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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.

An unforgettable year

Dec 1, 2009 12:00 AM, By Katherine O'Brien

What will you remember about 2009? I will never forget crowding into our company's small kitchen one morning this past January with a dozen coworkers and feeling the tension mounting as the picture flickered on the color television temporarily installed on top of the microwave. Could we adjust the picture in time? Yes, we could. As the presidential oath was administered, one woman openly wept. It

Quality is a sticky issue

Dec 1, 2009 12:00 AM, By Steve Johnson

If you live in the great state of New York and you own a motor vehicle, you've already heard this story. They don't stick. I've had this discussion with, like, a thousand people. Brooklyn resident Daniel Feldman, quoted in the New York Times. The vehicle registration stickers in New York are falling off. People are mad. They're mad at the Department of Motor Vehicles for not getting something as simple

School Spotlight: Minuteman Career & Technical HS

Dec 1, 2009 12:00 AM, By Brian Regan

In our first spotlight piece, we connect with Dan Vardaro from Minuteman Career & Technical High School ( in Lexington, MA. Where do your graduating students most often go from your program (college, into the workforce, in printing/graphic arts)? Vardaro: Eighty to 90% of our graduates go on to further education. Most students major in graphic design or printing management programs.

100 Words or Less: How does a management information system (MIS) help printers manage their time?

Dec 1, 2009 12:00 AM,

“If you want to get a printer furious, ask how much time is spent personally chasing, tracking and hand-holding jobs through the shop. What can they do? Leverage their investments and focus on getting applications and equipment to communicate.

It's all about customer integration

Dec 1, 2009 12:00 AM, By Gordon Pritchard

Reintermediation is the idea behind some printers redefining themselves as marketing services providers (MSP) because it attempts to introduce a value-added service back into the print production process.

Fonts still matter

Nov 1, 2009 12:00 AM, By Steve Johnson

For a few fleeting moments, the arcane world of graphic arts basked in the glare of the mainstream media courtesy of Ikea, that international icon of retail success that first skyrocketed to fame by integrating an extensive array of cheap furniture with succulent Swedish meatballs. In this year's catalog, Ikea unceremoniously dumped Futura, the venerable gothic font dating back to the days of hot

Take it easy

Nov 1, 2009 12:00 AM, By Katherine O'Brien

The frost is on the pumpkin and the calendar is on its last page but one. It's a time for self-reflection, an opportunity to think about the past 10 months and to ask ourselves that annual question: Can I take all of my unused vacation time between now and New Year's Day? Long after I physically log out from my work computer, whatever I was working on continues to run in my brain's background program.

Better files

Nov 1, 2009 12:00 AM, By Josh Durham

Josh Durham's list of the top seven things not to do when preparing a project to be printed.

Learning from printers

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

It seems to me that the print community has a giant inferiority complex. There's a belief that the industry is so large, fragmented and segmented that the average person doesn't appreciate its contributions and difficulties, can't name five printing companies, and unfairly believes that print is a dying medium polluting the environment. Perhaps there's an element of truth in all of this. However,

Equipment uptime & press lifespan

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

Recently I was asked to comment on of sheetfed and web offset lithographic presses. The question came from a printer during final negotiations with a press manufacturer. can mean a lot of different things to different printers. Usually we mean the amount/percentage of time the press can print. This figure is dependent on many factors that will influence the Items that keep the figure low are: Waiting

Will customers buy beyond print?

Nov 1, 2009 12:00 AM,

Recently we ran a project for a progressive commercial printer that wanted to learn how likely customers would be to consider it for non-print marketing services. At the same time, they wanted to gauge how customers felt their printing purchases would change over the coming year.

Looking on the bright side

Oct 1, 2009 12:00 AM, By Katherine O'Brien

Despite the show organizer's valiant promotional efforts, PRINT 09 traffic was sparse on some days, a sobering reminder of a tough economy and an even tougher industry. Attendance figures aren't available yet, but even a casual observer would concede the show didn't generate the same turnout as past events. These are hard facts and we must deal with them accordingly. Nonetheless, I did find some inspiration

Sales manager vs. sales controller

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

As the sales landscape has fundamentally changed, the role of sales management, the attributes of sales representatives, the mindset of suppliers, and the role of competitive differentiation have changed — or have needed to change.

The LEAN (and clean) pressroom

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

In my 51 years in this industry, I have seen the best and the worst pressrooms that exist in this and several other countries. With these economic times, there is great interest in going lean in the pressroom. Implement a 5S program first. The plant should be free of unwanted items clean, organized, no tool more than 15 seconds away from where it is needed, a place for everything and everything in

Stay gold

Oct 1, 2009 12:00 AM, By Michelle Ruby

Each year the National Assn. for Printing Leadership (NAPL) (Paramus, NJ) presents graphic communications companies with its Management Plus awards. This year, 16 companies were recognized with Gold, Silver and Merit awards, along with Hall of Fame winner Wordsprint

Effective feedback collection starts at the top

Oct 1, 2009 12:00 AM,

Customer feedback will effectively drive team performance only if management is engaged in the process, views all customer feedback as positive and productive, and supports employees making decisions.

Get involved in print's evolution

Oct 1, 2009 12:00 AM, By Steve Johnson

Last month, Google announced a deal to provide two million book titles for printing and binding on the Espresso Book Machine. If you are not a book printer, you might think this is not important to you. It is. Read on. If you are not familiar with all the players, a few words of explanation: Google Books is a Google-sized project with the goal of scanning every page of every book in the world, ostensibly

Picture this

Oct 1, 2009 12:00 AM, By Katherine O'Brien

Keep up the good work Hey, I printed that magazine! said John Tompkins, a press operator at Quebecor World (now World Color) in Lebanon, OH. We asked Tompkins to pose with a copy of PFFC at the Penton Media booth at PRINT 09. Tompkins has been a regular show attendee since 1980. Must see APTV Nsenga Thompson, associate editor, enjoys a laugh with one of our APTV camera operators. Don't miss our next

Make the most of existing iron

Oct 1, 2009 12:00 AM, By Denise Kapel

For those printers who are unable to finance major equipment purchases in this economy, what can be done to make the most of the equipment they have?