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.
PSDA Launches Templates and Toolkits Resource Center
With the help of several member companies and volunteers, PSDA is pleased to announce the launch of a repository of templates and toolkits providing standard documents (e.g., non-compete agreement, sample marketing collateral, HR materials, etc.) that 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.
PSDA to Present at Upcoming PPAI Expo
At the upcoming PPAI Expo, a panel of PSDA members will present a session entitled: "Grow as a Marketing Services Provider: Add Value by Adding PRINT to the Toolbox." PSDA's Executive Vice President Matt Sanderson will moderate the discussion as PSDA members who have effectively "crossed over" into promotional products share lessons learned with promotional products distributors who are interested in growing their business through print.
Read more about the session including how to register.
Meridian Acquires Courier Printing
PSDA member and print service provider Meridian recently acquired the full-service offset printing company Courier Printing. “Meridian plans to integrate the Courier production facility, complementing Meridian customers with additional large format offset presses adding speed, capacity and gaining cost reductions for our customer base,” said Bruce Vorel, Meridian's vice president of operations. “We will continue to invest and develop a marketing program that incorporates data analytics to develop web, mobile and print based marketing strategies such as web-to-print applications as well as targeted marketing utilizing trigger based personalized URLs and QR codes.” Owner of Courier Printing Bob Corirossi stated that the company has admired Meridian and its business model and expressed excitement for the future.
Nipson VaryPRESS Surpasses Speed and Volume Expectations
Digital printing solutions provider Nipson, a PSDA member, recently announced that its VaryPRESS models have exceeded the company's speed and volume expectations throughout the last 10 years. Customers are reporting that individual models are producing well more than half a billion feet of printing since purchased. The latest VaryPRESS model achieves a production speed of up to 492 feet per minute, producing more than 1,000 A4 pages per minute two-up simplex and more than 2,000 A4 pages per minute two-up in duplex mode. “Our customers really give our machines a beating; but the printers keep on going,” said Bryan Palphreyman, CEO of Nipson US and UK. “We are pleased with the news that our models are exceeding expectations and plan to continue to improve our products and technology to meet future demands.”
Printco Inc. Approved as Prescription Form Vendor in Delaware
Omro, Wis.-based PSDA member Printco Inc. recently was approved by the Delaware Division of Professional Regulation as a vendor for the new state-mandated tamper resistant prescription forms. Delaware-licensed practitioners with prescriptive authority must begin using the new state-approved forms no later than March 1, 2012. Delaware is the 12th state overall and the third in the last year to mandate tamper-resistant features into prescription forms for controlled substances to prevent rising cases of prescription fraud and abuse.
Xeikon Receives Financially Healthy Company Award
PSDA member Xeikon recently received an award from credit referencing agency Graydon to indicate that it is a financially healthy company and reliable to do business with in its industry. This is in line with the recent announcement of its tripled net profit and 16 percent EBITDA growth in comparison with 2010. On the award, Wim Maes, CEO of Xeikon, said: “According to Graydon, only 3 percent of all Dutch companies truly have their financial act under control. And we are a part of this select group.” The Graydon awards are only granted to organizations that meet a number of strict criteria. To be awarded, a company has to obtain a positive credit status with a minimal chance of unreliable payment. The judgment is made on a mix of factors such as turnover numbers, yearly business results and payment conduct. With its database being updated on a daily basis, users of Graydon services can be certain to work with the most complete financial and market data.
Labels & Labeling (12/09/11) No. 5, Houghton, Carol
Food companies face the challenge of packing a product label with more nutritional and ingredient information — as well as dates to "use by," "sell by" and "use within" — no matter how small their label. Paul Johnston-Knight, director of paper agent Papico, viewed a label as a "silent salesperson" and encouraged companies to make the best use of the variety of paper substrates, labeling technologies and printing and finishing processes available to make their labels stand out.
Vlad Sljapic, sales director for digital printing solutions at inkjet printer manufacturer Domino, has been a big believer in the use of QR codes, a multimedia platform that can allow companies to create an impact at the point of purchase. Sljapic said its true potential is that it identifies the consumer so the brand can tailor and customize future campaigns. Consumers are able to use their smartphones to access multiple languages, contests, additional product information and even live updates.
"QR codes work both ways: they allow supermarkets to efficiently manage stock as well as identify the market more accurately and allow targeted information to be brought closer to the customer in one method," Sljapic said. "QR codes can link the product to a story, informing customers where it came from, its sustainability, carbon footprint, farm to shelf miles, who grew it, even the name of the cow the milk in the product came from and images of the farmer." The food labeling industry also is searching for answers for sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging, traceability, solvent ink and shorter delivery times.
Choosing the Right Digital Label Press For more on digital labels, check out the article in the November issue of Print Solutions by Heidi Tolliver-Walker titled "Choosing the Right Digital Label Press." In the article, Tolliver-Walker discusses the importance of commmercial printers to consider their digital label needs before making a decision. Are you looking for speed, quality or options?
