Update Your Company's Sourcing Guide Listing by July 26
The October 2013 issue of Print Solutions magazine will feature PSDA's 2014 Sourcing Guide. The annual directory is used throughout the year by distributors of printed and other products when faced with sourcing questions. The guide is populated with company information from the Online Sourcing Guide, but, in order for the most accurate information to appear in the guide, each company must update its listing.
How to Review and Update Your Listing
Visit the Online Sourcing Guide to view your current listing. Please review the information and email PSDA Headquarters with any changes. The deadline for updating content is July 26, 2013.
We appreciate you taking the time to update your company's profile and ensure that PSDA has the most current and complete information on file. Please contact PSDA Headquarters at 800.230.0175 with any questions.
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.
Watch a video on the Top 10 Elements of Sales Success.
Learn more and register.
Mailing and Fulfillment Webinar Series Continues This Month
Clemson University's webinar series to the industry on “Mailing, Fulfillment and Marketing Services” continues in July. 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 Solutions 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.
The next available webinar, taking place Tuesday, July 16, is titled “Equipment Solutions and Software Applications for Mail Processing, including the implementation of the IMb™.”
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.
Ennis, Inc. Acquires Select Assets of Duffie Graphics, Goodwin Graphics
PSDA member Ennis, Inc. and Duffie Graphics recently reached an agreement where Ennis has acquired all artwork and production files from Duffie Graphics. By gaining these files, Ennis will continue to service current Duffie Graphics customers. The majority of printing for these customers will be done at the Ennis facility located in Chatham, Va.
“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Duffie Graphics’ customer files and look forward to servicing their customers with high-quality products and services, as well as assist them with any support or questions they have during the transition period,” said Dale Donati, vice president, print segment.
In order to ensure a smooth transition, Duffie customers will be able to continue to contact their Duffie representative for quotes, orders and questions. Ennis is dedicated to making this transition as easy as possible and expects that current customers will see minimal change to daily interactions with Duffie Graphics.
Ennis has also reached a similar agreement with Goodwin Graphics. Current Goodwin Graphics customers can now contact and have their work produced through the PrintXcel facility in Clarksville, Tenn. This facility was chosen because its capabilities are nearly identical to Goodwin Graphics. PrintXcel will continue to offer a majority of Goodwin Graphics' stock mailers and Docuseal products.
"We are extremely pleased to announce that Ennis has acquired the customer files of Goodwin Graphics effective July 1, 2013. By filling all orders through our PrintXcel facility we will be able to keep current Goodwin customers satisfied by offering the same level of quality and service they have been accustomed to," said Terry Pennington, vice president of sales for Ennis. "Making this transition as easy as possible for the current customers is our main priority. We expect these customers will experience little change in their order process and production time."
DataSource Purchases Integrated Document Solutions
Managed services provider and PSDA member DataSource recently purchased Integrated Document Solutions (IDS), a single source provider of business communications and document management services, including warehousing and distribution. IDS controls three major company-owned facilities and employs 13. The Dallas-based company provides both local and national customers with a broad range of business printing and marketing services including graphic design, online ordering, management, distribution, promotions and direct mail.
"Joining DataSource is a win-win for our clients and our team members," said Walt Smith, CDC, and Philip Templeton, the founders of IDS. "Our executives and staff are eager to bring new enterprise solutions, technology and cost reduction tools to our customers."
"We look forward to sharing the benefits of the expansion with our customers," said David Holland, president of DataSource. "Our combined capabilities will extend our market presence and take our industry-leading customer service to another level while fulfilling our strategic objectives for growth."
DataSource's document design and distribution services include national restaurant chains, commercial banking as well as automotive marketplaces in addition to well-known brands such as Carlson Worldwide, Americo and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
Brandt Affixing Introduces MVP Card
PSDA member Brandt Affixing of Carrollton, Texas, recently introduced the “MVP Card” — the Most Versatile Plastic Card. This patented ID card and carrier features an all-plastic card suspended on a paper carrier. The card is designed for digital color or black and white laser personalization and can be fully customized on the front and back of the card. The MVP Card’s versatile design allows for full bleeds, which maximizes the available print area.
