PSDA Webinar: Challenges and Opportunities of 2012 and Beyond
On Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. ET, join PSDA for a free members-only webinar, featuring Dr. Joe Webb of WhatTheyThink. "Dr. Joe" will offer his ideas about what's ahead for 2012 and the years beyond for the economy, business, print, promotions, communications and management. He will address critical decisions that small- and mid-sized businesses need to make about their daily and long-term operations in staffing and operations to ensure that they stay relevant to their clients and their marketplaces. Start the new year with some new ways of looking at your business and the essential choices you'll face.
Learn more and register for the webinar.
Register Now for 2012 CEO Summit
PSDA's 16th annual CEO Summit will be held March 5–7 at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix. This premier event, designed specifically for owners and c-level executives, will feature presentations and peer-driven discussions of trends and opportunities for your company in today's economic climate. Dr. Joe Webb will keynote the event with a presentation developed for PSDA titled "Directions to the Future: A Contrarian View of the Economy, Technology, and Our Business." Visit the PSDA website to view current program highlights and to register for PSDA’s premier conference for company principals.
Interested in sponsoring the CEO Summit? Read more about available opportunities.
Utilize PSDA's Templates and Toolkits Resource Center
Make sure to check out PSDA's newly launched repository of templates and toolkits that provides standard documents (e.g., non-compete agreement, sample marketing collateral, HR materials, etc.) members can leverage in sales, marketing and general operations. This is a great first place to turn when encountering a new situation or if you are simply looking to make improvements to your existing agreements, checklists and forms. View this newest member resource.
All Barcode Systems Relocates to Westminster, California
Label manufacturer and automated data collection equipment distributor All Barcode Systems, a PSDA member, recently relocated to a larger facility in Westminster, Calif. “We simply outgrew our old space as our business has continued to grow,” said President Scott Steiner. “Many of our customers rely on our run-and-hold inventory and fulfillment programs, and we needed more space.” The new facility has three times the warehouse capacity and will allow the company to provide new offices for its service bureau, imprinting department and printer service unit.
Gill Studios Hires New Director of Sales
Promotional products supplier and PSDA member Gill Studios recently hired Lisa LeMond as the director of sales for the development and management of a new outside sales force. LeMond brings to the company 17 years of promotional products experience working as the international account manager for Norwood/BIC. This newly created position is to support the company's inside sales management team and to develop a bigger presence in the field. “Lisa will bring a wealth of outside sales knowledge and relationships to the company,” said Paul Lage, president and CEO of Gill Studios.
Ward/Kraft Announces New Printing Abilities, Hires New Sales Rep
PSDA member Ward/Kraft recently added two 14” print heads to its forms division. This new investment allows the production of eight-color printing on 14” forms. Distributors can now offer their customers superior quality printing up to eight colors on 14”, 17” and 22” forms.
Ward/Kraft also recently hired Curt Johnson as its specialty labels and coating sales rep. Johnson is responsible to grow the divisions in line, custom coated and pressure sensitive business. He brings with him 18 years of extensive customer service, sales and management experience.
Wilmer Hosts Live Webinar, Receives Rx Pad Approval in Delaware
PSDA member Wilmer recently hosted a live webinar titled, “Streamline & Simplify with MyWilmer.com.” This online demonstration of MyWilmer.com provided valuable tools for Wilmer distributors to track shipments, receive order acknowledgements, submit payment and use the newly released Exacts reordering option. Questions were submitted during the webinar to the moderator, Philip Roestamadji, Wilmer's technical specialist. Roestamadji was able to respond with real-time answers before the close of the 45-minute webinar. Wilmer plans to continue using the live webinar format to show its distributors how to streamline and simplify their business-ordering processes.
In other company news, Wilmer recently was approved as a vendor of prescription pads in Delaware, a state that has recently changed its prescription pad regulations. In order to continue to sell scripts, all printers and distributors must apply and get approval through the state. Effective March 1, 2012, all written prescriptions must follow the new guidelines set forth by Delaware's Division of Professional Regulation.
Dupli-Systems Adds New Standard Horizon Perfect Binding System
Dupli-Systems Inc., a PSDA member and trade-only commercial and digital printer and business forms manufacturer, recently purchased a new Standard Horizon Perfect Binding System, an efficient binding machine that produces as many as 500 perfect bound booklets per hour. The new binding system allows for print resellers to have easy access to profitable perfect bound booklet jobs. The binding system also allows for the use of coated and uncoated text weight stocks. “The new Standard Horizon Perfect Binding system allows our printing reseller partners to land more profitable binding jobs,” Dupli-Systems digital print Manager Todd Eldridge said.
