October 24, 2013

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CEO Summit 2014

Lancer Label September 2013

PSDA’s HR Corner: Expert Advice on Offer Letters

By Claudia St. John, president, Affinity HR Group LLC

Q: We want to hire a new customer service representative and need to put together an offer letter. What should be in an offer letter, and do I really need one?

A: An offer letter is a good practice, as it provides all the critical information related to the employee’s new job. You should be sure to include language that states that the offer is “at will” and that nothing in the offer letter should be construed as a contractual employment agreement. In addition to this language, your offer letter should include: 1) start date; 2) position title and description; 3) wage/salary and pay cycle information; 4) general benefit and vacation information (specific information should be provided at a later date); and 5) non-compete, non-solicitation and confidentiality language.

Finally, you should recognize that this offer is a legal document and, as a best practice, have it reviewed by legal counsel.

Affinity HR Group LLC is a consulting firm and PSDA partner that specializes in providing human resources assistance to associations and their member companies.

Have a question for Claudia? Send your query via email and your question may be answered in a future edition of HR Corner.

All PSDA member companies receive discounted pricing on Affinity HR Group's wide variety of services. For more information, visit the group's website.

TFP July 25 2013


Increase Sales Through Marketing Webinar Series Continues Nov. 5 with 'Executive Selling, Peer-to-Peer'

By now, you're probably familiar with Alex Goldfayn's live, interactive webinars focused on increasing your sales through powerful marketing. Each webinar is free to PSDA members and features rich learning material, interaction, questions and periodic role plays among you, your peers and colleagues, and Goldfayn.

The webinar series is titled How to Grow Sales with Marketing because its entire purpose is to grow your business.

The next webinar in this series, Executive Selling, Peer-to-Peer, takes place Nov. 5 at noon ET / 11 a.m. CT / 10 a.m. MT / 9 a.m. PT.

The best relationships and biggest deals come from executive relationships. That is, between owners, GMs, VPs and their corresponding peers on the client side. This webinar will teach you how to go about establishing, building and nurturing these relationships, as well as turning them into high-revenue projects.

Read more and register.
Register Today: PSDA's 2014 CEO Summit

The 2014 CEO Summit will take place Feb. 10-12, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Fla. This annual event brings together member company owners and executives for two days of learning, networking and idea sharing. Please mark your calendar and prepare to join us.

Registration is live and program details are available now.

“The CEO Summit is a place where optimism, ideas and potential all converge. As our company and industry continue to evolve, the opportunity to share thoughts and discuss challenges with other like-minded principals is invaluable.” — Artie Collins, NPN360

"The opportunity to collaborate with some of the most successful people in our industry keeps me coming back. The topics discussed and materials presented all focused on how the challenges in our business can be turned into real opportunity. Attendance at this conference is more important now than ever."
Karl Heerdegen, The Northstar Group Inc.

"The CEO Summit is characterized by great thinking about our collective businesses. Whether it is informal encounters during ample networking breaks or very high-quality presentations from people we might not otherwise access, the program is top-shelf. All the speakers and attendees were happy to share their perspectives. Our 'takeaways' from the conference are extremely valuable and are being implemented. The personnel insights alone from our PSDA service partner were worth the price of admission."
Greg Board, DocuMedia Group
Apex March 7

Member News

WebbMason Tops Baltimore Business Journal List of Largest Advertising and Marketing Agencies

PSDA member WebbMason, an integrated marketing solutions and services company headquartered in suburban Baltimore, topped the Baltimore Business Journal List of 25 Largest Advertising and Marketing Agencies in the Baltimore area for the second consecutive year. More than 80 companies were surveyed for the annual feature that ranks agencies by number of full-time employees working in Baltimore-area offices. WebbMason employs 161 at three locations in Hunt Valley and an additional 143 in 25 locations throughout the United States. The company has more than 1,200 clients in health care, hospitality, financial services, manufacturing, technology and other major industries. The company's 2012 revenue exceeded $100M, placing WebbMason among the leading marketing services firms in the eastern United States.

