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Readers respond to re-invention challenge

Mar 1, 2001 12:00 AM, BY KATHERINE O'BRIEN Editor | kobrien@intertec.com

Two months ago, I invited readers to share their stories of how they are re-inventing their businesses. Respondents ranged from ASAP Printing (Anchorage, AK), a $327,000 quick printer, to Quebecor World, one of the world's largest printers. Going full-color digital has really helped, says Doug Johnstone, owner of ASAP, a six-year-old, three-employee operation. About a year ago, Johnstone added a digital

Ask what they want… and give it to 'em!

Mar 1, 2001 12:00 AM, BY DON MERIT Contributing editor | APeditor@intertec.com

I WANT TECHNICAL EXPERTISE AND EDUCATION ON PRINTING. In 1990, Doubleday published a wonderful book on customer service, Customers for Life How to Turn That One-Time Buyer into a Lifetime Customer, by Carl Sewell. Sewell inherited a car dealership in Dallas and decided he wanted to be the city's No. 1 car dealer. He sensed that, in order to do that, he had to satisfy his customers. And to satisfy

Heidelberg in focus

Mar 1, 2001 12:00 AM,

SALES OF NEXSCAN SCANNERS EXCEED EXPECTATIONS Just weeks after celebrations marking the 1,500th drum scanner to leave Heidelberg's Kiel, Germany, production line, the 1,000th Nexscan was produced. The Nexscan family exceeds all our expectations, asserts Thomas Doliwa, head of the prepress business unit. The 1,000th unit went to Walsworth Publishing in Brookfield, MO. In November 2000, we shipped 120

New Products

Mar 1, 2001 12:00 AM,

A SAMPLING OF THINGS YOU NEED ONLINE TYPEFACE IDENTIFICATION The Quick Brown Fox GmbH offers online typeface identification via its FontExpert software. At www.fontexpert.com, users can upload individual characters for identification. The service then shows samples of the best matching fonts out of a database of about 25,000 typefaces by more than 50 type foundries.CIRCLE 1 ON READER CARD SHEET/WEB

HOW TO COMBAT EMPLOYEE BOREDOM

Dec 1, 2000 12:00 AM, AMERICAN PRINTER STAFF

As part of the makeready discussion at the Research & Engineering Council's "Progress in the Pressroom" seminar last month, Quebecor World's targeted publications and catalog group (TPC) (Midland, MI) brought up the challenges of operating with a tight labor force. "We can obtain people; it's the difficulty of retaining them," explains Charles Miotke, president of specialties.To improve employee retention

What's your five-year plan?

Dec 1, 2000 12:00 AM, KATHERINE O'BRIEN

May be you've heard this one. A preacher is urging his flock to change their ways before it's too late. "Everyone here is going to die!" he admonishes the congregation. To his great surprise, one man breaks out in a huge grin. "What's so funny?" the preacher demands. "I'm not from here," responds the man. "I'm just visiting."Unfortunately, the scenario is much the same in the printing industry. Faced

SIX TIPS FOR BEING A BETTER LISTENER

Nov 1, 2000 12:00 AM, AMERICAN PRINTER STAFF

Effective listening is an ignored skill, according to the authors of "Leadership: A Quick and Easy Guide" (Graphic Arts Publishing). "Most people think of listening as merely a passive activity; someone else is doing the talking," they observe. "Few of us think of listening as a skill and even fewer have had any training in it."Here are six suggestions for improving your listening skills:1. Provide

SELLING MORE TO EXISTING CUSTOMERS

Nov 1, 2000 12:00 AM, ALLISON K. MCLEAN

YOUR CURRENT CLIENTS MAY BE YOUR BEST PROSPECTS - PROVIDED YOU KNOW THEIR BUSINESS, CULTIVATE THE RELATIONSHIP AND POSITION YOURSELF AS A SOLUTIONS PROVIDERWhen a printer ponders increasing sales margins, as if by a natural reflex, thoughts frequently turn to implementing strategies that will attract new clients. It's an obvious equation: adding more clients means adding more to the bottom line.The

SELLING THE WOW (NOT THE HOW)

Oct 1, 2000 12:00 AM, KATHERINE O'BRIEN

Digital printing requires educated customers, smart salespeople and creative applicationsDozens of digital presses were shown or announced at Drupa (see related stories in the July and August 2000 issues). On the dynamic side (typically used for runs from 1 to 2,000), Canon, IBM, Indigo, Scitex Digital, Xerox and Xeikon showed new or improved machines. Xerox and Heidelberg also previewed their respective

SMART BROKERING: How do you minimize risks while maximizing rewards?

