BY SCOTT POLK As printers continue to determine how to capitalize on the Internet to further business, perhaps no segment may be affected by cyberspace more than direct mail. A projected 100 million people will be connected to the Web within five years, and direct mail will play an important role in guiding those people to the Internet. According to a study by the Printing Industries of America, dotcom startup companies looking to establish brand equity will account for much of that business. By 2003, however, the study cautions that the direct mail industry will begin to encounter considerable competition from electronic media.
BY ERIK CAGLE Ray Frick, CEO and president of Pennsauken, NJ-based The Lehigh Press, recalls a time not long ago when in-line finishing could not match the speed of web offset presses. It was simply impractical. "For many years, the conventional wisdom in our business stated that in-line finishing, as a process, was slow," Frick notes. "There really wasn't a need to purchase new high-speed equipment, only to throw a ball and chain around it, so to speak, with respect to a finishing line and its auxiliary components." That is no longer the case. The rotary cutter, formerly the culprit behind the slowdown in
BY ERIK CAGLE Total direct marketing sales in the United States will clear the $2 trillion mark in five years, with nearly $765 billion estimated for business-to-business sales in the year 2000, according to findings made by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). Thus, on the whole, the industry appears to be in good shape. That statement is not entirely accurate, though. Even with a double-digit compound annual growth rate, there are key issues that will influence the market, particularly business-to-business considerations for those who profit from the manufacture of direct mail. Top 10 Direct Mail Printers CompanySegmentSales(millions)Total Sales(millions)1Quebecor World*Montreal$554.00$6,160.002Banta Corp.Menasha, WI$254.00$1,340.003R.R. Donnelley & SonsChicago$250.00$5,000.00 4Mail-WellEnglewood,
Broadview, IL—Lehigh Press has made what it calls a major equipment addition at its Lehigh Cadillac Direct direct marketing division here. The installation is a custom-built, full-size, six-unit Heidelberg M-1000 web press. Raymond A. Frick, CEO and president, points out that under the leadership of Lehigh Cadillac Direct President Paul Palmer, the division's revenues grew more than 20 percent in 1998. To drive the division's continued growth, Lehigh Press has launched a $14 million, corporation-wide, capital investment program concentrating on the installation of cutting-edge technology including presses, digital prepress and finishing systems. "The added press capacity is just the start," Frick reveals. "It immediately expands our