November 21, 2013

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CEO Summit 2014
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Lancer Label September 2013

PSDA's HR Corner: Expert Advice on Holiday Bonuses

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

Q: Every December, my father delights in distributing bonuses to his employees. Unfortunately, the amount he distributes to each employee varies based on who he likes. Is preferential treatment in discretionary holiday bonuses OK? I’m worried it’s not.

A: You are right to be concerned. In the same way that regular pay is discretionary (managers can set pay according to their discretion), holiday bonuses are discretionary. That said, it is against the law to treat similar employees differently on the basis of age, sex, religion, color, ethnicity, veteran status, disability and, in many states, sexual orientation or identity. While he may not be intentionally discriminating against employees, if his decisions truly are arbitrary he will be unlikely to defend his practices if they result in a claim of discrimination. Instead, encourage your father to establish some nondiscriminatory performance standards or goals upon which to base his holiday bonus gifts.

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.

Apex March 7


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Register for PSDA's 2014 CEO Summit Before Dec. 6 for Savings

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. Register before Dec. 6 and receive early-bird savings.

“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
Upcoming Webinar: Creating and Nurturing Customer Evangelists

On Jan. 8, 2014, Alex Goldfayn, CEO of Evangelist Marketing Institute, will present Creating and Nurturing Customer Evangelists.

The customer evangelist is the best kind of customer: supportive, forgiving, trusting and intensely communicative. In this session, Alex will discuss what makes the customer evangelist hugely profitable, how to develop them, and how to assess your own customer base to identify existing evangelists, and those that are right on the cusp.

Register now!
4over August 2013

Member News

MPX Launches New Website to Reflect Company Rebranded Image and Services

PSDA member MPX recently rebranded itself with a new logo and website that showcase the benefits clients receive and the services that MPX offers. MPX stands behind its tagline of Details Delivered while producing cost savings, process efficiencies and creative business solutions.

MPX has been in business for more than 70 years. It has remained successful by evolving through changes in technology and business and by defining its scope and expertise as a business solutions provider. The repositioning happened organically through innovation and fine-tuning the focus to what MPX truly delivers to clients. MPX has an extensive knowledgebase focusing on critical document processing, fulfillment services such as warehousing and materials distribution and data services. MPX prides itself on truly getting to know and understand the clients' business needs and finding unique and customized solutions to streamline processes and solve problems.
Kieran Label Expands Senior Leadership Team

PSDA member Kieran Label Corp. (KLC) continues to build its senior leadership team. KLC is one of the nation's leading manufacturers of roll, sheet and continuous labels serving multiple industries.

KLC recently promoted Al Pituch to vice president of business development from business development manager. Prior to KLC, he held sales management and account executive positions with Advanced Web, CCL Label, Sancoa International, Avery Label and Fasson.

KLC also recruited outside talent to further develop its manufacturing leadership. Allen Henry joined as director of operations, bringing with him a wealth of industry-specific knowledge and experience. His responsibilities include overseeing customer service, human resources and the entire production department.

On the finance side, KLC brought Amor Ligsay aboard as controller. Ligsay's responsibilities include overseeing KLC's entire accounting department. Her prior work included management positions in finance and accounting at a variety of companies within the technology field.

Additionally, Rick Van Gils was named strategic accounts manager. Van Gils began his career with Avery Dennison Label and was employed there more than 10 years.

KLC CEO and Chairman Denis K. Vanier stated: “The appointments of Pituch, Henry, Ligsay, and Van Gils reflect the outstanding talent of our management team. Our strength as an organization is rooted in the leadership of our people as we continue to make investments in the company to provide a world-class platform for label manufacturing excellence.”
TFP July 25 2013
TFP Data Systems Rolls Out New Tax Form Print-and-Mail Facility

PSDA member TFP Data Systems recently debuted its new tax form print-and-mail facility with a ribbon cutting ceremony in Oxnard, Calif.

The new facility was built in response to increased customer demand for an outsourcing provider to process employee and contractor W-2 and 1099 forms. This is a growing trend, with more employers seeking business process outsourcing solutions to save time and personnel costs, while ensuring complete protection of sensitive tax information.

Now, customers can outsource a previously labor-intensive task to a safe, secure and reliable print-and mail facility. In fact, the facility is currently in the process of becoming SOC-certified by the American Institute of CPAs — a stringent process expected to be finalized in the next few months. Other aspects of the certification, such as data storage, are already complete.

