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Discover New Channel Partners with PSDA’s Online Sourcing Guide


You've seen PSDA's Online Sourcing Guide mentioned in this e-newsletter before, but have you checked it out? This directory provides member companies with a comprehensive resource of providers of products, services and solutions. Utilize this resource as you research and identify channel partners. It's available 24/7 from any computer, tablet or web-enabled smartphone, and all you have to do is log into psda.org and visit PSDA's Online Sourcing Guide page.

Pictured below is an example of the type of listings you'll find. This listing was achieved by selecting "Direct Mail" and "Fulfillment" on the left side. At the top of the page you'll see a special featured listing (learn more about enhanced visibility here) followed by additional fulfillment listings. You can search any category this way.



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Ennis, Inc.
 

PSDA News

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PSDA's On-Demand Training is a new web-based program — developed by industry experts — with a diverse content library. In addition to the many specialized bundles, there are a variety of courses offered on an individual basis, allowing you to pick the courses one-by-one, based on your needs and job role. Some of the individual courses offered include:

•  Integrated Printing: Future of Print
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•  Near Term Growth Drives Long Term Value
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•  Sell Commercial Printing Today

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While you're at it, check out the latest post on IKEA's new augmented reality catalog and let us know what you think.
An Industry Fast Fact from PSDA Partner Two Sides

“The direct impact of ICT [electronic] products and services replacing paper is far from negligible, and the trade-off between the two ‘technologies' depends on conditions such as use frequency, source of energy, end-of-life management of the products, etc.” — P. Arnfalk

For more print and paper myths and facts, click here.


Wilmer
 

Member News

CE Printed Products Adds New Digital Press

PSDA member CE Printed Products recently completed the installation of its new digital press, the MGI Meteor. “The sky is the limit with the Meteor,” said Robert Ohr, president of CE. “The new digital press allows CE the flexibility to more efficiently handle existing business and to expand our product line. This press has such a large portfolio of substrates and capabilities; we are so excited to continue to grow our business with the addition of the MGI Meteor.” The MGI Meteor runs envelopes and a wide range of paper weights, including laser safe flat sheets, plastics and synthetics. It also can print up to a 13” x 40” sheet and provide variable data printing on any substrate.
Team Concept to Host Sept. 5 Open House

PSDA member Team Concept Printing is hosting an open house on Wednesday, Sept. 5, in Carol Stream, Ill., to showcase the company's facility and its expanded line of equipment. During the open house, the company will also be giving tutorials on variable data printing as well as highlighting new and exciting developments in Team Concept's future. “We are looking to showcase all we do that most of our clients are unaware of and also take the chance to teach them more about things like variable data and special applications like foil stamping, thermography and die cutting,” said Tony Rouse, Team Concept's president and CEO. The open house is football kickoff themed, as it coincides with the opening night of the NFL season. There will be numerous promotional giveaways throughout the open house. To reserve your spot at the open house, email Team Concept.
Boise Inc.
 
Bann Business Solutions Selected to Offer Paper-Based Webkey

Intermed Asia Ltd., a member of the Polyconcept Group, recently chose PSDA member Bann Business Solutions of St. Paul, Minn., as one of three North American companies to distribute the patent-pending “Connect to Web®” paper webkey. The other companies are BI WORLDWIDE Customer Engagement Group of Minneapolis and IPAK of Pennsauken, N.J.

The “Connect to Web®” paper webkey technology is a new channel in multichannel marketing. The product is formed by embedding a USB plug-in chip between two pieces of wafer-thin paperboard. Its flexible design allows for easy integration into a variety of printed media, such as direct mailers, brochures, magazine inserts or trade show handouts. Once the end user extracts the webkey from the mailer and plugs it into the universal serial bus (USB) port on their computer, the “Connect to Web” proprietary technology instantly launches a browser and transports the user to a webpage. Each webkey is assigned its own identification number so marketers can track and measure how it's used — individual by individual.

Mike Bann, president of Bann Business Solutions, said: “This takes [the] guesswork out of the performance of direct mail; you can measure your ROI on a real-time basis. Gone are the days of hoping that a prospective customer will remember to use the URL in a direct mailer or ad. Because the customer is allured by the webkey, now we'll know exactly how deeply they interact with the information, which sets the table for the next level of communication.”
Printco CEO and CFO Go Head to Head for Charity

On Aug. 19, Ken Sperling and Phil Sperling of Printco Inc. will be participating — for the second time in four years — in Race the Lake, a 90-mile bike race around Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin. Although Race the Lake is not a fundraising event, Ken and Phil decided to tie a charity into the race. Instead of raising funds the old-fashioned way, though, the two decided to focus on raising awareness through technology and sprinkle in a competition for some flavor.