High-Impact Campaigns Are Built Around Print's Power
Print Week (12/08/11) Roper, Jenny
Printed materials continue to comprise a key part of many marketing campaigns in the United Kingdom, according to a recent Mail Media Centre report. In 2010, an average of 91 percent of direct mail was opened, and 48 percent of customers felt that information received by direct mail was easy to understand versus 20 percent by email. A Kinetic Worldwide survey found that 75 percent of store owners said posters placed outside their shops comprise the main influence on what sells. The United Kingdom's Outdoor Media Centre reports that although outdoor digital accounts for 14 percent of their revenue, six out of seven British pounds are still being spent on printed posters.
Clothing retailer H&M recently worked with Clear Channel to deliver wide-format posters. H&M’s outdoor presence is increasing year-on-year with OOH (out-of-home) marketing the chief medium for any campaign, representing 62 percent of the brand’s entire media investment, up from 16 percent in 2006. H&M's decisions result from its discovery that a wider segment of the population is buying its clothes. In February 2011, Sky TV launched a direct mail campaign with GI Solutions to promote the value of its packages and expanded entertainment lineup, including a flyer with an image from HBO’s "Boardwalk Empire" and text popping out in front.
Meanwhile, organizations are choosing print marketing materials as well. For example, Little City — an Illinois-based organization that works with people with autism — recently started a campaign to create awareness about the community it serves. Little City used print, direct mail and outdoor advertising to promote interest in its participants' success stories.
What End Users Want In the October issue of Print Solutions magazine, contributor Darin Painter tackled the question of "What do end users really want?" The article detailed five things prospective buyers care about, and, unsurprisingly, the power of printed materials prevailed.
Why Marketer Love for QR Codes Is Not Shared by Consumers
Advertising Age (01/02/12) Patel, Kunur
Consumers are not nearly as enamored with QR codes as marketers are, with Forrester Research determining that just 5 percent of U.S. mobile phone owners actually used the codes in the quarter ending July 2011. That 5 percent tended to be young, male and affluent. There are three reasons why the codes have not been widely adopted, according to experts: confusion over how to scan the codes, a lack of uniformity among the applications required to read the codes and discouragement by consumers who tried codes only to be rerouted to the company's website or provided with little useful information. Nevertheless, marketers' use of the codes is rampant.
The QR phenomenon is "another instance of shiny-object syndrome," said Forrester analyst Melissa Parrish. "Something becomes trendy or sexy, and marketers feel they have to jump on board to position themselves as innovative and make sure they don't fall behind." The codes' appeal to marketers obviously lies within their far less expensive implementation costs in comparison to the development of a proprietary app. The codes also support the ability to quantify consumer activity and can give shoppers information, allowing salespeople to concentrate on boosting productivity. QR codes might catch on more with consumers via an educational push. For instance, last spring, Macy's aired national TV ads on its codes, and shoppers who scanned them received informational videos from clothing designers. The effort surpassed expectations and engendered positive customer feedback, said a Macy's representative. Use of the codes rose 200 percent after Macy's modified the content and offered shorter videos in the autumn.
Are QR Codes Accessible? For more discussion on the use of QR codes, visit the PSDA blog where editorial assistant Alexa Schlosser cites a recent study suggesting that QR code awareness is fairly high, but actual usage does not match the hype.
Packaging Technologies Advance in Fighting Fake Pharmaceuticals
Healthcare Packaging (12/01/2011)
Wes Shepherd, CEO of Channel IQ, a firm that monitors branded products and prices for manufacturers, distributors and retailers, said the health care packaging industry is constantly combating counterfeiting. "Packaging has a very important role,” he said. “It has to signify the authenticity of a product, and not just hold the product or explain its benefits. There are some interesting technologies out there, such as holograms, but [counterfeiting is] going to keep escalating because pharmaceuticals represent an incredibly lucrative market. So, packaging is great, but ultimately the industry will have to keep coming up with other technologies. The biggest problem I see is that packaging is no longer the key to ensuring product legitimacy for gray market and counterfeit concerns. With the Internet, people can represent a product as legitimate and there are few ways to guarantee its legitimacy."
