PSDA Announces Exclusive Webinar Series Focused on Increasing Sales with Powerful Marketing
PSDA is excited to announce that starting in April, and running through the end of this year, PSDA and Alex L. Goldfayn, CEO of Evangelist Marketing Institute, will present six live, interactive webinars focused on increasing your sales through powerful marketing. Each webinar is free to PSDA members and will feature rich learning material, plus interaction, questions and periodic role plays between you, your peers and colleagues, and Goldfayn.
The webinar series is titled How to Grow Sales with Marketing because its entire purpose is to grow your business .
Register now for the first webinar in this series, The Growth Mindset, taking place April 24 at 1pm ET / 12pm CT / 11am MT / 10am PT.
This session will cover how PSDA members can think bigger in order to market more powerfully, and increase sales rather dramatically. How you think is how you market, and you cannot out-market your mindset.
Upcoming webinars will cover the following topics:
The Power of Customer Insights
How to Add New Customers Through Powerful Marketing
Increasing Revenue with Existing Customers
Executive Selling, Peer-to-Peer
Creating and Nurturing Customer Evangelists
PSDA’s HR Corner: Expert Advice on Exit Interviews and Benefits Plans
By Claudia St. John, president, Affinity HR Group LLC
Q: Is it a good idea to use exit interviews to assess why people are leaving the organization?
A: Yes. The “exit interview” is a sufficient tool to assess the reasons why employees are exiting the organization. Unfortunately, by the time you do the interview, it is often too late to impact their decision. A better option is to solicit the information periodically before employees even consider leaving the organization. “Stay interviews” are used to help you assess why people stay, why they come to work every day. They help you keep a pulse on your employee engagement level to insure employees are content and committed. Exit interviews do little to keep the employee from leaving, as they are often a day late and a dollar short of influencing someone's decision.
Q: I am an administrative assistant to a CEO and he just asked me to put in a benefits plan for our company. This is a huge task, and I feel like a fish out water. Please help!
A: The first line of business is to consult with a benefits broker who can look at your current plan, help you determine an employee benefit budget and possibly develop an employee benefit survey. Your consultant will advise you every step of the way. The good thing about hiring a benefits consultant is that you usually don't pay a dime because they typically get compensated off commissions from the insurance carrier. These consultants will give you lots of free advice and do much of the work for you so you can put in value-added, cost-effective benefits that will please your boss and your employee population. And, while you're at it, don't forget about non-insurance benefits such as flex time, bonus time off, sabbaticals, volunteer days, monthly workplace massages, catered lunches on Fridays, etc. These have a very large return on an often minimal investment.
Affinity HR Group LLC is a consulting firm and PSDA partner that specializes in providing human resources assistance to associations and their member companies.
Have a question for Claudia? Send your query via email and your question may be answered in a future edition of HR Corner.
All PSDA member companies receive discounted pricing on Affinity HR Group's wide variety of services. For more information, visit the group's website.
Distributor Solutions Expo Exhibitor Spotlight: Greystone Print Solutions
Greystone Print Solutions (booth #p312) is one of many new exhibitors at PSDA's Distributor Solutions Expo, May 8-9 in Chicago. Here's a quick spotlight on what the company offers:
Q: Tell us about Greystone Print Solution's products and services.
A: Greystone Print Solutions exists to help grow your revenue, reduce costs in your client's marketing supply chain, or help you solve a problem. We use the expertise and experience of nearly 100 trained staff and state-of-the-art offset, digital and flexo equipment to achieve the results you need.
Q: What are you most excited to show off to attendees at the Expo? What will attendees see when they stop by your booth?
A: The next generation of digital presses! Greystone's Truepress JetSX is 20.8" x 29.1", has a stock thickness up to 24pt, offers inkjet and offsetm CMYK pigment-based ink, and is compatible with laminations and varnish.
We’ll help you increase revenue and/or reduce cost in your client’s marketing supply chain with these new capabilities:
• Personalized full size pocket folders
• Short run full size pocket folders
• Short run packaging up to 24pt board
• Personalized packaging
• Short run header cards with multiple skews
• Pre die cut short run color envelopes (with bleed)
• Short run or personalized posters and POP displays
• Personalized playing cards
• Personalized sports cards by school/team/player.