For every vote Ken and Phil receive on the Sperling vs. Sperling website, Printco will donate $1 to The ARC Fox Cities charity. As an added bonus, the Sperling with the most votes at the end of the campaign will win a side competition. To learn what the side competition is and vote, visit the competition website.

“Our goal is 1,000 votes, and so far there is a strong showing of the ‘support the old guy' and ‘stick it to Phil' demographics,” Phil Sperling said. “If we meet our goal, I'm fine with losing the side competition.” Hoping to gain an edge, Ken Sperling said: “I think just the fact that I am willing to wear spandex for six-plus hours and my son is 22 years younger makes me the clear choice for your vote.”



To cast your vote and help out The ARC Fox Cities, click here.
4over, Inc.
 

Industry News

Ikea's Augmented Reality Catalog Will Let You Peek Inside Furniture
Wired (07/12) Baldwin, Roberto

The 2013 edition of IKEA's print catalog will be embedded with augmented reality (AR) features. McCann, the creative agency behind the new catalog, describes one new feature as an "X-ray" that looks within furniture compartments when the user waves his smartphone on top of pictures. The printed catalog pages additionally engage with 3-D models of products, videos about products and digital how-to material.

The AR catalog came out of IKEA's decision to apply a digital layer to the paper catalog, and McCann's Andreas Dahlqvist said that "we realized we could tap into a whole new way of digital innovation." According to McCann, the agency worked very closely with IKEA during the project and came to the realization that IKEA, its worldview and its product development opened up interesting content opportunities. A series of videos demonstrating the AR technology facilitated by smartphone interaction came out of this cooperation. "The more you interact with IKEA, you realize they have this amazing knowledge about life at home and home furnishing," Dahlqvist said. The catalog and the attendant iPhone and Android apps will be released on July 31.
PSDA Blog

Watch a preview of the 2013 IKEA Catalog app.

What are your thoughts on AR technology? Let us know on the PSDA Blog.



Tracking ROI Using VDP: 2 Case Studies
Quick Printing (07/12) Vruno, Mark

Variable data printing (VDP) is increasingly being used by marketing professionals to implement more integrated strategies and better track their return on investment (ROI). VDP enables marketers to track campaign effectiveness, optimize direct mail programs and calculate ROI.

For variable-data applications, sheetfed/digital printer Rider Dickerson Inc. of Illinois uses a two-color, 10-by-15-inch high-speed envelope press along with an HP Indigo 7500 digital press and VDP software from MindFireInc. "We’ve gone from being a traditional sheetfed printer to offering everything from digital solutions and integrated marketing to large-format and specialty printing," CEO Bill Barta said of his firm's transformation. Rider Dickerson helped Robert Morris University (RMU) build a recruitment campaign that included targeted letters and postcard mailings to prospective high school students. The printer consulted with RMU on how to target prospects by variables including degree preference, scholarship level, campus location and athletic talent. From this analysis, the print service provider recommended a cross-media campaign that would invite prospective students to visit a personalized URL. An online dashboard tracked page visits on a daily basis, enabling the enrollment management team to adjust campaign messages in successive rounds of communications. This targeted, flexible approach helped the university increase its lead pool above the previous year’s campaign by 79 percent.

North Carolina-based Keiger Direct, a Xerox customer and the direct mail and variable data printing division of Keiger Printing, used a one-to-one cross-media campaign to help Salem College boost its incoming enrollment by more than 10 percent in 2011. Keiger employed separate marketing tracks for high school sophomores and juniors. The initial email included a URL linking to a survey and was followed by a mailer that also included the URL as well as a new personalized QR Code. A brochure using the survey responses was then sent out, with 562 possible variable combinations, including images directly related to the recipient's intended major and ethnicity and supported by targeted response emails. For high school juniors, the initial email included a different URL that linked to a new landing page, which asked what the student’s favorite activity was. Once their name and email address were confirmed, they could access a virtual tour of Salem College. The student would then receive a personalized, eight-panel brochure highlighting what life would be like at Salem College. Approximately 73,000 unique QR Codes and URLs were generated for this campaign.
PSDA On-Demand Training

Check out PSDA's On-Demand Traning bundle on variable data printing. Knowing that consumers remember just four of the 3,000 messages they're exposed to every day, Roger Buck of The Flesh Company spearheaded the development of these VDP courses, which serve as an extensive overview of how to approach variable data projects from start to finish.