“Many of us are lifelong residents of the Greater Baltimore area and are proud to have built a thriving business here,” said Warner Mason, president and chairman of the board. “Being the largest employer in the Baltimore advertising and marketing agency community is important for two reasons: First, it means that we are attracting and retaining customers. Second, it means we are attracting and retaining the talent that keeps that customer base happy and growing. You cannot have one without the other.”
DataSource Launches MarketNow, Unveils Corporate Re-branding

PSDA member DataSource Inc. recently launched MarketNow, a comprehensive integrated marketing services solution. The company, which is now celebrating its 25th year, also unveiled its new corporate identity with the promise to “Power Your Brand,” reflecting enhanced services and recent organizational growth.

MarketNow is DataSource's end-to-end brand management program that leverages its industry expertise to streamline the process of developing and delivering multichannel branded programs, campaigns and products to the local market. MarketNow combines the services and technology companies need to conceptualize, create and then distribute branded products for training, operations and marketing to the local level.

“We are known for the services and technologies we provide to improve the impact and effectiveness of brand delivery to the local level,” said David Holland, president and CEO of DataSource. “We find efficiencies in the marketing and supply chain. With MarketNow, we provide a new framework for doing so, and are able to offer clients local multichannel marketing execution and expanded technology and marketing services at a reduced cost that ultimately improves the bottom line.”

DataSource provides brand supply chain and marketing solutions for some of the largest brands in the retail, health care, restaurant, automotive and financial industries.

“We are excited about our fresh look and believe the new brand reflects our position in the marketplace and in the minds of our clients and industry analysts,” said Holland. “We are proud of our heritage and excited about our future, and rebranding is a great way to talk about both.”
4over August 2013
Diversified Labeling Solutions Inc. Expands Facilities

PSDA member Diversified Labeling Solutions, a Chicago-based label converter with production facilities in Illinois, Georgia, Texas and Nevada, recently completed its relocation of its Georgia facility to a much larger location in Duluth, Ga.

The company moved all of its East Coast operations into a facility located at 1790 Satellite Blvd., Duluth, Ga. The new plant is now the second largest of Diversified's national locations, encompassing more than 63,000 square feet of production and distribution space.

Jim Kersten, CEO at Diversified Labeling Solutions, stated: “This is an exciting time for our business and signals another milestone in our company's journey. With our rapid growth over the last two years, we needed to expand our physical space to more efficiently service our clients' needs and have additional capacity to maintain our rate of growth.”

In addition to the physical relocation, Diversified has also expanded its capabilities by adding: a 20” flexographic web press, a plantwide automated trim removal system; several new butt splicers and turret rewinders. This substantially improves the capacity and efficiency of the facility.

Jim Kersten continued: “Our staff has worked incredibly hard to achieve this success and I am delighted we are in a position to reward them with a state-of-the-art working environment. We have also improved our IT infrastructure with more robust hardware and communication systems to better serve our clients.”

With this move, Diversified substantially increased its warehouse and distribution capabilities, giving the company extra room for additional client services and future expansion. The new location is also more energy efficient as Diversified strives to become greener with its daily practices.
Graphic Dimensions Promotes Bill Reid to VP of Sales and Marketing

PSDA member Graphic Dimensions, a wholesale manufacturer of business documents, recently announced a promotion within its senior management team.

Bill Reid was recently promoted to the VP of sales and marketing. Reid (previously the VP of marketing) now adds sales to his current marketing responsibilities. With this promotion, Reid is now responsible for the company's sales and marketing direction for Graphic Dimensions, New Dimensions Labels, and LaunchPad Marketing and Technology Solutions.

“I have complete confidence in Bill's sales and marketing skills, 23 years of industry experience along with his long term track record of partnering with distributors,” said Jay Scammell, president and CEO of Graphic Dimensions. “This is the perfect storm of talents, and I look forward to the opportunities he'll present to our distributors and our company.”
Formax Adds New Shredder, In-Line Pressure Sealer

PSDA member Formax introduced the latest addition to its commercial-grade shredder line, the FD 8714CC Multimedia Shredder, a big brother to the FD 8704CC. With a speed of up to 25 feet per minute, and bin capacity of up to 34 gallons, users can shred sensitive documents and optical media in no time at all. The FD 8714CC offers all this power in a compact, office-friendly design. Two dedicated feed openings allow for quick and easy shredding of paper, CDs, DVDs, USB thumb drives and mini-DV tapes. The unique media hopper accommodates multiple pieces at once, while the paper infeed accepts up to 27 sheets at a time.