• Short run or personalized brochures 8,12,16, 20, 24 pages, etc.
For more information, visit the company's website.
Wilmer Touts Tamper-Resistant Medicaid Prescription Pads that Exceed Security Requirements
PSDA member Wilmer recently announced it is helping to combat prescription fraud by ensuring that all of its prescription pads are designed to exceed Medicaid's minimum security requirements. Among other U.S. regulations, prescription pads must be designed to prevent unauthorized copying, erasure, modification or counterfeiting. Whether a customer needs standard prescription pads, laser sheets or thermal rolls, Wilmer incorporates the highest level of security features available, with multiple guards against attempts to copy, modify, erase or counterfeit. Among the tools Wilmer uses are heat-sensitive thermochromic ink, chemical protection paper, security patterns and watermarks.
“We've taken the ‘more is better' approach and know our customers' prescriptions are the safest they can possibly be,” said Doug Apple, vice president and general manager of Wilmer.
Visit Wilmer's website to learn more about Wilmer's tamper-resistant security features and Wilmer's Cool Card Cash Rewards program for qualifying Rx orders.
FormStore Incorporated Adds Director of Strategic Business Development
Eric Buchroeder recently joined PSDA member FormStore Incorporated as the director of strategic business development. Buchroeder will lead initiatives with FormStore key customers to design and implement best-practice solutions, long-term relationships, substantial opportunities and strategic programs. These will utilize FormStore's core membership ID card, digital print, personalization and mailing capabilities and, when beneficial, those of its clients in an integrated model. “We are very excited about what Eric can bring to FormStore” said Paul Edwards, FormStore president. “Eric will be working with client leaders at all levels to conceive, create and implement shared strategies to build sustained revenue growth.”
Buchroeder's more than 30 years of experience includes sales, sales training, regional management, and product marketing management for document industry leaders including several FormStore preferred partners.
Flottman Company Wins Tristate Business Success Award
Cincy Magazine, a magazine for business professionals, recently tapped the Flottman Company of Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati as one of 45 highly select companies honored to receive the 2013 Tristate Success Award. This is the second straight year the Flottman Company has received this distinguished honor for business growth.
The Tristate Success Awards designate the most successful and consistent companies throughout the TriState region (Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana) in three categories: public, private and emerging business. Winners are chosen from hundreds of nominations that are reviewed by business peers for industry advancements, economic development and community involvement.
The Flottman Company will be featured with a profile article in the April/May 2013 issue of Cincy Magazine. “Being selected as a winner for our second straight year and receiving a profile feature in the magazine really serves as a testament to all that our company and our employees are doing to support the region. Truly the dedication of our employees to our company and our customers is the real reason for our success,” said Tom Flottman, CEO of the Flottman Company.
RBO PrintLogistix Hires New Sales Executive
PSDA member RBO PrintLogistix recently hired Michael Costick (pictured, left) as a sales executive. Costick is a 20-year industry veteran and comes to RBO PrintLogistix from Moore Business Forms and WorkFlow One. He will be responsible for business development.
RBO PrintLogistix is a turnkey marketing services provider that offers a full spectrum of deliverables from inspiration to destination. That way, you have one go-to resource that can manage your entire project, allowing you to focus on the press of business instead of coordinating divergent suppliers who can't seamlessly deliver what you need.
Discount Labels Extends No-Cost Shipping Offer Through June
In response to very positive customer feedback, PSDA member Discount Labels is extending its free shipping promotion through the end of June for distributors who place catalog orders online at the company's website. Since March, Discount Labels has been enticing distributors to place catalog orders through the company's newly enhanced website by waiving shipping fees.
“We get that our distributors need to maximize profits. That's why we've enhanced our website and are extending our offer for complimentary shipping for catalog orders placed on the site,” said Jennifer LaGrange, brand manager for Discount Labels. “It's super easy for distributors to sign up and order on the site and then gain quick access to order status, saved orders and quotes. Ordering online is really a win-win for customers who want a quick and easy way to order labels, while saving money on shipping.”