On-Demand Mail Stamps 'Growth' on Its Market Niche
Crain's Detroit Business (12/11/11) Halcom, Chad
It is the intent of On-Demand Mail Services' owners to branch out after making a home for themselves in a market segment where providers bundle and presort mail to offer postage discounts. The company anticipates delivering more than 120 million pieces of standard and first-class mail for roughly 40 clients and achieving between $30 million and $35 million in revenue this year, versus earnings of about $25 million on 80 million pieces of mail for around 20 clients last year.
On-Demand President Timothy Laura said expansion involves opening a regional distribution center in the next several months, possibly in Columbus, Ohio, or in Pennsylvania, to assist East Coast deliveries. When On-Demand first opened, its sole customer was printer and digital marketer Brian Unlimited Distribution, which also was the previous employer of Laura and fellow On-Demand executives Mike Tickles and Rob Quick. Laura said the business soon realized that savings could be found by adding customers and establishing economies of scale under the U.S. Postal Service's federal Workshare Program. "Our original customer base was big mailers and other printers, but now we're growing more by adding in smaller companies — law firms, hospitals and others with large mail pickups," he said.
Through the Workshare Program, private mailers can receive discounts on both standard and first-class postage rates in return for barcoding and presorting mail or collecting and shipping it to specific ZIP code sites. On-Demand and similar businesses quote a price to the client and then seek mail volume to satisfy or surpass the discount. Laura said standard mail constitutes more than 60 percent of mail volume delivered in 2011, and he argued that printers and advertising outfits sustain a modest hunger for bulk mail. "Junk mail has a shelf life," he said. "It sits there until you actually take action to get rid of it, whereas an email you can delete without opening or divert it to your spam filter. Some companies are realizing that. And there was a hole we saw in the Southeast Michigan market, of people who weren't [offering] this specific service." Specific tasks for On-Demand have run the gamut from several hundred mail pieces delivered to a particular ZIP code to delivering 4 million copies of a Printwell pamphlet for a federal government mailing to promote military recruitment.
Stop the Presses? Not Print Giant RR Donnelley
Medill Reports (IL) (11/30/11) Kandel, Melissa
RR Donnelley & Sons, the world's largest commercial printing company, faces a contracting print business as a result of the increasing digitization and electronic communication of printed material, and in response, the firm is diversifying its portfolio by acquiring smaller businesses. This strategy "gives [Donnelley] revenues which are more stable than traditional printing, and less affected by competitive price pressures that exist in the traditional, old fashioned printing business," said Benchmark analyst Edward Atorino. Donnelley recently announced that it would buy StratusGroup, a maker of labels and paperboard packaging products for various industries, as well as common household items such as plastic containers and shampoo bottles. Atorino said the acquisition "gets them into businesses that are growing and are less sensitive to the pure economy," as well as "additional services they can offer clients."
There are concerns, however, that Donnelley will become less capable of responding to clients' individual and specific needs as a consequence of its buying spree. "There are a lot of people that don't want to deal with [large companies] because they don't feel they get the level of customer service you can get from a smaller company," said What They Think columnist Cary Sherburne. He also warned that Donnelley's expansion could ultimately be an obstacle to its growth, slowing it down and allowing smaller, nimbler competitors to gain an edge. In addition, Donnelley's printing facility workforce is being significantly trimmed — more than 2,000 jobs eliminated so far in 2011 — as the company acquires and slashes costs to sustain and grow profit margins. Print industry consultant John Zarwan said these reductions stem not just from industry declines, but also from the increasing efficiency and automation of the printing process.
QR Codes & Electronics Supply Chain
EBN (11/28/11) Sullivan, Laurie
QR codes are employed by ad agencies and companies for the promotion of brands and products, and, thus far, the electronics manufacturing industry has not undertaken a major adoption of the technology, though other sectors such as pharmaceutical and consumer products have. A comScore study found that some 14 million U.S. mobile users scanned a QR code in June 2011, while Scanbuy CEO Mike Wehrs said his firm continues to engage in discussions with drug companies to put drug interaction codes on packaging, which could help curb drug counterfeiting, among other things.
As a result of the difficulty in finding wandering hospital patients following a recent evacuation of New York, the American Heart Association turned to Scanbuy to develop a code that could be scanned by a mobile device to provide emergency contact information. Wehrs said an emergency medical technician who scanned the code would receive full Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA)-compliant data. The challenge involved ascertaining whether the scanner was an EMT or an average person. Wehrs said that errors could be caused by surface irregularities and dim illumination. Another inhibitor might be costly, and RFID Journal editor Mark Roberti said that QR codes are far more costly than radio frequency identification technology. "You can buy UHF EPC Gen 2 inlays for 7 cents in quantities of 1 million or more," he said. "Converted labels are about 15 cents. Outfitting small distribution centers with, say, 10 dock doors might be $100,000. Outfitting a store with one receiving bay, one impact door and one exit is probably $50,000 plus tagging of items."
