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Printing Industry

Page history last edited by Michael J 12 years, 5 months ago

 

IAHPC

The IAPHC is an International organization dedicated to individuals in the printing and graphic arts industry.  For the purpose of their self development, their companies' success and the enhancement of the printing and graphic arts industry in society.

    We educate, promote, inform and connect our members and the global graphic community, fostering their growth and success.

 

 

Xerox To Open U.S. Toner Plant

September 17, 2007 (FinancialWire) Xerox Corp.  began filling more than 20 miles of pipe and stainless steel tanks with billions of micron-sized toner particles with the opening of its first U.S. based emulsion aggregation toner plant. The $60 million facility is a move by Xerox to become more environmentally friendly.

Developed by Xerox and protected by more than 300 patents, EA toner produces sharper images using less toner per page. The five-story 100,000 square-foot plant located near Rochester, New York will be staffed by more than 40 chemical engineers and increases Xerox's capacity for toner made by the EA process by 175 percent.

 

 

Xerox's Digital Print Shop in a Box resources include:

A feature offering from XMPie, Inc. called MakeMagic! that allows printers to develop complete one-to-one, self-promotional direct marketing campaigns at no cost using a Web portal or XMPie software solutions. The Web site contains templates, software trial downloads, demos and case studies.

 

An easy-to-install Web-to-print solution from NowDocs called NowPrint ASAP. This is a subscription service for print providers who want to offer digital print order submission, catalogs and personalization with a start-up cost of less than $200. The user interface is simple and a printer can do the initial set-up in about 15 minutes.read more

 

Southwest Offset Printing Partners With Cal Poly in Promoting the Printing Industry

August 23, 2007 -- SAN LUIS OBISPO -- Southwest Offset Printing has pledged $25,000 to Cal Poly in support of graphic arts research and education, as well as the overall growth and promotion of the printing industry.

 

The gift, to be paid over four years, helps fund a development program to support services to industry through the Graphic Communication Institute at Cal Poly. The GrCI is the university’s arm that provides services to industry through research, testing, product evaluations, consulting, seminars and workshops. Its mission includes improving the industry and promoting the use of printing as a vital source of communication and information.

 

Southwest Offset Printing is one of California's largest privately owned printing companies. Located in Gardena, Calif., It is a full-service printing facility producing a variety of daily, weekly and monthly publications and is an industry leader in critical turnaround, high-quality, four-color jobs .more

 

 

 Office Depot, Xerox Partner For Associate Training Program

Delray Beach, Fla. — Office Depot has partnered with Xerox to develop a training program, called the Xerox Certified Print Specialist program, to certify Office Depot associates as experts in the area of digital imaging and printing.

 

According to a release, associates who participate in the program will learn about topics like wide-format printing, color analysis and more. Those associates who complete the program will wear a badge identifying them as “Xerox Certified Print Specialists” so that customers will recognize them.

 

“This arrangement between Xerox and Office Depot builds on a longstanding relationship between the two companies,” said Mike Brannigan, president, United States solutions group, Xerox. “This program provides another point of value to ensure customers get a professional printing experience and a guaranteed level of quality with each and every order.” read more

 

Amazon figures out Chapbooks.com

the link

 

 

Join Frank Romano for Free Webinar Sponsored by Kodak: "Selling Digital Printing to the Non Profit Industry"

 

August 14, 2007.  Lexington, KY. WhatTheyThink.com, the leading news and analysis site for the printing and publishing industry, today announced that well-known industry pundit Frank Romano will conduct a free educational webinar entitled Selling Digital Printing to the Non Profit Industry. Scheduled for Wednesday, August 29, 2007, from 2:00 to 3:00 EDT (-4 GMT), this session will provide important guidelines that will help print service providers with digital color printing capability to target non profit organizations for business growth.

Registration for this no-charge webinar is available at this special Web page:

http://members.whattheythink.com/home/webinarregistrationform.cfm

“The non-profit/fundraising market is a major user of print--$3.2 Billion worth,” said Romano. “Fundraising is the primary way that non-profit organizations obtain the money for their operations. These operations can involve a very broad array of concerns such as religious or philanthropic groups such as research organizations, public broadcasters, and political campaigns. The total number of religious, grant making, civic, professional, and similar organizations in the U.S. is 107,000.”

 

CMTS: Governmnet, health, nonprofits..growth markets for print

 

FedEx Kinko's to Introduce Locations in McCormick Place

 

Source: Press release issued by the company, unless otherwise noted.