Formax also introduced the FD 2002IL In-line Pressure Sealer, replacing the FD 2000IL. New fold plate design, an improved infeed deck and a contemporary new color are among the improvements. The FD 2002IL System allows operators to print, fold and seal pressure-sensitive one-piece mailers in one seamless step, reducing processing time while increasing document security. The IL System works in-line with model-specific MICR and non-MICR desktop laser printers. Its fully-enclosed paper path is designed to conceal confidential documents including PIN notices, checks, school grade reports, and health care information.

Top Story

Digital Textile Inkjet Printing: On a Roll
WhatTheyThink (10/08/13) Boer, Marco

Digital textile printing has accomplished breakthrough success in soft signage and production apparel printing this year, with seller revenues for dedicated systems and ink for digital printing of textiles approaching $1 billion and expanding at 16 percent. The technology's penetration of production printing may be the most significant piece of news, and it illustrates an important model for the future. Soft signage is printed at both specialist print service providers and at general wide-format PSPs. Soft signage is printed on dedicated textile specialist systems primarily used for both soft signage and small amounts of apparel print.

PSPs printing soft signage run the gamut from very small to large-contract suppliers, and the latter stoke demand for larger high-end dedicated fabric printers. In both the low- and high-end markets, about 75 percent of output on dedicated roll-to-roll textile printers is soft signage, and 25 percent is the other apparel-related output. Rather than supplanting large quantities of signage printed on other technologies and substrates, soft signage is generating supplemental demand for a product, which has a special aesthetic value to certain clients as a more environmentally friendly substrate than some outdoor film products. It also is attractive as a banner- or flag-like format externally, and for some people, the dye-sublimation inks used to image the mostly polyester textile substrate generate vivid hues.

Non-signage applications undertaken on roll-to-roll systems include apparel-related design sampling and strike-off functions. Although there are specialists focused solely on these applications, there also are PSPs with dedicated textile roll-to-roll systems who are printing apparel-related applications, so that the total amount of these applications left to be printed at real specialists is extremely small. The value of inkjet includes its ability to quickly get samples to market, while apparel-related markets in roll-to-roll non-production systems have probably taken their value proposition to its limit. The textile production roll-to-roll market opens a way forward to a much larger apparel inkjet production market ahead.

Inkjet in Italy has become a preferred technology for analog screen print providers, and substitution of screen by inkjet is growing. The central channel for this market is the specialized group of screen textile printers in northern Italy who serve the specialist high-value luxury market concentrated on this region for printed silk and cotton goods. This is a community of numerous independent printers that has co-developed hybrid inkjet textile printing systems with Konica Minolta and Epson. The model they embraced was to work cooperatively for a decade with print providers, textile machinery manufacturers and ink firms to produce an organically-designed set of systems.

Printing Trends

The Role of Print in an Omni-Channel World
WhatTheyThink (10/14/13) Martell, Patrick

As customer behavior has evolved, the boundary between traditional and digital channels has blurred to the point of meaninglessness. The future of marketing is one in which all media are considered at the right time, and printed media are a crucial element. Many studies demonstrate that integrating media, including printed media, creates a much more effective communication vehicle than just a single media. Direct mail mixed with online and donations through text message have had a major effect on the charity sector, to name one example.

Now may well be the right time to invest in new opportunities for emerging print technologies, with the world becoming increasingly omni-channel. Omni-channel provides a seamless approach to the consumer experience through all available shopping channels, including mobile internet devices, direct mail, catalog, computers, television, and radio. Generation Y consumers are comfortable with digital technology, and they expect constant availability and relevance of information. This creates a challenge for brands, which can no longer dictate a consumer agenda. Meanwhile, the next consumer generation is even more digitally inclined. A convergence of channels is occurring toward an omni-channel presence for retail brands, but it is still not deeply personal. The next stage involves using preferences to customize content for individuals and deliver a more personal experience both in-store and online.