For more information on Discount Labels' offer, visit the company's website.
One-to-One Marketing Gets Up Close and Personal
Quick Printing (04/13) Steele, Jeffrey
Marketers are taking a more personal and personalized approach to campaigns thanks to the advent of variable data printing, and this had led to considerably improved campaign results. Print providers who offer “highly personalized one-on-one marketing” materials are at an advantage. “[It is] being able to identify those individuals, respond to their particular needs, issues and desires [and] support them with communications highly personalized to their needs and identity,” said PSDA member WebbMason's Carol Wolicki.
DS Graphics' Jack McGrath said marketing no longer subscribes to the linear process of sending out one-size-fits-all mailings and awaiting a response. “Now that the data-driven age has arrived, data can be purchased by companies to direct messages relevant to the right recipients,” he said. McGrath also said there are two contrasting considerations in the marketplace: 1) production side-supported commodity runs that offer reduced production costs but lower response per unit; and 2) market-preferred concept that involves messages specific to individual recipients and concentrates on cost of response instead of cost per unit.
McGrath said personalized one-to-one marketing is new territory for print service providers, as equipment makers frequently provide a level of training sufficiently comprehensive to make the equipment a good value even for small clients. Furthermore, personalized marketing materials are higher value, less commoditized pieces, offering printers higher returns.
Wolicki, meanwhile, sees many printers keen to connect with the digital space and said these are individuals familiar with printing personalized direct mail and using databases to integrate the printed materials with contact names and addresses. “Many are able to make the leap into using [Quick Response (QR)] Codes and tying those into personalized landing pages,” she said. “It’s essentially taking a direct mail piece that’s personalized, and adding a QR Code that is tied into a pURL — that has a landing page that is a personal online invitation to an event, with all personal information populated. It could be an invitation to a sale, localized to their region and with a phone number included. It has the ability to make recipients feel this marketing effort has been created just for them."
However, printers should be aware of pitfalls in this market niche. McGrath said it is key to restrain overspending when looking for a quality output device. Another error to be avoided is not to properly train one's sales force and internal group. The latter, for one, must learn to handle data differently and how that affects workflow. Moving forward without a strong, capable partner also is a mistake. “Use the American Marketing Association and the DMA and the PSDA as learning resources," Wolicki said. "They could be really helpful, because they’re going to have members, particularly in the interactive side, who are already doing this.”
Gartner Says Early Adopters of 3-D Printing Could Gain an Advantage Over Rivals
Printing Impressions (03/26/13)
Technology research company Gartner reports that 3-D printing is creating disruption in design, prototyping and manufacturing processes across a broad spectrum of industries. It is in enterprises' best interests to experiment with 3-D printing technology to augment conventional product design and prototyping, with the potential to generate new product lines and markets. "The hype leads many people to think the technology is some years away when it is available now and is affordable to most enterprises," said Gartner research director Pete Basiliere.
Gartner sees continued advancement in the material science underlying 3-D printing processes and materials, and affordable 3-D printers are making it less costly for enterprises to penetrate the manufacturing sector. Consequently, the 3-D printer market will maintain its migration from niche acceptance to broad take-up, impelled by reduced printer prices, the potential for cost and time savings, greater capabilities and enhanced performance. "We see 3-D printing as a tool for empowerment, already enabling life-changing parts and products to be built in struggling countries, helping rebuild crisis-hit areas and leading to the democratization of manufacturing," Basiliere said.
Businesses can utilize 3-D printing to design personalized products, components, working prototypes and architectural models to advertise their brand and products in new and interactive ways. Three-dimensional printers are currently priced so that any size business can make investments and experiment with the many ways to monetize them. Enterprise-class 3-D printers will be available for less than $2,000 by 2016. Early adopters can experiment with printers with minimal risk of capital or time, possibly obtaining an advantage in product design and time-to-market.
