PSDA Remembers Past NBFA President Richard Kuntz
Richard Kuntz, a forms industry innovator and leader, founder of General Business Forms, Emergency Business Forms, Arrow Business Forms and GenForms, and a past manufacturing president of NBFA, recently passed away at the age of 88.
The July issue of Print Solutions magazine will include a feature on Kuntz's contributions to PSDA.
Read the full obituary.
PSDA, InfoTrends Announce Content Partnership
PSDA and InfoTrends — the leading worldwide market research and strategic consulting firm for the imaging, document solutions, production print and digital media industries — recently signed a content partnership agreement that will enable PSDA members to read exclusive content from InfoTrends in the association’s flagship monthly magazine, Print Solutions.
The agreement, which is effective immediately and continues through December 2014, dictates that InfoTrends will provide industry-focused feature articles, white papers, analysis and related content for publication in Print Solutions. The first article, for the July 2013 issue, will be a new piece on emerging technologies and digital printing. All articles will be authored by industry experts at InfoTrends and available exclusively to PSDA members in Print Solutions.
“We are excited about the opportunity to provide our members with content in Print Solutions from InfoTrends that is relevant to their jobs, companies and the industry at large,” said John Delavan, PSDA’s Director of Marketing and Communication Services and Editor-in-Chief of Print Solutions. “The in-depth articles will focus on topics such as print technologies, vertical markets, sales, marketing, wide-format, web-to-print and more. This agreement further establishes Print Solutions as the must-read publication serving our industry.”
Register Now for PSDA's New Sales Training Program
The Ultimate Sales Training Experience
Dan Seidman, GOT INFLUENCE?
October 17-18, 2013
Join us for a full two-day sales program where you'll train with the 2013 International Sales Training Leader of the Year, Dan Seidman of GOT INFLUENCE?. This program is customized specifically for sellers of print and related services. Learn tips and techniques that will make a lasting impact on your sales behavior so you can make more money.
Learn more and register.
The Sourcing Group Acquires Golden Pacific Systems
PSDA member The Sourcing Group, a leader in branding and marketing technology, logistics and fulfillment services, recently acquired Golden Pacific Systems, Inc. (GP). GP is a privately held B2B technology and indirect spend sourcing company with operating facilities in Rohnert Park and San Leandro, Calif. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"We are very excited to expand our suite of services into new vertical markets with a fully integrated solution that leverages proven technology and complete enterprise management programs," said Billy Caan, CEO. "Acquiring GP is another step toward achieving The Sourcing Group's vision of becoming the leading provider of supply chain technology and fulfillment services in North America,” said Joe Falcone, President. "GP has established itself as a leading service provider to the restaurant and financial industries. We have long admired the proprietary B2B technology and single source solution model for print and indirect spend solutions that GP created to serve multi-location business models."
This transaction represents the third acquisition The Sourcing Group has completed since January 2008. On a combined basis The Sourcing Group and GP manage print and the indirect spend sourcing and fulfillment needs of more than 50,000 locations.
GP’s technology solution, GPnet®, has propelled their growth as leading technology and supply chain consolidation experts. Their store profiling programming has allowed them to become market leaders in building systems that provide unique and tailored shopping experiences for each user, allowing clients to develop programs that are tailored to different market segments. Their technology solutions allows them to build fully customized and automated web ordering solutions for the entire supply chain with products ranging from print to office supplies to smallwares. GP continues to look for ways to become more efficient and provide a single shopping experience for indirect spend items as they work with leading brands focused on vendor consolidation.
"The acquisition of GP will allow us to expand our product offering from print and marketing focused solutions to a complete supply chain automation across all departments and product categories,” said Dennis Clemente, COO.
The combined organization has offices in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New York and Philadelphia, and employs more than 50 associates serving leading brands in the restaurant, financial, health care and franchising industries. Total revenues are projected to be $40 million.
Discount Labels Launches Instant Online Price Quotes
PSDA member Discount Labels recently launched an Instant Online Price Quote tool on its website. This do-it-yourself tool is designed to save distributors considerable time so they can be more responsive to their own customers — and win more business. With the new price quote tool, distributors can: get 24/7 access to Discount Labels' catalog products and net pricing; completely customize a quote with product type, multiple quantities, stock, ink, proofs, finishing and more; create a price quote for customer presentation with their own logo and any percentage of retail markup; and view, print or email the finished quote.
Distributors who were invited to test the new tool reported that it is very easy to use. The site makes extensive use of drop-down menus to guide a user through the label specification process. All distributors who create price quotes also will receive a weekly summary of their quotes via email.