Click here to view a demo of the program.



Company Embraces Innovation Beyond Simple Printing
Buffalo News (07/22/12) Glynn, Matt

PrintLeader in Buffalo, N.Y., needs to be more than a digital printing company to stay competitive, according to William Paulot, president and chief executive officer of the company. Paulot views technology as a key component of its emphasis on innovation; the company has spent more than $1 million on capital equipment during the past two years and continues to look for technology that can enhance its capabilities.

For example, PrintLeader can print with white ink and has acquired a single machine that can heat, bend and cool plastic to allow for the crisp bends necessary for 3-D products. PrintLeader does not want to be like other printers because differentiation is key in the marketplace, said Paulot. "You want to be the guy that creates something different for the customers," he said. PrintLeader has started shipping 3-D point of sale displays to promote products in stores like Sears, Staples and Office Depot, and he believes the product displays could become high-volume items that would be tough for competitors to copy. Also, the company aims to be speedy in filling orders. "That's absolutely strategically critical, and that is part of the gauntlet I laid down for the company, that we've got to get faster to market to give our customers the most amount of time to reduce the shipping [costs]," he said.

Wide-Format Printing Presents Unique Sustainability Challenges, Opportunities
WhatTheyThink (07/17/12) Romano, Richard

An increasing number of print firms are emphasizing environmental sustainability, prompted by large corporate buyers who are under increased pressure to monitor the sustainability of their supply chains. While the traditional offset and digital printing market segments have also been addressing this issue, InfoTrends identified "green" wide-format printing as one of its top trends in 2011.

"Many of our customers have begun to ask questions about SGP [the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership], and they are interested in sustainability and different procurement methods," said David Sunderman, Sustainable Project Lead Coordinator for Visual Marking Systems, an Twinsburg, Ohio-based producer of specialty graphics. "One increased demand is for the types of materials available. Their interest is highly concentrated in the POP (point of purchase) markets. I believe that this will be a growing market for us as the economy begins to pick up."

Wide-format printing offers some of the same challenges as traditional printing when it comes to going green, along with some unique issues specific to its method. Substrates present a challenge in the wide-format space, as one of the great advantages of the process is its ability to print on a wide variety of surfaces — not all of which are as environmentally friendly as paper, which can be easily recycled. Wide-format substrates such as plastics can also be purchased in recyclable grades, and end users can be encouraged to recycle them when the products reach their end-of-life.

"Some of the substrates are more challenging than those found in traditional printing, such as metal and vinyl versus paper," said Brian Madigan, General Manager of Sandy Alexander’s Wide & Grand Format/Retail Visual Merchandising Division. "We still have the same environmental objectives as in traditional printing — reduce, reuse, and recycle. With newer equipment and strict color management standards, we have quicker makereadies and keep waste at a minimum. Additionally, we have identified alternate uses for the waste product — we reuse the waste metal for promotional pieces, and are exploring reusing vinyl for reusable shopping bags. We are constantly looking for other recycling channels for various substrates."

“On any wide- and grand-format/retail visual merchandising protect, we now present eco-friendly alternatives as part of the process,” added Madigan. "We have seen a definite increase in clients asking about and requesting environmentally friendly substrates. However, these materials are newer to the market than chain-of-custody sustainable and recycled papers."

Visual Marking Systems’ Sunderman said buying recycled/recyclable materials is "one of the best ways for a buyer to reduce their environmental footprint. Printers can help by offering these products at competitive prices, and providing options during the project planning stage. Printers should offer these products even if the customer doesn’t ask about them."

Fabric Finishing Options
Wide-Format Imaging (07/12) Mortimer, Pam

Seamers, industrial-strength sewing machines, heat presses and fabric steamers are important tools in the finishing of textiles, banners and fabrics, and the quality of the print could be seriously degraded or voided without appropriate finishing. "Setting up a shop with the right equipment for fabric finishing will lead to a successful and profitable business model without the bottlenecks, delays and waste that could otherwise occur," said Global Imaging's Josh Marten. "The type of printing used [e.g. Latex versus dye sublimation] will determine whether a fixation calender or other press is needed."

