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Real-world MIS

Apr 1, 2003 12:00 AM, by Katherine O'Brien Editor | kobrien@primediabusiness.com

In the February feature Making the best MIS choice, we reviewed management-information-system (MIS) trends and selection guidelines. In this article, we'll highlight some users' MIS motivations. United Printing: Faster estimates Ever since it opened its doors in 1966, United Printing (Bismarck, ND) has used Franklin Estimating Systems' (Salt Lake City) offset pricing books. But after more than 30

Are you seeing what they're buying?

Mar 1, 2003 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick President, Gorelick & Associates and GASF | info@gorelickandassociates.com

Are You Selling What They're Buying? is the title of a popular Graphic Arts Sales Foundation (GASF) seminar. Some may view the title as catchy, even flippant, but the disconnect between sales presentations and buying motives is common to the point of being epidemic among print companies. Nowhere is this dissonance more obvious than in the case of plant tours by prospective customers or personnel new

Making the best MIS choice

Feb 1, 2003 12:00 AM, BY DON GOLDMAN Principal of ConsultWare | consultw@aol.com

Tips on how to choose the best MIS for your operation

ACHIEVE SUCCESS THROUGH BALANCE

Feb 1, 2003 12:00 AM, BY DICK GORELICK President of Gorelick & Associates and GASF | info@gorelickandassociates.com

Gorelick commentary on how successful printing companies maintain balance in their management style

BUYING A NEW SHEETFED PRESS

Jan 1, 2003 12:00 AM, BY SAMANTHA OLLER Senior assoc. editor, ALLISON MCLEAN Assoc. editor | APeditor@primediabusiness.com

Prior to buying a new sheetfed press, printers must ask themselves questions about what size press they need, its features and the supplier itself. Perhaps the most important questions that should be asked, however, have to do with whether the purchase makes business sense. We spoke to industry consultants, a financial advisor and sheetfed-press vendors on how printers can determine whether a new

PLANT VISITS: LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT

Jan 1, 2003 12:00 AM, BY DICK GORELICK President of Gorelick & Associates and GASF | info@gorelickandassociates.com

Pride in one's company is admirable. However, it needs to be based in reality. For visitors to a print facility, reality consists of their expectations and experiences as customers and prospective customers. A visitor's perception of a company created during a tour or press approval is not the issue. The issue is the perception of the company's premises, people, equipment, workflow, attitude and preparation

VAN WERT HONORED AT NAPL RETIREMENT DINNER

Dec 1, 2002 12:00 AM,

I. Gregg Van Wert, retiring president and CEO of NAPL (Paramus, NJ), was honored at a pre-retirement dinner at Chicago's John Hancock building during Graph Expo. More than 150 guests attended the celebration, where speakers toasted the exec. Guests received a booklet of select president's messages that Van Wert had written during his tenure. Van Wert has been with the association for nearly 30 years

MANAGEMENT PLUS SECRETS

Dec 1, 2002 12:00 AM, BY SAMANTHA OLLER Senior associate editor, and ALLISON K. MCLEAN Associate editor

NAPL's (Paramus, NJ) Management Plus program recognizes graphic-arts companies' business excellence. AMERICAN PRINTER spoke with four of the 2001 winners to find out what it takes to be Management Plus material, and how they've applied their experiences in the program to achieve even greater success.

HOT MARKETS 2003

Dec 1, 2002 12:00 AM, By VINCENT MALLARDI, C.M.C. Contributing editor and consultant | pbbaii@myexcel.com

In 2003, the printing industry has nowhere to go but up. A 1% in 2002 following a 7% decline was too little, too late. In 2003, U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth will be no more than 3%. Nonetheless, since printing will lead the overall recovery by midyear, we anticipate industry growth exceeding 4%. Three key factors will influence print's growth: federal government spending, organic growth

Cavanaugh Press: growing and prospering

Nov 1, 2002 12:00 AM,

We can thank Art Stowe, president of the Printing and Imaging Industries of Maryland (Baltimore), for suggesting this month's featured company. It's been rough sledding for general commercial printers for well over a year, writes Stowe. Maybe it's time for a feature on a midsize, family-owned business in the tough 40-inch market that has continued to grow and prosper: Cavanaugh Press. George Atwell

Printing on plastic

Nov 1, 2002 12:00 AM, BY SAMANTHA OLLER Senior associate editor | soller@primediabusiness.com

Mr. McGuire's career advice to a young Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate plastics could apply just as well to commercial printers seeking to differentiate themselves. Formerly the realm of specialty and packaging printers, printing on plastic is beckoning conventional shops, with innovations in ink and equipment easing the way. Plastics are, however, an entirely different animal from paper-based substrates.

