Registration Open for 2012 CEO Summit
PSDA's 16th annual CEO Summit will be held March 5–7 at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix. This premier event, designed specifically for principals from member companies with sales in excess of $2.5 million, will feature presentations and peer-driven discussions of trends and opportunities for your company in today's economic climate. Dr. Joe Webb will keynote the event with a presentation developed for PSDA titled "Directions to the Future: A Contrarian View of the Economy, Technology, and Our Business." Visit the PSDA website to view current program highlights and to register for PSDA’s premier conference for company principals.
PSDA Webinar: Leverage LinkedIn to Generate More Leads
On Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 1 p.m. ET, join Nisha Patel, social media consultant at Wise, for a webinar and learn how to maximize your LinkedIn profile to benefit your business. Topics covered include:
* Strategies to get your profile/business noticed
* Best practices for connecting with people and growing your network
* How to write posts, attach links/videos and respond to comments on your pages
* How to build credibility and visibility as an industry specialist
* Best tactics to drive traffic to your website
Learn more and register today.
Visit PSDA's pageONE and the PSDA Blog
With the launch of PSDA's redesigned website earlier this month, PSDA also introduced pageONE — a one-stop shop for relevant and timely industry information. Designed in response to member feedback and with input from education committee members, pageONE contains links to industry and PSDA member blogs and resources and a live sourcing request feed.
PageONE also includes a feed from the new PSDA blog, which features posts from members of PSDA's staff team covering Print Solutions magazine features, interesting industry news items, PSDA news items and more. Subscribe to the PSDA blog by logging in, visiting the blog and clicking "subscribe" in the top left corner.
Bookmark pageONE and check back regularly for updates, new information and the latest PSDA blog post.
Custom Index Acquires Color Trac Label Systems
PSDA member and manufacturer of custom index tabs and file folder Custom Index, Inc. recently acquired a former supplier, Color Trac Label Systems. The acquisition means that Custom Index's dealer network can now purchase color-coded label systems from the company at a more competitive price. “By diversifying our product line to include labels, we now offer our customers a complete range of filing solutions at competitive pricing. In addition to distributing the labels, Custom Index can now apply any label system to any of our products,” said Custom Index's CEO, Nafees Rahman. Rahman added that the label operation has been relocated to the company's New Jersey facility, which will create production efficiencies for Custom Index and cost efficiencies for its customers. “Shipping costs will be lower because the labels will come directly from Custom Index instead of a third party,” he said.
Strata-Tac Introduces New Back Film
PSDA member Strata-Tac, a manufacturer of self-adhesive label stock and coated films, recently introduced a new back film for manufacturing integral ID cards. The new back film, DFA050, is clear, signature compatible and has a universal release. The DFA050 replaces the DGU050, which will be unavailable once the inventory is sold. The chemistry of the DFA050 allows for the product to be released from any side of the card — even peeling from a corner. Optional corner cuts can be added to the die to simulate a dry edge. The DFAM050 is also available and the company can add a matte coating to the back of the DFA050. This matte coating will help reduce static, allow for laser printing of the back patch, and add a grip to the film to help processing in high-speed applications.
Wright Enterprises Adds New HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press
, a PSDA member, recently added an HP Indigo 7500, seven-color, digital press to its lineup. The HP Indigo 7500 digital press is the most technologically advanced high volume sheet-fed digital printing solution in the industry. “The fact that the HP Indigo uses an ink-based agent rather than toner opens an entirely new range of value-added products to take to market,” said Gordon Klepec, the company's vice president of sales and marketing. Wright Enterprises' decision to invest in the press “was based on the growing demand for variable, high-quality digital printing with quick turnaround requirements,” said President and Chief Operating Officer Dan Adkison.
