Business Management - Industry Trends

Item Level RFID – Prosperous Market 2006-2016
August 9, 2006

Item level RFID is set for substantial growth over the next decade. A new study from IDTechEx forecasts and explores key markets that will apply item-level tagging, advances in technology and the mass adoption that will follow. Dr. Peter Harrop from IDTechEx summarises this study below. Item level RFID is the tagging of the smallest taggable unit of things – the library book, apparel, jewellery, engineering parts and laundry are examples. Already profitable for most suppliers, item level tags and systems will be the world’s largest RFID market by value from 2007 onwards. Item level RFID tagging will rocket from $0.16 billion in 2006

Specialty Printing — Paper and Ink Going Digitial
August 1, 2006

PRINTING, AS a craft and industry, is remarkable for the fundamental changes it has absorbed, particularly in the last 100 years or so. As a consequence, printers have become more segmented by process—sheetfed and web offset, gravure, flexo, etc.—as well as application—general commercial, labels, packaging, plastics and more. Digital technology is creating further segmentation while also increasing the potential for confusion. It’s become necessary to talk of print-for-pay versus personal and workgroup printing, along with in-plants and CRDs. Added to this are new designations such as industrial printing, transpromo and even direct marketing firm. Such diversity in the process and industry matters when it

Paper Outlook — Cutting the Bottom Line
August 1, 2006

PRICE INCREASES, or attempts to implement them, are what’s on tap in the paper sector. Along with raising quoted prices per ton, paper companies could feel renewed pressure to pass along higher energy costs through surcharges if oil prices do climb toward the $100/barrel mark predicted in the most bearish outlook. The Lane Press, in Burlington, VT, put an interesting spin on that latter market development. Under the “Did you know?” heading in its last two “Paper Prophet” newsletters, the printer pointed out to customers that “Lane Press’ close proximity to Northeast paper mills slashes transportation costs and reduces fuel surcharges.” There hasn’t been

Web Offset: Shorter Runs, Technology Innovations Enable Competitiveness in a New Print World
August 1, 2006

In a world of short run lengths, personalization, and fast turnaround, can the industry’s traditional behemoths, commercial and newspaper web presses, continue to compete? Absolutely, according to industry leaders. Companies like Goss International, MAN Roland, and other web press makers are pursuing innovations that can enable web printers not merely to stay viable but to compete vigorously for more kinds of business than ever before. While most web press print production is advertising-driven, changing trends in the marketplace are reshaping the business model. Traditionally, web presses offer significant advantages. They’re extremely fast and productive, and paper cost for a web run can

New Media Buyers; Alternative Communication Methods
August 1, 2006

A New PRIMIR Study Focuses On Print As One Choice Among Others In A Growing Media Pie For decades, print has been the media of choice by media buyers…in fact, they are often called “print buyers” because of the volume of print orders they make. It’s not to say that print is in disfavor today, but there are far more options available to the media buyer coupled with the fact that many are younger and have grown up with computers and electronic alternatives to print. The concern becomes that these younger buyers have a bias to the electronic alternatives, but why? The primary reason is

June 1, 2006

THE ECONOMY is irration-ally exuberant. Consumers are borrowing and spending in advance of expected higher prices, and businesses are robustly investing in both productivity (read “down-sizing”) and market development. This year is on track for nominal GDP growth of 6.5 percent, with printing sales up more than 5 percent. As economic power concentrates, nearly half the power of print will coalesce into finance, publishing, health and technology (nine of the top 25 demand sectors). Salespeople: focus below and cash in. Banking and Insurance ($2.9T in revenues; with over $15B to print, +8 percent) is the biggest buyer and beneficiary of print. Sub-prime

WOA 06 Special Report — Rolling With the Changes
May 1, 2006

Decision Points 2006 is the theme for this 54th edition of the Web Offset Association (WOA) Annual Management and Technical Conference. To a large extent, if any recent year were plugged into that phrase, the hot issues, industry trends and challenges would be the same. In a promotional piece for the conference, Ralph Pontillo, 2005-2006 chairman of the WOA board of directors and vice president/division director at Transcontinental Printing, observes that: “Critical decisions must be made daily—strategy and tactics, operational challenges, investment decisions and procedures. A quick glance at the myriad of (2006 session) topics yields volumes of opportunities: world and industry viewpoints and

Paper Market Update — Paper Industry Strikes Out
August 1, 2005

BY MARK SMITH Technology Editor Can it ever be reasonable to have a wholly positive outlook for printing paper? The answer would seem to be "no," at least from the buyer's perspective. Paper is so essential to print that one feels compelled to look for any potential sign of trouble. The cost of being caught short is too high and memories of the bad times (shortages and soaring prices) too lasting not to err on the side of caution. Plant strikes are just the latest additions to the list of reasons for paper buyers to adopt a cautious outlook. Other concerns have been

Paper Market Outlook — Stocks Are on the Rise
February 1, 2005

BY MARK SMITH Technology Editor Experience has taught printers to error on the side of caution when it comes to managing paper. Any tendency toward overreacting is understandable, given how essential this raw material is to the process. It's easy to imagine the sense of helplessness from having a press sit idle or turning away business for want of paper. The critical role of paper helps explain much of the past volatility in the marketplace. In recent years, paper buyers and suppliers have both taken steps to instill more stability and rationality in the market, and there were some indications of this

Wide-Format Printing — Sizing Up a New Market
September 1, 2004

“It’s not rocket science.” That same reply was given by two players in the market when asked about the challenges facing a printer looking to diversify into digital wide-format printing services. Adding this service seems like a natural extension of the printing industry’s digital evolution. Large-format ink-jet print engines have all but become the norm for some level of proofing, ranging from digital bluelines up to contract color. Putting aside the finishing requirements, digital color printing presents much the same proposition whether the output be an 8.5x11˝ sheet or large banner. Why, then, have so relatively few commercial printers gotten into the business? “Less