 

DALLAS and CHICAGO, Aug. 9, 2007 -- FedEx Kinko’s, an operating company of FedEx Corp., and the Metropolitan Pier and Exhibition Authority (MPEA) today announced plans to open five office and print centers in the McCormick Place convention center and historic Navy Pier in Chicago.  Detailed plans provide for four locations to open within the convention center facility and one in Navy Pier later this fall.

 

The presence of FedEx Kinko’s in McCormick Place will provide the convention center’s nearly three million annual visitors with convenient access to high-quality office, printing and shipping services all in one place, without leaving the facility.  In addition, customers anywhere in the world may submit orders online for production at the new FedEx Kinko’s locations, saving the hassle of traveling with hefty materials and presentations.

 

 

 

 

Books & Bound Documents Day at Graph Expo

August 7, 2007 -- Reston, VA - In today's digitally driven world, high-volume printing of books like Harry Potter is no longer the rule, it's the exception - a reality underscored by the fact that over half of all commercial book titles produced between 2005 and 2006 were printed in quantities under 5,000 units.   

"The trend toward short-run printing of books and bound documents is large and growing, and clearly points to a major opportunity for printers equipped to handle it," said Ralph Nappi, President of the Graphic Arts Show Company

 

"Books & Bound Documents Day" on Sunday, September 9, will showcase applications that demonstrate how digitally printed books and bound documents - from manuals and directories to training materials and consumer titles - can deliver lucrative new opportunities for today's printers.  Live demonstrations will include short-run and personalized book workflows and production solutions for both black-and-white and color applications.

read more

 

 

 

 

"We are your print ambassadors. We believe in the Power of Print, and are focused on your company's success."

http://www.printambassador.com/

 

 

FedEx Kinko's announces expansion plans

 

"With our strategic expansion efforts, we are opening the equivalent of one new FedEx Kinko's location every business day over the 2008 fiscal year," says Ken May, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Kinko's. "And with more centers around the world, we're making it easier than ever for customers to get the shipping, office and printing services they need in one stop."

International Growth

FedEx Kinko's also plans to embark on its most aggressive international expansion effort to date by opening 20 new centers outside the United States during fiscal 2008. These new centers will be focused in the Asia-Pacific region with 12 in China, four in Japan, two in Korea, and one in Australia. In addition, one new center will be opened in Canada. Currently, the company has 159 locations outside the United States.

"The tremendous economic growth of the Asia-Pacific region is fueling an increase in demand for our services," says Joe Luongo, senior vice president of international at FedEx Kinko's. "As a result, we are almost doubling our current presence in China and enhancing our strong presence in Japan." read more

 

 

 

NT Bureau

Chennai, Aug 5:

        Xerox India, a digital print production major has installed 1000th DocuCol-our Digital Press in India. About 50 per cent of its installations in South India have been brought under the innovative technology.

        The announcement was made during the 'Innovate 2007', a series of educat-ional seminars organised by Xerox that are aimed at print and graphic arts as well as corporate market-ing and advertising agencies.

        The company also used the platform of 'Innovate 2007' to launch four Production Systems Group (PSG) equipments. These include three equipments from DocuColor portfolio, Xerox DC 242, DC 252 and DC 260 and the Xerox Nuvera 288 known as the 'Digital Perfecting System'. The newly launched prod-ucts in the DocuColor series stable make production colour printing more affordable and prof-essional with outstanding image quality. These DocuColor products are targeted towards the new entrants of digital print market. The Xerox Nuvera 288 is the fastest cutsheet B&W press aimed at redefining the perfection in production printing. The Xerox Nuvera 288 will be showcased in India for the first time at IPEX South Asia, an international graphic arts and publishing exhibition from October 24 to 27 in Noida.

        Speaking to mediap-ersons, Vipin Tuteja, exec-utive director, production system group, Xerox India Ltd said that Xerox is committed to the growing market and introduce technologically advanced products and workflow solutions. He said that it's their endeavour to bring technological innovations in the industry and add value to their customers.

        South India is an extremely important market for Xerox Production Group (PSG) and currently contributes to over 40 per cent of the PSG revenues. 'Over the next six months we would roll out a focused market engagement activity to increase awareness of its digital production equipments via multiple road shows in South India,' said Vipin Tuteja

        On expansion plans. he said that they would work with a team of digital printing experts in Chennai and Bangalore to educate the graphic art community.