Data Management Inc. Adds New Product to Visitor Pass Solutions Line
PSDA member and print manufacturer Data Management Inc. recently added new full-color expiring badges to its Visitor Pass Solutions product line. The self-adhesive labels can be used by organizations to print visitor badges in full color, including color photos and color coding (to help control access to different parts of a facility). “This latest innovation has three main advantages,” said Richard Reed, DMI's vice president of product development. “One, it allows users who are already printing self-adhesive badges in black and white to now print them in color. Two, for users who are considering plastic badges because of their professional appearance, it gives them a comparable-looking alternative that can be more efficient and economical. And three, for anyone who already has invested in a color inkjet or laser printer, here's a way to get more use out of it.”
Relyco Receives Quality Level III Rating from U.S. GPO
Relyco, a PSDA member and provider of value-added business printing and payment solutions, recently earned the Quality Level III rating for Specialty Printing from the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). The Relyco digital and laser printing products receiving the GPO rating include DigiPOP customized 3-D digital packaging, REIMAGE carbonless forms, REVLAR waterproof paper, ULTRASEAL self-mailer pressure seal forms, laser checks and ENDURA LABEL pressure sensitive labels. The purpose of the GPO evaluation is to determine a contractor’s ability to consistently produce orders at the required quality level without undue assistance on the part of the government. These ratings will be used by the GPO’s automated bid list system in determining what vendors solicitations will be issued to and by GPO contracting officers as an aid in making responsibility determinations on individual contracts.
Selling Managed Print Services Requires Attention to Detail
TechTarget (11/11/11) Clancy, Heather
More businesses today are open-minded about managed print services that consolidate printing and related document management expenses, and a key element of managed print sales is demonstrating those cost savings, according to IT solution providers. "It is fairly difficult at times, because people believe printers don't need maintenance," said Northwest Computer Support CEO James Watson. "You have to show them how they will save money." Managed print services usually place each device under a monthly maintenance or management contract that includes all consumables, pieces and components that might be needed for repairs.
More than 50 percent of large companies are currently using some type of managed print service versus about 20 percent of smaller businesses, as suggested by a September 2011 CompTIA study. Thirty-five percent of those businesses that do not use any sort of managed print service said they will "definitely" or "probably" consider some degree of adoption over the next year. Managed print services also can help companies standardize the number of devices and models that their organization employs, lowering maintenance and repair costs because parts or consumables can be shared among the fleet.
There has to be a serious focus on operational metrics in order to build a managed print services business, and Watson said solution providers should be careful to feature a clause in their contract detailing what happens when a client opts to retire a printer before the terms of the contract expire. Otherwise, the provider could lose money on the deal or end up being saddled with toner supplies. Watson suggested printers and multifunction devices be priced based on volume and their inherent feature set, and that it may be necessary to establish a minimum monthly service charge.
Market Intelligence: Hot Markets for Wide-Format Print
My Print Resource (11/01/11) Greene, Tim
A recent InfoTrends/Wide-Format Imaging survey of more than 400 North American print service providers (PSPs) outlined hot markets and applications trends at the end of 2011. Growth in the wide-format signage and graphics market was cited by 76 percent of respondents, while other hot industries included manufacturing, entertainment and healthcare. Although more than 62 percent of printers cited construction, it also was, along with real estate, a segment where respondents observed a substantial decline. InfoTrends thinks the best way to demonstrate hot applications is to display the percentage of PSPs that report they generate this application and map that to the percentage seeing an increasing demand for this application from their clients.
The banner market appears to be very popular, with almost 70 percent of printers already producing banners and citing expanding demand from their customers. They referred to billboards as a particularly hot application, characterized as "growing" by more than 70 percent of PSPs. Commercial/domestic interiors also was cited as a hot application, while PSPs ranked POP signs and displays as the fourth hottest application. Other hot applications cited by the respondents included flags, fine art work, floor graphics, proofing and packaging samples. In addition, some of the popular applications from earlier studies such as vehicle wraps and decals remain hot, but are exhibiting demand stabilization.
Ninety-five percent of PSPs reported they are seeing demand climb or staying the same for many key applications, while backlit signs and graphics seem to be the only application that is declining significantly. It is critical for PSPs to identify the trends fueling changes within the applications as well as the buying environment. The data indicates an increase in demand for many of the characteristics of print that support digital workflows and production, with respondents reporting higher demand for personalization, shorter runs, delivery to the point of need, greater integration with other marketing collateral, online ordering, complex logistics requirements, faster turnaround and just-in-time production.
