PSDA’s HR Corner: Expert Advice on Internships and Child Labor
By Claudia St. John, president, Affinity HR Group LLC
Q: We are planning on bringing in some summer interns to work with us. Is there anything special about unpaid internships that we should know about?
A: Yes, unpaid internships are closely regulated by the U.S. Department of Labor. For it to be a “bona fide internship,” your internship must meet the following requirements: 1) The internship must provide training that is similar to what would be given to the student in an educational environment; 2) The internship experience must be designed for the benefit of the intern (not the employer); 3) The intern cannot displace regular employees, but must work under close supervision of existing staff; 4) The employer that provides the training can derive no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and 5) The employer and the intern must understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
If your internship does not meet these requirements, your interns should be paid at least minimum wage for their work.
Q: We are considering hiring some teenagers to help us over the summer. Are there regulations specific to child labor that we need to know about?
A: Yes. Laws regulating the employment of children exist at both the state and federal level. As always, the federal requirements represent the minimum requirements and states can add additional limitations. According to federal law, children under 12 may not be employed; children between 12 and 16 may be employed in allowed occupations during limited hours within the school year; and children between 16 and 18 may be employed for unlimited hours in nonhazardous occupations.
There are many exceptions to these rules, including employment by parents, newspaper delivery and child actors. There are also special rules involving employment in the agricultural sector. To be safe, check with your state Department of Labor to make sure you are compliant with all relevant laws.
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.
Mailing, Fulfillment and Marketing Services Webinar Series
Starting Tuesday, May 28, Clemson University will offer a 10-night webinar series to the industry on "Mailing, Fulfillment and Marketing Services." Dr. John Leininger, a professor at Clemson University, believes that this is critical information for any company serving the industry that does mailing or fulfillment and offers the class as a webinar series for the industry.
Dr. Leininger, a presenter at the Distributor Solultions Expo said: "The rules are constantly changing in mailing as the USPS continues to adjust its production model, one mistake could cost the printer thousands of dollars. Everyone from the sales rep to the designer, to the press operator, to the operator on the inkjet addressing machine should be looking for problems."
This class is a live synchronous distance learning class for students that will be recorded each week and posted for companies to review after the live event. Learn more by downloading this flyer.
PSDA members receive a $50 discount off the webinar series if they write PSDA after their company name on the application form. Download the registration form here.
PSDA thanks Clemson University for making this special offer available to our members.
For more information, feel free to contact Dr. John Leininger at Clemson University by email or by phone at 864.656.3447.
Increase Sales Through Marketing Webinar Series Continues Wednesday, June 5
PSDA and Alex L. Goldfayn, CEO of Evangelist Marketing Institute, are presenting six live, interactive webinars focused on increasing your sales through powerful marketing. Each webinar is free to PSDA members and features rich learning material, plus interaction, questions and periodic role plays among 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.
The next webinar in this series, The Power of Consumer Insights, takes place Wednesday, June 5, at noon ET / 11am CT / 10am MT / 9am PT.
During this webinar, Alex will discuss how one of the most important activities you can engage in to grow your company is to gather qualitative insights from your customers. This session will cover how and why to do so and arm you with techniques and questions to ask that will lead to your most powerful and effective marketing messages and activities.
These webinars are free for PSDA members and $49 for nonmembers. Register now.
DemandBridge Launches Integrated Marketing Services Offering
PSDA member and 2013 Distributor Solutions Expo exhibitor DemandBridge, a provider of technology solutions for marketing service providers, recently launched a host of interactive service offerings for clients. The online offerings are being rolled out through the company's new DemandBridge Interactive (DBI) division.
In addition to providing the eProcurement and operations platforms for marketing service providers, DemandBridge will now offer multichannel marketing services that include: email marketing, Smart Direct mail, website design and development, and marketing analytics for tracking. Leading these efforts will be Brian Fritsche, president and CEO of DemandBridge. He has served as vice president of software development and chief information officer at PSDA member WebbMason. Prior to 2000, Fritsche was vice president of Internet development for Deutsche Bank.