 

 

 

from the WSJ

Newspapers' Ad Sales Show Accelerating Drop

By EMILY STEEL

July 18, 2007; Page A4

Even as News Corp. negotiated to buy Dow Jones & Co. over the past few weeks, a grim reality was increasingly evident to executives on both sides of the discussion: The downturn in the newspaper industry is getting worse.

Last fall, newspaper executives and analysts were caught by surprise by the severity of a slump that took hold last summer. Since the beginning of this year, the rate of decline in advertising revenue has accelerated. Total print and online ad revenue was down 4.8% to $10.6 billion in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to the Newspaper Association of America, compared with its full-year decline in 2006 of 0.3%. read more

 

CMTS: The problems of present business models should not be confused with the viability and usefulness of newspapers.

 

 

 

Milwaukee Area Technical College picks Xerox

Source: Press release issued by the company, unless otherwise noted.

 

MILWAUKEE and ROCHESTER, N.Y., July 26, 2007 - Xerox Corporation and Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) today announced a complete overhaul of the college's document management systems, which could save the publicly-supported school approximately $3.5 million over the next five years.

"MATC is committed to being a world-class educational institution so we chose to partner with Xerox, a proven leader in the document management industry," said Kristin Phelps, director of procurement, MATC. "Through the use of Xerox equipment and the partnerships they have developed, MATC will be able to effectively consolidate assets, provide technology to meet the needs of our students, employees and the community, and implement a strong cost-savings initiative." read more

 

 

New Postal Rates are Good News for Marketers - DST Output sees statement-based marketing trend accelerating

EL DORADO HILLS, Calif., July 24 -- New postal rates, inkjet printing technology and innovative software tools are driving a hot marketing trend called TransPromo, a technique that combines obligatory transactional customer communication with revenue-generating promotional offers, according to DST Output, one of the largest providers of statement and billing output solutions.

 

While consumers are lamenting another postage increase, the "silver lining" in the new rates for companies with high volume mailings is that the rate to send an additional ounce of First-Class Mail(R) actually decreased from 24 cents to 17 cents on an individual piece. And with letter automation discounts the rate declined even further to 12.5 cents. Factor in the one-cent rate increase to 21 cents for standard class mail, and companies now find it less expensive to send promotional offers and messages with their transactional statements than separately. And they can now use the additional ounces in the First-Class(TM) envelope as another marketing channel. read more

 

 

 

Education Sales Fuel Third Quarter Growth at Courier

The book manufacturing segment focuses on three publishing markets: education, religion, and specialty trade. Sales to the education market rose 23% in the quarter, driven by increasing demand for four-color textbooks. For the first nine months of the fiscal year, education sales were up 18%. Sales to the religious market were down 27% in the third quarter following a 22% increase in the second quarter, reflecting timing issues as well as reduced orders from a key customer. For the year to date, religious sales were down 5%. Sales to the specialty trade market were up 26% in the third quarter, and up 22% for the year to date, reflecting a combination of one-time orders, new customer relationships and increases in share with existing customers. read more

CMTS: Some evidence for the GEH market... government, education, health

 

SecondLife and the Printing Industry

While SecondLife is sometimes considered a "game," this description is really inaccurate.  It does not have points, scores, winners or losers, levels, an end-strategy, or any of the other game like characteristics.  It is a semi-structured virtual environment where characters undertake activities supposedly for the purpose of enjoyment. Some people take this opportunity to shed their worldly life for a better one where they essentially "live" their real life by participating in a second life. read more

 

Beyond Print-on-Demand

Print-on-demand, even though an online storefront, has been around for a snoringly long time. The ability to order letterhead, business cards, business forms, and other documents on-demand, as you need them, is old news. Just look at Vistaprint. Why is online document management now becoming so fashionable?

 

The answer is marketing and branding. Web-to-print used to be an isolated function, something divorced from the rest of the company's document strategy. It was restricted to items ordered by individual employees or the administrative office and had little or nothing to do with marketing, business development, or other areas of the company. Today, Web-to-print is becoming part of a larger document strategy to integrate and manage all of companies' documents, including marketing documents. read more

 

cmts The answer for people interested in selling things might be marketing. But the much larger, richer market are formal organizations for whom the cost of managing communications is a major  competitive disadvantage. GEH - Government, Education and Health...plus the external stresses to all three sectors makes it ripe to accept practical innovations.

