PSDA Announces Dates for 2012 CEO Summit
PSDA is pleased to announce that the 16th annual CEO Summit will be held March 5–7 at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix. This premier event, designed specifically for principals from member companies with sales in excess of $2.5 million, 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.
PSDA Webinar: Leverage LinkedIn to Generate More Leads
On Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 1 p.m. ET, join Nisha Patel, social media consultant at Wise, for a webinar and learn how to leverage your LinkedIn profile for your business, including:
* Strategies to get your profile/business noticed
* Best practices for connecting with people and growing your network
* How to write posts, attach links/videos and respond to comments on your pages
* How to build credibility and visibility as an industry specialist
* Best tactics to drive traffic to your website
Learn more and register today.
PSDA Toolkits Committee Seeks Templates for Small Distributors
The PSDA Toolkits Committee is looking for templates, generic forms and other toolkits to help out small distributors. The committee identified the five items below as priorities; if you have other templates that would be helpful, please submit those as well. Please send in any examples you wish to share with the PSDA community to email@example.com.
* Checklists for human resource and personnel procedures
* Checklists for marketing initiatives and procedures
* Standard proposal formats
* Non-competes and non-disclosure contract
* Proof approval forms
PSDA will remove all company and individual names, logos and other distinguishing information. We appreciate your support!
The Flesh Company Hires New Regional Sales Manager
The Flesh Company, a print solutions provider and PSDA member, recently hired Lisa Butler as a regional sales manager. Butler will be responsible for new prospects and sales development in the northeastern part of the U.S. market through the company's trade partners. She has 28 years of experience in the printing industry with a strong knowledge of business forms, labels, digital print and VDP solutions. "Lisa is a wonderful addition to our sales team," said Mark Gerling, executive vice president of sales and marketing for The Flesh Company. "I have had the pleasure of working with her in the past and know her skills will be an asset to our growth across all of our divisions and products."
Independent Forms Services Inc. Rebrands to Become IFS
PSDA member and print solutions provider Independent Forms Services Inc. recently changed its brand to IFS and launched a new logo, tagline, website and social media presence. The company's new tagline is "Changing the Way You Think About Print," which the company believes is in line with its growth into a wider range of products and services. Superior customer service always has been the foundation of the business, but adapting to new printing processes and technological changes has become increasingly important. "Print has always been, and will continue to be, IFS's focus, yet increases in areas such as promotional products, marketing and fulfillment services, and office supplies have expanded the company’s reach," said IFS Chairman Wayne Kubek. Current management and contact information at IFS remains unchanged.
Appleton Coated Offers Five Green Power Utopia Options Using Green-e® Certified Energy Sources
Appleton Coated, a PSDA member, recently transitioned its renewable electricity purchasing to renewable energy credits (RECS) from Green-e® certified energy sources. Green Power is now a standard offer in five grades of the Utopia® brand of coated printing papers: Utopia Premium, Utopia One (sheets and web), U1X:Green (sheets and web), Utopia Two (sheets) and U2:XG (sheets and web). "One hundred percent of the electricity used to manufacture these products is matched with RECS from Green-e certified energy sources — primarily wind. Purchasing Utopia papers with Green Power increases support for building clean, efficient, wind-powered facilities and reduces greenhouse gas emissions," said Ferkó Goldinger, the company's advertising and promotion manager.
QR Codes Provide an Added Integration Dimension
BtoB (11/07/11) Henkel, David
Marketers should be inquiring as to how Quick Response (QR) codes can work to the advantage of their integrated campaigns given their increasing popularity, as indicated by a Mobio Technologies report that North American QR code scanning spiked almost 10,000 percent between the second quarter of 2010 and the same period in 2011. With more business executives depending on smartphones to maintain their work connections, marketers can utilize QR codes to link together mobile, online and print media in their campaigns, and traction for the codes is building as a result. Already compelling printed marketing materials can be augmented with an interactive mobile response through a QR code. Since they function as connections to online rather than fixed content, QR codes can deliver the flexibility to support campaigns for nearly any service or product.
