Update Your Company's Sourcing Guide Listing by Tomorrow
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 tomorrow, 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 July 30
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 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 30, is titled “Determining the ROI of Your Mailing and Fulfillment Operations, and Marketing Your Mailing and Fulfillment Services — it is not like selling print!”
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.
Safeguard Completes Purchase of Innovative Print & Media Group Inc.
PSDA member Safeguard recently acquired fellow member Innovative Print & Media Group Inc. Based in the Philadelphia suburb of Phoenixville, Pa., Innovative is a leading full-service marketing communications, print distribution and fulfillment provider, among other things. In 2012, Innovative was ranked as the 12th largest print services distributor in the industry by Print Solutions magazine. Terms of the acquisition, which was completed on July 1, 2013, were not announced. The addition of Innovative to the Safeguard network is the latest transaction involving some of the largest, most recognized enterprises in the industry. Recent acquisition and related transactions completed by Safeguard include AccuSource Solutions, Advent Business Forms, Blue Moon Promotions, Bradley Marketing Group, Consolidated Graphic Communications, DocuSource Print Management, Intraform, Print Concepts and Print Data East Coast.
Discount Labels Approved to Supply Full-Color Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Labels
PSDA member Discount Labels was recently approved by Underwriters Laboratory to become an authorized supplier of full-color UL labels. Prior to this approval, the company was an authorized supplier of spot-color UL labels.
Founded in 1894, Underwriters Laboratories Inc. provides safety certification, validation, testing, inspection and training to a wide range of clients including manufacturers, retailers, regulators and consumers. Today, it places the UL Mark on more than 22 billion products around the world.
“The UL mark is recognized as a mark of product excellence. Discount Labels is proud to be an authorized supplier to print labels for products that pass the rigors of UL testing,” said Mike Gore, general manager of Discount Labels. “As an approved label supplier, we are also held to very high standards as part of the ongoing authorization process.”
Discount Labels is approved to print the UL mark, both Type L and Type R, on labels with the following features: full-color graphics or PMS ink colors; white polyester, white BOPP or clear polyester durable stocks that resist tearing; consecutive numbering; indoor and outdoor applications; high-performance adhesive that is chemical and solvent resistant; and any die-cut shape.
“Navigating the UL mark and UL label printing can be complex,” Gore said. “At Discount Labels, we have in-house experts who are ready to work side-by-side with our customers to help them set up their file, choose the right stock and do what is necessary to comply with UL's label-printing standards.”
Appvion Honors The Flesh Company
In honor of PSDA member The Flesh Company's 100th year as a family-owned business, Appvion presented an award to Roy Flesh II during a visit to the Kansas production facility. The presenters were Jim Holobek, global director of sales; Chris Hoffman, sales supervisor; and Gary Staponkus, strategic account manager of Appvion.
“It's very special to be honored with this award when you consider both companies have reached and exceeded the 100-year mark in business,” said Roy Flesh II, The Flesh Company's CEO. “Strong partnerships like ours are the foundation of long-term success.”
The Flesh Company provides top quality, affordable print services in areas such as variable barcode image printing, integrated cards and labels, label/form combinations, custom label products, full-service bindery and a variety of promotional printing applications, including 100 percent “green” printing. FSC and SFI certified, The Flesh Company operates under the premise that each company or division has a distinct core competency for its focus, allowing them to provide top quality products and services for everything it offers.
Pictured, from left: Randy Lewis, Jim Holobek, Chris Hoffman, Roy Flesh II, Gary Staponkus, Bob Berardino
Connect Marketing Strategies Forms as an Ohio LLC Corporation
Connect Marketing Strategies recently formed as an Ohio LLC Corporation located in the Greater Cleveland area. The PSDA member company will provide print and promotional product procurement services, marketing solutions and e-commerce capabilities. President Mark Cupach has more than 30 years of experience in the print and promotional products industry, most recently holding the position of national sales director for trade manufacturer Identity Group/Business Stationery. Prior to that job, Cupach was manager of Printed Products with Proforma PFG.
Cupach stated: “With experience in both the distributor and manufacturer segments, I think I can bring unique solutions that solve today's marketing challenges.”