The card is compatible with virtually any sheet-fed digital color or black and white laser printer on the market today. The MVP Card’s unique construction yields an even, straight stack unlike most affixed or integrated cards, which stack unevenly. The straight stack allows the use of high capacity feed trays without paper jams or misfeeds. With the introduction of the MVP Card, highly customized, durable and professional looking membership cards can be affordably printed for any size group or association.
Stock formats are now available in 1 up and 2 up layouts in both 7 mil and 10 mil card constructions. Brandt Affixing plans to add additional layouts to its stock product line in the coming months. For more information, contact Ed Brandt, or visit the company's website where you can request a customized MVP Card marketing kit.
AccuLink Invests in Future with New Press, Upgraded Services
PSDA member AccuLink purchased the Scodix 1200 UV inkjet press displayed at Graph Expo ’11, which represented the first commercial print installation in the United States for the Israeli manufacturer. “This digital enhancing capability has developed new business relationships for us with applications ranging from yearbook covers, direct mail, unique business cards, announcements and versioned short run packaging products,” said AccuLink co-owner Lindsay Gray.
Carrying on with its focus toward investing in the future, AccuLink is installing the latest Indigo 10000 21” x 29” format press later this summer. “Ours will be one of the first 20 installations in the U.S., and we believe this is truly going to upset the status quo in our industry” Gray said. “No other press can offer the range of digital variable capabilities at this size and level of quality, and we look forward to making our new services available to fellow printers who are unable or unwilling to invest in technologies such as this.”
In keeping with upgrading services and productivity, AccuLink recently upgraded its finishing services with on-demand perfect binding and turned edge casebook binding. With more than 30 percent of sales relating to multipage documents, AccuLink views its new upgrades as logical investments in its quest to add value to its printed products and reward clients with positive results and ROI.
AccuLink welcomes tours of its 80,000-square-foot facility located in Greenville, N.C. Contact Tom O’Brien or Lindsay Gray at 800.948.4110 for more information.
Graphic Dimensions Introduces Checkmate™ Online
Graphic Dimensions, a PSDA member headquartered in Georgia, recently introduced CheckMate™ Online.
CheckMate Online allows distributors to configure, proof and order software compatible checks online. Powered by a new MICR verification technology called AFFIRM, this technology validates a user’s bank routing number and proper account MICR number formatting online when ordering printed checks. AFFIRM empowers distributor customers with the ability to place check orders online without the need of a bank MICR spec sheet or having to provide a voided check sample.
This technology is available at no charge to registered users ordering CheckMate™ Online on the Graphic Dimensions website. A unique rebrandable e-commerce website is also available for distributors with vertical market programs as well as a standalone secure client-based interface service for customers using other web based applications.
“The biggest holdup for businesses placing check orders online is the need to send a bank spec sheet or voided check sample offline. This antiquated process slows down the ordering process and causes apprehension for the user,” said Jay Scammell, president and CEO of Graphic Dimensions. “AFFIRM eliminates these issues and streamlines online check ordering.”
For more information CheckMate Online or the AFFIRM Technology or to arrange a demo please email or call 800.699.2978 or visit the Graphic Dimensions website.
Why Direct Mail Still Yields Lowest Cost-Per-Lead, Highest Conversion Rate
Business2Community (06/13/13) Beasley, Laurie
Sixty-five percent of consumers of all ages have made a purchase as a result of direct mail, according to the Direct Mail Association (DMA) Factbook for 2013. Direct mail is enjoying a resurgence, with the DMA reporting that the cost per lead of direct mail is level with print and pay-per-click and substantially less than telemarketing. The Print on Demand Institute also discovered that direct mail beat other channels tested in terms of conversion rates, both for lead-generating “free” offers and one-step “buy now” offers. Because direct mail also has a longer "shelf life" than email, it might pay to assess one's existing landing pages and offers to determine what can be repurposed to promote via direct mail.
The U.S. Postal Service learned that postcards are the mail format most likely to be read or scanned, and they offer the advantages of lower printing and mailing expenses than most forms of direct mail. Testing the messaging on the outer envelope of the direct mail product is another helpful strategy, as better wording or phrasing can encourage better pulling. Also important is ensuring that the direct mail format aligns with what is being sold.
