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Hang in there, commercial printers

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

How are you dealing with our faltering economy? I have some suggestions. Dust off that James Taylor playlist. You will surely feel better after listening to You've Got a Friend. Shop for some new Successories ( Can't afford the framed Winston Churchill Never Give Up print? The Positive Spin Pen Cup is a bargain at $7.99. Not only is it a handy receptacle for writing instruments,

When should I run a spot color vs. a build color?

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

This is a difficult question, and, as with so many easy sounding questions, the answers are a bit long. We keep coming back to that word, How accurate does the color have to be to the sample or the L*A*B* reading for the color? If the tolerance is wide, then a build color may suffice. Now you need to define the tolerance with the customer in terms of Delta E or in some cases the density of each of

Management: Economic alchemy

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

We disdain the medieval concepts of alchemy and the search for the Holy Grail. However, an argument can be made that we've not grown more sophisticated in rejecting these principles. We've simply developed modern-day versions of these notions. Business literature, proclamations of all-purpose truths by economists, and seminars promising that the speaker will reveal are little better than versions

100 Words or Less: How do you prove the effectiveness of print?

Mar 1, 2009 12:00 AM,

When a printed piece is done right, it is a wonderful thing. It can captivate its viewer and stir emotions. However, to ensure that a piece really does have impact on the recipient, there needs to be call to action. It can be as simple as encouraging the reader to go to a special website. If that site is specific to the piece, you can get solid numbers as to how many people were engaged enough by

Leveraging customer loyalty

Mar 1, 2009 12:00 AM,

In the printing industry, it is amazing how some of the best-run companies don't have much of a marketing budget, either, but leverage referral programs and keep their customer base promoting.

Research results: what print buyers want

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

Customer perceptions precede customer behavior. Surveys, intelligently constructed and conducted, can be an early warning system of both positive and negative developments for a print company. Economic figures are after-the-fact and, therefore, might not be actionable. It is more important to understand the needs, objectives, experiences and perceptions of customers than the experiences of other printing

Buck the recession: grab client market share

Feb 1, 2009 12:00 AM,

Grabbing share within your current customer base is an easier way to grow sales profitably than constantly pursuing new accounts. Several printers are refocusing their efforts on identifying their customers, who have the potential to offer more opportunities for growth. They are cultivating those relationships to offer a wider breadth of products and services. The dream customer for most printers

Printing Advice: 100 Words or Less

Feb 1, 2009 12:00 AM,

Air care

Feb 1, 2009 12:00 AM, By American Printer staff

DuraColor LLC, a $17 million printer in Racine, WI, has come a long way from a predecessor company's bankruptcy in 2004. The company's sales success has stemmed from its ability to meet tough deadlines with quality printing, which has enabled it to attract and maintain a stable of major clients. An ISO-9001-2000 company, DuraColor employs 60 and operates two shifts. DuraColor does both standard and

Would you print less to add more value?

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

Big Wave Advisors ( is my financial planner. David Nielsen, Big Wave's owner, is an outspoken advocate of adjusting one's portfolio as often as necessary to meet changes in the market, in contrast to the mainstream wisdom of buy and hold. Big Wave makes extensive use of a fairly recent innovation called Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) to accomplish the investing goals of its clients.

Back to school

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

Hey kids! Win a trip to Print 09! The Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF) (Reston, VA) has launched a 2009 National Student Design Competition. The competition challenges students to create a marketing product using the theme Careers in Graphic CommunicationsImagine the Possibilities! The competition is open to all students attending secondary or post-secondary institutions and

How to bring about change in the pressroom

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

Some people resist change, even when it is needed. Recently I visited a plant that had just installed two of the latest and greatest presses made. The sheetfed presses were rated at 18,000 impressions per hour (iph) and the makereadies were fast. What did I see, but a running speed of 9,000 iph and a two-hour makeready. After spending all that money and pouring concrete to expand the facility, productivity

Sticking together during tough times

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

These past few weeks have been difficult ones. Seemingly every day brings another wave of bad news from printers, vendors and businesses of all kinds. But printers have always had a history of coming together during tough times. Our major printing associations were formed during the depths of The Great Depression. Take advantage of this collective knowledge. There are no easy answers, but knowing

What's the over/under?

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

The questions keep pouring in on the subject of overs and unders charge for them or don't charge for them, keep them or don't keep them, store them forever or for a month, and on and on. First, let's look at the business issues. We should clearly state on the quotation the Best Business Practices of the industry. These can be found on the NAPL website. On the subject of overs it states, Overruns and

Back to school

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

Help wanted Despite industry consolidation and the current dismal state of the economy, some industry observers anticipate a recruitment crisis. Over the next several years the graphic communication industry will need up to 60,000 workers annually as Baby Boomers retire, says Ted Ringman of the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF). Ringman acknowledges that some positions, such as accounting,

Details result in relevance

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

Interpreting the results of customer surveys is best left to those who are intimately familiar with the graphic arts industry and who believe comments to open-ended questions are as important and valid as statistical feedback. Profound, albeit seldom-discussed, changes in buyer attitudes and behaviors are reflected in survey results. As recently as five or six years ago, it was customary to see very

Heidelberg goes to Hollywood

Jan 1, 2009 12:00 AM,

From the time the first prototype appeared at a Leipzig trade show in 1914 until the last Original Heidelberg left its Wiesloch, Germany, plant in 1985, Heidelberg sold 165,000 Windmills to customers around the world. It's the BMW of letterpresses, says Mark Barbour. It's an automatic machine with excellent engineering. Dirk Henrich, head of trade press relations for Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, says

Earn a bigger slice of the pie

Jan 1, 2009 12:00 AM,

A great question to ask your customers is, Of the printing you purchase, what percent is bought through us? It is amazing how candid and direct your customers will be, and how much detail they will give about why you get what you get. Recently, a printer surveyed 611 customers. The results were typical of most printers: 47% of the customers bought less than 50% of their printing from this company.

When the going gets tough

Jan 1, 2009 12:00 AM,

During my sales career, I sold through several recessions, says consultant and author Linda Bishop. The first one didn't affect me since I was building a book of business and had little to lose. The second one, however, was a different story. By then Bishop was the top performer at IPD Printing, an RR Donnelly Co., and selling millions of dollars of sheetfed and web printing. Recognizing that my customers

Standing resolute in the new year

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

Nobel Prize-winning author and Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's book The Oak and the Calf employed the metaphor of a calf repeatedly butting its head against an oak tree, refusing to stop until either the tree was knocked down or it killed itself trying. What are the chances of a young calf bringing down a mighty oak? Not good, yet Solzhenitsyn did live to see the fall of the Soviet empire.