Connect Marketing Strategies will also provide consultative services and development training to both distributors needing assistance in marketing their businesses and to printing companies looking to find and penetrate new channels of trade for top line growth. Email Connect Marketing Strategies for more information.
Victor Printing Launches Perfect Binding Service
Victor Printing, a PSDA member and provider of print solutions, recently launched a perfect binding service. Perfect binding is a bindery method often used for magazines, soft-cover books, manuals and work books, among other product types. Perfect binding is created by printing a cover on a heavy cardstock, then binding the internal pages into the spine of the cover using a strong but flexible heated adhesive. As the glue cools and dries, it holds the pages tightly in place. The uneven edges of the sheets are then face-trimmed to make the edges square.
This is a binding method some customers have been requesting for some time. The management at Victor Printing are so delighted to finally fulfill their wishes. “Perfect Binding is a very popular method for short run, high page count catalogs,” said partner and owner Terry Richards. “We’re glad to finally have this option available and look forward to the blitz of orders from our loyal distributors. The Sterling Digibinder Plus is a great machine for digital color or black-and-white products. Both coated and uncoated stocks with be available on this new product offering. The addition of our new binding machine will enable us to improve our services and save time by keeping your entire print project in-house.”
Is Your Company Ready for Workflow Software?
Quick Printing (07/13) Riell, Howard
More printers are using workflow software, but this could lead to undesirable results if used incorrectly. It can be difficult to know when a company is ready for the software, and then how to find and implement the right software package in the right way. Eric Wold, vice president of California-based Datatech SmartSoft Inc., said that the use is growing "in part because its utility is growing outside of the usual boundaries. It’s becoming much more achievable to connect other upstream and downstream processes in a seamless way." Before purchasing workflow software, a company must consider its own business model. Wold said that workflow pays off faster for "a 'nichier' product," because it produces a higher volume of less varied orders, rather than a broad variety of random orders. Business flow must be connected to the workflow, as the utility and savings do not just come from making files transform faster, but from connecting the business intelligence of the orders coming into the enterprise.
Miranda Reeves, senior product manager for Ricoh Production Print Solutions, said that printers must consider a variety of factors. A solution that will not integrate with investments already made means that a printer would have to overhaul its entire business process. Intelligent tools also need data to work with, which means the information must be collected, analyzed and organized. Reeves said that a printer is ready for workflow software when it has a project that would make it worthwhile.
Strategizing the Acquisition: A Road Map for Buyers
WhatTheyThink (07/22/13) Henry, Patrick
Merger and acquisition experts at MargolisBecker and New Direction Partners (NDP) often said that no two acquisitions are identical, but that many successful deals offer lessons for other would-be buyers. NDP partner Peter Schaefer said that "growth" for printing companies often means "growth by acquisition," as organic growth in competitive or declining print markets can be difficult. Growth through acquisition offers another route to profitability, equipment utilization, new vertical markets, adding service offerings or technologies, diversifying a client base and convincing customers that the company is healthy. Schaefer also said that for clients entering an M&A, "The purchase price is not the first thing to focus on." The purchase of a company begins with developing objectives and a strategy, and then finding potential target companies to satisfy those objectives.
When a potential target company is reached, it is time to refine the contact list for negotiation, conduct due diligence and look to financing. Buyers looking for ideal candidates also must understand current market multiples and the factors that affect them. The current market range for pricing, Schaefer said, is 3.5 to 5 times EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization). Other variables, however, may enter into the calculation of the final selling price. Because general commercial printers and book printers are considered struggling and in-transition, their valuations tend to be lower regardless of their growth and profitability, while companies that specialize in large-format output, digital printing and data analytics tend to be more appealing to buyers and thus will go to the upper end.
The Continuous-Feed Inkjet Production Market—2013
WhatTheyThink (07/16/13) Boer, Marco
The continuous-feed inkjet printer market continues to show growth after five years. Transaction, direct mail and book printing are the three core applications for continuous-feed inkjet printers, and the common link for other applications is the heavy dependency on variable data and color photographic images. Total revenue growth is expected to average 18 percent annually during the next five years, according to I.T. Strategies, but it could grow faster if some ink coverage and substrate issues are addressed sooner than expected. Also, the large-scale development and accessibility of variable data is a more complicated challenge. Actual pages are expected to double, and nearly all toner-based mono continuous-feed pages remaining will be replaced by continuous-feed inkjet printers by 2017. Future page volume growth will depend more on a combination of both offset page replacement and new application page volumes.