There is no need for fixation with commercial and industrial Latex users, while dye sublimation users require a calender press for the sublimation process. Shops generating frequent or large runs of roll-based fabric that require cutting will save hundreds of labor hours each year through investment in a flatbed cutting system tooled for fabric that automates the process.

Knowledgeable digital and sign shops can consolidate information and processes to maximize the use of finishing equipment. "Soft signage is one of the fastest growing segments in the large- and grand-format printing industry — shops need to understand the potential and decide to invest financial and training resources to allow for their success," Marten said. "Print shops should investigate what applications they want to produce and to what scale they plan to produce them, then plan for equipment to match. A great thing about finishing fabric is that equipment is available for all sizes and types of output."

Marten said that print shops will be able to improve productivity and profitability by easing and speeding up their production cycle "through a combination of capability of equipment, training on the workflow and understanding how to translate this into their sales cycle. Whether or not they are just starting out and need to make the jump into soft signage or are increasing their efficiencies on their current fabric production, optimizing their tool set for their goals will help them to run leaner and more profitable. Lastly, it is always important to educate sales teams on capabilities and product set so that they can, in turn, sell those capabilities into the target market."

Tech Limitations, Resistance Impede Marketers' Identification of Channel's Influence
Chief Marketer (07/17/12) Levey, Richard H.

Marketers know which channels their customers used to make a purchase, but it is harder to determine which ones influenced the purchase. "Marketers are becoming aware that basic channel metrics are not telling them how their customers are interacting with their brands," said Tina Moffett, an analyst at Forrester Research. Unfortunately, organizational resistance has worked against full adoption of channel attribution and technical limitations for gathering, merging and analyzing data. Marketers willing to explore channel attribution can choose to work with a full-service multichannel attribution firm, an agency that offers database and analytics capabilities, an analytics consultant or a marketing-mix firm. They will need to identify the completeness, accuracy and granularity of their customer interaction information; augment their existing data with what they do not have; designate an in-house analytics expert; settle on an equitable attribution methodology that supports pre-established marketing goals; and guide email, search and other media spending.

Digital Original: Grow Profits with New Technology
Wide-Format Imaging (07/12) Giles, John

Printers can realize more profits by delivering new services that increase the power of a client's messages, and CPrint International consultant John Giles said new technologies can help achieve this goal. He emphasized that automation bears close watching and usage by printers, pointing out that "most printers have already purchased the equipment or software they need for automation. They just haven't used it." Giles noted that nearly all major print vendors have rolled out automation solutions, and it is the printer's job to ensure that employees receive training and are savvy in using such solutions.

Giles said a majority of digital printer vendors now embed variable data printing (VDP) solutions within their equipment and offer support online, and he recommended that VDP services should be promoted by anyone with a digital printer and an RIP. "Whether it is mailing or personalization, the equipment and software are already in most shops," he said. Giles also said websites are attracting a lot of interest, particularly for printers seeking to rebrand their firms as marketing service providers. "Traditional print shops need to realize that the real money doesn't have to come from creating websites," he said. "Printers can make money by selling customers the print collateral needed to support and protect the customer's brand and provide a uniform message."

Giles also observed that printers are more enthusiastic about making clients familiar with effective QR Code linkage. "Some even provide special mobile sites linked to relevant information that helps keep customers coming back," he said.

State-of-the-Art Label Management: Peak Technologies
Packaging Digest (07/01/12) Vol. 49, No. 7, P. 36 Pierce, Lisa McTigue

Golden Artist Colors uses a custom database from Peak Technologies to manage labeling for its portfolio of 10,000 paint products. The company turned to Peak because it wanted to print short-run, professional labels in-house that identified pigment and chemical characteristics, and included health and safe use information, corresponding graphics and 18 languages. Peak immediately knew Golden Artist Colors would need more than simply a new labeling software package.