“We are more committed than ever to making labels easy to sell for our distributors. And that means getting them the information they need to be responsive and close deals,” said Stephanie Doty, manager of order services. “Ordering labels can sometimes get a little complicated. We are trying to make it very easy and very quick for distributors to get a price quote on anything in our catalog. With this tool, they are in the driver's seat. They can choose their specs, add multiple quantities, upload their logo, choose their markup percentage, and then email the price quote to their customers. It's just a handful of small, easy steps. They can also adjust the specs at any time to construct ‘what if' scenarios,” Doty said.
Formsystems and Total Business Join to Create FSi Group
PSDA member Formsystems (founded in 1995) and Total Business (founded in 1975), two locally owned and operated companies, have joined together. Their combined services and staff put them in the best position to provide total business solutions and the one place to go for print, promotional, apparel and office products.
The only change will be the strengthening of staff support to better serve you and a name change to: FSi Group – Total Business Solutions.
Flottman Company Wins AMA’s 2013 Small Business Marketer of the Year
PSDA member Flottman Company recently claimed two Marketer of the Year Awards from the American Marketing Association. Flottman Company entered the event as one of two finalists for the 2012 Small Business Marketer of the Year and Ed McMasters was one of three finalists for 2012 Marketing Department of One. This was the first time in AMA history that the same company won both awards.
This marks the sixth annual Cincinnati AMA Marketer of the Year Awards, which seek to honor “exceptional marketing efforts” by Cincinnati-area individuals, companies and organizations. These awards salute the importance of marketing in driving our economy. The winning marketers have exhibited results, creativity and overall achievement of strategic marketing objectives.
“What an honor to be recognized for our efforts by Cincinnati's marketing experts. Over the past few years, our marketing department has strengthened the way we present ourselves as a definitive strategic marketing solutions provider — the growing awareness of our marketing abilities is evident through the growth of our website traffic, social media profiles, media placements, sales and partnership opportunities,” said Sue Flottman Steller, president of Flottman Company.
The Small Business Marketer of the Year Award was awarded for the Flottman's WOW Campaign. Ed McMasters, the company's director of marketing and communications, received the American Marketing Association's First Annual Marketing Department of One Award. McMasters received the award for his New York Times media campaign.
Allegra Printing Orders Second Xante Impressia
PSDA advertiser Xante recently visited Jeremy Michael, production manager of Allegra Printing in Auburn, Ala. After much success with their first IMPRESSIA, the shop purchased a second IMPRESSIA Digital Multi-Media Press. Michael explained that going digital has helped to increase production while dramatically reducing print costs.
“After we bought our first IMPRESSIA, we saw a growing demand for short-run, full color envelopes, letterhead, mailers and more, so four months later, we purchased the second IMPRESSIA,” Michael said. Both IMPRESSIA's are driven by the iQueue Ultimate Workflow that features many powerful tools such as color editing, full imposition and job costing.
Watch the testimonial video.
Cross Media and Big Data: A Marriage Made in Heaven
MyPrintResource (05/20/13) Whitcher, Joann
Exploiting big data as a driver of cross-media campaigns gives print — direct mail especially — esteemed marketing value. Marketers are tapping data to supply more relevant experiences to target audiences via personalization to boost both response rates and client satisfaction. “The diversity of data sources available today — web analytics, geo-location, transactional, social, mobile and more — can be leveraged to create and deliver highly relevant, contextual customer experiences,” said InfoTrends in a recent report.
“The new direct marketing is an information driven marketing process, managed by a database technology that enables marketers to develop, test, implement, measure and appropriately modify customized marketing programs and strategies,” said SmartGuys Analytics CEO Serge Grichmanoff. He said many printers seeking to harness big data for clients' cross-media campaigns need education so that they understand the data and its value, as well as how to take action based on the data. “You need to be able to take that data, and translate it into an understanding of when a person needs to be communicated to, when an event is happening [i.e., when the end customer will buy a new car], and how you are going to incentify them to buy product — all of that info is available in the customer’s previous history,” Grichmanoff said.
"It doesn’t matter what the canvas is delivering the message," Grichmanoff said. "It can be print, email, mobile — what matters is what the message should be [how to personalize that message], and that is where analytics comes in.” For its client, the nonprofit JSA, SmartGuys embellished existing client data with augmented data of roughly 100 variables, enabling the company to simulate and comprehend the drivers of response and conversion.
