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Manufacturing in recovery, paper prices up

Feb 1, 2010 12:00 AM,

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in January for the sixth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the ninth consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business

Industry leadership redefined

Feb 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick

All credibility disappears when I read or hear the term industry leader. The term is defensible only in the case of a handful of individuals and if I were to mention them, it would invite a firestorm of disagreement. If Congress wanted to learn about standard practices in the graphic arts industry, whom would it call upon to testify? What criteria would you use? No industry is entirely homogeneous,

How to make some easy money

Feb 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Raymond J. Prince

Recently, in my travels, I have seen much used equipment on the market, as well as printers asking how to make existing equipment last longer. The first question I am asked about used equipment is, How good is it? Well, that can take some extensive testing. As a general observation, presidents of printing companies treat their personal cars better that their most expensive presses. If you wish to

At your service

Feb 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Denise Kapel and Nsenga Thompson

While the economy has been rough on U.S. printers as well as OEMs, we're seeing a greater emphasis on service programs. We're all, as manufacturers, trying to get away from a reactive situation by designing programs to be more proactive to get in ahead of time, prevent problems and offer solutions, says Marsden Davies, Service Select manager, KBA North America (Dallas). Patrick Callahan, director

Tough sledding ahead for print

Feb 1, 2010 12:00 AM,

InfoTrends (Weymouth, MA) recently released its U.S. Printing and Publishing Market Sizing report for 2008-2013. While the consulting firm maintains that the economy will resume its recovery, which began in Q3 2009, it believes that the printing industry will remain in decline until at least 2013. What developments are challenging print's role as a primary medium of communication? In the early 2000s,

Overcoming run of the mill reputation

Feb 1, 2010 12:00 AM, Michael Casey

In late 2009, a commercial printer wanted to dig deeper into customer perceptions. After two terrible years, the printer needed to understand the current situation and, more importantly, determine whether it was time to reinvent the company. An online survey of 2,000+ customers investigated perceptions in: loyalty; client share of printing; product and service quality; likelihood customers would buy

Who's a printer?

Feb 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Steve Johnson

I've noted in the past that U.S. Commerce Department statistics and NAPL surveys indicate print total volume is declining, as is the total number of printing establishments. I've also noted that our government does an abysmal job of measuring print, using metrics that are nearing half a century in age. Economists in the employ of printing trade associations are no better. I've further observed that

Beware of culture shock

Feb 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Katherine O'Brien KOB@americanprinter.com

Quad/Graphics recently announced it will acquire Worldcolor. The news sent financial analysts and journalists around the world scrambling to MapQuest Sussex, WI. Some consulted their AP Stylebooks to see if it was acceptable to describe Wisconsin as Illinois' hat. Just kidding. We truly needed the Wall Street Journal to help us grasp the details of the deal that will give shareholders of Worldcolor

Equipment rebuilding

Jan 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Raymond J. Prince

Equipment today is being rebuilt by original manufacturers as well as independent companies with good results. The new or rebuild decision is indeed complex and needs to be grounded in fact, dollars and a look to the future. Depending on the age and condition of the equipment, a full remanufacture might be necessary. This involves testing the equipment as well mechanical and electrical inspection

Acquiring social graces

Jan 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Katherine O'Brien KOB@americanprinter.com

When I consider historic moments in communication, certain sound bites spring to mind: Alexander Graham Bell's, Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you. Not to mention Samuel Morse's, What hath God wrought? As I reflect upon 2009 technical milestones, my cousin's Facebook message looms large: Michael got promoted to Level 300 in Mafia Wars and is celebrating by offering a special bonus to their [sic]

Printer identifies enormous growth opportunity

Jan 1, 2010 12:00 AM,

Many printers feel they could get more business from each of their accounts. Buyers either share purchases with other printers or are unaware of other services offered. Data Mail is the largest printer/mailer in its tri-state region (IL, IN, KY). Like most, in 2008 it was challenged with a down economy and a saturated market. Because of the company name and its 30 years as a mail service provider,

Another decade

Jan 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Steve Johnson

Can 10 whole years really have passed since so many of us gathered to party like it was 1999? Since much of the world was paralyzed by fear and consulting fees, panicked that the Y2K problem would mean the end of the world? We all knew deep down inside (especially the calendar printers) that the new millennium didn't really begin until 2001. So what? We partied anyway. I think there is something symbolic

3 keys to UV

Jan 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By David Fox, NAPL associate consultant (dfox@napl.org)

Testing for proper cure | When UV ink cures, it changes chemically. Measuring and analyzing this change is possible under laboratory conditions, but out on press, it's a bit more subjective. The main objective always should be satisfying the customer, thus it might be more appropriate to say UV ink is adequately cured once it behaves as the customer wants. Some of the principal methods for testing

It makes a world of sense

Jan 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Brian Regan

The recent press release from GAERF (www.americanprinter.com/news/syndicate/printed-skillsusa-online-assessments-1102) regarding its partnership with SkillsUSA is very exciting. By enhancing how students are able to gain valuable credentials using new online tools will be very beneficial for the industry. Without question, every industry needs a steady supply of talented workers. The various organizations

Healthcare and print

Jan 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick

For the past 30 years or so, I've used a couple of analogies to explain the uniqueness of buying and selling print. One of them involves healthcare and print, two of the largest industries in the world engaged in basically the same process: The buyer can use references, testimonials, plant tours, reputation and other tools to evaluate a supplier, but in the case of both commercial print and healthcare,

100 Words or Less: What advice do you have for printers as they strive for growth in 2010?

Jan 1, 2010 12:00 AM,

As recovery takes hold, the first order of business is to remain vigilant against complacency arising from relief that we made it through the downturn. Recessions lead to market redistribution, which is magnified by structural changes that are redefining our industry. Growth won't be found in the same areas as before. To come out on the right side of redistribution, all printing companies need to

Social climbing

Jan 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Julie Shaffer

Social networking can cause some serious anxiety. You sense that everyone is doing it (or at least talking about it), but it seems time intensive and you're busy just keeping your head above water. Some people have suggested you start blogging, but you're not sure you have the discipline or material to write regularly. Finally, you decide to dip your toes in the social networking pool and sign up

A step beyond customer service

Dec 1, 2009 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick

The status of customer service representatives has improved in recent years, especially in the eyes of customers. However, CSRs or the equivalent title in many companies are rarely invited to sales meetings or consulted on strategy and business development issues. Interestingly, when asked to differentiate their respective companies, my experience is that at least half of all owners and senior managers

Boosting productivity in the pressroom

Dec 1, 2009 12:00 AM, By Raymond J. Prince

All printing companies have different equipment of various ages. This makes target numbers very difficult to write about. With that said, there are definitely ways to improve productivity in YOUR pressroom.