Packaging suppliers continue to develop innovative technologies to addressing pharmaceutical counterfeiting, such as engineering packaging with preserialized 2-D and RFID solutions. Systech International's Serialized Product Tracking (SPT) allocates and verifies unique identification numbers at the item level, packaging the item (child) into a higher-level package (the parent), establishing relevant parent-child relationship between item, case and pallet and maintaining data integrity throughout the packaging process, ensuring the manufacturer’s serialization and aggregation data are accurate. Meanwhile, multilayered brand protection supplier Covectra and carton and label provider MSO Group have teamed up to provide serialization for track-and-trace and diversion control, offering unit-level product identification through variable-data printing of 2-D barcodes and human-readable codes.
Three Myths of Integration
My Print Resource (12/01/11) Olin, Marc
Integration in the printing and publishing industry signifies the creation of one unified system, from prepress through MIS, but the reality is that true integrations is hard, time consuming and expensive. Although integration can seem like an elusive goal, organizations pursue it because the benefits can be substantial. An intelligent flow of data between order entry, production management and financial systems would result in a complete view of an organization and automate its most complex business processes. One misconception about integration is that it is a luxury, but it is essential to business survival because integrating systems will lead to an improvement in productivity, a reduction in cycle times, and, in the end, enable organizations to make decisions easier, faster and more effectively.
Another common misconception is that integrating systems is easy after it has been done once, but the reality is that software tools must be continuously evolved to meet the needs of the end user, and the process to support and advance the integration is complex and critical to ongoing success. Also, integration is often confused with interface, which is essentially a "dumb," one-way process. Technology integration is all about optimizing the business to maximize its process and profit potential. The quest for business intelligence will be more doable when organizations arm themselves with the right tools, accurate information and a small band of dedicated experts.
Variable Data Verification
Labels & Labeling (12/22/11)
Industrial vision has an important role to play in a host of inspection applications in the paper, printing, label and labeling industries. One application that poses critical technical challenges is that of variable data verification, where data such as serial numbers are different on each item being checked. Variable data verification can provide complete checking and verification of sequences and print quality of numbered documents on high speed printing and collating machines. High speed image processing techniques and verification are well-established and can be used to check text, 1-D barcodes and 2-D datamatrix and codes individually or in various combinations.
Generally, the data being checked on any individual batch does not change. However, there are many applications where the data changes from label to label, which represents a significant challenge to the image processing system. Variable data verification systems must ensure product integrity and eliminate the production of expensive waste. In order to do that, the system is required to provide 100 percent inspection by reading and verifying label numbering at web speeds in real time and providing a guarantee of print quality by rejecting incorrectly printed characters. Any industrial vision system consists essentially of the same components: an appropriate light source to illuminate the area of interest, a camera and framegrabber to capture an image, a PC to process data and suitable image processing software and appropriate interfaces into the printing machine for triggering of the imaging system and for a reject mechanism.
A variety of calculations can be required for variable data verification, including serial numbers, verification, sequences, layout and sheet layout. Other requirements may be to check for OCR Quality, OCR/symbol print contrast, alignment and check digit. Reports should show the time and date of all sequences inspected and details of all faults detected. By recording the data for each fault, document remakes can be run at a later time; and in the event of a serious printing error, an alarm signal should be generated.
Software Adds Marketing Value to Cash Register Receipts
ZDNet (12/22/11) Clancy, Heather
With SmartReceipt software retailers and restaurants can print graphics and promote special offers on receipts, based on customers' past buying habits. "We're taking a receipt that is very text-heavy and making it much more engaging," said SmartReceipt CEO Jay Ferro. The SmartReceipt application, which is compatible with thermal printers, is offered as a service working in combination with a retailer or restaurant's point-of-sale system. The service comes with a roughly $99 setup fee, while monthly fees can start as low as $25 or $30 depending on the business' transaction volume, Ferro said. SmartReceipt has boosted the ModMarket eatery's top line revenue by 10 percent in every outlet, said company founder Anthony Pigliacampo. "The ability to target marketing messages to customers based on what was in their order or time of day has been extremely effective," he said. "Our redemption rate for offers we dynamically print on receipts is about 10 times the redemption rate on other coupon offers we have distributed. The simple web-based tools allow us to make new offers and change existing ones with zero development costs."
Sales Clinic: A Printing Salesperson's 6 Best Friends When Gathering Facts
My Print Resource (12/01/11) Rickard, Joe
A well-executed fact finding stage can help printing salespeople come up with new ideas and impactful solutions to their customers' big communication and marketing problems. Salespeople should ask well rehearsed and prepared questions to customer personnel to gain knowledge of their organization and potential problem areas. Good and probing questions will come when printing salespeople turn to their six best friends: who, what, when, where, why and how.