PSDA Member Xeikon Touts Growth of Packaging, Labels
The market for color digital presses continues to grow, according to Bob Leahey, associate director at Infotrends. Speaking at the Xeikon Cafe in Toronto in June, the analyst said color digital presses are "great" for printing labels. He said Coca-Cola's 'Share a Coke' campaign, which rolled out across Europe in May, showed how brands can benefit from color digital label and packaging (CDLP). The campaign featured personalized labels where the Coca-Cola logo was replaced by the most popular first-names found in each respective market. In addition to campaigns that feature personalization, markets that are good for CDLP include nutraceuticals, private labels and wines. The market for CDLP is growing because companies want printing that supports the growing trend of 1:1 marketing, and printers need a digital press to meet that need, he said. Brand owners want leaner manufacturing within more targeted markets. As a result, "label converters want short-run tools, and digital is ideal," said Leahey.
Being Seen to Be Green Is Vital to the Mission
ProPrint (07/15/13) Vij, Linda
Print companies tend to have a mediocre environmental reputation, in part because they are not doing enough to dispel existing myths. Purchasers may shun printing because they do not understand the environmental impacts of electronic versus print media and do not know how much new printing technology can increase energy efficiency. Computers use power even when they are idle and burn energy whenever emails are opened or sent. Data from PSDA partner Two Sides indicates that one hour of online reading creates 226 grams of C02. Although a 700-page document burned on CD outputs about 300 grams, it only takes 85 grams to print that document, which can then be reread with no additional impact. Paper also is a renewable resource. Other print companies are advised to include similar information and advice in communications to clients. Environmental advice is a value-add that gains peoples' responses and could increase sales. The green movement has led to a significant push against manufacturing, and more outspoken print companies may help correct this trend.
Make a Case for Sustainability
MyPrintResource (07/15/13) Whitcher, Joann
Print providers might want to rethink whether developing a sustainability policy should be near the top of their to-do list, according to sustainability advocates. Print buyers increasingly seek out business partners that share their goals of sustainability, but running a business in more cost-efficient ways will ultimately strengthen their financials. Environmental compliance is often what comes to mind, but sustainability also includes social, economic and diversity issues, and one of the main tenants of the policy is to squeeze all unnecessary costs — waste — out of an organization. A comprehensive policy would look at the impact of everything a business operation does, and would look to wisely use resources, including technology, transportation and staff. "Likely areas for a printing company to make sustainable improvements are electricity use in buildings or processes, chemical use (such as inks, laminates and adhesives) packaging use and waste," said Barbara Close, corporate strategy and operations consultant with Princeton Sustainability Advisors. "Simply put, your money works harder for you when what you buy is used rather than wasted." Under a sustainable plan, the numbers for various cost and capital investment line items will more likely be affected than the core business model.
The State of Thermal Transfer and Digital Printing
WhatTheyThink (07/22/13) Weymans, Filip
The digital method has enabled thermal transfer printing to continue to expand. Thermal transfer techniques offer novel benefits such as instant availability with no need for plates or screens, short to medium runs with personalization if needed, high resolution, wide gamut colors and opaque white undercoats from the latest digital presses. Digital printing of transfers allows variations within a run, so branded items can be produced with the names of individual stores, bars, restaurants or sports events. Users said the very thin transfer gives a 'no-label' look, and said 'printed-on' transfers provide a substantial advantage because of their permanence. Heat transfers are built on a roll of plastic film that is discarded once the image is transferred to the final item. After printing, the foils are rewound and taken to a coating station where heat-activated adhesive is applied. Techniques such as heated roller heads and custom-designed application machines allow the thermal transfer process to be used for a wide variety of products.