One of the crucial success factors for PSPs is being able to deliver real value-add services to clients as part of a consultative selling strategy, and 60 percent of survey respondents said they offer QR codes or some other interactive elements into their signage and graphics printing. Nearly three-quarters of that number said that these services are offered proactively, and these averages are substantially heightened by companies that are more into wide-format.
Eye Tracking Research Can Be Used for Direct Mail
123Print (11/18/11) Ortega, Carlos
New research from Metrics Marketing Group could make direct mail campaigns more effective by unearthing insights into consumers' reaction to and interpretation of direct mail pieces. Metrics Marketing Research performed a study to recognize opportunities and abandonment points and identify what consumers see and what they miss when they looked at 45 distinct direct mail pieces. Eye tracking, facial expressions and various actions that transpired after receipt of the piece provided information on how marketers can enhance direct mail campaigns.
Once a marketing team has accumulated consumer data using the eye tracking research, they can collaborate with a marketing consultancy to improve direct mail campaigns via guidance and resources for integrated campaigns. Marketing consultancies provide web support, direct mail solutions, email marketing tools and Google Adwords tips to boost sales. Cascade Group director Richard Adler said working with the marketing firm enabled his company to "offer more couture project solutions which deliver the business results that our clientele want from their print and design."
Decoding ROI in Marketing's QR Codes
Computerworld (11/14/11) Kroll, Karen M.
The Little Rock, Ark., printing firm CustomXM has been keeping an eye on QR codes for several years because the technology promises to keep printed materials relevant in the age of digital communication. QR codes, or quick response codes, are the square barcode symbols that are popping up in a growing number of magazine ads, product packages and other marketing media. The codes can be scanned with a smartphone and then can direct people to a mobile website for additional information on products, notices or promotions. "QR codes make printed pieces interactive," said Jason Pinto, chief marketing officer at interlinkONE, a provider of marketing software based in Boston.
Several months ago, Paul Strack, president and chief financial officer of CustomXM, used a QR code for an ad in a local business paper and found that about 5 percent of its 4,000 readers activated the code. "We saw how this code could serve as a bridge from the print to the digital worlds," Strack said. QR codes have yet to become a mainstream tool, but 14 million mobile phone users in the United States, or 6.2 percent of the mobile population, scanned a QR code in June 2011, according to market research firm comScore. Businesses can use QR codes to reach clients and customers, and Strack noted that the technology can help measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Wrapping Innovations Help Mailers Achieve In-Line Savings and Increased Response
Quick Printing (11/11) Miller, Grant
Innovations in paper production and mail technologies can help high-volume printers and mailers save money on producing transactional and direct mail while at the same time improving mailpiece effectiveness. Mailers can now "wrap" letters and inserts rather than stuffing preprinted envelopes. Rolls of white paper replace traditional outer envelopes, and with a mail finishing system, mailpieces can be printed, personalized and sealed in one pass. Continuous wrap may lower mailpiece costs by 20-40 percent by reducing paper usage and labor requirements, streamlining workflow and improving warehouse management.
Envelope wrapping can also help organizations more closely link print and mail, personalizing with messages and images based on specific customer profiles. Variable content can be printed as part of a normal production run, which can increase productivity by 20-25 percent through the eliminated need to stock inventory and manage the insertion process. Printers and mailers looking for a solution should choose a platform that combines hardware and software solutions to deliver the appearance, quality and features of traditional envelopes; optimize inserts without exceeding postage limits; and generate on-demand graphics and messages on the fly.
From Your Smartphone to the Big Screen
Globe and Mail (CAN) (11/23/11) Buckler, Grant
Engagement between smartphones and large digital displays can help boost consumer interest in products and services, and one application is the inclusion of Quick Response (QR) codes on signs so people can point their handsets at them and retrieve additional information. Stratacache's Paula Polei said QR codes on digital signs ease information updates without printing and distributing extra signs, while advertisers can track the number of people who snap their codes and whether they go on to purchase the advertised item.
