Register Now for PSDA's New Sales Training Program
The Ultimate Sales Training Experience
Dan Seidman, GOT INFLUENCE?
Oct. 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.
Read more and register.
PSDA at PRINT 13 – Booth and Free Passes
PSDA will be exhibiting at PRINT 13, the largest graphic communications exhibition and conference in the United States, held this year Sept. 8-12 at McCormick Place in Chicago. If you plan to attend PRINT 13, please be sure to stop by and visit the PSDA Booth (#5262) on the show floor.
Also, as a PSDA member, you are invited to attend and receive a free PRINT 13 pass by registering here, courtesy of the Graphic Arts Show Company.
Increase Sales Through Marketing Webinar Series Continues Sept. 17
Increase Revenue with Existing Customers
Alex L. Goldfayn, CEO of Evangelist Marketing Institute
Sept. 17, 2013
noon ET / 11 a.m. CT / 10 a.m. MT / 9 a.m. PT
Many PSDA members have a lot of customers that generate a small amount of revenue. This webinar will help you assess your customer base, what you offer them, how you charge for that value, and the opportunities that exist for mining your existing customers for additional sales. Additionally, we will look at fees in order to determine whether and how to charge for the value added work that you perform regularly in support of your customers where we can increase prices without increasing your labor.
This webinar is free for PSDA members and $49 for nonmembers.
Read more and register.
iPROMOTEu Introduces iPROMOTEu Express Single Order Financing for All Distributors
PSDA member and Wayland, Mass.-based iPROMOTEu recently formed iPROMOTEu Express, a service that allows industry distributors that are not affiliated with iPROMOTEu to use iPROMOTEu for individual order financing.
iPROMOTEu Express is a new alternative for distributors seeking financing for their large orders. In addition to financing large orders, iPROMOTEu Express works with industry suppliers to ensure that the orders are progressing as planned and according to schedule. iPROMOTEu Express also pays the vendor invoices, prepares and sends the customer invoices, and takes the lead to ensure the customer invoices are paid.
“Given our considerable experience and our core competencies, I believe iPROMOTEu is the ideal organization to provide this important service to the industry,” said Ross Silverstein, president and CEO of iPROMOTEu.
iPROMOTEu Express provides distributors with some of the same benefits that iPROMOTEu offers its affiliates generally; however, with iPROMOTEu Express, distributors do not have to affiliate with iPROMOTEu and they can utilize iPROMOTEu Express on an as-needed basis.
The Leslie Company Installs Acuity Digital Printer
PSDA member The Leslie Company recently announced the successful installation of a Acuity Advance UV digital printer. The Acuity Advance sets a new standard for creating photo-realistic images. It allows for high speed UV digital printing on rigid and flexible material. At the heart of the Acuity Advance is imaging quality that allows each print head to produce variable size droplets. This allows the printer to jet the droplets as fine as six picoliters that produce sharp, crisp images with smoother transitions and more details.
“This will open the door of opportunity to print four-color process on our entire product offering. From poly boxes and report covers to vinyl binders this fills a gap that we have offered on our paper lines for years. Being able to ship quality four-color process printed products at competitive price keeps our company and its distributors ahead of the competition,” said Michael Byrd, chief operations officer for The Leslie Company. “We are bringing the world of traditionally silkscreened binders and presentations products into the digital age. We are excited to continue to embrace technology and provide more solutions for our customers.”
Quick Tech Graphics Installs OnLine Energy UV Curing System Upgrade
Quick Tech Graphics, a PSDA member, recently improved the UV curing capabilities for 14” and 22” eight-color printing with the installation of an OnLine Energy UV Curing System upgrade. The UV curing upgrade will improve color registration as well as lessen make-ready time and waste. It will allow distributors to offer quicker deliveries and higher print quality at competitive prices.
Quick Tech, located in Springboro, Ohio, produces cut sheets and checks and high quality eight-color printing for the trade only. Quick Tech Graphics also has extensive bindery capabilities, including miniature folding.
Peter Flottman Named a Finalist for CFO of the Year Award
Peter Flottman, CFO and VP of operations for PSDA member Flottman Company, recently was selected as a finalist for the Cincinnati Business Courier's 2013 CFO of the Year Award. This award recognizes CFOs who make a difference in their companies and communities based on corporate financial growth, overcoming significant business challenges, team leadership and the demonstration of superior management and planning skills. In addition, CFOs are reviewed based on their volunteerism, philanthropy and community involvement. This year, there were hundreds of CFO nominated and only 22 were tagged as finalists.