Personalized communications outperform generic promotion across the board, and this personalization should extend to the mail's content, not just the use of the recipient's name. Marketers who leverage digital print-on-demand can boost the flexibility of their direct mail usage. For instance, American Signature Furniture performed a test by sending a self-mailer to people who visited a showroom but did not buy. Included in the mailer were the customers’ names and the name and contact information for the sales rep who served them, along with the date and time of the visit. Photographs showed the styles they considered during their visit. The company determined that people who received the mailer and returned to purchase spent roughly 40 percent more than those who did not.
The DMA also reports that 3-D or dimensional mailings trump standard formats by 250 percent while raising the cost per lead by just 50 percent.
Improving 3-D Printing by Copying Nature
National Geographic News (07/07/13) Howard, Brian Clark
The 3-D printing revolution has great potential, but one big problem for the technology is that many printers use toxic building materials, according to Janine Benyus, a biologist, author and innovation consultant. Printers should use natural, safe materials to build things. "We shouldn't have to wash our clothes after we use a 3-D printer, or ask our sons or daughters to take out the hazardous waste trash," said Benyus, author of Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature and co-founder of the institute Biomimicry 3.8. The use of polylactic acid is a start to making 3-D printing greener, she said, and the end of the life cycle of a printed product is also critical. Benyus said the key to making 3-D printing truly sustainable is to model the technology after natural processes. Biomimicry could help improve the technology, but scientists do not really understand how to produce things from simple building blocks like nature, said Markus J. Buehler, head of MIT's department of civil and environmental engineering.
Adding Value via Mailing, Kitting, Fulfillment Services
MyPrintResource (06/24/13) Vruno, Mark
According to John Rafner of the Association of Marketing Service Providers, "Printers are viewed by customers in a much more interdependent way. Clients want and expect printers to be marketing service providers, providing a convergence of many distinct yet interrelated services. Printing, both digital and conventional, mailing, fulfillment, along with promotional products, data work for the web and social media are just a few of the areas we encourage our members to incorporate into their current and future business plans."
Savvy print firm owners and managers realize they must adopt a wide variety of marketing channels as well as deliver them to their customers, but DavCo Advertising's Rick Esh said it is understandable for printers to be hesitant to enter the mail arena. "We used to sub-[contract] out [mailing services], or our clientele took fulfillment to a mail house," he said. Less than 5 percent of DavCo's sales originated from mailing, package and fulfillment services, but Esh said now about 15 percent to 30 percent of its sales come from those channels. Although such services have brought in more business to DavCo, Esh said, "Mailing leads to more design and print work. It adds substantial work to all our sectors."
Ripon Printers is a top maker of catalogs, publications, manuals and soft-cover educational products that began adding mailing services more than two decades ago. In March 2012, Ripon bought Sells Printing, and combined sales of the two companies total more than $50 million. "We estimate that about 35 percent of that involves mailing," said Ripon's Jerry Eiler. "Back in the '90s when we first started in large-scale mailing, we got up to about 70 percent of $37 million annual volume. The Sells acquisition has diluted the sales percentage."
About 44,000 of Ripon's 237,000 square feet of plant space is dedicated to mailing services, Eiler said. Those services have transitioned from using a Kodak Versamark 4100 Printing System for inkjet output to a Versamark 5100 model now. "We migrated to offline using a reworked Rima stacker, which has increased productivity," Eiler said.
Ripon is also currently exploiting the USPS Simple Samples program and developing a proprietary Bindalope product using paper wrap rather than poly wrap, Eiler said. "It's an environmentally friendly alternative that also provides more square inches of advertising space for personalized messaging," he said. Eiler said mailing can bring in printing business. "A lot of work in the shop wouldn't be here without [mailing services]," he said. "Mailing is complicated but doable. Learning and preparation are the keys — from postal rules to the complexity of the inkjet systems — because mistakes are expensive. Checks and balances are necessary to maintain accuracy."