BENCHMARKING IN THE BINDERY

Nov 1, 2002 12:00 AM,

NAPL (Paramus, NJ) has published Benchmarking the Bindery, a step-by-step guide to effectively implementing a benchmarking system. Written by Peter Doyle, a printing-company operations manager and benchmarking expert, and Robert Diehl, a company owner and noted speaker, writer and graphic-arts consultant, the volume discusses how to overcome common obstacles to implementing a benchmarking program,

Facility expansion: What you should know before you break ground

Nov 1, 2002 12:00 AM, BY ALLISON K. MCLEAN Associate editor | amclean@primediabusiness.com

Is your operation so pressed for space that your employees are tripping over one another, equipment, supplies and product? If so, you are probably already considering moving to a new location or expanding your current facility. Although an expansion might seem like the easiest way to alleviate overcrowding, there's more to it than erecting a few walls and a ceiling. AMERICAN PRINTER spoke with two

MOTIVATING employees

Oct 1, 2002 12:00 AM, BY SAMANTHA OLLER Senior associate editor | soller@primediabusiness.com

In a scene from the 1999 movie, Office Space, jaded employees gather together for a company meeting called by their office manager. After introducing the employees to a consultant hired to the company (and instilling them with the fear of losing their jobs), the office manager wraps up the meeting with, Oh, and remember, next Friday is Hawaiian shirt day. So, you know, if you want to, go ahead and

The question of CSR evaluations

Sep 1, 2002 12:00 AM, BY DON MERIT Contributing editor, and a customer service consultant | APeditor@primediabusiness.com

By what criteria should you judge a customer service representative's (CSR) performance? HOW HARD THEY WORK | Hard workers get more done in less time. HOW WELL THEY COMMUNICATE | Communicating is the most important thing CSRs do. Unless they ascertain exactly what customers want and need and effectively convey that knowledge to production, companies cannot even begin to satisfy their customers. WILLINGNESS

Avoiding common cutting mistakes

Sep 1, 2002 12:00 AM, by Mark Lee, President, Specialties Bindery | mark@specialtiesbindery.com

Some printers try to keep as much work in-house as possible. Do yourself a favor and keep the cutting and binding portions of your jobs together. This will reduce unproductive finger pointing and increase vendor accountability. If printers cut jobs prior to outsourcing other postpress operations, they have by default accepted at least partial responsibility for the overall quality of the project.

Bonus feature: Motivating employees

Sep 1, 2002 12:00 AM, BY SAMANTHA OLLER senior associate editor | soller@primediabusiness.com

In a scene from the 1999 movie, "Office Space," jaded employees gather together for a company meeting called by their office manager. After introducing the employees to Bob Slidell, a consultant hired to "streamline" the company (and instilling them with the fear of losing their jobs), the office manager wraps up the meeting with, "Oh, and remember, next Friday is Hawaiian shirt day. So, you know,

Getting to color faster

Sep 1, 2002 12:00 AM, by Mayu Mishina, Managing editor, and Allison K. Mclean, Associate editor | APeditor@primediabusiness.com

With shrinking run lengths becoming the norm, a fast press makeready is key to making money on a job. And technology, say vendors, is key to making presses ready fast. New presses come with a bevy of bells and whistles, from on-press automation to press-console software that allows job data to be electronically transmitted between prepress and the pressroom, la the CIP3 ideal. With the added help

Improving the CSR/production relationship

Aug 1, 2002 12:00 AM, BY DON MERIT Contributing editor, and a customer-service consultant | APeditor@primediabusiness.com

Most customer-service representatives (CSRs) harbor grievances against production people. Here are their more frequent complaints: Production people have only one response to requests: It can't be done. They use heavy technical language that only they understand. They fail to learn the end use of jobs. They blindly follow specifications right out the window. They alter specifications without telling

Defining successful new-account development

Jul 1, 2002 12:00 AM, BY DICK GORELICK President of Gorelick & Associates | info@gorelickandassociates.com

Never has it been more important to develop new accounts and never has it been more difficult. The difficulty comes from a combination of a shrinking pool of opportunities, the absence of one or more compelling reasons for a prospect to switch suppliers, poor selection of target prospects and the expectation that new-account development be entirely the responsibility of sales representatives. A great