Debate persists on whether to use QR codes or other emerging two-dimensional barcode technology, but the popularity of QR codes makes it probable that the marketer's target audience will have QR code readers installed on their phones rather than Microsoft Tags. Users of QR codes should make sure that their service provider or software programs support a strong tracking system, as robust tracking programs can determine the daily number of QR code scans and the times and locations of those scans. The detail of back-end reporting increases when a prospect engages with a customized microsite through a personalized URL and interacts with a brand.
Clicking With Your Customers
ProPrint (11/07/11) Kohn, Peter
Web-to-print (W2P) can be useful for smaller players that want to offer online services. A company called Fuse IT, for instance, packages transactional print programs into Oracle and SAP-based IT systems. Fuse IT’s clients include print management companies seeking to connect with customers and other providers. Online Print Solutions (OPS) relies on Fuse IT to handle its online ordering. Customers can log into OPS' system, order the prints, and proceed through checkout. The order drops into Fuse IT's portal, enabling the job to be printed, invoiced and docketed for delivery.
Fuse IT systems integrator Bruce Manderson estimates that for W2P to be profitable, "You would want to be somewhere in the area of a $3 million-a-year business to consider it." This includes about $20,000 for base ordering software, another $20,000 to integrate the product into a company's workflow, and a few thousand more for a server, he said. Manderson adds that about 10 percent of Fuse IT’s customers integrate their W2P with their management information system.
Top 10 Mistakes in Selling Web-to-Print In the current issue of Print Solutions magazine, contributor Heidi Tolliver-Walker delves into how having a web-to-print solution does not mean it is a successful one. In the article, "Top 10 Mistakes in Selling Web-to-Print," she investigates the disconnect between web-to-print’s promise and reality. Click here to download a PDF of the article.
Enterprise to Roll Out QR Codes Across Fleet to Promote Vehicles for OEMs, Dealers
Auto Remarketing (11/09/11) Rubenoff, Sarah
Enterprise Holdings is deploying a Quick Response (QR) code campaign called OnRamp across its Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand that encourages customers to think about their next vehicle purchase. Initially, Mazda6 vehicles across Enterprise's North American fleet will get the QR codes, but the Toyota Avalon and Nissan LEAF and NV models also will receive the codes, the company said. OnRamp will eventually expand to include nearly 1 million vehicles and could benefit dealers in particular. When smartphone users scan an OnRamp QR code, they will be taken to a mobile-optimized site where they can learn more about the vehicle they are renting and find a local dealer if they are interested in purchasing a similar car.
The QR codes can be found on key tags and on the driver side window of all vehicles, "making vehicle information accessible to more than just the rental vehicle occupants," the company says. In the case of Mazda, the vehicle’s QR code will take users to Mazda’s custom built website (www.MazdaUSA.com/MeetMazda6) where they can find information on dealer locations, dealer inventory, vehicle pricing and vehicle specs, according to an Enterprise spokesperson. "Additionally, the driver has the ability to request an online quote; if a quote is requested, the system will then send a message to the driver’s local dealer who will contact the driver," the spokesperson said. OnRamp will eventually include vehicles covered by all three rental brands — Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car.
Green Fatigue, Green Supply Chains and the Greening 2.0 of Print
Quick Printing (11/11) Carli, Don
Sustainability initiatives are often considered an added expense among print service providers, but "beyond compliance" measures and certification can generate a competitive edge, as well as credibility for green-marketing claims. Steve Whittaker, vice president of Quality Management & Sustainability Initiatives at Monroe Litho, pointed out, "For many years we had been undertaking many initiatives to reduce our environmental impacts, but we found that the SGP [Sustainable Green Printing Partnership] certification process provided us with a framework for integrating our efforts as well as a credible platform for communicating their benefits to key stakeholders." Consumer concerns about the environment may come and go, but most print service providers do not serve consumers directly. However, major corporations, nonprofits and government agencies do expect measurable environmental impact reductions and substantiation of green marketing claims from their suppliers.