Growing Demand for Web Offset Printing
Packaging Europe (06/19/13) White, Libby
David Muncaster is the director of business development for packaging at Goss International, a leading player in the field of web offset printing. In an interview with Packaging Europe, Muncaster discussed the growing interest in web offset and its advantages for the packaging market. Muncaster said the key characteristics of web offset printing are high print quality, high productivity, fast make readies and low image costs (plates). He said the trend towards shorter production runs and greater personalization was not a threat to web offset but a major opportunity, and said historically, flexo and gravure printing processes were the dominant players for the longer run lengths. "But as the demand for long run lengths is decreasing and there are more SKU's, the image cost has become a more important factor, and makes offset a more cost effective process for a wide range of run lengths, but in particular in the short to medium range," he said. Web offset has the potential for wider adoption in the folding carton segment because it offers the advantage of greater productivity through improved workflow, reduced work in progress, considerably higher output speeds and the ability to add in-line finishing, said Muncaster. He also said the main market pressures are cost and responsiveness, and there is considerable innovation in design, materials, chemistry and machinery.
2013 Annual Sign Franchise Review
Wide-Format Imaging (06/13) Gustavson, Denise
Sign and graphics franchises generated total sales of $601,563,850 in 2012, and in North America franchise sales constituted the majority at $579,609,292, according to a Wide-Format Imaging annual review. "There is great opportunity for [print service providers] who are equipped with new technologies," said Sign Biz CEO Teresa Young. "It is no longer enough to be a digital print/vinyl shop." Meanwhile, FastSigns CEO Catherine Monson said her company's same-center sales expansion in 2012 amounted to 9.9 percent. "Seventy-five percent of our franchise partners experienced sales growth over 2011," she said. "And 2013 is off to a strong start."
Last year, there were 1,068 franchise locations, representing a 15-shop increase over 2011. FastSigns is the largest system in the review with 530 sites in eight nations, increasing by seven locations and one country in 2012. There are 488 FastSigns locations in 46 states, and the company recorded 23 new franchises in 2012. Also observed in 2012 was 7.9 percent growth in systemwide sales, climbing from $558,315,609 to $601,563,850 for all the franchise systems. These sales figures are broken down into 18 categories, of which the biggest segment is fleet and vehicle graphics.
"The advent of environmentally friendly latex ink printing technology makes it possible to produce signs with little or no pollution, using materials that can be recycled," said Alliance Franchise Brands Sign Division CEO Ray Palmer Jr. "With the importance of the 'green' movement, I think this casts our industry in a positive light."
Monson said flatbed device development is the most enduring innovation. "The flatbed is being incorporated into workflows, minimizing outsourcing," she said. "Likewise routing and engraving, along with flatbed finishing devices, are being redesigned with a smaller footprint, allowing the industry to take advantage of equipment that once was too large and industrial to consider. The availability of cost-effective, third-party inks has allowed a substantial reduction in cost of goods without a significant deterioration in quality."
The franchise systems supply a substantial amount of resources and education to their members to help them attract and hold on to new and existing clientele. "With changing technology and great demand for value-added service providers, the number one goal for sign franchises should be to understand client needs, and, in turn, answering any call for changes," Palmer said.
Monson sees rapid digital signage adoption. "If we in the sign and graphics space don't embrace digital signage and be the ones providing it to our customers and prospects, folks in another industry will be," she said. "Digital signage will replace a percentage of static signage. Unless we master and sell digital signage, it will become a threat. We believe that he who sells the digital signage will likely control [sell] the static signage around it."
Digital Print Nears Tipping Point for Labels
Labels & Labeling (06/07/13) Jerschefske, Danielle
Recent innovations in the labels and packaging sector clearly illustrate the exploitation of social and digital technology to facilitate deep paradigms shifts in business worldwide, said Labels & Labeling magazine's North American editor Danielle Jerschefske. Several speakers at a recent digital label and package printing event agreed with the contention that brand owners are bringing digital label production in-house.
"It might be a tactical option for digital label converter experts to provide 'facilities management' as an added service value to their business," Jerschefske said. "I agree to some extent. For certain types of work this could prove to be a valuable competitive edge (e.g., full color logistics labels)."