Printers often need to undertake a paradigm shift when embarking on data-driven cross-media campaigns. “You can’t think of a customer’s marketing campaign in terms of running that one job — it’s a print run, it’s one job, it’s a single instant of time,” Grichmanoff said. “With big data, by definition, it’s a complex data structure — the data is interrelated, it spans time and dimensions. It’s built on historical patterns.”
“It comes down to understanding the nuances of the client’s marketing plan and their data, and then taking that data and gleaming the info out of that data, and finally, leveraging corporate communications using that data across all channels,” Grichmanoff said.
Achieving Success in Package Prototyping
Quick Printing (06/13) Steele, Jeffrey
Package prototyping is one avenue printers can follow to become more of a full service provider to clients, positioning the business to not only produce the print run of the packaging but also to handle the step before that. Involvement in package prototyping also can lead to higher profitability, as the printers can be used for items ranging from signs to banners. However, such participation involves purchasing new and special gear, enduring learning curves and becoming proficient in a rethink of printing.
Cober Evolving Solutions has made a successful migration into package prototyping, and its relocation two years ago into an 80,000-square-foot facility enabled the company to accommodate wide-format equipment that allowed prototype production. Not long after the move, Cober added Hewlett-Packard Scitex FB700 and LX25-500 printers, along with an Esko Kongsberg XP24 to manage die-cutting, scoring and routing. More recently it installed an HP Scitex LX850, 10-foot-wide roll device.
Cober President Peter Cober said prototype production requires printers to think in three dimensions rather than two. He said producing package prototypes “was kind of a natural progression for us. We might get the order, once it became an order, but now we’re getting the chance to get in upstream and do the prototyping.” Cober said package prototyping is "another opportunity to do design right through fulfillment. It’s just one more thing we bring to our customers to provide them with the full package.”
However, Cober said packaging comes with challenges. He said, for example, once the prototype for an in-store display that holds packages has been created, the difficulties of shipping that design can sometimes generate more work than actually developing the prototype. Cober said the process for the company begins when “[clients] come to us with a problem, [saying], ‘Here’s what environment it will be used within,’ and we create various scenarios in response, and do a presentation. They select their choice, and then we’ll go about creating the prototypes. We can do it in a matter of days with equipment we have now. And we can do it economically with the Indigos right through our wide-format equipment.”
Coca-Cola Leads Custom Label Revolution
Labels & Labeling (05/15/13) Thomas, Andy
Coca-Cola has ushered in a revolution in the world of promotional marketing with the rollout of a project where many millions of beverage labels were printed with customized data by a network of digital and conventional printers throughout Europe. Coca-Cola marketing departments in more than 30 European nations provided the 150 most popular local names, along with slogans oriented around sharing Coca-Cola with friends and relatives. The names were printed randomly on labels for certain bottles of Coca-Cola regular, Coca-Cola zero and Coca-Cola light.
"We wanted consumers to share both the physical bottles, and also share the experience on social networks," said Coca-Cola marketing manager Marit Kroon. "You can share a virtual Coca-Cola with friends and family. You can play with the virtual bottle then go and find the real bottle. You can trade bottles if you can’t find what you’re looking for. What can be more personal than a name?"
The labels are printed with a mix of conventional and digital printing methods. Coca-Cola eventually opted for the Hewlett-Packard Indigo printing process, mainly since it deposits the same weight of ink as flexo or gravure, and for its color consistency. The labels were initially printed via conventional means, either CI flexo or gravure, leaving a blank panel and a re-registration mark for overprinting by the HP Indigo presses. This panel required in-line coating with a water-based HP compatible primer.
The digital printing side of the project was managed by Dutch digital label converter Eshuis. Eshuis managing director Peter Overbeek identified eight European digital converters with HP Indigo WS6600 presses whom he thought could accommodate the work and were in the right geographical location. The printers in addition to Eshuis included Rodata of Romania, Austria's Carini, Amberley in Britain, Auraprint in Finland, ForLabel in Greece and German printers Rako and Robos.
HP established full-time engineering teams across Europe to support the digital printers with spare parts and round the clock maintenance and callout. The remote monitoring network employed for HP’s commercial inkjet presses was adapted to the industrial market for the first time. "Eshuis has delivered the project perfectly," said Coca-Cola's Gregory Bentley. "We could not have done that on our own."
California Senate Requires Larger Print for Drug Labels
Los Angeles Times (05/17/13) McGreevy, Patrick
California's Senate has passed legislation mandating that pharmacists print specific, important information on prescription labels in at least 12-point type. Adding weight to the bill was a survey cited by its author that found that 60 percent of people want larger or bolder print on prescription labels.