“This is a huge differentiator in the marketplace as we will have one of the few SOC certified print-and-mail tax form processing solutions in the country,” said Richard Roddis, TFP president. “Businesses can rest assured their employee tax data and other confidential information will be secure through every step of the process.”
Cenveo Announces Third Quarter 2013 Results

PSDA member Cenveo Inc. recently announced results for the three and nine months ending Sept. 28, 2013. The reported results include the effect of the acquisition of certain assets of National Envelope on Sept. 16, 2013, while the custom envelope division is reported as a discontinued operation.

"Our third quarter results were in line with our expectations. We continued to see similar trends during the third quarter that we experienced in the first half of the year with negative pricing pressures in our envelope and commercial print businesses impacting our results. However, several developments late in the third quarter began to change the operating landscape for us, including the acquisition of certain assets of National Envelope, which closed in mid-September, and the divestiture of our custom envelope division, which occurred at the end of the quarter," said Robert G. Burton Sr., chairman and chief executive officer.

"Despite the short period of operating the National Envelope assets, we are pleased with our progress to date and the fact that these assets operated profitably in a short period of time. These immediate results give us early confidence that our integration plan is on track, and our target to achieve $30 million in annual run rate EBITDA by the end of next year is attainable. Our packaging facility, which experienced the press fire earlier this year, finally achieved similar pre-fire throughput levels during September as well. Given these strategic transactions, signs of continued positive results within our label and packaging operations, pricing normalization in the envelope market and improving trends within our print business, we are optimistic that the fourth quarter and, more importantly, 2014 will be much stronger for Cenveo than what we have experienced to date in 2013."
Graphic Dimensions Welcomes Craig Bastas to Regional Sales Management Team

PSDA member Graphic Dimensions recently hired Craig Bastas as a regional sales manager. Bastas is responsible for growing the company's sales in the central United States. Craig has more than 25 years of experience in developing relationships and growing sales with print distributors. Most recently, Bastas worked briefly for Staples Print Solutions Group (PrintSouth Division), CFC Print Solutions, Printegra and later the Cenveo Resale Companies. (Printegra/PrintXcel/Versa Seal/Wisco Envelope/National Imprint Corp./Discount Labels/Lancer Label).

Top Story

UV or UV LED? That Is the Question
Wide-Format Imaging (11/13) Steele, Jeffrey

Print service providers (PSPs) considering whether to invest in UV or UV-LED technology must weigh a host of factors, including shop size, print volume, substrate type and the owner or manager's environmental commitment. UV-LED differs from UV in numerous ways, including having greater longevity. "They also emit very little heat, which makes them more versatile with respect to the media they support than conventional UV curing systems," said Roland DGA Corp. product manager Steven Tu. "Consider also that UV-LED lamps do not need any warm-up time, so they are ready to start printing immediately after being powered on. They are also smaller, more energy efficient and completely ozone free, making them a safe alternative to conventional UV lamps."

Tu also said many UV-LED support a wide range of substrates, including PVC, leather, paper and board stocks, foils, BOPP, PE and PET film. "The ability to print on such a wide range of surfaces allows you to branch out into new markets, from package prototyping and labels to signage, interior decor, personalization and specialty graphics," he said. How the ink is cured is a key differentiator between UV and UV-LED, said Fujifilm North America Corp. Graphic Systems Division's Jeffrey Nelson. "UV-LED uses a low-energy light source, and the lamps are expected to last the life of the press," he said. "And because it's low energy, it is low heat, so it works really well for thinner substrates, which can be very volatile."

However, ink curing via UV means the technology can run much faster with conventional halide lamps, and the cost of lamps is lower in UV than in UV-LED, Nelson said. UV-LED also is more environmentally friendly because it does not need as many bulbs to be replaced and has lower energy usage, he said. Meanwhile, Jim Cain of Polytype America Corp. said the main difference between the two technologies is the curing power and the light spectrum emitted by the machine, as UV machines' curing power is broader. "What that means is more curing power out of the traditional UV, rather than the UV-LED," he said.

Tu said printers must initially consider the substrate on which they will print and the printer's primary applications before investing. The next factors to weigh are the printer's ease of use, operational costs and maintenance demands. Roland DGA also said PSPs should choose a printer that offers advanced features, such as specialty inks and integrated contour cutting. A UV-LED printer will enable the PSP to boost profits, take the business in new directions and offer clients innumerable new products for a better overall value proposition, Tu said. Factors that Nelson said PSPs should contemplate before buying include the equipment's price-performance ratio, followed by their capacity or production needs.