However, Jerschefske said more complex instances call for external production, an example being collaboration between experts, with one main conductor delivering the turn-key solution. "There's potential for digital technology to create a whole new way of servicing a brand's packaging needs," she said. The issue raised is whether converters are ready to embrace digital technology, given ever-increasing acceleration toward a tipping point.
WhatTheyThink (06/24/13) Smyth, Sean
Recent global events have helped to show how inkjet technology is succeeding in various markets. Inkjet offers more economic and production benefits than screen printing for ceramic tile printing, and textiles is the other area that is growing at a rapid pace. The technology offers greater flexibility, including unlimited variability of natural designs to the edge of the tile, faster response times and lower breakage levels. The dynamic sector for inkjet is really high-speed inkjet, although it is well-established in signage and point-of-sale using wide-format equipment. Most applications involve transactional and direct mail, security, book manufacturing and remote printing of newspapers, but buyers are now focusing on commercial print. "The potential is huge; we're confident that we can achieve almost 40 percent more throughput on the presses than we're producing now," said Toshiro Masuda, senior managing director of Toppan Forms in Japan. About 600 inkjet print lines have been installed, with sales in 2012 of 500 more systems predicted.
Stirring the Pot of Package Innovation
Healthcare Packaging (06/14/2013) Butschli, Jim
LiDestri Food & Beverage is best known for its sauces, dips, salsas, beverages, oils and spirits and has used the knowledge gained from these resources to create new packaging. The multi-compartment packaging should enable the Fairport, N.Y.-based contract manufacturer and packager to enter the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic markets. "There are several variations or designs of this packaging technology, however it can best be described as a collapsible, multi-compartment flexible plastic container that may have several segregated compartments, where the seal or seals may be ruptured and the contents mixed," said David DiLiberto, director of business development. The packaging can hold product mixes such as powder and powder, liquid and powder, liquid and liquid, powder/liquid and empty. The technology is easy to use and operate; contents are kept separate prior to mixing, maintaining quality, freshness and taste; and it offers preportioned medication mixture for nursing or pharmacy staff. LiDestri wants to sell the packaging to end-user firms but also has the option of filling products into the technology for customers.
The Perfect Package The June issue of Print Solutions magazine includes a feature titled "Packaging That Opens Eyes." You should have received the print magazine by now, but you can also read the full digital issue here.
Under-the-Cap QR Codes Engage Consumers
Packaging Digest (06/27/13) Pierce, Lisa McTigue
Crown Closures North America sees the billboard space under the cap as an untapped opportunity to use Quick Response (QR) Codes. The placement is helpful to differentiate products and encourages customers to make the purchase, since the component can not be experienced on the shelf. "QR Codes are traditionally found on labels and product packaging, but they can also be placed on the interior of a metal closure used on food and beverage applications thanks to FDA-approved inks and printing technologies," said Sheila Heath, director of marketing for Crown. "Brands now benefit from an additional platform to engage consumers without having to alter the external visual design of the package, which often has brand equity of its own." Crown works with brands to plan and print designs under the cap for driving consumers to sources of information. The Twist, which is suitable for hot or cold filled, pasteurized and retorted applications, is Crown's most popular closure design. Crown provides different options for using and printing codes, such as a single code on all closures or multiple versions for promotions.
You're Likely Using QR Codes Wrong, and Here's Why
Forbes (06/25/13) Lockwood, Frank
QR Codes have gained a bad rap because the technology is often misused. They are slapped on seemingly every print and outdoor ad, including billboards, which are well out of reach for someone speeding by in a car and makes no sense, considering people are meant to interact with QR Codes via a mobile device. Users will need to get to know the technology's inner code in order to get it right. They should be mindful of the device likely to be using QR Codes and offer a responsive, mobile experience and understand that the original intended use was for storing lots of complex data. And people can access them to receive a coupon for a box of cereal or use the code as verification to gain entry to a local fair. A QR Code should not be mistaken for a URL to point devices at and return magical objects. Rather, they are a mechanism for storing information for verifying identities, rewarding users with unique gifts or enabling entry to events.
Print Solutions magazine July issue
The July issue of Print Solutions magazine includes a feature titled "QR Codes: Funny Fails Turned into Valuable Lessons." Keep an eye on your mailboxes in the coming weeks for the issue!