“SB 205 assists patients to better read the labels on their prescription bottles, since they contain critical information that can keep them safe and potentially save their lives,” said Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D). She said the legislation “seeks to prevent medication use errors by simply ensuring that the patient’s name, drug’s name and strength, directions for use and the condition for which the drug was prescribed appear in at least 12 point font.”
Opposing the measure was the California Grocers Association, which said “the typeface settings required by this bill are unworkable in a real-world setting,” given that labels are already crammed with information required by the state. The association said pharmacists may have no option but to dispense medicine in oversized containers so that the label can be sufficiently large to meet the requirements.
The Ins and Outs of 3-D Printing and Rapid Prototyping
Packaging Digest (05/01/13) McComb, John
The cost of 3-D technologies and services for rapid prototyping has become more affordable during the last decade, making now a good time to use them in the packaging design process. The technologies also are good for packaging mock-ups and renderings because they are fast and offer greater design freedom. Campbell Soup uses different 3-D technologies for internal ideation and package prototyping. The company uses rapid prototyping as a build-to-learn tool to inspire internal innovation and functional prototyping as a build-to-confirm tool to refine the details and predominantly focus on validating the performance and specifications. When Campbell Soup decided to use pouch packaging for some of its new soups, the company did not have the ability to create a physical mock-up right away. However, with 3-D printing, users can iterate quickly and with little risk, which allows for incorporating internal and external consumer feedback before packages are even created. Campbell Soup even engaged in "Frankenstein-ing," or taking 3-D printed parts and existing packages and melding them into something different just to see what was possible. Some of these mock-ups range from combinations of metal cans and plastic 3-D printed parts, to paperboard and 3-D printed parts and a variety of flexible and rigid packaging formats that the company has "mashed up."
Forecast Calls for More Portable ‘Cloud’ Connections
MyPrintResource (05/27/13) Vruno, Mark
Printers' comfort with cloud-based computing applications has quickly increased thanks to technological innovations as well as improved security. "The trust issue has come a long way," said Dave Minnick with EFI web-to-print solutions. Xerox's Arnold Hackett said cloud-based services provide a microcosm of the core-competency outsourcing approach. "Cloud offerings like web to print, job management and document scanning free up resources and allow our [printer] customers to focus on what they do best," he said. Meanwhile, Minnick said he has witnessed a nearly exponential migration from self hosting to web-to-print subscription services during the past 10 years.
Gina Testa with Xerox’s Graphic Communications Industry segment said cloud packages vary according to the vertical markets served by the print client choosing them. Retail end-customer needs significantly differ from those of the medical industry, real estate or higher education. "The cloud also minimizes the risk of making a wrong decision," Testa said.
Other factors for printers to weigh include the size of their cloud offering, while Hewlett-Packard's Gary Marron said a core driver of web-to-print is built-in automated order entry that constrains the number of touches. Some printers have hosted not just web-to-print but also management information systems and even entire systems. Monthly fees can be steep, "but the ROI [return on investment] works out favorably when you consider all the overhead of doing it yourself," Minnick said.
Digitally Printed Packaging: Opportunity for Commercial Printers?
Printing Impressions (05/16/13) Miller, Jack
Digital packaging has great potential, and digital print will make greater inroads as the value proposition becomes better understood. There is an opportunity for commercial printers in digital packaging, but they will need to overcome the many obstacles of the category and the additional challenges of commercial shops. Packaging must protect the product, convey information and sell the product, which means that package printing is often more demanding than commercial printing. There also are problems with digital packaging involving technical factors such as size, speed, ink coverage, print quality and regulatory aspects. Moreover, commercial printers generally do not have the finishing equipment for folding, scoring and diecutting, and brand owners are more likely to look to box makers for boxes. However, most of these obstacles can be overcome with equipment like the Nanographic Printing press from Landa Digital Printing. Brand owners are rapidly seeing the advantages of digital packaging, said Carl Joachim, senior partner of the consulting firm Caslon & Co. "Manufacturers and packaging converters are all eyeing short-run, market-specific packaging as the 'next big thing' in packaging," he said.
Digital Packaging Is Getting Personal In the November 2012 issue of Print Solutions, regular contributor Darin Painter discusses digital packaging and the opportunity it provides marketing service providers. Read the full issue here.
