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Back to pressroom basics

Sep 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Eric A. Gutwillig and Tony Prieto

Does this sound familiar? Your press was delivered, the installer and demonstrator did their jobs, the iron looked pristine, yielded excellent print quality and generally delivered as promised. A few months later, however, print quality and press performance mysteriously deteriorated, even though you didn't change a thing. In many cases, maintenance issues are to blame.

The information challenge

Sep 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick

Few companies use software of any kind to its full potential; in most cases, the company doesn’t even realize or understand that potential.

They came, they managed, they conquered, Part 2

Aug 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Carrie Cleaveland

Management Plus allows graphic communications companies to analyze specific areas of their operations as a tool to judge individual management performance against industry standards. AMERICAN PRINTER talks to The Sheridan Press and Western Graphics.

They came, they managed, they conquered, Part 1

Aug 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Carrie Cleaveland

At a special banquet during it's Top Management Conference, NAPL presented 21 graphic communications companies with 2004 Management Plus awards. AMERICAN PRINTER talks to winners Friesens, Omaha Print and Pacific Printing.

The green, green pastures of home

Aug 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Steve Johnson

A great misconception haunts the printing industry. Call it “Green Grass Syndrome.” Its basic premise is that you just can’t make money in printing, so you must make it doing other things. This belief currently masquerades under the guise of “ancillary services.”

Little things mean a lot

Aug 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick

Increased profitability is the result of a mosaic of attitudes and activities, no one of which is the sole contributor to a dramatic improvement in operating performance. There is no easy or fast answer. Aesop was correct: The tortoise frequently wins.

Greetings from Mailville

Jul 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Mary Ann Bennett

Printers are expanding into the mailing/fulfillment industry in an attempt to significantly increase their bottom lines. It is a logical move for printers to make, because a good deal of printed material is sent on to a letter shop or a mail house for processing. Logical in concept? Yes. Easy to accomplish? Maybe.

Where’s it all headed?

Jul 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick

When asked to describe the future of this industry, the majority of owners and managers will couch their response in terms of technology, the impact of general economic conditions, and/or rampant commoditization and intense price competition. Most of these responses are devoid of vision and tend to ignore the needs and challenges of the marketplace.

Walking into the unknown

Jun 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick

This is an industry in which production routine and common product carry little perceived value to customers. The odds are that graphic arts companies have taken extraordinary steps, perhaps violating industry norms and even prior internal procedures and processes to satisfy individual customers’ needs.

Victoria’s real secret

Jun 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Steve Johnson

I want to share an example of a strategic catalog mailing program that seems to use what I call alchemy: increasing print and mail volumes while increasing print value.

Database basics

May 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Hal Hinderliter

If you’re afraid of accepting a customer’s harmless little database file, you might be missing out on everything from simple addressing jobs to profitable personalized marketing campaigns.

Six issues for print management

May 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick

Here are six considerations printing execs should evaluate when faced with management issues.

Don’t dilute the value of print

Apr 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Steve Johnson

My wife has learned some lessons the catalog industry didn’t intend to teach. She now knows she needn’t save catalogs for future reference because she’ll likely find a duplicate in her mailbox before she wants to place an order. Worse yet for mailers, she needn’t even open today’s catalog. One glance confirms that it is no different from last week’s, so why bother browsing through it? Next week is sure to bring more of the same.

Development requires involvement

Apr 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick

Business development needs to be a systematic organizational activity targeted at both existing and prospective customers. Management leadership, if not daily involvement, is essential. Paying salespeople a 101 percent commission on gross sales will not necessarily create more competent salespeople or more productive accounts.

Show me the customer benefits

Mar 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick

This column deals with the emergence of so-called "consolidators" in the graphic-arts industry. We’re not talking about run-of-the-mill mergers and acquisitions, but roll-up companies that were in active acquisition mode during the l990s and believe the size of a firm holds appeal in an avaricious marketplace.

Employee education: It’s not an injection

Feb 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick

Too often, owners and managers send a staff member to a training program expecting that employee, in a week, to suddenly become motivated to productively work a 16-hour day. Perhaps I'm exaggerating, but nonetheless, there are a couple of problems with this scenario. First, employee education usually is viewed as remedial or as a third-party primer for newcomers.

The sunny side of print

Feb 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Steve Johnson

Let’s take an iconoclastic look at three challenges some say sound print’s death knell.

Latch on to the affirmative

Jan 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick

The litany of grievances about the graphic arts industry is so common that it has become a series of cliches that, in most quarters, are accepted as a condition of life in the wide world of print. The problem is that intellectual and visceral agreement with these "truths" can immobilize a company, blinding it to sales and profit opportunities waiting to be exploited in the marketplace.

Be a bolder folder!

Jan 1, 2005 12:00 AM, By Trish Witkowski

Want to move beyond the same old boring folds? These fresh folding ideas and handy tips can help!

December Cover Story: Will you survive in 2005?

Dec 1, 2004 12:00 AM, By Bob Rosen

Even before the catastrophe of 9/11, our industry was showing the effects of unrelenting competitive pressures, which have only gotten worse. Since 2001, about three-quarters of the firms reporting their results have disclosed they’re earning little or nothing—and definitely not enough to stay in the game for the long term. But the results are even worse than reported, because the firms in real trouble (or just embarrassed by their performance) aren’t reporting their results at all.