Printing Trends

Transforming and Automating Workflows: Web to Print or Getting Work Into the Plant
WhatTheyThink (11/15/13) Zwang, David

Consultant David Zwang said web-to-print workflow is the focus of much confusion. "The more important question should be: Is your incoming work based on a catalog of customizable constrained design product?" he said. "Or perhaps we can take it a bit further; if some of your work falls into that category, does all of your work? And if not, what do you do with the balance?" Zwang said at a time where digital print technology has eliminated or automated many of the prepress steps in the process, for many, the bottleneck has migrated from the prepress area to the order entry process. Worsening the bottleneck is the growing volume of short run jobs.

Zwang said a one-box solution that can fulfill all requirements likely does not exist but numerous ways of addressing the problem do. "The more successful companies have multiple order entry points to address the specific needs of their work and customer base," he said. "These can include a constrained design application (or even multiples) for creating customized products, a catalog application that manages customer product fulfillment, an FTP drop point, a customer-specific integrated XML order feed process and many more." Zwang said supporting different solutions can lead to production silos and additional cost and effort. "The key to successfully implementing a workflow with disparate solutions ... is to include a normalization step as far upstream as possible," he said.

Zwang said this normalization must be integrated with a data segregation path to differentiate the production files from the order entry data. "The real takeaway here is that it is more important to focus on your plant work product, infrastructure and equipment rather than to get hung up on solution marketing terms," he said. "Look at your various order input streams and find or build the best 'solution(s)' that support your plant requirements. There are some very good ways to streamline the order entry process to help maximize your equipment utilization and enhance customer service."

Sustainable Packaging: Complex and Necessary
MyPrintResource (11/04/13) Whitcher, Joann

Participation in sustainability packaging is complicated yet necessary to be competitive in the modern marketplace. Creating a true sustainable package requires starting at the beginning with the package's design, all the way to the end result of how the consumer disposes of it. "If you think you've done enough by providing solutions up until the consumer buys the product, you are missing the final scene — what happens to the package after it is used," said PAC NEXT's Alan Blake.

"With [packaging] optimization you think upfront, in the design phase, about the package's end of life," Blake said. What you want to avoid ... is having that package going into landfill. We speak in terms of reducing, recycling and reusing." Optimization means that the function of the package is protected from compromise. "Printers need to work with prospective customers and current clients and discuss how to do their best to optimize the packaging design and discuss proposals for balance across the overall supply chain," Blake said.

A point of beginning is life-cycle assessment, a methodology of determining a product's overall environmental cost. This entails studying both what happens inside your facility as the package is made and what happens once that package is in the consumers' hands. GreenBlue's Adam K. Gendell said a core approach for improving packaging's sustainability is optimizing the use of bio-based and recycled materials.

"Printers would be smart to learn about their emissions and effects of their inks and coatings on end-of-life," Gendell said. "If specific inks and coatings are deemed advantageous, that'd be a no-brainer. In the broader spectrum of materials, there's so much to learn. Some buyers want certified fiber, some want recycled content — there's really no one material that will always be deemed to be the best from a sustainability standpoint."

Gendell said it is "probably important to have at least one staff whose role it is to learn about sustainability, keep their finger on the pulse of the marketplace and investigate means of improving sustainability within the company." Blake said it is often the case that recycled materials cost more than virgin materials, given that prices for recycled materials are climbing because of demand, which currently outstrips supply. "We all believe, as the economics continue to grow and consumption grows, printers will generate enough of their own materials for recycling," he said.

Vibrant Labels Market Still Has Massive Scope for Growth
Print Week (10/11/13) Francis, Jo

The thriving labels market's potential for expansion remains enormous, as demonstrated by record-breaking attendance at Labelexpo in September. Labelexpo's Mike Fairley said global growth in labels was estimated to be 5 percent, with brand owners and supermarkets being the primary market drivers. "The biggest marketing trend for supermarkets during the next few years will be personalization," he said. Networking at Labelexpo signaled a significant sense of community among labels industry players.

"I'm likely to be spending more money on our labels business, but not just digital," said Integrity Print's Mark Cornford. "Flexo as well, and offline finishing equipment." Showcased at Labelexpo was Gallus' Print Shop concept, which entails networking digital and conventional printing lines, and then controlling them through a central MIS so that both mediums' benefits can be leveraged. "The question is how do I make money, and the solution is to allow customers to make decisions about the most economical way to produce a certain label," said Gallus CEO Klaus Bachstein. "It's not an either/or discussion. We can combine these technologies."