Digital Drives Advances in Pack Portfolio
PrintWeek (07/22/13) Roper, Jenny
Belmont Packaging has changed gears in recent years to stay ahead of the crowd, and its latest move involves digital packaging printing. Managing director Sean Moloney has spent the last 10 years researching the capabilities of different technologies for the complicated world of packaging. The real challenge was finding a kit that could process cardboard packaging substrates at a commercially viable rate. "The trouble with cardboard is it wants to bend, so it's challenging to say the least," said Moloney. Belmont purchased three new inkjet machines, all installed within the last year, and two are wide-format — one printing with UV inks — and they turn out the printer's POS and shelf-ready packaging work. The other is a narrow-web and produces on-demand transit packaging. The company also had to research market demand for digital print and have the right personnel to make the new digital printing venture work. Belmont has attracted 50 new customers for its offering of short-run, on-demand, variable data jobs with no plate costs.
Continuous-Feed Inkjet: Paper Plays a Starring 'Roll'
Printing Impressions (07/01/13) Miller, Jack
As continuous-feed inkjet digital printing evolves, it is gaining share from both conventional offset and electrophotography or toner-based systems. Challenges for continuous-feed inkjet include education, workflow, sales and finishing. The technology itself continues to evolve with improvements to paper and ink, and also to workflow software, as well as to the presses themselves.
The value proposition of digital involves a total system solution around better targeting, better logistics and less waste, which results in a better return on the customers' investment rather than a lower per unit cost. The quality of the image may not be as important as economics. "The highest form of printing in the world for museums and photography is inkjet, said Dave Bell, Mitsubishi director of digital paper sales. "The question is not when will inkjet quality be equal to offset, but when will production inkjet quality be equal to offset."
The promise of continuous-feed inkjet is quality close to offset with short-run and variable data capability, and quality close to or equal to electrophotography with greater productivity and lower cost. Mitsubishi Imaging and other firms have developed coated inkjet papers in conjunction with press manufacturers and continue to refine their inkjet coated paper offerings. In a presentation at the recent Inkjet Summit, Dave Bell said that the coating holds the ink on the surface, while allowing the water to disperse into the sheet. Although the water evaporates over 24 hours, the sheet immediately feels dry to the touch and is ready for finishing without any offsetting or smearing. He cited a study by Canon Solutions America, which showed that, at 25 percent ink coverage, paper cost is equal to ink cost. Above 25 percent ink coverage, it may make sense to use better paper that lowers the ink usage.
In the LED: Getting Started With LED Display Systems
Wide-Format Imaging (07/13) Katt, Craig
Nearly every public venue uses LED display systems, as they provide an efficient way to engage the attention of all demographics. LED displays also help create new revenue streams by allowing users to easily display sponsored content. LED displays are still a relatively new medium for many imaging professionals, requiring many factors to ensure the LED display system meets a business' needs and viewing expectations.
When choosing an LED display system, there are several factors to consider. One is where to position the LED display for the best viewing angle. A general guideline is to position displays so that the most potential viewers are within a 120-degree viewing angle. A second is what type of content will be displayed, with the general rule of thumb for still photos and video to deploy a minimum of 50,000 pixels to create acceptable images. Trans-Lux, for example, offers LED pitches that range from as small as 1.5 mm to 24 mm, with the cost of LED displays getting higher as the pitch gets smaller. A third consideration is determining what content composition will look the best in stills and/or video, keeping in mind how many total pixels are available to work with. The fourth consideration is how much power is needed for an LED display. The guideline is to allocate approximately one-half watt per pixel.
UPM Raflatac Dots the I's and Crosses the T's of Shadow Print
Food Production Daily (07/01/13)
UPM Raflatac said its shadow print method, in which the print is part of the self-adhesive labelstock and the completed label, is hard to duplicate, impossible to remove and more secure than printing on the adhesive. The shadow print originates from the labelstock's manufacture and remains with the label for its lifecycle. UPM Raflatac's Fabrice Tollini said tampering with the shadow print will inevitably damage the label face or adhesive layer, offering the simplest and most cost-effective proof of material origin or guarantee of specific label materials.
The UPM Raflatac logo, an identification of the labelstock or individual label elements, and the standard or legislation that the label material complies with are among standard shadow print options. The company said the shadow print is not visible through non-transparent face materials. The print is based on a recurring pattern and is randomly distributed but regular, according to the size and shape of the label. The shadow print can be printed on the inside of the glassline liner prior to silicone coating. It also can be rendered invisible with ultraviolet-reactive inks.