Flottman Company's president, Sue Flottman Steller, and CEO Tom Flottman nominated Peter Flottman for his tireless dedication to the family business and his continuous desire to do more. “Peter is not only our CFO but our vice president of operations … his ability to successfully balance and advance these two heroic tasks makes him prime material for CFO of the Year,” Tom Flottman said.
Peter Flottman has been a lifelong employee at Flottman Company, working his way up the ranks serving for six years as a bindery operator, moving to press supervisor, sales, and later production coordinator and chief financial officer. During Peter Flottman's tenure as CFO, the Flottman Company doubled its facility size, has seen more than $2 million in capital investments, record increases in sales reaching more than $6 million in 2012, and has seen continual profits that have been reinvested into the company based on his recommendations and strategic planning.
Independent Folders Wins Gold Award for Commercial Printing
PSDA member Independent Folders, a national supplier of corporate image solutions including presentation folders, paperboard binders and custom packaging, recently won highest honors at the Proforma National Convention. Independent received the coveted Gold Award for commercial printing.
Each year at its annual meeting, Proforma honors a select group of its 400-plus vendors bestowing Gold, Silver and Bronze awards to its highest-ranking vendor partners. Winners are determined by Proforma's Network of more than 750 member offices in North America who rank vendor services based on customer service levels, competitive pricing and overall quality.
The Gold Award presentation was made on July 23, 2013, at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Jim Fairbairn, Independent Folders' account manager for Proforma, accepted the award on behalf of the Independent team. This is the company's fifth Gold Award win over the years.
Postal Service Applies Old Promise to New Priority
New York Times (08/19/13) Elliott, Stuart
The Postal Service is focusing more on its delivery services, which reflects the strong growth in delivering packages that consumers order through e-commerce. The Postal Service recently announced changes to Priority Mail, and the package business will be the subject of a new campaign that will include commercials, print and online ads, direct marketing and social media. The initial commercial, scheduled to begin Aug. 19, will introduce a theme, "Priority: you," that evokes the unofficial creed that neither snow, rain, heat nor gloom of night will keep its couriers from quickly completing their rounds.
The Priority Mail message promotes upgrades that include free, improved tracking; free insurance, valued at $50 or $100; and specified delivery dates of one, two or three days. The campaign comes at a time when billions of pieces of first-class mail have vanished as a result of online communication, costing the Postal Service billions of dollars in revenue. Postal workers play a prominent role in the advertising from new creative agency McCann Erickson Worldwide. "The idea is to hear from the Postal Service rather than the critics, to let the dedicated work force speak for themselves," and help convey that "it's not just about mail anymore, it's also shipping," said Leslie Sims, executive creative director for the agency.
Managed Print Offers Window to Mobility
Channelnomics (08/05/13) Hutton, Richard
Samsung Electronics America's Richard Hutton said a transformation is in progress in print services, and declining PC sales, shrinking page volumes and growing mobile device adoption offer an opportunity in the linkage between enterprise printing and the thriving bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend. "Savvy solution providers can leverage this connection to turn their managed print services (MPS) into leading indicators of business mobility and cloud computing needs," he said. "It can make their MPS practices a driver for accelerated BYOD programs and optimized hosted services."
Hutton said incorporation of MPS reveals insights into a company's BYOD and mobile device status that could clear a path for service openings. The spread of cloud infrastructure is accelerating BYOD trends, and facilitating unprecedented levels of connectivity in users' IT environments. "Monitoring services around mobile printing ... provide a valuable view of user access, which sets the stage for a host of authentication and access management services," Hutton said. "Print-use patterns by mobile users, monitored through ongoing MPS engagements, provide a look at an organization's security posture, which could give rise to threat monitoring and other recurring security services."
Solution providers are processing data collected from mobile print and monitoring services in tandem with business intelligence systems to generate efficiencies, accelerate productivity and optimize performance. This includes finding ways users can trim costs by exploiting mobile imaging or mobile print management while lowering demands around desktop infrastructure, paper, ink cartridges and other print resources. "As MPS generates valuable sales lead data to expand mobility services, the proliferation and widespread adoption of mobile devices pave the way for IT service providers to incorporate mobile print applications into their portfolios, bolstered with related service offerings tailored to their customers' environment," Hutton said.
Automation Is Vital to Finishing Success
Quick Printing (08/13) Hall, Bob
Automation has upgraded the efficiency, speed and capabilities of bindery and finishing, according to several vendors. "Bindery automation has definitely kept pace with pressroom automation," said Spiral Binding's Michael Bossard. "The main factors continue to be identifying the production bottlenecks on the floor and then finding an automated solution matched to volume and budget. MBO's Werner King said the finishing process tends to be of much longer duration, "but we consistently push the envelope to make the process more efficient for the operator and for the print finisher. Our most recent technological advancements have been geared towards ease of use, improved makeready times via automation, higher communication between units via data management and configuration adaptability to meet any job."