 

 

 

HP Unveils Print 2.0

Source: Press release issued by the company, unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday May 30 NEW YORK-- HP (Stock Price Web Site Executives Related Articles Google)today unveiled "Print 2.0," the company's strategy for making printing relevant and empowering as both personal and professional content increasingly moves from the desktop to the web.

At HP's annual Imaging and Printing Conference this morning, Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of the company's Imaging and Printing Group, described how HP will seek to capture a significant share of the 53 trillion digital pages estimated to be printed in 2010 alone -- an opportunity valued at more than $296 billion.

...HP also plans to introduce the Tabblo Print Toolkit, an embeddable website widget and corresponding web service that enables web designers to incorporate print functionality into new and existing websites. The toolkit is based on custom template technology developed by Tabblo, a company HP acquired in March, that allows users to simply and efficiently arrange content for printing. The Tabblo Print Toolkit is expected to become available by June 29 at developer.tabblo.com.

read more

 

 

 

VistaPrint Changes the Game. Again

Mailing Services is VistaPrint’s one-stop design and mailing solution. VistaPrint customers are already ordering postcards for use in marketing campaigns. They can pick from a selection of pre-designed cards on the VistaPrint website or upload their own designs which are then printed and shipped back to the customer. But that just supplies the postcard. The customer must still address all the cards and get them into the mail, and lacking the volume needed to qualify for postal discounts, it is difficult for a small business to save money on postage. Using Mailing Services, customers can upload a list or purchase direct mail lists and have VistaPrint mail their postcards--at much lower costs than they could on their own. The lists VistaPrint sells come from AccuData, cover a wide range of categories and are checked against the National Change of Address registry to help ensure deliverability.

read more

 

 

Oce Announces Its Intention to Voluntarily Terminate Its Nasdaq Listing

TRUMBULL, Conn., June 19 -- Oce (Stock Price Web Site Related Articles Google)N.V., a leading international document management company organized under the laws of the Netherlands today announced its intention to voluntarily terminate the listing of its American Depositary Receipts or quotation on the NASDAQ Stock Market . Oce also intends to terminate the registration of its ordinary shares under Section 12g of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended [the "Exchange Act"], and as a consequence of which its reporting obligations under Sections 13a and 15d of the Exchange Act will cease.

CEO Mr. Rokus van Iperen stated: "In 1984 Oce had almost no footprint in the United States. To facilitate our expansion to the United States and increase our brand recognition we decided to list Oce on NASDAQ. Today the circumstances have changed completely as the U.S. realizes 43% of our revenues and we successfully acquired Bruning 1991, Archer Management Services 1999 and Imagistics International Inc. 2005 without expanding our equity financing." read more

 

 

 

CFO Mr. Jan van den Belt added: "The trend toward consolidation of the world's major stock exchanges, as evidenced by the merger of the New York Stock Exchange and Euronext, as well as Oce's adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards, have greatly facilitated the ease of cross border investing. U.S. investors can easily trade in Oce ordinary shares through Euronext, Oce's primary market, or several other markets in Europe. The ADRs are thinly traded and represented less than 1% of all trading in Oce over the past twelve months. We investigated our listings and concluded that maintaining multiple listings and multi-jurisdictional filings results in significant burdens and costs which outweigh any benefits. Our decision will not impact our longstanding commitment to maintaining excellence in and complying with international standards of corporate governance and financial reporting. We greatly value and remain committed to our U.S. shareholders."

 

 

 

Xerox touts app integration for MFP market

Xerox Corp has put flesh on the bones of its vision of app integration with its multi-function printers, or MFPs, and the ability to drive apps from an MFP's user interface. Mark Boyt, European product manager, said Xerox has had APIs for third-party ISVs to write their apps to for integration with its boxes for 3-4 years, but it stepped up a gear in September 2006 when it launched its Extensible Interface Platform (EIP) technology on the WorkCenter 200 Series of high-end MFPs. Read more.

 

Xerox rolls out new mono multifunction printer for small business

Xerox Corporation has introduced its most affordable black-and-white multifunction printer, starting at $USD 399 and designed for small businesses.

The Xerox Phaser 3200MFP packs print, copy, fax and color-scanning features into a compact device that Xerox is touting as inexpensive and easy to use.