In-store printed point of sale should be combined with digital engagement through mobile phones and possibly digital displays to provide a personalized in-store experience. One manifestation of this are Quick Response Codes embedded in the product linked to personal customer information that provides something novel, such as an offer, competition or perhaps something entertaining. The point is that the printed material and the data, in combination, support an interactive experience. Meanwhile, although outdoor displays are likely to move toward cheaper digital media, it is probable that printed displays with embedded content will be issued, once more through mobile. Coupled with areas such as augmented reality, this will produce a new dimension in advertising.

The shrinkage of printed magazines and newspapers will continue, but a complete elimination of such media is unlikely. Instead, by buying the physical copy, the customer will get free access to the digital version. Books are expected to follow a similar evolutionary path, with the digital e-book and the physical paperback being packaged together.

Integrating Inkjet
Labels & Labeling (09/01/13) Easton, Philip

Label printers and converters who take advantage of new business opportunities supported by digital inkjet have a bright future, said Domino's Philip Easton. He said Pira International projects that the worldwide inkjet label market will grow to total almost $3.5 billion by 2015, while new productivity levels facilitated by upgraded technology are poised to come into their own this year. "While output quality is certainly a key driver for label printers and converters, so too is the need for increased production efficiencies, such as just-in-time production and localization, all demanding shorter run lengths and 'on-the-fly' make ready changeovers," Easton said.

He said next-generation inkjet technology can deliver high quality text, product identification, Quick Response (QR), 2-D and barcodes, variable data and refined graphics and logos. Easton also said many of his company's clients are resorting to digital inkjet label technology to tap more revenue channels. Cool Pak, for example, had to buy more than 600 million variable print trace labels for its transparent clamshell produce containers. The company now supports in-house variable label printing using a Domino K600 monochrome inkjet printer, giving customers just-in-time label printing services.

In addition, new applications are attracted to the wide range of substrates inkjet can manage. Emerald Packaging deployed direct package printing into its operation by installing a Domino Bitjet+ to print QR Codes onto polyethylene material as it is being converted from roll form to bags. The code offers traceability and food safety and is a marketing tool to connect with customers. "In the short to medium term, for VDP applications, it will be the hybrid solutions where inkjet print heads are integrated into traditional flexo lines, that will make the biggest impact on these label applications, later followed by the adoption of the new generation full color digital inkjet label presses which will ultimately have a stronger hold on the market," Easton said.

Digital Printing

Digital Printing Appeals to Beauty Brands
Premium Beauty News (10/01/13) Gallon, Vincent

Luxury digital printing pioneer MR Cartonnage Numerique reports that demand for its digitally printed products is exploding. Five years ago, the newly founded company invested in offset digital printing for prestige packaging, despite general skepticism of its potential, said co-founder Jonathan Mihy. The advantages of the technology included its easy rollout, while its flexibility allowed production of mockups or small batches at reasonable costs. The final products' quality remained a largely unknown factor.

Digital printing seemed ideal for the refinement of luxury products packages, which "allowed us to demonstrate the level of quality we were able to get," Mihy said. He pointed out that there currently are no qualitative differences between industrial offset and industrial digital printing. Hewlett-Packard Indigo's digital offset was a key component in MR Cartonnage Numerique's success, thanks to the efficiency upgrades it offered. Additional contributors include the company's acquired expertise and mastery of all decoration methods. Industrial offset becomes more competitive beyond 10,000 or 20,000 units, depending on the project. In comparison, small and medium series are a natural market for digital printing that yield a qualitative solution not just for emerging brands and niche markets but also for the limited series of major brands or to meet the expanding migration toward product personalization.

Staples Launches New Digital Label and Packaging Offering with HP Indigo Presses
WhatTheyThink (10/18/13)

Staples Print Solutions, the printing division of Staples Advantage, has transformed its printed label and packaging offerings with the installation of two HP Indigo WS6600 Digital Presses. Growth in Staples' prime label and flexible packaging business has fueled greater demand for digital production from customers interested in shorter printing runs and higher levels of customization. To meet this demand, Staples is expanding its label and packaging manufacturing beyond the conventional flexographic presses in place today to include a fully digital workflow that reduces waste, decreases turnaround times and improves color consistency.