On the other hand, On Demand Machinery's John Jacobson said the bindery always lags the press in terms of automation. "It always seems that all the money is spent in the press area, with little consideration spent on the binding end," he said. "The irony of this approach is the value that a bindery operation adds to a product." Don Dubuque of Standard Finishing Systems said progress in bindery automation is significant. "With the trend of shorter print runs, automation has become increasingly important to customers as they need to be able to changeover from job to job as quickly as possible in order to keep costs under control," he said. "Print finishing manufacturers have stepped up their game in terms of introducing products that are highly automated to address the changing needs of the marketplace. A key to success when automating a product is to make the interface user friendly and easy to use; faster setups equate to more profits on each job."
King said there is growing interest in direct main marketing as well as in more eye-catching mailers such as pop-up mailers. "Every marketer wants their product to stand out from the crowd, so we have made sure to include a pop-up mailing solution at PRINT 13 in order to bring exposure to such a product," he said. Dubuque said there also is increased customer interest in personalized perfect bound photo books, which is a good fit for many modern automated perfect binders.
Vendors also said they are seeing increased interest in simpler and intuitive bindery and finishing solutions. "The days of the journeyman in the bindery are long gone," said Spiel Associates' David Spiel. "We are selling more and more machines that can be run by unskilled employees after 10 minutes of training. That's where our customers' interests lie." Bossard said he also sees the evolution of postpress finishing equipment toward control panel touchpads. "This trend will definitely continue, and the touchpad's user interfaces will control more and more," he said.
Taking Advantage of the Printer-Paper Merchant Relationship
MyPrintResource (08/05/13) Whitcher, Joann
Paper merchants make a vital contribution to paper distribution throughout the graphic communications industry, often serving as a crucial link between medium and small-sized printers and paper mills. Paper merchants are in essence consultants, recommending brands based on performance, availability and cost. Paper Mart's Jason Levy said fully stocked sample departments allow his firm "to help a printer match the correct paper with the printing application to satisfy the customer’s specific needs."
Xpedx's Dennis Killion said with various options from both substrates and equipment available from a single source, printers to not need to follow as many steps to develop new offerings and grow their business models. Many paper merchants are bringing in more services, extending into ink and toner, packaging and janitorial services to maintain profitability, obtain new customers and sustain their loyalty base, said InfoTrends in its Paper Merchant Survey 2011. For instance, xpedx plans to leverage its "extensive industry knowledge to help printers develop strategies to grow sales and enter new markets, as we have with our Wide Format Solutions Summits this year," Killion said. "Because xpedx provides expertise on the entire workflow, from start to finish, printers can expect one-stop-shop service from us when they are focused on more than just a single aspect of their business."
Paper Mart offers eligible clients the services of its on-site envelope printing department, which generates more than 3 million impressions daily, while additional services include folding, scoring, perforating, drilling, cutting and tailored packaging. Innovative technology has afforded printers greater access to information and products available from distributors. All xpedx clients can access its e-commerce platform, which delivers real-time inventory availability and pricing, reorder templates, robust catalogs and environmental purchase reports. Print providers who use EFI PrintSmith, Pace or Monarch can directly integrate with xpedx via its website, simplifying estimations and procurement.
Paper Mart's goal is to function as an extension of its clients' business in a manner similar to a strategic partner. "We work towards understanding our client's objectives so that in turn our clients do not need to worry about their paper selection," Levy said. "Once a client places an order with us, the last thing the he or she should be worried about is their paper or envelope order. This in turn provides the customer with the ability to focus on other aspects of their business."
Turning Customer Color Complaints Into Gold
Wide-Format Imaging (08/13) Mortimer, Pam
Print service providers (PSPs) can turn customer complaints about color to their advantage and boost sales and customer loyalty. "Each printer, ink and substrate combination has inherent limits for the variety of colors it can match, meaning that any colors outside this range will necessarily be inaccurate," said HP Graphics Solutions Business' Jan Morovic. "I encourage PSPs to be proactive in discussing color accuracy with potential customers, who are likely to be more receptive to providers that openly work with them to get the print right."
Color-Logic's Mark Geeves agreed that utilization of a color workflow is essential to realizing success, but said metallic inks and substrates are not responsive to conventional color management. "Customer complaints about metallics were the driving force behind the development of our Process Metallic Color System," he said. "Using the system, printers create their own swatch books, using their own printers, and thus, can guarantee customers that the metallic colors and special effects seen on the swatches can be reproduced correctly."
