June 2006 Issue


ACROSS the nation

Digital Printing Gear New to Boston Area LOWELL, MA—King Printing has added a Kodak NexPress 2100 digital production color press, Kodak NexTreme DL-1000 variable data client-server package and Kodak NexTreme DL-100 variable data software. Adi Chinai, joint managing director (pictured), says the installation has helped grow the education and trade book publishing segments of his business by giving customers quicker time to market. Printing Excellence Celebrated by GAA PHILADELPHIA—The Graphic Arts Association (GAA) recently held its 35th annual Neographics awards ceremony and banquet to celebrate quality printing, as well as Ben Franklin’s 300th birthday. Riegel Printing of Ewing, NJ, was the Prisco 2006 Power

BINDERY matters

Horizon Celebrates Factory Opening BIWAKO, SIGA, JAPAN—Standard Finishing Systems joined Horizon International for the ceremonial grand opening of Horizon’s newly expanded post-press equipment factory here. This state-of-the-art facility is now 25 percent larger and has been further modernized with more than US$20 million in new machine tool, injection molding, parts logistics and assembly technology that will permit faster and more flexible production. Manufacturing capacity is expected to increase by nearly 30 percent when the Biwako factory reaches full-scale operation. Stitching Addition Expands Range DENVILLE, NJ—RedmondBCMS provides a diverse range of services—from business communications and marketing support, to printing, mailing and distribution. Now, RedmondBCMS is also poised

CGX Decides to Stay the Course

HOUSTON—For the time being, the potential sale of the commercial printing industry’s leading consolidator will have to wait for another day. Consolidated Graphics (CGX) is not going to be sold. After kicking around options to enhance shareholder value during a strategic review, the CGX board concluded that the best current choice is to stay the course with its current plan, as well as embark on a share repurchase program. The repurchase program calls for an investment of up to $68.3 million in issued and outstanding common shares. According to company management, the current strategic plan is focused on achieving sales and profit growth through ongoing investment

Common Sales Ailments — DeWese

THIS IS column Number 239, which brings the total words I’ve written to 310,700 during nearly 22 years. If I’m not mistaken, that’s more words than “War and Peace.” According to my roster of readers (a sophisticated, digitized database), there are seven people who have read all of those columns. Unfortunately, they are confined to the “home” for life and I’m unable to speak with them. All regular readers of DeWese on Sales know June is the month of my birth and that typically my June column shamelessly celebrates my life. Over the years, I have shared a multitude of my life successes with Printing

Considerable Postal Increase Proposed

WASHINGTON, DC—Commercial printers who thrive on mailing must hope that the Senate and House of Representatives can quickly find common ground in order to send meaningful postal reform to President Bush. Other-wise, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has proposed an 8.5 percent rate increase that would likely take effect next May. Still, it might be too late to head off this most recent postal rise, which comes on the heels of a 5.4 percent increase that took effect in January. The recent USPS request would cost mailers just over 11 percent more to mail a magazine, while package services and special services would see

Coupling for KBA, MAN?

WURZBURG, GERMANY—It takes two to Tango and, despite a German newspaper report that cited Koenig & Bauer AG’s (KBA) desire to grow its platform by enlisting the help of a competitor, a major consolidation between competing press manufacturers does not appear imminent. KBA CEO Albrecht Bolza-Schunemann was quoted in the May 12 edition of Boersen-Zeitung as saying his company is interested in creating a relationship with MAN Roland, via a partnership or even an acquisition. “We are open to everything. But, in the case of a partnership, there has to be clear ground rules that clarify who is responsible for which activities,” Bolza-Schunemann told the paper. In

DIGITAL digest

Expo Shows Demand for Digital Presses PHILADELPHIA—By all measures, save one, the recent 2006 On Demand Exposition (co-located with AIIM) has been widely judged a success. The exception being that the sponsors apparently found the Pennsylvania Convention Center wanting and have decided a move to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is called for in 2007. More than 20,000 registrants and 450 exhibitors were reported to have participated in the 2006 expo. There was a noticeable up-tick in the new product introductions (or U.S. debuts, at least) from the digital printer/press vendors at the show, resulting in further segmentation of the market. A surprising

Dignitaries Highlight WOA Conference

ORLANDO, FL—Steve Forbes, president and CEO of Forbes Inc., presented the keynote address at the 54th annual Web Offset Association conference held here May 21-24. Another highlight was the presentation of the 2006 Harry V. Quadracci VISION Award to Tom Quadracci, chairman and co-founder of Quad/Graphics, who plans to retire at year-end after 35 years…