Flottman Company Unveils New Website
PSDA member Flottman Company recently unveiled its new corporate website. The completely redesigned site provides 24/7 online access to a vast array of B2B and B2C strategic marketing, folding and print communication services. The website now offers visitors a more contemporary look with vibrant colors, simple navigation and an overall streamline design. The site contains more than 100 “storytelling” images that serve as portals to access essential information. The user-friendly interface makes it simple for visitors to see what Flottman Company can do and serves to empower customers to consider new concepts for success.
The new website is designed to be comprehensive and informative. There is a strong emphasis on the company's pharmaceutical capabilities with more than 40 years of folding experience. The site also details Flottman's strategic and multichannel marketing abilities and highlights more than 90 years of printing expertise. The Award Winning Product Portfolio presents pictures, descriptions and results to demonstrate the Flottman Company's partner successes. Social media will play a vital role in maintaining website content with Flottman's Facebook page being streamed live. For the first time, the Flottman website will also provide immediate industry and company news directly on the home page.
“Our website is the first opportunity we have to impress a client or potential client, and we wanted to make it easy to access the right information at the right time and present it in a visually appealing manner. We wanted to practice what we preach: brilliant communications,” said Tom Flottman, the company's CEO.
Discount Labels Responds to New Trends in Magnets by Expanding Capabilities
PSDA member and 2013 Distributor Solutions Expo exhibitor Discount Labels recently expanded its magnet-making capabilities to include a variety of shapes, sizes and colors — even full-color photography. “Our distributors are receiving more requests than ever for ‘save the date' magnets for weddings, graduations and other special occasions,” said Mike Gore, the company's general manager. “We've also seen a huge increase in business card-sized magnets for small and home-based businesses. And we're printing more magnets with calendars and team schedules than ever before.”
In this age when contact lists and calendars are managed on smartphones and computers, magnets are a popular way to put a phone number, website address, Facebook page or team schedule right at a user's fingertips — on a refrigerator, file cabinet, locker or piece of machinery. “We've always offered magnets as a complementary product to our labels and other printed goods, but the designs used to be somewhat basic,” Gore said. “Now, we're printing really nice full-color photographic magnets in different shapes that can be used inside or outside, for something highly practical or highly promotional.”
Discount Labels encourages its customers and others to share their “save the date” magnets (such as the one pictured above right) on the Discount Labels Facebook page. “We thought it would be fun for our Facebook community to share their magnet creativity — and maybe spark some ideas for others,” said Jennifer LaGrange, the company's brand manager.
Formax Introduces 6206 Series Inserters, New FD 574 Cut-Sheet Cutter
Formax, a PSDA member and 2013 Distributor Solutions Expo exhibitor, recently introduced the compact 6206 Series Inserters and the FD 574 Cut-Sheet Cutter, featuring greater speed and accuracy than the discontinued FD 572.
The 6206 Series (pictured below, left) is available with up to four feed stations and combines ease-of-use with energy savings and a compact footprint. Standard features include a full-color touchscreen control panel with job wizard, a vertical output stacker that holds up to 250 filled envelopes, a dedicated semi-automatic document feeder for daily mail, automatic water level detection, and AutoSetTM for one-touch setup of new jobs. The 6206 Series can store as many as 20 programmable jobs and has a powerful folding system that accurately folds up to eight sheets of paper at the same time. Its energy-saving standby mode automatically powers down the inserter after one hour of being idle.
The FD 574 (pictured below, right) has an increased processing speed of up to 2,640 sheets per hour and enhanced cutting accuracy of +/- 0.5 mm. The top-loading feed tray accurately feeds up to 500 sheets with guide rollers to prevent paper curling, new transport rollers and controls for fine-tuning. Combined with optional perforator and center slitter units, it can cut, slit and perforate in a wide variety of configurations. Its quality-engineered cutting system produces precise and razor sharp edges on each piece. For more information on either product, visit www.formax.com.