Furthermore, enterprise uses for 3-D printers have expanded as capabilities of 3-D scanners and design tools have improved and the commercial and open-source development of additional design software tools boosts the practicality of 3-D printing. Gartner expects the commercial market for 3-D print applications to extend into architectural, engineering, geospatial and medical uses, as well as short-run manufacturing. Multinational retailers could not only sell 3-D printers but also offer a service bureau that prints custom items or personalized variants of stock items.
Saturday Mail Service Saved for Now, USPS Says
NBCNews.com (04/11/13) Rizzo, Patrick
The U.S. Postal Service announced on April 10 that it would cancel plans to end Saturday mail delivery this summer, saying the new stopgap budget that Congress recently passed would prohibit the move. "The board believes that Congress has left it with no choice but to delay this implementation at this time,” the Postal Service’s board of governors said in the statement. "The board also wants to ensure that customers of the Postal Service are not unduly burdened by ongoing uncertainties and are able to adjust their business plans accordingly." In February, the Postal Service announced that it would cease delivery of first-class mail on Saturday beginning in August. It said it would continue to deliver packages, mail-order medicine and express mail on Saturday, but not letters, bills, cards and catalogs.
The agency reported an annual loss of a record $15.9 billion for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, triple the prior year's loss and capping a year in which it was forced to default on payments to a health benefit trust fund managed by the Treasury Department. On Jan. 27, the Postal Service raised postage stamp prices by one cent to 46 cents to help raise revenues. “We are currently losing $25 million per day,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in January. The Postal Service said that given this decision and its decaying finances, its board of directors has told management to reopen negotiations with the postal unions to lower workforce costs.
Optimized Short Runs: The New Normal
MyPrintResource (04/08/13) Vruno, Mark
Short runs have emerged as "the new normal" in the offset and digital print arena. "There was a time when we would not even quote a job under 5,000 pieces," said DME Holdings president Kathy Wise. "We are handling many jobs a day, sometimes more than 3,000."
Meanwhile, Great Lakes Integrated (GLL) was only producing between 3,500 and 4,000 jobs annually six or seven years ago, said CEO Jim Schultz. In addition to operating two- and four-color, 40-inch Heidelberg sheetfed presses, the company runs an older, five-over-five Royal Zenith half-web. GLL now works on up to 20,000 jobs annually, and about 30 percent of its more than $13 million in annual print sales comes from digitally produced jobs. "Because of so much digital work running through [now], quantities range from one-offs to 2,000 to 3,000,” Schultz said.
In 2008, about 33 percent of sheetfed print jobs had run lengths of just 250 sheets, and that sheet number has decreased another 20 percent in 60 months. Digital printing comprises about 60 percent of all short runs, "with offset at 25 percent — up slightly [from 20 percent two years ago] because of new presses," said print expert Frank Romano. Profitability hinges on optimized workflow, and one way to achieve this is through digital storefronts.
To generate personalized direct-mail components, GLL employs a mixture of third-party technologies, mainly off-the-shelf online templates from PageFlex, which it then customizes. "We still have to enter orders on 'transactional' call-ins," Schultz said, and GLL is a long-term client of EFI software. "We use PrintFlow for scheduling and Monarch Planner [for MIS], and are looking at an EFI solution on the digital side as well because the orders are so abundant," Schultz said. "EFI technology has made a significant difference in how we process orders. We are much less manual."
Schultz also said quality is no longer an issue among customers, whether the product is produced digitally or through offset. "Eleven or 12 years ago, people would say, 'Don't run it digital," he said. "But the digital [print] world has really caught up to the offset world." Owners of many modern start-up print firms seldom consider offset press technology, if ever. "The only offset equipment we have now are envelope presses," Wise said. She also said all other offset jobs DME receives are outsourced.
Cloud Software in Print: Why Blue-Sky Thinking Isn't Always Best
PrintWeek (04/05/13) Francis, Jo
The printing industry has been slow to embrace cloud computing, but take-up is increasing. Recent research by the PODi organization of 120 member companies from around the world found companies are using the cloud for print-related activities, such as file transfers (45 percent), web-to-print services (39 percent) and digital asset management (19 percent), while other uses, such as email marketing (38 percent) and CRM (21 percent) software, are also growing. The ability to work anywhere is cited as the top benefit for moving to cloud software and systems. However, 35 percent of respondents considered reliance on Internet connectivity as a big risk, signaling the persistent concerns about data security and integrity. "If I was starting up a print-related business today I would do as much as possible using cloud computing resources," said Tony Hodgson, director of PODi. "My advice to anyone who is IT-oriented or a business leader, especially on the finance side, is to look at your strategy and see if there's a cloud solution that can fit your needs."