The new digital solutions expand Staples' product and service offering, which currently includes labels, flexible packaging, commercial print, corporate brand identity, custom forms, digital copy and print, prepress and design services, kitting and fulfillment, as well as nationwide distribution. The web-fed HP Indigo WS6600 Digital Press prints at a top speed of 130 linear feet per minute in Enhanced Productivity Mode, generating labels and packaging with outstanding quality at the highest crossover point versus analog for most jobs. The press also supports a broad media range, so Staples can print on a variety of synthetic and paper substrates from 0.5 to 18 points thick.

"The label industry is quickly moving to a digital printing environment, bringing the benefits of short runs and customization to clients, while maintaining a high level of quality," said Jan Riecher, vice president and general manager, Americas Graphics Solutions Business, HP. "With the installation of two HP Indigo WS6600s, Staples can broaden its label and packaging offerings to meet the needs of its customers and further expand its reputation as a top print provider."

Print Technology

Surf's Up for a New Wave of Toner Tech
PrintWeek (09/30/13) Eccles, Simon

It is now two decades since Hewlett-Packard Indigo's launch of the world's first liquid toner digital press, and HP Indigo is currently on its third major generation of narrow-format presses and engaged in the installation of the first commercial sheetfed models in its forthcoming wide-format range. The company has set up nearly 10,000 presses globally, boosting speed, capability and reliability. Competing digital presses rolled out in the interim employ different imaging processes, mainly dry toner and inkjet. But liquid electrophotography (LEP) is still the premier method, according to HP Indigo's Simon Lewis.

"LEP is so powerful because it allows a print look and feel that in many of its characteristics is similar to many of the processes that have been predominant for a long time," said Lewis. "It allows a thin film of ink that takes on the structure of the substrate and doesn't have a particular gloss level of its own. You can use that process to print on an almost endless range of substrates." Lewis said other manufacturers are only now beginning to catch up, given the LEP system's greater complexity compared to a conventional press. "There is more to learn and more to maintain," he said. The difference is that the incentive for vendors to overcome that challenge has grown, according to Lewis. "What's happened is an understanding ... that dry toner has got as far as it can," he said. "If you're going to smaller and smaller toner sizes, unless you encapsulate them in a liquid, then the toner is getting uncontrollable."

HP Looks to Future of Labels and Packaging
Labels & Labeling (09/10/13) Thomas, Andy

Labelexpo Europe highlighted Hewlett-Packard Indigo's fourth generation 20000 and 30000 digital package printing presses at the Print Your Future exhibition. The company views flexible packaging and folding carton markets as major growth areas, and HP Indigo's new focus on digitally transforming the package printing industry into a short-run, high-value process is mirrored in the broad spectrum of packaging and film finishing hardware on display at Labelexpo Europe. The HP Indigo 20000 not only serves flexible packaging needs, but also supports the full range of labels including PSS, shrink, IML and wraparound, outproducing the WS6600's digital label press by a factor of three. The machine also accommodates a 762 mm-wide roll with up to 1,118 mm repeat length.

The AB Graphic Digicon 3000 finishing line is designed to interoperate with the 20000 press. The finishing system can operate either inline or offline, but is optimized for inline production. It includes a full- or semi-rotary flexo unit, an optional gravure station for adhesive coating, UV and IP drying and a range of lamination options. Innovative Label Solutions (ILS) is an early adopter of the 20000 press, and it will operate its HP Indigo 20000 inline with the Digicon 3000. "As ILS continually focuses on growing its presence in the flexible packaging and shrink sleeve marketplaces, the combination of the HP Indigo 20000 and the Digicon 3000 will be one of our major catalysts," said ILS owner Jay Dollries. The HP Indigo 30000 is configured with inline priming on quick-change gravure coating rollers, allowing the processing of any off-the-shelf substrate.

Marketing Services

Your Marketing Strategy Needs to Keep Pace with Digital Culture
Forbes (10/15/13) Dunay, Paul

A brand's digital marketing culture is essential to its sustained success in an environment where in-store shopping is giving way to online and mobile shopping, said Maxymiser's Paul Dunay. One is to be mindful of various digital values that could help or alternatively damage a brand's bottom line. With consumer attention spans and free time often very limited, consumers are subsequently demanding much more from their brand experiences, no matter where they occur or what devices they are using, Dunay said.