Graphic Dimensions Announces New Marketing and Technology Services Division
PSDA member Graphic Dimensions, a trade manufacturer of business documents and labels headquartered in Georgia, introduced a new division — LaunchPad Marketing and Technology Services — at the recent PSDA Distributor Solutions Expo in Chicago. This new division provides distributors the ability to resell marketing services such as branding and creative design. Technology services include: AFFIRM, a new online bank check MICR verification solution, PageFlex online template development, content management platform, e-commerce, web development and hosting.
“We are very excited about the niche that LaunchPad provides for our distributor customers,” said Jay Scammell, president and CEO of Graphic Dimensions. “With our recent launch of our New Dimension Labels division and this introduction of our marketing and technology services unit, we are diversifying our offering to provide the products and services distributors need in today's marketplace.”
For more information on this new division, visit the LaunchPad website or call 877.200.1333.
Digitally Printed Shrink Labels Open Possibilities at Craft Brewer
Packaging World (05/13) Reynolds, Pat
An increasing number of microbreweries are adding aluminum cans to their packaging mix and applying full-body shrink sleeve labels on them. An example is Bonfire Brewing, which in addition to in-house canning, uses its own labeling as well. "It's much easier to introduce a new beer when you're labeling your own cans," said Bonfire's co-founder and manager Andy Jessen. "If you're in pre-printed cans, you may find yourself pretty much hemmed into the same one or two beers year round because of the minimum order requirements on cans. We don't face that limitation. In fact, we have six different beers in stores right now." The company uses PET-G labels that are printed by Innovative Labeling Solutions on a digital press — HP's Model WS-6000. "We can change graphics at the drop of a hat," Jessen said. "It lets us do small gatherings like charity events or weddings, and again we don't have to worry about minimum orders." The digital press also provides more vivid colors compared to cans featuring direct print, he said. Bonfire installed its labeling, filling and seaming line in 2012. At one end is a Model LSA-160 full body shrink sleeve labeler from Tripack. The device's cantilevered design simplifies the task of integrating with the conveyor line on which the cans travel. The Tripack pulls labels from a continuous tubed roll and uses a rotary knife to cut each label from the roll and apply it over a bottle.
Researchers Develop RFID-Enabled Paper
Labels & Labeling (05/02/13)
North Dakota State University (NDSU) researchers have created paper embedded with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, which could find use as an anti-counterfeiting measure. Through the process of laser enabled advanced packaging (LEAP), the researchers employed a laser beam to transfer and construct chips with dimensions well below those possible using traditional methods.
"We use our LEAP technology to embed ultra-thin, ultra-small semiconductor chips, including 350µm/side, 20µm thick semiconductor dice, in paper substrates with a thickness of less than 120µm," said NDSU professor Val Marinov. The RFID chips can be incorporated into flexible substrates and could lead to ways to reduce counterfeiting of various items such as pharmaceuticals, currency, legal papers, bearer bonds and other security documents. The technique also could facilitate production of paper-based RFID tags at less cost than today's conventional RFID tags and at packaging rates significantly higher than those attainable with conventional pick-and-place technology.
Where Paper Performs: Tapping into the Tactile
MyPrintResource (05/06/13) Whitcher, Joann
Paper induces an emotional attachment, fed by its tactile nature, that marketers exploit when looking to optimize their message. Marketing programs that concentrate on paper's emotional allure are yielding a high return on investment. “At the end of the day, we all have too much to do, and are often challenged with ideas,” said McArdle Solutions President Lisa Arsenault. “The paper products themselves can help generate ideas.” Arsenault's company provides design, cross channel communication, data management/segmentation and custom direct mail. Arsenault said paper firms allow printers and marketers “to get in front of prospects and tell a different story.”
Leveraging paper's tactile experience is central to Structural Graphics, whose specialty is generating three-dimensional and interactive print materials for leading brands and agencies. “We marry messages to mechanism, crafting dimensional pieces that present an idea in a memorable way," said Structural Graphics' Isabel Uria. "The mechanisms we use enhance or illustrate the message. We are trying to create a more long-lasting effect rather than just an email.”