"People want to finish tasks in fewer steps without having to leave their desk," said Russell Peacock, president, Xerox Office Group. "For about the same price as a stand-alone printer, the Phaser 3200MFP puts all the tools workers need to be productive within arm's reach."

The Phaser 3200MFP packages high image quality, speed and scanning versatility with features that make it more secure and greener. It has true 1200 dpi resolution for crisp text and fine detail. Including 64MB of memory, a 300MHz processor and print and copy speeds up to 24 pages per minute, the multifunction printer is one of the fastest in its class. With 4MB of fax memory and a monthly duty cycle of 10,000 prints, the Phaser 3200MFP can handle higher volumes than the comparably priced and 25 percent slower Hewlett-Packard LaserJet 3055. Read more

 

PrintingForLess.com's Cipriani Named Bindery, Finishing & Distribution Operations Manager of Year

Cipriani was nominated for the award by Kerie Hagler, Printing ForLess.com Director of Training and Process Development. In her nomination, Hagler noted that Cipriani has been instrumental in improving bindery and finishing performance and profitability; demonstrated leadership by raising her department’s morale and providing staff with development opportunities; and exhibited ongoing dedication to continuous improvement of processes, quality, training and teamwork. “Since joining the production team in 2004, Krystal has consistently promoted and implemented new technologies and workflow enhancements in the PrintingForLess.com’s binding, finishing and shipping operations,” said Hagler.

 

A native of Hereford, Texas, Krystal Cipriani has a Bachelor’s degree in design communications from Texas Tech University. An avid mountain biker and outdoor sports enthusiast, Cipriani relocated to Colorado and worked as a graphic designer and launched her own entrepreneurial efforts before joining PrintingForLess.com in March 2001 as a digital prepress technician. In that role, she was a key player in developing and testing new concepts at the growing company, including a new technical service representative position and a team process. She progressed into leadership roles as the department’s first team leader and later as floor supervisor, assuming her current position of Bindery Manager in 2004.

 

MJ How many printing companies have a Director fo Training and Process Development?

 

 

Talking paper' seeks cheap printing to be viable

Swedish researchers are studying ways to print loudspeakers and keyboards on paper

By John Blau, IDG News Service June 08, 2007

 

Someday consumers may find themselves listening to paper to learn more about products, receive instructions, or heed warnings. That's the hope of Swedish researchers studying ways to print loudspeakers and keyboards on paper.

Free IT resource

"The technology could be used in many ways," said Kristina Brink, a professor at Mid Sweden University and coordinator of the Paper Four research project. "In addition to advertising, it could help people with seeing problems use products or provide instructions on taking medication or even warn children of the risks of smoking cigarettes."

But the researchers, who have shown how to use printable ink instead of wires or other embedded devices like chips in greeting cards to communicate signals on paper, concede that without a way to print the interactive paper cheaply, their invention may never leave the lab.

"Our prototype is handmade, which makes it expensive" but the idea is to be able to print on a large scale, Brink said. "That would make it cheap."

A new research phase starting later this year will focus on using interactive paper in packaging, said Brink. This phase follows the construction and successful testing last month of a prototype display that provides information about tourist attractions and examples of CD recordings. read more

 

 

 

 

Weekly Charts and 3 minutes audio from Dr. Joe Webb.

Well worth it. here's the link.

 

Are Printer Companies Chasing the Wrong Target?

Posted on Jun 4th, 2007 with stocks: CAJ, HPQ, KYO, LXK, RICOY.OB, XRX

Ed Crowley submits: Recently, Lexmark International (LXK) released information indicating that the firm is basing a significant portion of Executive bonuses on market share. While growing market share intuitively appears to be the right goal in this business where each unit placed drives highly profitable supplies revenues, this strategy may actually drive lower profits!read more

 

 

IBM's Printing Systems Division Becomes InfoPrint Solutions Company

June 4, 2007--InfoPrint Solutions Company (IPS), the joint venture printing company announced earlier this year by IBM has begun operations with 1,200 employees around the world.

The company was formerly IBM's Printing Systems Division. With the closing of the agreement, Ricoh now owns 51 percent of the joint venture and will progressively acquire the remaining 49 percent over the next three years as the joint venture becomes a fully owned subsidiary.

InfoPrint Solutions Company has operations in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK and the U.S., and has plans to expand to other countries in the third quarter of this year, subject to the completion of local information and consultation processes. Read More

 

Ricoh takes over the digital print from IBM. Another link between the office to the production shop.