"We often see brands looking to digital marketing to move the engagement and revenue needles in the right direction," Dunay said. "But then they get stuck because their digital focus becomes all about showmanship and facing off in a tit-for-tat competition with others in their same space." Dunay said, "If you can't make every single interaction and experience customers have with your brand a positive, engaging and intuitive one — whether it's in-store, online, mobile, social or email — you should expect to say goodbye to them relatively quickly."

Furthermore, big data has become deeply intertwined with the creative process of branding and marketing, and because no two consumers ever want a duplicative experience, companies must test and learn on an ongoing basis. "The real value of a test-and-learn digital culture lies in being patient, spending the time to analyze all of the data available (CRM, online, mobile and social), and identify what's working and what's falling through the cracks," Dunay said. "That allows you to formulate a very calculated and strategic hypothesis and then test against that, until you can create an experience ... that's as relevant, seamless, easy to use and engaging as possible."

Priority Mail: Direct Mail Marketing Is Back!
Quick Printing (10/13) DeDiemar, Nancy

Direct mail is undergoing a resurgence in popularity as a marketing tool following years of decline, said Printips co-publisher Nancy DeDiemar. "There is a growing body of research that proves the effectiveness of direct mail when compared to other forms of advertising," she said. University of California, Irvine professor Gloria Mark said the buildup of email raises the probability that the recipient will delete the email without opening it. "According to the most recently published results of the USPS Household Diary Study, 85 percent of direct mail is at least skimmed before being discarded or saved," DeDiemar said.

Sheer volume may be one reason for direct mail's higher open rates. "Because of the proliferation of emails and the onslaught of display ads everywhere, there is an advantage of going through direct mail," said the Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) Yory Wurmser. "Direct mail, in a way, has become less cluttered." The decrease in the amount of direct mail means there is less competition in the mailbox, making it more likely that a person will notice, read and respond to a direct mail piece.

Meanwhile, the DMA 2010 Response Rate Trend Report found that 79 percent of households either read or skim advertising mail sent to their home, which is consistent with a study conducted by International Communications Research for Pitney Bowes. That poll estimated that 73 percent of consumers prefer mail for receiving new product announcements, versus 18 percent who prefer email. The survey also found that 31 percent of consumers are less likely to throw away unopened mail than they are to delete spam.

"When dealing with a customer or prospect that has been having success with email marketing, it may help to explain that the best response rates are the result of integrating direct mail with other marketing channels," DeDiemar said. "Using email and direct mail together produces the greatest overall impact because the direct mail piece can drive traffic to a website, and email reminders of an offer or an impending deadline for action can extend the life of a direct mail piece."

Stop Guessing: B2B Predictive Analytics 101 with Brian Kardon
Heinz Marketing (10/11/2013)

In an interview with Heinz Marketing, Brian Kardon, who runs marketing for Lattice Engines and was CMO at Eloqua, discussed what predictive analytics really means for B2B marketers and how companies can start to leverage its full potential. He cited Amazon as the best example for the use of predictive analytics. The company is analyzing current and historical data to make predictions about the future, with stunning results. Kardon said companies no longer have to guess with predictive analytics because they can predict which lead characteristics indicate likely buying signals. "For example: job postings, news stories, credit ratings, financial history, purchase transactions, litigation, patents, contracts, locations, growth, executive management changes and beyond could be indicative of a purchase decision," he said. The business case for predictive analytics is more pipeline, higher conversion rates and faster revenue growth. A good first step for companies is for marketers to find their triggers, he said.

Interested in PSDA's print and digital advertising options? Download the new PSDA 2013 Media Planner for more information, including the Print Solutions magazine 2013 editorial calendar, ad rates and specifications. Turn to for one-stop access to the PSDA blog, industry news and a live sourcing request feed.

About PSDA
PSDA is an unrivaled network of professionals, dedicated to providing best-in-class print, marketing and business communications solutions to end-user customers through the distributor channel. PSDA provides its members with information on market trends and leading practices through a series of national and regional events, online training, and its flagship monthly magazine, Print Solutions, which was recently honored by Trade Association Business Publications International for coverage of the prior year's most impactful client success stories.

Learn more about membership in PSDA or contact our headquarters ( office at 800.230.0175 and talk with a member of our staff team.
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