Structural Graphics is helping to promote the concept of how paper can be created to applied design, of using paper more effectively to drive outcomes, said Foldfactory.com's Janice Reese. The firm has devised 12 exclusive dimensional graphics that enable paper to move, pop and swing for direct mail campaigns.
Although the cost per piece for dimensional direct mail pieces is higher than a flat piece, marketers are seeing clear results. “Our clients are seeing response rates that are three times that of a conventional piece of direct mail,” said Structural Graphics' Michael Dambra. “These pieces are moving the needle in terms of response.”
Printers to Obama: Please Regulate Our Cleaning Rags
The Hill (04/29/13) Wilson, Megan
The Printing Industries of America and the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association are calling for the Obama administration to speed up and regulate rags used by industry workers. A draft of a final rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been in the White House for more than a year and would create consistent regulations of rags used by printing companies, auto repair shops and furniture refurbishing shops to clean surfaces. The EPA said the rule would affect 471,000 industrial wipes and save the economy $34 million. The rule would detail how multi-use and disposable rags that were wet with hazardous materials should be dried and disposed of. Industry officials have yet to receive word on the progress of the rule, despite some of them missing a 90-day deadline to be reviewed by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
The Cloud Rolls In on the Software Front
Quick Printing (05/13) Giles, John
The advent of the cloud is ushering in changes in software, and consultant John Giles said the disappearance of standalone software packages should be expected as online delivery and software distribution via a subscription model become commonplace. "People will still be able to buy a standalone version of [Microsoft] Office, but it won't be on discs anymore," he said. "Buyers will have to download the software and it can only be used on a single computer."
Industry experts are paying close attention to the public's reaction to subscription-based software distribution. "For printing companies, it could mean an increase in Publisher and Word files," Giles said. "Printers will also see increased costs for maintaining software because they can no longer hold off on updating their software to the latest version." Giles said a number of free, open-source alternatives are gaining interest with Microsoft's announcements about its Office products.
"Most free or open-source alternatives to Microsoft Office have the basic applications for office productivity: word processing, spreadsheets and presentations," Giles said. "Several of the alternatives provide more, including drawing applications, database tools and storage options." Giles said ApacheOpenOffice, LibreOffice, GoogleDocs and NeoOffice are among the top free programs to consider.
Printer Pursues Green Stamps of Approval
Knoxville News-Sentinel (05/06/13) Brookshire, Kay
Knoxville, Tenn.-based Hart Graphics Inc. places the Forest Stewardship Council's logo on its finished products as evidence that every step in the process of creating them — from the harvesting of wood to the printing — meets stringent sustainability standards. "From the lumberjack to the printing press, everybody has to be certified," said Brent Golden, the company's co-owner with his wife, Marisa Golden.
An independent third party audits Hart Graphics annually to certify its paper products come from sustainably managed forests. Today, nearly all paper companies offer green products, Golden said, ensuring that endangered and high-conservation value forests are protected and that no more wood is harvested than is replanted or regenerated. Government clients, in particular, want a printing process that is certified as sustainable, he said.
The cost to Hart Graphics for certification averages $10,000 per year. "It isn't cheap, but it gives us permission to certify jobs," Golden said. "With the business we have gained, it is worth it." Approximately 25 to 30 percent of their new business has come because of certification, he said, and overall, certified sustainable print jobs account for 30 to 40 percent of sales.
Other company green practices include using inks with a high percentage of plant-based ingredients, using chemical-free processing and recycling all printing plates, as well as reducing paper waste through paperless billing, email estimates and paperless proofs. "This promotes good will for your business. People see your brochure and see you are printing in a green and sustainable manner," Golden said.
Defining, Promoting and Selling Custom Decor Printing
Wide-Format Imaging (05/13) Ried, Alex
There are two fundamental ways of defining decor that end-user buyers relate to: high-volume, open-edition art printing and lower-volume, higher-profit custom imaging used for decoration. Wall murals and custom wallpaper are some of the most obvious instances of custom decor, but decor assumes a multitude of forms and can be printed on just about any inkjet-receptive substrate. Furthermore, the ability to produce decor with readily available tools and materials means that there are many opportunities to grow one's market and boost profits.