Sep 1, 2000 12:00 AM, SAMANTHA HOOVER

BUSINESS CARDS, LABELS, INVITATIONS AND EVEN REFRIGERATOR MAGNETS - MANY QUICK PRINTERS HAVE DABBLED WITH SUCH SPECIALTY ITEMS, BROKERING THEM OUT TO VENDORS AND MARKING UP THE PRICE FOR A NICE PROFIT. ALTHOUGH RELATIVELY COMMON AND INFORMAL AMONG QUICK printers, brokering can carry the same risks and demands the same consideration as a big-ticket job handled by a professional print broker. It's just

Golden Opportunists

Sep 1, 2000 12:00 AM, ALLISON K. MCLEAN

NAPL's Management Plus award winners distinguish themselves through smart planning and adherence to detailsThey vary in annual revenues, product offerings, staff size and market niche. Yet these companies share one of the industry hallmarks of excellence, the National Assn. for Printing Leadership (NAPL) Management Plus Gold Awards. The program recognizes the management performance of graphic arts

GETTING MORE FROM YOUR WEBSITE: Websites can be powerful tools for printers - if they are well constructed

Sep 1, 2000 12:00 AM, ALLISON K. MCLEAN

If you don't have one, get one." That's the widely shared philosophy amongst industry pundits and Internet professionals regarding printers and websites. The secondary message: "Make sure it's good, or don't bother."Despite early predictions that it would amount to nothing more than a fad for eggheads, the World Wide Web has become an integral business tool and a force for economic growth.More than

OUT OF THE BOX RECRUITMENT

Jul 1, 2000 12:00 AM, SAMANTHA HOOVER

Advertise, educate, recruit, redefine: Finding qualified applicants means recruiting creativity.Too much work, too little help" has become the mantra of today's printer. Faced with a national unemployment rate of only 3.9 percent, positions requiring increasingly greater technical savvy and competition from the service sectors, the graphic arts industry often finds its members "stealing" employees

TRUST AND RELIABILITY

Jun 1, 2000 12:00 AM, AP Staff

Consideration for employees leads to exceptional customer serviceElizabeth Bradshaw is a firm believer in relationship building. Whether it be with customers or co-workers, the CEO of Ginny's Printing & Copying (Austin, TX) finds that earningtrust is paramount in achieving success."We have an iron-clad code of ethics here about keeping your word, internally as well as externally," she says. "We're

UPGRADING AND EXPANDING

Jun 1, 2000 12:00 AM, AP Staff

Right mix of customers, employees and equipment spells successBloomington Offset Press Inc. (BOPI) was founded in 1947. The Bloomington, IL-based printer has grown from $8.7 million in annual revenues in 1997 to $11.1 million in 1999.Upon taking charge of the second-generation family business several years ago, Tom Mercier took a long, hard look at the company. What would it take to thrive in the

MEET THE NIFTY 50

Jun 1, 2000 12:00 AM, AP STAFF

Outstanding economy, technology, employees and attitude propel growthFor the past seven years, we have teamed with the National Assn. for Printing Leadership (NAPL)(Paramus, NJ) to present the Top 50 Fastest Growing Printers awards. To be eligible, graphic arts firms had to be in business for at least three years and have sales of more than one million during 1999. Winners were selected based on percent

THINK REALLY BIG

Jun 1, 2000 12:00 AM, AP Staff

Florida printer transitions from quick to commercialDuring the past four years, owners Joe and Jenny Namour have grown Gulf Coast Printing from nothing to $2 million and they have the pictures to prove it. The first photo shows Joe proudly posing in front of a Multi 1250 and AB Dick 9810. "1996-The one-man shop," reads the caption. "Moving the equipment from our garage at home into our first store

THREE IN ONE

Jun 1, 2000 12:00 AM,

Printing is just one of many value-added services for this firmWe view ourselves less as a company that puts ink on paper and more as a company that manages data that our customers want to put in the hands of their audience," explains Jeffrey Riback, CEO of Data Communique International. The business, which is a subsidiary of Havas Advertising, Diversified Agencies was launched in 1996 and is based

GETTING BACK TO BINDERY BASICS

May 1, 2000 12:00 AM, Stanley Lipinski

Many innovative and user-friendly concepts have been engineered into today's bindery and finishing machines. But the search for efficiency and productivity goes beyond equipment capital investment and subsequent monthly payments. Productivity improvements are driven by the leadership responsible for shaping a company's culture. This article will look at the basics of bindery operations: man, machine,

WHAT PROFITABLE PRINTERS KNOW

May 1, 2000 12:00 AM, Samantha Hoover

Want to exceed industry average profits? You must plan strategically, hire wisely and spend cautiously. With an average profit margin of just three to four percent, today's printer has to exercise good business sense. Luck will only get you so far in contending with shrinking turnaround times, shorter runs, customer consolidation and new technologies.Granted, some printers do get lucky-they find a