Many PSP customers can be mollified if their complaints are addressed professionally and in a timely manner, while offering the client resolution and options is just as important. "Most color complaints come from not setting appropriate expectations from the beginning," said Onyx Graphics' Matt Crawford. There are certain strategies PSPs should follow to establish an accurate digital print workflow. "Once the customer's expectations are understood, fulfilling them requires accurate ICC profiles both for the content received from a customer and for the printer and substrate on which it is to be produced," Morovic said. "Having all components of a workflow well defined, profiled and calibrated allows effective delivery on customer preferences."
Geeves said color problems should be resolved at the print process' outset. "Printers should establish the production process — and the materials, inks and coatings involved — before they are used to produce a finished print," he said. "This begins with calibrating the print engine through the RIP, and then regularly monitoring the print engine for drift to determine when calibration is required. Printers also need to monitor their substrates, inks and coatings to ensure these key elements of printing have been consistently manufactured. All printing processes — including digital — must be regularly measured to guarantee consistency in production. Process control is critical when metallic inks or metallic substrates are used, since ICC profiles do not exist for these items."
Meeting a client's color expectations entails addressing numerous factors, and Morovic said, "a lot can be done to give a customer assurance about the printed output they will receive. An accurate ICC profile for the printer and substrate to be used and a calibrated, large-gamut display allows for an accurate soft-proof to be shown before any resources are wasted. Not only is this the most cost-effective alternative and a way for the customer to make and accept trade-offs in an informed way, but it also allows for easy up-sell."
Multivac: Growing Trend Toward Larger and Wider Packaging Machines
Food Production Daily (08/12/13) Eagle, Jenny
Multivac Marking & Inspection will unveil its automated print monitoring system at Fachpack 2013 in Germany. The technology monitors the correct position of the print on labels directly at the dispenser. Depending on the result, there is a corresponding entry in the line-motion control, so a product that has missing or faulty print can be automatically removed later from the line by a handling system. "We monitor the label and its print for correctness before the labels are distributed to the individual pack tracks of the packaging machine," said Robert Vollenkemper, sales manager, Multivac. As an option, each pack can be checked by a luminescence sensor to see whether the label is on or under the pack. "One camera and some luminescence sensors are less expensive and less maintenance-intensive than a camera per pack track," he said. The company said the system, which is available as an option for the MR600 series of Multivac cross web labelers, reduces investment costs in print monitoring and even "starts to pay off from two pack tracks onwards."
A New Beginning for Print? How Digital Innovations Are Injecting New Life Into an Old Medium
The Drum (08/02/13) McQuater, Katie
Print has been undergoing a renewal with the emergence of digital advancements that include augmented reality, printed electronics and near-field communications (NFC). These innovations' integration with print's tangibility makes print more interactive, engaging and useful. Blippar's Jess Butcher said digital technologies offer brands and publishers an opportunity to interact with audiences in new ways. "Interactivity in print invigorates the reader experience by allowing them to vote on, engage with and respond personally to the content in a way that wasn't previously possible," she said. "I see this as possibly more exciting than the 'digital bridge' functionality."
Blippar has collaborated with British and American publishers to embed additional content within their publications using its image-recognition technology, which overlays an image, video or gaming content over a page, or routes users to a website. Butcher said the value resides in "unlocking" the physical world rather than the fact that content appears enhanced. Meanwhile, Novalia has developed concepts incorporating traditional print with electronics using conductive inks, and company founder Kate Stone said the future lies in combining physical printed objects with digital. "People in the future ... will want a book to look like and feel like a book, but with all the technology discretely embedded in it for people to use," she said. Novalia's process involves an electronic module affixed to a page or a printed product covered in conductive inks printed conventionally.
NFC technology does not require the use of the phone's camera and instead it automatically detects the NFC chip. "NFC enables brands to create effortless, streamlined consumer experiences where exclusive content is transferred to your phone without the need to scan a [Quick Response] Code or type in long web addresses," said Isobar's Dom O'Brien. "It enables print to extend its messaging onto a digital platform, delivering a more interactive experience for the consumer."
O'Brien said cost and availability are the biggest challenges of using NFC in mainstream print production. Large-scale production and programming of NFC tags is currently too high to allow large-scale use of the technology, while another obstacle to big brand take-up is NFC's association with contactless payments. "In order to move NFC beyond being used for monetary transactions, brands will need to educate people that 'touching' an NFC enabled message will lead to a new, desirable experience rather than just being driven directly to purchase," O'Brien said. Butcher said a lack of resources for content creation also inhibits the creation of interactive print experiences by publishers and brands.