Companies like P&G, General Mills, Ford and IKEA are developing sustainable supply chain scorecards, while several initiatives like The Sustainability Consortium are developing tools and metrics for quantifying the environmental performance of the companies and products in their extended supply chains. Third-party certifications like SGP are becoming more important because the FTC is cracking down both on unsubstantiated green claims and on claims that are based on questionable certifications. Changes have been proposed to the FTC Green Guide, including cautions against the use of broad claims such as "environmentally friendly" or "saves trees" without substantiation.
Environmental Certifications: Are They Worth the Effort? On a related topic, the September issue of Print Solutions magazine features an article by Heidi Tolliver-Walker titled "Environmental Certifications: Are They Worth the Effort?" In the article, Tolliver-Walker examines how the end result of promoting your company as green isn't always clear-cut. Click here to download a PDF of the article.
EFI Unveils PrintMe Mobile for Vendor-Agnostic Printing From Tablets and Smartphones
eChannelLine Daily News (11/03/11) Cox, Mark
EFI, a digital printing solution provider, has rolled out PrintMe Mobile, a new mobile print solution that will be available to IT resellers and managed service providers, and which has market distinction by virtue of being a vendor-agnostic offering that provides quality printing from smartphones and tablets, including some devices that have no internal printing ability. Although EFI has existed for many years, much of its business has been focused on original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), with little business directly catering to niche markets such as commercial inkjet printing. EFI does boast a large partner channel, which the company helps to train and support, but these partners—3,000 to 4,000 in the United States alone—are copier dealers and purchase EFI products through OEMs rather than via distribution or directly from EFI.
The company's branded PrintMe Mobile solution was actually in the mobile printing sector for a decade, and EFI's Tom Offutt notes, "We were a little early with the technology, which came out long before the great increase in mobile devices, but it was a great solution for hotels to offer printing solutions to their guests, and for universities to do student printing." Offutt observes that the growth of smartphones and tablets has boosted awareness of a problem—that no good print solution for smartphones exists, and tablet users are under the mistaken impression that tablets will operate in the same manner as a laptop.
EFI thinks PrintMe Mobile will be particularly appealing as a component of managed services interactions, something that both traditional copier dealers and the value-added reseller (VAR) channel are migrating toward. "We will be reaching out to both elements," Offutt says. "We have strong relationships with copier dealers and they will initially carry it. But we are also looking at VARs with a focus on mobility, because it complements exactly what they are doing." Offutt notes that they will engage directly with the IT resellers they hire rather than go through distribution, at least until enough traction for a new product has been built up. "This should appeal to anyone in the community with a vertical market specialization around tablets—especially the iPad, which is by far the dominant one," he says. "It should also be big in healthcare, where doctors use tablets a lot, and who need this because healthcare is still very printing intensive." Offutt says that legal and education also would be substantial markets.
Point-of-Purchase (10/27/11) Mehta, Reena
A cutting-edge scanning tool from 3M can scientifically analyze the effectiveness of banner ads, print ads, signage, retail space and other visual designs. The Visual Attention Service (VAS) is based on decades of research into the human vision system and is powered by algorithms that identify the key elements in a scene and determine which are likely to attract someone's attention. Analyzing basic design elements, such as colors, faces, shapes, contrast and text, VAS can accurately predict which areas will be noticed in the first three to five seconds. "It does not measure the strength of marketing messages or the emotional impact of a design—it goes straight to the heart of visual science to tell you where the human eye will naturally gravitate in the first few seconds of viewing," said Sunil Muralidharan, division manager at 3M Commercial Graphics.
The tool securely uploads, stores and processes images and can present results in comprehensive heatmaps, summary region maps, by areas of interest in the image and as a summary report. 3M offers VAS as an online service that runs on the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud, using 128 bit SSL encryption to secure files, and the tool can be accessed as a plug-in for Photoshop and as an iPhone app. When using VAS, Insignia learned that products for the brand Scotch-Brite were not likely to be noticed in supermarket aisles. The marketing company added a POP sign in the form of a shelf talker and says sales have increased 8 percent.