Business Inspection: Adding Extra Strings to Your Bow
PrintWeek (04/12/13) Severs, Jon
Imprint Group in Newcastle has shifted into small-format digital print in an attempt to plot a course for the future. A large-format print business, Imprint historically subcontracted small-format digital print work to other printers but wanted to bring the work in-house for cost, turnaround and quality purposes as well as to compete in the commercial digital print arena. The company formulated the plan about three years ago, began the roll out in January 2011 and now can provide variable data print from the largest sizes for window dressings and the like, right down to the A5 promotional materials clients send out. The move allows Imprint to become a one-stop shop for this type of work, which is important because retail clients are increasingly demanding faster turnarounds, said Dave Matthews, group sales director. "This shift fit with where we wanted to be as a company and if others want to do something similar then they have to make the right strategy and product choices to fit their business and client base," he said.
Automation and In-House Digital Printing Drive Contract Manufacturer
Packaging World (04/13) Reynolds, Pat
An investment in new lines will enable contract manufacturer Northstar Labs to seek larger and "glitzier" accounts. The Salt Lake City company put in a new line for filling lip balm into injection-molded polypropylene tubes three years ago, and followed in 2012 with a liquid filling line for PET bottles of lotions and hand sanitizers. Still, Northstar continues to do all its own container decorating, using several digital printers. Biaxially oriented polypropylene material is sent through a Jetrion four-color digital press from EFI. "Short runs of 100 or 1,000 have always been our specialty, sometimes for a wedding, for example, where the bride and groom's picture is featured on the label, or for an event at a golf course or school or reunion," said Darren Massey, director of manufacturing. "Even now with a large account like Kisstixx, they have a lot of varieties, and by digitally printing our own labels in-house for container decoration, we don't have to worry about long lead times that come with pre-decorated tubes." Northstar uses a Linx Model 6900 ink-jet coder and a Model 4900 ink jet machine from Diagraph for lot and date coding and a CVC Technologies labeling machine for pressure-sensitive labeling.
Barcode Scanner Validates Pallet Labels
Vision Systems Design (04/13) Wilson, Dave
Informa created a system that prints and applies labels on two sides of pallets for coffee products while concurrently validating the quality and readability of the label's barcode to universally recognized GS1 standards for the Paulig Group. Once a ready pallet approaches the end of the packaging line, all the required data for the label is transmitted to a thermal printer from a centralized manufacturing database. When the labeling system detects the pallet, a label is printed and applied to the pallet with a robotic arm. The pallet moves forward on the line, after which a second identical label is applied to its side.
The A5 sized labels can be employed to identify the pallets through unique Serial Shipping Container Codes that are printed on them, allowing the automation of cross docking, shipment routing and automated receiving processes. Informa recommended Microscan's QX-870 sweeping raster laser scanner for scanning and validating the barcodes on the labels immediately after printing. The scanner is equipped with a programmable sweeping raster to read multiple codes in different locations.
"We recommended the QX-870 from Microscan thanks to its reliability," said Informa's Jari Hanen. "Even though the pallet could be registered manually or with handheld barcode scanners, an integrated and automated barcode scanning solution is the fastest and most reliable option in this case." Paulig now depends on the automated labeling and validation system to remove human error, boost efficiency and guarantee that labels comply with industry standards. This helps to simplify Paulig's supply chain operations, improve traceability and reduce costs.
The Future of Package Printing
Inkjet, laser and thermal transfer printing have emerged as the favored technologies for applying codes and marks to packaging, and they continue to improve. The sophistication of the software behind coding and marking is increasing, and new, simple menu-driven interfaces with message preview for error-free code creation are easing system operation. The need for editing is minimized as well thanks to enhanced message memory capacity and automatic date creation. Fully integrated code assurance solutions connect on-product coding to a centralized message database, which ensures the application of consistent and accurate messages to products and packaging. It also supports novel serialization labeling, an essential element of track-and-trace systems.