"As a systems integrator, the only logical choice was to implement a solution that included a custom application, centralized database, best-of-breed labeling software, thermal printers, media and service," said Thomas Heitman, manager of solutions consulting at Peak. Also, Peak would recommend integrating the dynamic data management solution with Seagull Scientific's BarTender software and high performance barcode label printers from Zebra Technologies. The new database process reduced the time spent managing label information by 50 percent, and one person can manage continual updates to label copy, compared to two or three that would have been needed using the previous system. The solution, which has been in place for five years, saves money because Golden Artist Colors does not have to reprint as many labels as it did before, and it also makes the label-printing process much more secure.

Paper and Print: What Role Does Print Play in the Marketing Mix?
The Drum (07/24/12)

Specialists in the print process, from designers and publishers to printers and paper merchants, recently spoke with The Drum about the future of the industry. The Drum asked about print's place in the marketing mix, and David Allsopp, director of ASAP Digital, and Gary Wheat, business development director of USP Creative, said print has a key role. "As a printer, I believe it has an invaluable place in the mix, having a product that a customer can interact with, enhancing the experience and giving a physical value to a communication piece," said Allsopp.

On the subject of what print adds to the brand experience, Graham Congreve, director of Evolutionprint, said that the paper choice lives and breathes as a physical product that exists and can even be smelled, and adding the sensory experience to the communication mix can be powerful in a positive way. Adam Quilliam, designer with Thompson Brand Partners, said a brand has a visual personality and a tactile one, the two should meet and be appropriate to one another, and printed material must fit physically within the overall feel of the brand. The Drum also asked whether clients view print as a premium medium, and most respondents thought so, although Simon Elliott, owner of Rose, said print should be used appropriately and be fit for the purpose. Justin Hobson, marketing director of Fenner Paper, said, "It is quite often the only, and often the best, way to deliver something tangible into customers hands which has the potential to give you an advantage over a competitor who is purely online."

Put a Label on It
MyPrintResource (07/16/12) Vruno, Mark

The label segment of the global packaging industry leads all other packaging categories in its use of color digital presses, producing roughly $2 billion in gross sales of labels to print customers last year. The upcoming Labelexpo Americas show will showcase future color digital printing technologies. This year's show features more than 400 suppliers and manufacturers, including 67 new exhibitors since 2010, along with a digital printing master class for converters seeking to invest in digital printing for the first time.

One technology to be shown at Labelexpo Americas is the EFI Jetrion 4900 for digital label production. The UV inkjet press enhances label convectors with print-and-cut capabilities to comprise a fully integrated narrow-web device that supports shorter runs and greater degrees of flexibility. The device boasts CMYK and a highly opaque white ink in addition to laser cutting, resulting in a complete production line, facilitating lean manufacturing of high-quality durable labels on diverse substrates. Germany's WTO WerbeTechnik Rothstein printer is the first European company to install the 4900, and company procurement manager Gunther Hinzel said that "we can now handle complex, low-volume orders in different versions with no additional work." The machine also is opening up new markets to WTO, examples of which include sectors where identification tags are required with many different types of information.

Also to be showcased at Labelexpo Americas are hybrid label producers from Fujifilm North America, which are covered with products and services that include CTP engines, digital plates, high-tech mounting tapes, proofing and color management to assist with digital printer match flexo output. Meanwhile, OKI Data will show the proColor, which will reportedly offer the speed, accuracy and productivity of commercial-grade digital presses at a more reasonable price. Label Traxx's Tailored Solution, meanwhile, is automated job management software for labeling and conversion. Included in the suite are modules for estimating, order processing, invoicing/accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, job costing/data collection, stock products, quality control and E-Traxx for e-business.

How to Make Videos for Your Small Business
Small Business Computing (07/03/12) Bradley, Helen

Small businesses can create videos to increase their exposure and client base. Creating videos is a great marketing tactic that is both simple and affordable. First, SMBs should plan their video: determine whether the video will answer common client questions or advertise services. The video should be organized into topics that can be covered in a few minutes to avoid rambling or losing the viewer's attention. A script should be written, which amounts to between 400 and 600 words for a 5-minute video; the script should then be rehearsed a few times, with a good location selected before shooting. Conducting a test recording is important to ensure equipment is working and the sound captured is adequate; an external microphone can be used, if needed. Tools, like Adobe Photoshop Premiere Elements and Adobe After Effects, are useful for video editing, and the video should be edited to be as concise as possible. Finally, videos should be uploaded to websites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Givit, and should be posted on a firm's website, enabling users to stream or download the file.


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August 9, 2012
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