Intelligent Barcode Scanning Coming to Mobile Devices
Packaging Digest (05/22/13) Pierce, Lisa McTigue
GS1 and Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) are working together to bring intelligent barcode scanning to mobile devices. The supply chain standards organization and the mobile standards organization plan to develop a new specification that leverages their existing standards. "Today, the industry is working with a barcodes ecosystem that is fragmented by non-standard solutions," said Bryan Sullivan, OMA board of directors vice-chairman. "This specification will enable application developer innovation for the mobile commerce and mobile advertising industry, allowing companies to develop interoperable and scalable applications." Mobile device manufacturers and operators will be able to develop devices with universal scanning of standardized barcodes, intelligent linking of barcodes with trusted content provided by the owners of the barcodes, support for collection of user analytics and built-in code scanning capability accessible to users manually through the device camera. The specification will enable application developers to offer more flexible integration of code scanning into applications and a seamless and more consistent user experience. GS1 and OMA hope to have the specification ready in 2014.
Success Stories with the Intelligent Mail Barcode In the November 2012 issue of Print Solutions, regular contributor Heidi Tolliver-Walker walks readers through four case studies that illustrate the wide range of benefits of the Intelligent Mail barcode. Read the full issue here.
Matterform Interview — Low Cost 3D Scanner
Electronic Design (05/01/13) Wong, William
A low-cost 3-D scanner could be the best complement to a low-cost 3-D printer, and Matterform offers one for less than $600. The Photon 3D allows users to take a physical object, turn it into a digital 3-D model on their computer and then print the file with any 3-D printer or online printing service. Lightweight, portable and compact, the Photon scanner can be easily integrated into any workspace. The Photon scanner uses a high-definition camera and dual laser lines to create high resolution scans in as little as three minutes. Photon 3D can scan objects up to 190-mm by 190-mm by 250-mm (7.5-in diameter and 9.75-in height), works from a standard 5V DC power supply and connects to a PC via a single USB 2.0 connector. The Photon software makes scanning as easy as one click. Future enhancements to the desktop device could include color. Alternative 3-D scanners start at $3,000.
Just Press Print: the New Industrial Age
Inc.com (04/30/13) Wagreich, Sam
Entrepreneurs and techies continue to produce some exciting advances via 3-D printing, but the technology still has a long way to go. While President Obama touted the wide-ranging potential of 3-D printing during his State of the Union address earlier this year, big companies have dominated the emerging sector. The aerospace and medical industries have driven most of the growth, said Terry Wohlers, president of the consultancy Wohlers Associates. Some observers believe 3-D printing could revolutionize manufacturing; a study by market research firm Global Industry Analysts projects the industry will grow 56 percent from 2012 to $3 billion globally by 2018, but Wohlers has a more conservative outlook. "It won't be bringing back manufacturing to the United States in the traditional sense," he said. "But it's going to lead to a whole host of new business models and a different way of thinking when it comes to start-ups." Staples has teamed up with 3-D printer manufacturer Mcor Technologies to offer 3-D printing services in its stores. Additionally, small companies eventually could sell digital files for their products online, and consumers could purchase items, print them at a local 3-D print shop and have them delivered to their homes the same day.
Will Printers' Multimedia Hopes Float?
ProPrint (05/20/13) Kohn, Peter
Proposing cross-media campaigns to customers is a hard sell for smaller print shops. Kerim El Gabailli of Sydney, Australia's Prografica Communications said success as a multimedia printer requires more than familiarity with different streams. It requires being enough of a specialist to have an intimate knowledge of each technology and being enough of a generalist to know how to integrate them. "Knowing the different channels is only part of the puzzle," El Gabailli said. "There are many different skills and capabilities required in the team."
El Gabailli said printers need to obtain capabilities to cultivate marketing and strategy and write proposals, along with copywriting and creative talent. Most vital is the need to hire a data manager, as it is doubtful that core production staff at a print company will have the kind of data farming skills critical to a cross-media campaign. Once these goals are met, the next step is to correct decision makers' misperceptions about printers.
IGroup Australia's Paul Tannous said any resource investment must be calibrated with a cross-media business plan and sales and marketing strategy. “Cross-media has no finite boundaries, so it’s critical to determine precisely what solutions you intend to offer and how the implementation should be phased," he said. "This will help define what software, hardware and people skills are required.” Tannous said there are three essential components in switching from print service provider to marketing service provider. They include proficiency in the handling, processing and manipulation of data; a detailed assessment of the suitability of existing sales and service teams to sell cross-media solutions; and aggressive promotion.
“The decision to become an integrated channel communications provider pits you against competitors you won’t have previously encountered, who are already established in this space," Tannous said. "You need to establish credibility distinct from your existing print reputation. Don’t underestimate this but don’t be overawed by it. Think about how you established your print business in the market and apply the same principles to the existing and new markets you have the opportunity to serve.”