Throughout the past few years, more homeowners and businesses have learned that local print shops offer customized artwork that can reflect their personality, their environment and their building's architecture. Grace O’Malley's Irish Pub in Ruidoso, N.M., is one example. Local printer Print Write Now was hired to create the pub's decorative elements. The design team wished to replicate distinct hand-painted panels for application to the ceilings of the pub's gaming area. Print Write Now owner Laura Reynolds printed 18 40” x 40” panels on LexJet Water-Resistant Polypropylene with her Canon printer, which were applied to the ceilings with wallpaper paste.
Andy Wredberg, owner of AW Artworks in Sun Prairie, Wis., discovered that art samples sell, especially those samples that show a range of work. Wredberg's most recent studio sample was an 80” x 72” mural that he applied using Photo Tex Repositionable Fabric, and posting the mural on Facebook aroused customer interest and led to several sales. Inkjet media makers have been developing a wider spectrum of options in material bases, adhesive strengths and finishes. Such advances have helped print shops penetrate the decor market.
Digital Folding Carton — How to Make It Work for You
WhatTheyThink (05/13/13) Weymans, Filip
The market is forcing packaging printers and converters toward shorter runs and faster turnaround times. However, Xeikon's Filip Weymans said, "Aside from cost, brand owners have good reason to choose folding carton over labeled containers. Customer intimacy is today’s mantra, and packaging is one of the tools to nurture it. The perceived value of a quality full-color carton box is much higher, and folding cartons can be produced in almost any shape or size. It looks like folding carton is here to stay and there are even new business opportunities to be exploited — provided certain hurdles can be overcome."
Weymans said a rapid increase in product diversity stemming from industry globalization is one trend driving the packaging industry toward a broader variety of SKUs and shorter run lengths. "Event marketing has taken off and product life cycles continue to shorten," he said. "Finally, in an effort to lower capital requirements, companies have taken to reducing their stocks, adopting just-in-time inventory policies." In a market where offset printing is prevalent, this translates into more frequent make-readies of presses and converting gear. Weymans said digital technology can boost the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the folding carton supply chain.
"With digital technology, every print can be different," Weymans said. "Because set-up and make-ready costs are minimal, small runs can be produced cost-effectively. Digital printing is extremely flexible in that it allows last-minute changes and updates to be made in short turnaround times." But effective digital printing technology requires satisfying all mandates of the folding carton market in terms of print quality, color accuracy and consistency, lightfastness, food safety and brand protection.
The biggest challenge for print shops starting from scratch or commercial printers that wish to migrate to digital folding carton printing will be to find a finishing solution that is cost-effective for short to medium runs, Weymans said. "Toner choices available today make this kind of printing a viable option," he said. "They simplify production workflow and eliminate the need to invest in a separate varnishing station, which would take up additional space. The addition of an inline die-cutting station with easily removable plates results in the most compact folding carton production solution possible, enabling printers to make the most of the flexibility offered by digital printing."
Expand Your Production Opportunities
Wide-Format Imaging (05/13) Steele, Jeffrey
There are abundant opportunities for print service providers (PSPs) to expand their production in the selection of cutting and routing devices. "A lot of times, PSPs purchase digital printing equipment, which gives them the opportunity to print directly on to a multitude of substrates, all of which have to be finished,” said Zund America's Beatrice Drury. “They have print capabilities, but don’t have the cutting capabilities to match. So they resort to manual cutting, which is horrendously inefficient."
The right cutting and trimming equipment can enable wide format shops to potentially save thousands of dollars throughout the lifetime of the business, yielding a return on the initial investment as soon as the first year, said Foster Keencut's Jen Kester. Efficiencies stem from less time and labor, elimination of do-overs, lowered overtime costs and prevention of workplace injury and compensation claims. Gregory Inc. President David Wierengo said his business has significantly invested in offering clients a depth and breadth to cutting.