 

Israeli printing technology could deliver 1,000 pages a minute

Imagine a bookstore that prints your purchases while you settle the bill or a personalized newspaper that contains only the news you want to read. Such expedient printing may soon become a reality using a new Israeli technology that will enable printing 1,000 pages a minute at affordable prices.

Two researchers from The College of Judea and Samaria - Moshe and Nissim Einat - have developed a revolutionary printing technique called Jetrix, which enables simultaneous high- speed printing of an entire page of text. The technology combines printing and Liquid Crystal Technology (LCD) methods to make a page-sized printing array that emits ink instead of light.

"We are reducing the limitations of printing heads," explains Moshe Einat, senior lecturer at the college's Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

...Development has cost $140,000 funded by Israel's Industry and Trade Ministry and 'angel money'. Costs are kept low because much of the technology is based on existing LCD know-how, a fact that will also keep down the costs for full-size working printers. Current top of the range printers used to print bank statements and utility bills are able to print over a thousand pages a minute but the room-sized printers can cost over $100,000 a piece.

Einat predicts that a simple printer using his technology should be far more affordable, and even within the budget of home users. Such flexible and expedient printing has a wide range of applications. [http://www.israel21c.org/bin/en.jsp?enZone=Technology&enDisplay=view&enPage=BlankPage&enDispWhat=object&enDispWho=Articles^l1673|read more]

 

Could this be the fourth generation technology of digital printing?

 

 

 

 

Web-to-JDF-to-Print By Lonn Lorenz

From the consumer's perspective, why should ordering print be different --or any more complicated-- than ordering a book from Amazon? For the customer, ordering print online only makes sense and saves time, for all the same reasons that ordering airline tickets online has become routine. Remember travel agents?

The fact is that print "on demand" has acquired a much broader meaning than was perhaps originally intended. We are moving toward the day when the vast majority of print products will be produced "on demand" in small quantities --as needed, and not before.

read more

The Little “Secret” of Process Color at Press: Printing to Gray Balance

Posted by Patrick Henry on May 22nd, 2007

Here’s a printing lesson we found so helpful that we’re posting it in full even though it’s a bit longer than usual for a blog entry. Entitled “Printing to Gray Balance,” it was written and submitted to PrintCEOBlog.com by Dan Remaley, Senior Technical Consultant in Process Controls for PIA/GATF. He invites anyone who would like further information to contact him at 412-259-1814 (o), 412-889-7643 (c), or dremaley@piagatf.org

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about “printing to gray balance.” The new GRACoL G7™ describes the methods to achieve gray balance at press.

What’s so important about gray balance at press?

The concept of gray balance is essential for excellent color reproduction in scanning, proofing, and in the pressroom. In scanning, images that are not in gray balance are considered “casted.” Images that are casted show a magenta, cyan, or yellow (or combinations of M-C-Y) color appearance in the highlights, midtones, and/or shadows. Casted images require color correction to remove the unwanted colors. Images that are in gray balance only need to be adjusted for specific areas of color enhancement, e.g., greener grass or bluer skies.

Proofing systems must be able to reproduce neutral gray without any cast as well. If the file is correct and the proofer introduces a cast, then all the color is shifted away from gray balance. A proof that is casted will require the press to print away from neutral gray to match the proof.read more

California School District Unites 178 Schools In Largest Ever 'Let's Say Thanks' Card Drive Source: Press release issued by the company, unless otherwise noted.

ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 21, 2007 – It’s not every day that a school district made up of 178 schools comes together for a single cause, but a Memorial Day tribute to the troops is uniting 133,000 students in the San Diego Unified School District.

Students plan to show their appreciation for deployed U.S. troops with a goal of collecting more than 100,000 messages of support through Xerox (Stock Price Web Site Executives Related Articles Google) Corporation’s Let’s Say ThanksSM program – a free and easy way for the public to send postcards to U.S. servicemen and women stationed overseas.read more

The hypothesis is that Xerox's natural market is government, education and health. They have the experience of working with these formal organizations.

 

 

 

 

 

Indian official lauds Xerox for diversity

(May 19, 2007) — The leadership of Anne Mulcahy and Ursula Burns at Xerox Corp. is a model that should be replicated in companies around the world, according to a visiting business leader from India.

Rashmi Tiwari, associate director of the American Chamber of Commerce in India, said in an interview that Xerox's model of encouraging a diverse work force is something that she intends to push for in her country.