Salvation Army Using QR Codes to Accept Donations
WVLT (Tenn.) (12/06/2011)
The Salvation Army is giving people the opportunity to donate to the charity's Red Kettle campaign with their smartphones using QR code technology. The charity views the technology as a way to enable donors to support the organization when they leave home without cash or loose change. The Salvation Army worked with Graphic Creations to develop a convenient way to let donors use their credit cards. "The QR code is something you scan with your smart phone that enables people to access information formatted for the phone's small screen," said Jim Caughhorn, vice president of Graphic Creations. The simple technology already has been used at least one time by more than half of the people who have smartphones, he said. Nine locations across west Knoxville utilize the QR codes, which also allow owners of smartphones to follow the Salvation Army's various social media and sign up for newsletters. "In an age where credit and debit cards are primary means of spending, we've had to experiment with alternative ways for those without cash or change on them to make a donation to the kettles, and we feel the QR code is the best option at this point," said Knoxville Area Commander Major Don Vick.
JC Penney Makes QR Codes Personal In a blog post titled "JC Penney Makes QR Codes Personal," Print Solutions editorial assistant Alexa Schlosser points out retailer JC Penney's unique, multilayer holiday campaign using QR codes on gifts. To read this and other posts on QR codes, visit the PSDA blog.
Research Discovers Ways to Improve Direct Mail
123Print (11/18/11) Parker, Sonia
Metrics Marketing Group has disclosed eye tracking and facial expression data to obtain insight into consumers' receipt of and response to direct mail pieces. "For today's direct mail marketers there is little opportunity to grab customer attention and stand out from the crowd," said Metrics Marketing's Cathleen Zapata. "The print cycle is long, and competition is fierce; thus, optimizing your creative prior to launch is imperative."
Separate research from the Chief Marketing Officer Council discovered that marketers can augment local advertising and drive sales through direct mail campaigns. Such campaigns can be a core element of a multichannel marketing effort that brands of all sizes roll out when presenting themselves as a business and establish a local and national presence. Marketing Week reported that TNT Post unveiled a postcard direct mail piece featuring a label with a pre-printed stamp and return address. Customers can peel off the stamp and address to return the item to the company, and the goal of the program is to improve direct mail campaigns by adding more convenience for the consumer. In addition, it eased marketers' tracking and measurement of the campaign and its return on investment.
Managed Print Services: Nearing a Tipping Point?
MSPmentor.net (11/30/11) Panettieri, Joe
According to Joe Panettieri, the managed print services (MPS) market may be nearing a tipping point, as such services have been increasingly promoted by printer firms throughout the past several years. "Generally speaking, I think all of the major RMM (remote monitoring and management) software providers are introducing managed print capabilities," Panettieri said. He cited Level Platforms' Managed Workplace 2011 R3 release, which provides managed print and cloud management capacity, as an example. Level Platforms said the new product lets MSPs "comprehensively monitor and manage printing and imaging assets, optimizing the return on investment of their customers' document production processes through increased printer uptime, reduced costs and new programs including just-in-time supply replenishment and Cost-per-Copy programs."
Meanwhile, ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini showcased MPS combined with LabTech and ConnectWise software at the IT Nation conference, and in October, N-able Technologies and its technology partners also pushed MPS at the N-able Partner Summit. Panettieri pointed to the preliminary results of this year's MSPmentor 100 survey, which indicates that almost 30 percent of MSPs offer MPS. "I believe RMM software providers deserve the credit [for the uptick], pulling printer companies into their conferences and helping MSPs to find potential recurring revenues that they've previously overlooked," Panettieri said. "Photizo Group also deserves some credit; the company has organized a range of managed print services conferences and continually bangs the drum for MPS." However, Panettieri held back from suggesting that MPS will become a widespread service for MSPs. "Plenty of MSPs have tried managed print services, only to abandon the model because of sales, pricing and support challenges," he said.
Xerox Marches Forward With Managed Print Services In a Dec. 7 post on PSDA's blog, Executive Vice President Matt Sanderson broached the topic of the company Xerox and its increase of managed print services. Read Sanderson's post and join the discussion on the blog.
Print Solutions Magazine Highlights
Document Protection Strategies for Security-Oriented Printers
The December issue of Print Solutions includes a cover story package on document security. This two-article feature, written by John LaBrant of SICPA Securink Corporation, discusses the improvements in document security program design and strategies and focuses on the usefulness and ease of using security inks to combat counterfeiting.
The issue will reach your mailbox soon. In the meantime, to read the full article, check out the interactive flipbook of the entire issue or download PDFs of the articles.
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