Meanwhile, Aerva sells its AerWave software for managing content on networked displays, and in September Eastman Kodak used the software in New York to promote its camera's "share" function by transmitting photos directly to a Times Square billboard. LocaModa sells software that interoperates with digital signs to display text and social network messages in addition to advertising, video or other content selected by the venue operator. Both LocaModa and Aerva have moderation features to filter out messages containing obscenities or other objectionable material. Akoo International runs a TV network for screens on university campuses and shopping malls, and its system allows any viewer with a mobile device to request content by texting a content code to a special number.
Akoo's Andy Stankiewicz said the ability to choose content encourages viewers to watch the big screen. When someone texts a request, Akoo offers to transmit an electronic coupon from one of its advertisers — usually with a store or restaurant in the mal l— to the person's mobile device. "That customer literally has the ability to take immediate action and do something with that offer," said Stankiewicz. "It all depends on knowing where that customer is."
Textiles for the Text Generation
Chicago Sun-Times (11/27/11) Sullivan, Paul
Aurora Specialty Textiles Group in Aurora, Ill., produces coated fabric incorporated into products that include surgical tape and adhesive tape for hockey sticks. A subsidiary of Meridian Industries, Aurora also makes fabric used for shirting and linens from which other manufacturers produce products under their brand name. Print media constitutes one of the highest-margin, fastest-expanding areas of the finished fabric industry, said Aurora director of marketing for print media Mike Richardson, who was in Aurora to choose samples for a Specialty Graphics Industry Association trade show.
Acrylic coated fabrics from Aurora's print division are marketed to digital printing companies and distributors, and some of the material is used for store and point-of-purchase displays and trade shows, according to Aurora marketing coordinator Teresa Skinner. Any image can be printed on the fabric, including paintings of European street scenes sold at starving artists sales. "Business is coming back now," Richardson said. "Every product has a life cycle. We're a proactive company. We used to produce a lot of fabric for [hardbound] book covers. People read books on Kindle now. One of our new fabrics is called Weaves of Green. It's made from recycled plastic drink bottles."
Boxing Up Shopping's Magic Moment
Wall Street Journal (11/17/11) Holmes, Elizabeth
Online retailers are focusing more on packaging in an attempt to wow shoppers when their purchase arrives. The "unboxing" experience has been documented in many videos online, showing the excitement of people as they prepare to unpack their order and even disappointment when an extravagant splurge comes in a small plastic envelope or a large postal box. Basic packaging is expected of websites that compete primarily on price, but brands with stores offering a high level of service and design face the challenge of reproducing a theatrical shopping experience in a brown cardboard box.
"We've got to find a way, when we're not front and center with that customer, when they open that box, to thrill that customer," said Gregory Shields, senior vice president of distribution, logistics and fulfillment at Neiman Marcus. The department store chooses from more than 64 sizes of boxes to ship its luxury goods. After determining the best method to secure an item for shipping, online retailers then focus on extras to convey personal attention. The small decorative touches include dressing up plastic bags in which items are shipped, wrapping items in colorful tissue paper, using ribbons and placing handwritten thank-you notes on top. At Anthropologie, part of Urban Outfitters, notes that go with gift cards tend to be longer and so are printed by computer.
Print Solutions Magazine Highlights
Top 10 Mistakes in Selling Web-to-Print
The November issue of Print Solutions, PSDA's flagship magazine, includes an exclusive feature story about web-to-print solutions. Writer Heidi Tolliver-Walker takes a closer look at what she identifies as the top 10 mistakes in selling web-to-print, and she further investigates the disparity between web-to-print’s promise and reality. She explains that manufacturers and distributors alike often buy into web-to-print technology on the promise of higher sales volumes and greater profitability, but then become frustrated when these promises don’t materialize. Where is the disconnect?
To read the full article, check out the interactive flipbook of the entire issue or download a PDF of the article.
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