Various one-color prints are possible for labeling clear packaging on items such as beverages, spirits and personal care products. "In addition to a warranty of labelstock origin and specification, it's also realistic to say that more of the label's surface is now open to creative use," Tollini said. "The opportunity for tailoring means that label end-users and brand owners themselves are able to play a role in exploring shadow print's informational and promotional potential. These are the people who tell us what to print."
Print Catalogs Remain Key Marketing Materials in the Business-to-Business World
Crain's Cleveland Business (07/21/13) Straub, Laura
Despite detailed information customers can find online about their products, distributors and other business-to-business sellers agree the physical presence and permanence of a print catalog remains a powerful marketing tool. "Our catalog sits on someone's desk or shelf like a salesperson holding a sign; 'Looking for something? Call Applied,'" said Jennifer Belt, catalog marketing manager for Applied, a seller of bearings and industrial parts headquartered in Cleveland. "It's a passive prompt to our customers indicating that this is a partnership, and we're here to help," Belt said.
Pete Santee, Applied account manager in the Akron region, uses the catalogs as an introduction to new clients in his territory. The presence of a catalog also is an influential instrument for returning customers. One of Santee's large national accounts keeps a supply of catalogs on the shop floor, where the maintenance workers use them as a reference tool to find the correct parts for repairs on the machinery throughout the day, he said.
Positive customer experiences like these are why Jean Gianfagna, founder and president of Gianfagna Strategic Marketing, recommends print catalogs to her clients. "The catalogs are a great leave-behind for salespeople," she said. While online multimedia content can add to the presentation of products, it is harder to implement than many sellers realize, Gianfagna said. "Lots of business-to-business companies don't have the resources to create rich content and media," she said. Though a print catalog may seem like it would be more expensive than an online version because of paper and printing costs, much of the production expense is the same for online and print, Gianfagna said.
Transactional Marketing: To Print and Go Digital
MyPrintResource (07/08/13) Vruno, Mark
Experts say transpromo print, also known as transactional printing, will still exist several decades hence, despite decreasing industry volume for such work. Xerox's Shelley Sweeney said this longevity will stem from the ability of transactional data to apply intelligence, use relevancy and add full-color printing. "The opportunity is most powerful when different media sources are combined," she said. "I don't think the printed component is ever going to go away because paper will still deliver the highest response rates. Plus, even young people want a paper trail."
"Analysts said nobody would send bills in the mail by 2005," said Hewlett-Packard's Pat McGrew. "But with online bill payment, you log in, push a button and leave — there's no engagement." However, using a multichannel mix of online and offline communication permits the creation of a cycle of engagement through special "discounts and deals."
"Issues with electronic delivery will continue to cause a very significant number of recipients to still demand paper statements, even when they might pay online," said GMC Software Technology's Jamie Harris. "A surprising bit of research showed recently that a large portion of the Millennial generation, once they are on their own and have to pay their own bills, still want physical delivery of important documents like statements. Email addresses change frequently and there is no equivalent to the USPS forwarding service."
Harris said a major issue companies confront as they manage a transpromo workflow is the "care and feeding" of creative content into the transpromo solution. "GMC is able to assist in this task with an application called Inspire Content Manager, which allows web users to upload content through a browser interface," he said. "This shortens the creative and approval cycles dramatically." The application also enables web users to directly generate and edit content through their browser. "Once created, the web user can specify effective dates and rules around how a particular piece of content is to be displayed on a statement," Harris said.
7 Tactics for Social Lead Generation
ClickZ (07/16/13) Gold, Harry
Organizations are often disappointed with the results of doing social media marketing for lead generation, but there are strategies that they can employ that do yield highly measurable ROI. The right balance must be found between asking for sales and making pitches, and compelling offers used in a search ad, banner or email should be echoed in social media. Organizations should create social content and offer bank, extract value statements and compelling images and work this into their social publishing schedule. Traditional landing pages increase conversion rates, and organizations should use them for social media. Similarly, organizations should create landing pages for YouTube videos and SlideShare presentations, and place an offer and a quick form next to the content. Also, organizations should encourage people to share their content, encourage prospects and customers to contact them directly and even promote toll-free numbers in tweets and Facebook posts.