THE POOLE brothers are not slaves to the latest trends in the commercial printing industry. Owners of Dome Printing in Sacramento, CA, Tim, Andy and Bob Poole march to their own beat, and that is usually the song that their customers are humming. Take variable data digital printing, for example. Andy Poole—the vice president of manufacturing—sees its adoption as an inevitability, if not an evolution, that will ultimately be decided by Dome Printing’s customer needs. The company currently specializes in producing high-end, longer run work, but it is always on the lookout for ways to service customers. Most importantly, as an independently held entity,

Donnelley Opens Mail Facility

CHICAGO—RR Donnelley has expanded its North American print logistics operations with the opening of a mail consolidation facility, including distribution management services, in Dallas. The new facility allows Donnelley to better serve direct response marketers, magazine publishers, catalogers and other mailers in the Southwest, according to Dan Scapin, president of RR Donnelley Logistics and Distribution. In other Donnelley news, the printer was awarded a new multi-year, multi-million dollar logistics contract to distribute Parade magazine to 340-plus newspapers nationwide. Among other recent contracts: Donnelley and Thomas Nelson Inc. came to terms on a multi-year extension that sees the printer produce 100 percent of Nelson’s one- and two-color soft cover

Fire Strikes Vertis Plant

BRISTOL, PA—A Vertis Inc. printing facility here recently caught fire in a second floor storage loft, according to the Bucks County Courier Times. No injuries were reported.The blaze broke out during a shift change in an area where pallets and cardboard are stored, the paper said. The fire was contained to the area by sprinkler…


CHUCK NASON admits he wasn’t fully prepared for the effects of global competition as it accelerated in 2001. The president and CEO of Worzalla Publishing, a Stevens Point, WI-based book manufacturer, watched as a significant portion of the company’s four-color children’s book work went to China. “Global competition has affected us in a major way,” Nason contends. “It caused us to suffer a five-year slide in annual sales from just over $62 million to $44.4 million a year ago. This has meant little or no wage increases for our employees and a freeze on capital equipment purchases for four years.” Nason points out what


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


KIRKWOOD PRINTING is a prime example of the good things that can happen when a printing company with a tradition of high-quality work is purchased by printing industry sales professionals focused on providing superior customer service. The Wilmington, MA-based commercial printer specializes in high-end direct mail pieces, catalogs, brochures and annual reports. Its diverse customer group includes Volkswagen of America, Reebok, General Motors, Courier Corp., Harvard Law School and the Bermuda Department of Tourism. Founded by Kirk Krikorian in 1973, the business was purchased in 2004 by three experienced Boston-area printing sales veterans: Bob Coppinger, Will Winship and Eddie Kelley. When the three partners bought Kirkwood,

More Offset Operations Crossing Digital Chasm — Michelson

DIGITAL PRINTING isn’t going to supplant offset within commercial printing operations—at least not any time on the near horizon. In fact, many shops have discovered that the addition of digital printing complements their lithographic output. In many cases, it can help drive more offset work, as well as generate value-added revenues through database and asset management, mailing and fulfillment, Website development and other ancillary services. Sure, digital printing is replacing some jobs formerly printed offset. Digital print-on-demand helps eliminate excess inventories of static printed matter that can become outdated, drastically shortens turnaround times and permits customization. But it’s not an all or nothing proposition. Hybrid


WRITING A check, unless it’s made out to ‘cash,’ your nephew (who just graduated from college) or the dealership that just sold you that speedboat, can be a difficult thing. All too often, check writing is an unpleasant experience, a necessary evil. It’s a fact of life. Bills. Groceries. Back surgeries. There’s never a lack of incidentals vying to reduce your current balance, and some seem to provide hardly any value at all. It comes as little surprise that, especially during a sluggish economy or generally slow period for any industry, supporting a Political Action Committee (PAC) with funds from your own personal


Pearl Pressman Liberty Celebrates Centennial PHILADELPHIA—Pearl Pressman Liberty Communications Group (PPLCG) appropriately chose The Franklin Institute as a backdrop to host its 100th anniversary celebration, which was attended by dozens of long-time employees and customers. The event featured a traditional birthday cake, an oversized card for attendees to sign and even a special appearance by Ben Franklin himself. Terry Remaly, plant manager at Hopkins Printing, Columbus, OH, was honored with the “Craftsman of the Year” award by The Columbus Club of Printing House Craftsmen. In his 20 years at Hopkins Printing, Remaly has held positions as pressman, pressroom supervisor and his current position as plant manager. The