Sustainability was a key theme and digital printing was a major point of discussion, with a wealth of options for printers seeking to add or expand print capacity of this type. Fairley said the number of digital label presses in the field has climbed dramatically during the past 10 years, from 185 in 2002 to more than 2,000 at the end of 2012. This growth appears likely to continue, although the expanding range of options makes choice more complicated for printers.

Developments in pre-press and post-press also have been fueled by the growth in digital, and Global Graphics premiered its Digital Hub designed to provide consistent color reproduction on digital devices. "It's been very craft-based and a bit like the Wild West in labels when it comes to color management," said The Missing Horse Consultancy's Paul Sherfield. "Label printers need to move to the sort of color-managed workflows and print standards that commercial print industry has been doing for the past 10 years."

Digital Printing

Digital Package Printing — The Value Proposition for the Brand Owner
WhatTheyThink (11/15/13) Karstedt, Kevin

Most market analysts see digital printing providing immediate benefits for marketing campaigns, but a report from Karstedt Partners indicates there is also a market for using the technology to eliminate costs and operational issues in packaging. The report, Is Digital Printing Part of Your Brand or Operational Strategy?, identified customer marketing and material planning as business needs that have a high connection to digital printing. Sixty-one percent of marketing respondents and 59 percent of production respondents rated digital printing as extremely or very appealing. The primary concern among all respondents was cost and integration into their current operation. Only 20 percent of brand owners said their interest in digital printing would decline significantly if the printed products cost 15 percent to 20 percent more. They also seemed confident that when digital printing reaches mainstream production capabilities, they will be able to respond quickly with resources providing cost-saving digital print opportunities. The major benefits of the digital process were seen to be speed, quality and customization. The drivers of the value proposition for brand owners were brand awareness, efficiency and control.

Diversify Your Services with Dye Sublimation
Quick Printing (11/13) Lamb, Jimmy

Printers who diversify into sublimation can find themselves expanding and ensuring their business by appealing to clients seeking a single source for all of their imprinting needs. Sublimation is a digital printing process that enables any business to rapidly and easily apply high-resolution, full-color graphics to a broad range of hard and soft goods. A sublimation dye penetrates and saturates the surface of the item being decorated to produce an indelible image that is resistant to scratching, cracking and peeling.

Sublimation begins by setting up a design using a standard graphics program such as Photoshop, Illustrator or CorelDraw. The design is then printed out onto sublimation transfer paper using sublimation dye and a standard desktop printer that supports sublimation. Finally, the printer applies the transfer paper to the item being decorated and places both together under a heat press.

Combining heat and pressure converts the dye into a gas, which then permeates and bonds to any polymers or polyester fibers it comes in contact with. Total production time is usually less than two minutes. The item is removed from the heat press and then the transfer paper is removed. Remaining is a high quality image that is permanently embedded into the surface of the product. The item being decorated has to be polyester or polymer-based.

Sublimation is a low-cost operation for both start-up and production. A compatible desktop inkjet printer and sublimation inks run from about $600 for 8.5- x 14-inch to about $1,600 for 13- x 19-inch, according to the desired maximum image size. There also are very low imaging costs, at well under $0.01 per square inch of coverage. Sublimation is an optimal on demand, short-run process, thanks to there being no arduous setup, making it fast and cost-effective to run smaller sized orders, which usually have the highest per piece margins.

Marketing Services

How Kickstarter Fundraising Turned Into a Marketing Campaign for Digital Silver Imaging
Forbes (11/05/13) Babej, Marc E.

Eric Luden is the founder and owner of Digital Silver Imaging, a custom fine art digital lab based in Belmont, Mass. The former director of sales and marketing for Ilford North America set out to apply the art of classic black-and-white developing to digital images five years ago. In an interview with Forbes, Luden said Digital Silver initially focused solely on black-and-white, which is the hardest and most frustrating part for photographers because the printing methods were using color technologies and applying them to black-and-white. "So the print always had a pink, green or blue cast to them," said Luden. Ilford Photo's method for printing directly from digital files onto traditional black-and-white silver gelatin paper was a technical breakthrough, he said. A lot of people care about these differences, including people who have had darkroom experience in the past and people with great archives of film who do not have access to darkroom. Digital Silver is growing about 40 percent a year, and last year obtained a custom machine that can print up to 50 inches wide and worked with Ilford to design a paper processor that would meet archival processing standards, said Luden. The company obtained the capital via Kickstarter, and 75 percent of its backers had not been customers before.

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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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