Peter Brehm

Some years ago I wrote a couple of columns on "Chaos Theory" and its impact on printing production. "Chaos," by James Gleick in 1987, was a classic book that explained why we can't forecast the weather, the stock market or the economy. Too many seemingly tiny variables interacting and causing major changes in results, he told us. The oft-quoted example is that of a butterfly flapping its wings in a Brazilian rain forest and causing major storms in New York a week later. We've known all about chaos in printing for years. We establish standards that are predictions of how a job

BY ALLISON ECKEL The Internet is the new favorite pastime of business, and for good reason. From yard sales to stock sales, modern commerce is evolving and everyone involved is re-examining their current business models with an eye for the realization of the mantra Better, Faster, Cheaper. Commercial printers are rethinking the way they interact with print buyers through e-procurement solutions from such companies as Collabria, Impresse and Noosh. It was only a matter of time before these commercial printers turned to apply these new relationship models to their vendors—the companies in the equipment and consumables distribution channel of the graphic arts industry. As

The role of today's graphic arts distributors is changing. They're selling products, providing the training and consulting printers on what's available. BY ERIK CAGLE The popular, traditional image of a distributor is an entity that acts as a link between the manufacturer and the customer—the "go-between" or "middle man" who finds a market for products and services. The commercial printing industry was no different. Just ask Joe Demharter, vice president of sales at Pitman Corp., one of the industry's largest dealers. "Historically, if you look back at the role that distributors played for the manufacturers, basically we were the warehouses and credit arms,"

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