On the heels of Heidelberg’s announcement that it had enjoyed a successful 2006 fiscal year (ended March 31) worldwide, Heidelberg USA President James Dunn discusses the factors that enabled the venerable manufacturer to complete a successful campaign in the U.S. market specifically. PI: On a worldwide basis, the Heidelberg Group reported 12 percent sales gains, higher incoming orders and net profits that more than doubled during its recently completed 2006 fiscal year. What factors most led to Heidelberg’s U.S. sales gains during the past 12-month period? DUNN: Several initiatives drove our success in our 2006 fiscal year. Among the most significant were the introduction of new

Readers Weighing In — Dickeson

“WITH REVERSE auctions, printers are starving themselves based on hourly rates and production speeds. In order to keep up you must buy the newest equipment and pass the running speed savings on to the customer. Where does the money come from for future investments?” asks one writer. He goes on to say, “We have been using market pricing technology for 30 years with great success. Not leaving money on the table has been our secret. Not easy to calculate...” This is the comment from one respondent. I received well over 100 e-mail responses to my March issue article titled “Am I Wrong Here?” Most of

Service Plan Options — Are You Being Served?

TO STAND out from the rest of the herd, offset press manufacturers, both web and sheetfed, have ramped up their service offerings. This trend toward extended service plans, preventive maintenance programs and beefed up parts and labor options is allowing press manufacturers to expand what is offered to their customers while also becoming more of a partner with the printer. Here is a look at some service plans that are available, in no particular order. At PRINT 05, Heidelberg unveiled an extended service package to the U.S. market called systemservice 36plus. Heidelberg’s systemservice 36plus service package extends service coverage for a period of 36

Soft Proofing — Virtually a Lock

IT HAS taken almost a decade, but the adoption of soft—or virtual—proofing now seems to be on a trajectory similar to the one for computer-to-plate production. Critical color and press-side applications still could be considered in the early adopter stage, but the number of users is growing and a much larger group is becoming open to the possibility. The product category also continues to expand, both in terms of the solutions offered and the applications they support. In just about a year, the number of vendors offering SWOP (Specifications for Web Offset Publications) certified systems has gone from two to five, for example.

Someone’s Looking Out For Fakes — Cagle

BITS AND PIECES Someone’s Looking Out For Fakes A recent edition of Bits & Pieces chronicled the latest printing technologies that have made counterfeiting U.S. money nearly impossible for anyone but the most sophisticated of thieves. But even with the bevy of bells and whistles meshed in as security features, I wondered just how many people—particularly minimum wagers in the retail sector—would be capable (or care enough) to root out any funny money trying to be passed off as genuine. Well, it’s time to put that cynicism to rest. A short while back, while lunching at one of Philly’s greasy spoons, I handed the

Suit Challenges Outlook-Vista Deal

NEENAH, WI—A lawsuit has been filed that challenges the proposed acquisition of Outlook Group by Vista Group. The suit was filed by “an entity that claims it is a shareholder of Outlook Group and purports to act on behalf of itself and a class of other similarly situated shareholders,” according to Outlook Group. Upon review of the complaint, Outlook Group and its board of directors believe the suit is without merit and the company plans to defend itself vigorously in court. According to Outlook Group, the plaintiff alleges that by approving its proposed acquisition by Vista Group, Outlook Group and its directors violated a fiduciary duty


Robert Prah, formerly national accounts manager for Screen (USA), has been appointed vice president of sales. Prah oversees the Screen sales force in the United States and Canada. Boise Paper’s board of directors has approved a $72 million capital project to expand Boise’s production of pressure-sensitive paper. The project involves adding new capacity to the existing #3 paper machine at Boise’s mill in Wallula, WA, with state-of-the-art equipment that will increase the company’s pressure-sensitive capacity by 200,000 tons. Eastman Kodak has named Jeffrey Hayzlett chief marketing officer and vice president for its Graphic Communications Group (GCG). Hayzlett has nearly 25 years of international marketing, sales and


SOME PEOPLE look at paper trim and see scraps of refuse. Others see dollar signs. In an industry where chief execs need to keep track of every nickel coming in and going out, there is no scoffing at opportunities to turn trash into cash. When printers think of money makers, they think of heavy iron from manufacturers such as Heidelberg, KBA and MAN Roland, the press makers. But there are other manufacturers, such as G.F. Puhl, Vecoplan, Ohio Blow Pipe, Air Systems and Design, and American Baler, that may not have the household name recognition level, but can spur a ROI while those Komori