Printing and the Future of Design
Environmental Design & Construction (06/01/13) Vol. 16, No. 6, P. 14 Qualk, James D.
Additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, is growing exponentially as 3-D printers become less expensive and more available, and it is not unreasonable to think that such technology could be used to print buildings. A new manufacturing business model or models are emerging, in which complex and technically produced goods are no longer exclusively fabricated by large, entrenched corporations with vast resources and intricate infrastructures. Moving ahead, smaller companies with smaller staff and overhead will be able to market mass customizable products that have no constraints as to what can be produced.
The Spiderbot currently under development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology aims to make 3-D printers less bulky and unwieldy by relying solely on harness or connection points for a series of guide wires that fly the nozzle in three dimensions to anywhere materials are required in the project area. Examples of 3-D printed buildings' potential include the simpler establishment of lunar bases that are built from local materials. Construction via 3-D printing will almost certainly facilitate more effective and deliberate designs on a more expansive scale in terms of overall quality of design and construction, including durability and resiliency, use of materials, energy and water efficiency both embodied and in building use, localism and mass customization. The more commonplace 3-D building becomes, the more likely that building design could be largely outsourced or commoditized for a large segment of the market. The more probable outcome is a mix of the traditional and the additive manufacturing models remolding they way we design, build and live.
Gmail's Redesign Not the End of Email Marketing
Advertising Age (08/10/13) Peterson, Tim
Gmail's redesign, which introduced a tab that filters marketing emails from the standard inbox, does not signal the demise of email marketing. "We've found there's been really no impact in our business overall," said Jiffy Lube marketing director Jeffrey Lack. "In fact since the redesign launched, we've seen no change in [email] open rates, and response rates have stayed almost exactly the same." The redesign also has had little effect on marketing services firms, such as Responsys and Epsilon, which oversee email marketing campaigns. "We're seeing conversion rates and click-to-open rates staying steady," said Epsilon's Shannon Aronson.
Return Path analyzed more than 22 million messages delivered across 1.4 million inboxes and determined that for the 11 percent of consumers most likely to read marketers' emails, read rates for the week following the Gmail redesign launch improved by 2 percent to 59.9 percent, versus the 90 days leading up to the rollout. Read rates slipped from 10.6 percent to 9.8 percent for the 88 percent of consumers deemed moderately engaged with marketers' emails, and from 2.2 percent to 0.4 percent for the 1 percent of people apathetic to marketers' emails. Return Path's Tom Sather said there was improvement for marketing emails making it into users' inboxes instead of their spam folder between July 2012 and July 2013.
Silverpop's Loren McDonald said these findings show that Gmail's redesign has improved performance with more attentive customers while weeding out the least attentive. Responsys' Kevin Senne said the redesign has been good for his company's clients by putting marketing emails in front of consumers when they are in the mood to read them rather than disrupting their flow of personal communications or social media notifications.
Before the redesign, Google relayed an update to its guidelines for people sending emails in bulk, recommending that, "the subject of each message should be relevant to the body's content and not be misleading." Suggestions for email marketers include using evergreen subject lines, adopting dynamic content and practicing smarter subscriber segmentation.
Delivering the Stand Out Display
Packaging News (08/05/13) Creasey, Simon
Major stores typically present a variety of printed point of sale (POS) displays using different shapes, sizes, colors and typefaces. A recent study by Nielsen revealed that 72 percent of new product awareness is driven by in-store activity such as POS, while research from Smurfit Kappa Zedek found that if a product is discounted by 10 percent, it will raise sales by 20 percent. If that discount is combined with an in-store POS unit, sales will increase up to 120 percent, while combining the discount with out-of-store marketing could generate a sales increase as high as 90 percent. A combination of all three could lead to sales increases of up to 250 percent.
"Brands are still very much willing to spend big on POS and understand the value of standing out from competitors in store," said Tony Foster, sales and marketing director at DS Smith Packaging. "This is particularly true for seasonal and new product launches when brands invest heavily in creative displays that use light, sound and movement, as well as visuals." Tony Nunan at research and design agency Visuality said, "The product must stand out from those around it so that the shopper sees it; it must be sufficiently enticing that the shopper stops to take a closer look; and the real test — is the shopper sufficiently motivated to put their hand in their pocket?" To this end, POS should be simple because the typical shopper will only spend seconds looking at POS displays, said Chris Peach at Marketing Sciences.