Next-generation inkjet printers are designed for optimized code quality, reliability and running costs, and newer inks contain no heavy metals or halogens, and are formulated for quicker drying with low odor. Another key advance in coding and marking is the roll out of redesigned continuous inkjet printers that offer unique portability, rapid set-up and ease-of-use programming. These new printers feature a fully enclosed service module that can be switched out in minutes using on-screen prompts. This contributes to easily completed scheduled maintenance without requiring trained technicians or expensive service calls.
Suppliers also are improving their printhead nozzles, with self-cleaning printhead and automatic power down functionality offering mess-free, trouble-free starts and stops. Individual-color ink cartridges improve the ease and safety of fluid replenishment on the production floor, while larger-volume cartridges provide extended runtime between changes. These innovations translate to extended online printer operation with fewer interruptions and less waste.
In comparison to conventionally used hot stamp or roller coders, digital thermal transfer printers yield superior print quality and lower running costs. They rely on single-color ribbons, and recent advancements decrease the use of ribbon per printing transfer and eliminate downtime caused by ribbon breaks. Laser printing systems' user interfaces also are seeing improvements, and suppliers continue to innovate laser wavelength capabilities, permitting higher contrasts on certain substrates.
Print and apply labels enjoy a unique advantage, as they are more appropriate for manufacturers' nascent tracking and traceability technologies. Many can now incorporate radio-frequency identification tags, and they have better printing resolution for Quick Response Codes. Another advancement is an all-electric corner-wrap label printer-applicator, a unit that saves energy by removing the use of compressed air. The unit prints labels in a next-out mode, automatically extracts them from their liner and retains them by vacuum on an integrated swing arm-mounted pad. This system differs from most traditional label printer-applicators by creating the vacuum with electrically operated fans rather than external compressed air.
Packaging Europe (04/16/13)
Gerry Mulvaney of Landa Digital Printing said interest in nanography — which combines the performance of offset with the versatility of digital — is coming from "just about all areas" of the print industry, "but packaging is where nanography is likely to have the most impact initially." He said digital is not yet a widely used technology in this market, while "most of the large brand owners around the world have been alerted to nanography, and they are already starting to look at ways they will use the technology with their own products." Packaging will continue to set the pace for the introduction of nanography, according to Mulvaney. He said the technology has wide applications and is not just limited to large offset press formats. Citing the continued interest from manufacturers, Mulvaney expects that "the licensing program will grow significantly and we could see nanography in just about any industry that needs to put ink on a substrate."
5 Techniques For Lead Management Success That You Probably Aren't Using
Marketo (04/15/2013) Rothman, Dayna
Many firms' marketing operations do not employ clearly defined lead management practices. When spending so much time and money on creating a marketing campaign, best practices should be in place to manage the leads through the entire lifecycle. Effective lead management captures, responds to and manages incoming leads in a way that creates more educated buyers and helps sellers better understand their needs.
Companies should work directly with sales to determine when a lead is "sales ready," using such criteria as geographic location, company size, lead source information and web page visits. They should also implement lead recycling practices. A process should be created based on two scenarios: leads will be automatically recycled based on a set of business rules, and leads will be manually recycled by sales if they are not deemed ready.
Leads should be scored using implicit behavioral data, and firms should monitor prospects' online activities to know when they are ready to move to the next stage. Lead scoring should consider the prospect's interest level defined by their actions. Anonymous visitors should be tracked and their data tied to new leads. As anonymous prospects complete forms on the website or landing pages, any previous website visits can be automatically attributed to the new lead, helping to determine sales readiness of new leads since the entire history of the relationship with the prospect is known, including which campaign helped the prospect find the company in the first place. Finally, as a company builds a relationship with its prospects, they should be learning more about their needs. Every campaign that a prospect responds to indicates his or her interests. This information can be used to target what sort of content may appeal to them in an email or lead nurturing campaign.