"We use roll cutters, computer cut flatbeds, thermal die cutting, steel rule die cutting, digital routing, slitters and custom designed striping presses,” said Wierengo. “Every job is evaluated as to the best piece of equipment to provide our customer the best choice cutting solution. Volume of pieces, expectation for future repeatability, precision of cut, material selection, intricacy of design are all components that are considered when selecting a cutting option." Wierengo said these factors are balanced with production efficiency, cost and customer specifications.
Kester said finding the right technology for their businesses requires PSPs to resolve a number of issues, such as the type of media or substrates they cut; the number of jobs they complete daily, weekly and annually; the importance of accuracy to their jobs; their physical space constraints; and their quality-price comfort points. "Manual cutters offer a variety of options to fit any budget, while providing a safe and accurate cutting solution,” Kester said. “Whether using a manual cutter as a backup solution or a primary cutter, it’s an essential piece of equipment.”
Esko's Bill Hartman said PSPs should step back and consider the big picture when assessing return on investment likely to be obtained from cutting and routing gear. Businesses need to concentrate on their entire business and the direction in which it is headed, and evaluate the capital investment within that larger context. “The reason to buy a digital finishing system is, one, because you need to expand your finishing capacity, so you avoid bottlenecks in the finishing department, and two, to expand your finishing capabilities,” he said.
Strategies: Tired of Emails? Print Is Making a Big Comeback
Denver Business Journal (05/06/13) Lusky, Mark
Print has become new and fresh again in the small-business world because the communication tool stands out from the crowd in the digital world. The newfound popularity of direct mail is evidence of the resurgence, as digital messaging is now the norm. Many people are now turned off by email pitches, enewsletters and other digital marketing, but they will pay attention to print pieces that are well done. Print also remains popular because digital printing has made it more affordable and flexible, people want to digitally detox and because it is perceived as being more permanent, committed and credible. Small-business owners can use print to their benefit by tying together print and digital to strengthen messaging. Devices such as QR Codes can be placed on business cards, magazine articles and ads to allow prospects to connect to a website. And small businesses can go the opposite direction by sending prospects from their digital property to a print piece.
How a Simple Email Can Give You Critical Insight into Your Recipients' Behavior
HubSpot.com (05/01/2013) Goliger, Sarah
Conducting email surveys is a leading best practice in the email marketing arena. Surveys are used to gather additional data about contacts. Ideally, an email survey should be easy and fast to complete to ensure a healthy response rate. The survey email should consist of one or two questions that are brief and to the point. Respondents also should be allowed to provide feedback within the email itself. Furthermore, the survey should emphasize that it is focused on the recipients, such as by mentioning, for example, "We aim to create content that is useful and relevant to you. Will you take a minute to let us know what you like so we can focus on the topics that interest you the most?" Another important aspect to consider is what the objective of the survey is and what question the survey will help answer. Additionally, the survey questions should provide sufficient options to reflect the majority of respondents' opinions. Some email tools feature a click tracking feature that monitor who clicked on which links in a particular email, which can be used in conjunction with the survey.
Why Printers Should Care About Inbound Marketing
Digital Nirvana (05/03/13) Tolliver-Walker, Heidi
Inbound marketing — the use of online content (blogs, social media, search engine optimization) to generate leads — focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close and delight over time. Inbound marketing is a trend worth printers' time for a variety of reasons that include but are not limited to its competitive status. For one thing, inbound marketing is something printers should be doing as part of an effort to market their own businesses, as prospects acquired via inbound marketing methods are more likely to convert to sales than those accumulated through outbound techniques.
Print's participation in inbound marketing also is necessitated by its need to be supported by outbound marketing. Inbound marketing tends to attract people researching higher value products that require more follow-up and support across the prospect's decision-making process, which creates enormous opportunities for print.
Finally, inbound marketing requires coordination with outbound marketing. The printer must know what is happening on the inbound side so the client's inbound activities are adequately supported. As the printer acquires more knowledge about the client's inbound activities, it can get more involved in helping the client develop outbound products it needs, such as direct mail, letters, poster or point-of-sale.