Although salespeople often must be spontaneous in their questioning, they should ask who else is involved with the decision; what are the current ways of communicating and marketing; when and how often does the client communicate with customers, stockholders and employees; where are the challenges and problems in current processes; why does the company generate communications in a particular way; and how does the customer decide to initiate communication and marketing programs or initiatives? Printing salespeople who focus on what customers perceive as big problems and challenges early in the sale cycle will have an opportunity to help build solutions that will be difficult for competitors to match. Salespeople will need to be informed and conduct research to ask great questions, and then listen carefully to advance the sale. They also must understand how customers use digital media and get their greatest return on investments.
Outside Advertising: It's All About The Wow Factor
Quick Printing (12/11)
Outdoor advertising may be the oldest form of advertising, but it is just as popular and effective as ever. The industry was hit by the recent recession, with 2009 revenues dropping by 15.6 percent, but it bounced back in 2010. Outdoor advertising now posts annual revenues in excess of $6 billion. Out-of-home advertising has been found to have a high return on investment (ROI). A recent OAAA global study found optimal ROI is reached in campaigns with low overall ad spending, but with a high proportion of out of home in the media mix. Out of home advertising can use visual storytelling to express a concept with clarity and focus, even when confined to a bulletin or bus shelter panel.
Corporate responsibility, a mandatory value proposition for many businesses, is one focus in which the outdoor industry excels. This may include helping to find missing children or wanted criminals or expressing a positive message. According to OAAA estimates, the industry donates outdoor space at a value of $400 million annually. The out of home industry also has tried to reduce its carbon footprint, such as in the development of a new single sheet format for poster-size billboards, making them from a light, flexible and strong plastic substrate. When looking ahead, the industry must persist in its efforts to be responsible to the advertising audience and to advance community support, public service, environmental protection and creativity.
Zooom Brings Quality, Care to Specialty Printing
Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA) (12/12/11) Tupponce, Joan
The husband and wife team behind Zooom Printing has seen the Richmond, Va., company grow over the past decade through referrals and word of mouth. The need for a printing company that could provide shorter-run commercial printing and small specialty work led Ben and Jo Ann Rossi to sign a lease on a building and a press a few days before Sept. 11, 2001. A much larger printer would be needed if you wanted something done in higher quality, and you would have spent a lot of money to get a smaller quantity, said Jo Ann Rossi, who lacked sales experience when they opened the business but took on the role of salesperson.
Commercial businesses and educational institutions make up most of Zooom's customers, about half of everything Zooom prints is consumed out of town, and many of its printing jobs are time sensitive. From 2006 to 2009, the company had a three-year growth rate of 24 percent, and in 2010 it was ranked in the Inc. 5000 of America's fastest-growing companies. Zooom provides a variety of services that include the printing of cards, posters, brochures, pocket folders, booklets, neighborhood directories and self-published books, but the couple wants to expand their services in the future to include non-apparel screen-printing, heat transfers and large format printing. "We are trying to round out our product offering rather than continue to grow one type of capacity," Ben Rossi said. "More of our customers are looking for us to handle everything for them."
Kodak Showcases Digital for High-Speed Direct Mail Printing
Print Week (12/08/11) Ward, David
Executives with Kodak's Graphic Communications Group say that its commercial printing business is expanding. The business' digital presses, printer heads and Stream inkjet technology are being used for traditional printing jobs like high-speed direct mail runs that had been done by offset. Greg Gresock, director of marketing for Digital Printers and Presses, said, "When you look at the total number of pages that are being produced today, about 1 percent of that production is being done digital. Yet 9 percent of the value of those pages in on the digital side," which Kodak hopes to amplify through its investments. He also highlighted Kodak's Nexpress Photo Platform with long sheet capability that enables customers' productivity to increase by up to 10 percent and can transform a 120-page per minute press into 131-page per minute one.
Meanwhile, the Photo Platform lets printers secure new businesses such as photo books, yearbooks, calendars, post cards and posters, Gresock said. Several new smaller Versamark printers that boast the industry's smallest footprint are helping improve image quality with Kodak's drop-on-demand imaging system, he added. Bill Schweinfurth at Graphics Communications Group said Kodak's Prosper S-series systems have seen a two-fold growth in terms of unit sales year over year. "This class of web inkjet this is where most of the placements are for," he said.
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