ve always been a proponent of clean mailing lists. Why would you want to ship your or a client’s direct mail piece or catalog to anyone that is not remotely interested? So, as we approach the New Year and resolutions are bound to be made:

NIARG EHT TSNIAGA
Dustin LeFebvre

Welcome to my everything-is-backward, what-are-we-coming-to, bizarro blog this week. Ever since the Senate passed the postal reform bill that delays elimination of Saturday delivery by two years and slows the shutdown of mail processing facilities, it seems like everything is the exact opposite of what I would think.

 
USPS Leaves Print Up the River
Dustin LeFebvre

A recent edition of The Week came with a letter from the editor concerning mail delivery. A lot of readers value their traditions and were upset that they’d no longer be able to count on receiving their copies by Friday.

Color/Quality Control
Phoning in Press Okays - Literally
Dustin LeFebvre

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?

Color Manage My World
Nicholas Gawreluk

The task that color management sets out to achieve is by no means easy. Recently at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), I completed a color management systems course and afterwards took on the challenge of color managing a weekly magazine.

Sheetfed Offset Printing

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 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.

 
Print UV 2011 - Day Two
Darren Gapen

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.

 
Print UV 2011 Day One
Darren Gapen

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.

Productivity/Process Improvement
Spanning the JDF Generation Gap
Nicholas Gawreluk

In this blog, I will discuss my prediction for the future of the print production workflow powered by JDF (Job Definition Format) and how this will reshape the way companies structure their workflows—from start to finish—in the near future.

As the new school year begins, I could not be more excited to return to RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology). The campus is alive with students and the school year promises to be a busy one. As I meet people throughout the industry, I always find it interesting to hear how familiar they are with the school.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to rain on industry efforts to better define quality expectations in printing. Certainly industry standards, such as SWOP, GRACoL, SNAP and Bridges, are noble and important. These standards seek to help buyers and their print solution providers communicate quality issues more effectively. And when used properly, they are effective. But with the exception of perhaps SNAP, print buyers for the most part aren’t paying that much attention to industry standards. And some print buyers don’t even know what they are.

In a Print Buyers Online.com survey of over 62 top print buyers, buyers were asked “How relevant

Market Research

Flipboard turns your Facebook and Twitter account into something that looks like a magazine. It works flawlessly with Apple's new iPad and social media by providing a seamless integration of graphics, text and messaging. Flipboard quickly converts the content into a very slick digital magazine and eliminates the irrelevant social media content as well.

About Printers
Gratitude Needs an Attitude Adjustment
Kelly Mallozzi

There are lots of ways that we express gratitude. However you decide to do it is up to you, but PLEASE remember to do it...and do it often. Send cards to clients to tell them you appreciate their business and hope the relationship continues well into the future.

“DON’T MOVE, or both of us will die,” shouted Wesley Autrey as he pinned a fallen commuter between the subway tracks before an onrushing subway train in Manhattan.

Wesley had been waiting for his train on the station platform with his two young daughters when a young man suffered a seizure and fell about eight feet to the tracks below. Wesley jumped down to the track bed, rolled the man between the tracks and lay on top of him as the train passed over them with two inches to spare.

Wesley is just a 50-year-old construction worker.

He is just a good father who

 

I GUESS you all saw that Mister Hot Shot George Clooney won People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive!” competition.

This is twice for Clooney.

Brad Pitt won twice.

Last year I called People magazine to inquire about my ranking in the competition. I wasn’t even in their database.

This year I called People again and inquired about my standing in the ranking. A kind and very patient researcher performed an in-depth search while I held on the phone. No luck.

I suggested that just maybe she would find me in the “M’s” as the “Mañana Man.” Yep. She found me. The People researcher said I was in the Hispanic Sexy

Industry At Large

THIS BAD economy thing has made me mad. Rip roarin’, snortin’, fire dirt kickin’ mad. I’m afraid to call it a recession. No two economists can agree on what it is.

Whatever it is, it’s lousy. It’s causing deep, dark depression to pervade the land.

Depression among Americans is up 113 percent this year, according to several sources. Antidepressant sales are up 156 percent, according to still other sources. So, that’s great for the pharmaceutical companies. When the economy turned South, sales of the new impotence pills probably tanked, so thank goodness here come the orders for antidepressants.

Of course, the oil-producing sheikhs and the oil companies