Convenience Store Decisions (10/11) Rigik, Erin
Retailers are hoping to boost impulse purchases by using seasonal displays that highlight unique novelty and convenience products. U-PAK-IT, for example, a 40-store chain of independent operators in Louisiana, hopes to attract customers with a line of seasonal products, many of which retail for between $5 and $10. It is planning to display a revolving assortment in stores from fall through Christmas and has already selected new items for Valentine's Day. "Our novelty items are high impulse items that, if positioned correctly, will sell themselves," said Brad Lemoine, marketing director for U-PAK-IT. "The items we sell from Novelty Inc. come with a graphically designed display that acts as a sales person in the store. The display really helps sell the product." U-PAK-IT teamed with Novelty Inc. in 2010 to launch a new line of impulse items and also uses a direct-store-delivery vendor for merchandise. U-PAK-IT refreshes its novelty section in response to the seasons, including items like rain boots, collegiate and NFL items, ceramic travel mugs and fashion wallets.
National Print Group Makes Big Imprint
Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN) (11/06/11) O'Neill, Carey
Jim O'Rourke, general manager for the digital and screen printing division of National Print Group, a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based company that is one of the top five billboard and point of purchase advertising printers in the country, says flexibility is key in his industry. The $75 million-annual-revenue company prints tens of millions of square feet of menus, banners, posters, vinyl billboard coverings and whatever else customers need each year. Rapid technological development since the turn of the century has increased flexibility, and National Print Group has scaled its operation along with the technology, helping fuel double-digit revenue growth this year over last. About once a year, the company adds a new printer, which can cost $500,000 to $1.5 million.
Still, technology is not making everything easier; instead, advances in technology are making printing obsolete in some areas. Digital billboards are slowly gaining ground, but normal billboards still vastly outnumber digital, which is far more expensive. Moreover, billboards are a much smaller proportion of the company's business now. Before digitization, about 80 percent of National Print Group's business came from billboard printing, the rest from point of purchase signs. Today, those percentages have flipped. There are those who are frustrated by technological advances, including Cleve Armstrong, who has worked in the business for decades. He said computers have made his life easier but taken a lot of the art, and the pride, out of his job. Additionally, colors are still more vibrant with the older ways of printing.
Company Uses Copier Formula to Turn Into One-Stop Print Shop
Globe and Mail (CAN) (11/04/11) Kroeker, Jeff
PrinterWorks, founded in 2000 as an office printer repair and service center, took its desire to expand its revenue streams and began selling printers and associated products and offering system expertise to make everything run smoothly. Still, the company found that its clients were going to other suppliers to manage different aspects of their printing needs. In response, PrintWorks devised a strategy that would make clients see the advantage of using them as a one-stop shop. PrinterWorks made the client problem its own, asking itself if there was a way to develop a transparent, fully integrated print and copy management system, which merged all of the costs into a simple billing solution for clients.
The owners' experience and knowledge led them toward a simple pay-per-page system, which PrinterWorks calls the "managed print services" model. Although the strategy is not new, PrinterWorks applied the best practices of the copier industry to the printer industry and developed a transparent print services plan for its customers. The company launched its first managed pay-per-page print system in 2007 and watched the stress level of its customers drop almost instantly. Since the introduction of the model in 2007, PrinterWorks has more than quadrupled its revenues, increased its gross margin by 20 percent and delivered more than 200 million pages of printing to clients. It also has been able to win contracts with organizations that had large printer and copier fleets.
Print Solutions Magazine Highlights
New Print Solutions Issue Spotlights Digital Printing
The November issue of Print Solutions, PSDA's flagship magazine, will reach members' desks soon. In this month's cover story, "Using Data to Go Deeper," Darin Painter discusses how distributors can have more meaningful conversations with clients — and develop stronger connections and higher sales — by providing data-driven digital printing.
The article includes three case studies examining the use of effective data-driven digital printing applications. In the first, Painter explains by way of hotel chain Best Western how personalized messages can boost client engagement; the second delves into how The Linn Companies used direct marketing to improves traffic and sales; and the third showcases Mercy Health Partners, a health care system that used a pURL campaign to converts leads to clients.
To read the full article, check out the interactive flipbook of the entire issue or download a PDF of the article.
Abstract News © Copyright 2011 INFORMATION, INC.