"The diversity program and the superb leadership that makes workers feel comfortable should be reflected in global companies," she said.

While Mulcahy, the chief executive, and Burns, the president, have different leadership styles, both have the qualities that female business leaders should emulate, Tiwari said.

Tiwari is visiting Xerox as part of the International Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership, a program sponsored by the U.S. State Department and Fortune magazine.

The month-long program gives female leaders from all over the world a chance to spend time with executive women in the United States.

The participants this year are from Bangladesh, Bolivia, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Ukraine.Democrat Chronicle. Rochester, NY

 

 

 

 

 

HP Imaging and Printing Group

Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) revenue grew 6% year-over-year to $7.2 billion. On a year-over-year basis, supplies revenue grew 10%, commercial hardware revenue grew 3% and consumer hardware revenue declined 2%. Printer unit shipments increased 11% year-over-year, with consumer printer hardware units up 7% and commercial printer hardware units up 21%. Momentum in key growth initiatives continued, with printer-based multi-function printers up 40%, and color laser printers up 19%. HP Indigo Press printed page volume grew 43% over the prior year period. Operating profit was $1.2 billion, or 16.3% of revenue, up from a profit of $1.0 billion, or 15.5% of revenue, in the prior year period.read more

Avanquest teams up with Xerox

Enterprise business software provider Avanquest has partnered with Xerox to provide its first joint solution to Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (MBC).

The implementation — of RightFax MFD — which processes all faxes, printing and copying at Barnsley MBC electronically, was precipitated by the organisation’s move to new office premises in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

Leading by example, the council has responded to government environmental initiatives by demonstrating a ‘greener’ way of processing documents, eliminating the need for fax machines within the organisation.

Chris Thompson, Managing Director of Avanquest UK said: “We have been selling Captaris’s RightFax software successfully for 15 years as part of our portfolio of business solutions. We understand our clients’ need to remain competitive and deliver greater efficiency while complying with an ever-increasing range of standards, legal requirements and environmental initiatives. Partnering with Xerox will enhance both our deliverables to clients and our credibility and reinforce our position in the fax delivery and workflow marketplace.”

 

And here's Xerox growing in their niche with government.

 

 

Anne Mulcahy, Chairman and chief executive, Xerox, for Biz life

By Francesco Guerrera and Chrystia Freeland

Published: May 11 2007 03:00 | Last updated: May 11 2007 03:00

In her 31 years at Xerox, Anne Mulcahy has seen her fair share of ups and downs. But no period was more momentous for the former Xerox sales representative than the one that ended with her appointment to the top job at the office products group in 2001. With the company facing financial crisis, falling sales and a regulatory investigation, many wondered whether Xerox would survive. Ms Mulcahy confounded sceptics by cutting costs, shutting underperforming businesses and overhauling the company's strategy. Below she discusses Xerox's turnround, the role of women in business and recent events at Citigroup, where she is a board director.read more Transcript of the video interview

HP Expands Graphic Arts Portfolio to Help Customers Drive Growth

Source: Press release issued by the company, unless otherwise noted.

May 10, 2007 -- ROME-- HP (Stock Price Web Site Executives Related Articles Google)today expanded its graphic arts portfolio to offer customers an even wider range of digital solutions that feature industry-leading productivity, print quality and color consistency.

The new solutions, which focus on accelerating HP's growth in key areas of the printing market, enable customers to offer high-quality services, differentiate from competitors and, in turn, increase revenue opportunities. Highlights of the news announced at the 2007 HP Graphic Arts Summit include:read more

 

And HP weighs in. More industry leading solutions, that make stuff, sell diffrent stuff to be able to make more money. Sounds good.

 

 

 

Thoughts about the Realities of NEXPO and the Survival of the Daily Newspaper Part 1 -- Commentary by Steve Aranoff & Robert FitzPatrick, The EAGLE

...Ideas to make more Money:

We were interested to hear at least one major vendor, Kodak, focus on more than plates and platesetters, but made a major presentation on new moneymaking ideas for the newspaper using the web as a draw. We'll discuss their new software and its premise below. As we wrote recently in, "Are Newspapers a Dying Breed," the newspapers need new focus and opportunity in order to prosper. Some have recently learned that they can't charge for web versions. Now, finally, interesting technology that supports new market opportunities is available. read more

 

This is a good one. About the realities of the newspaper business. He suggests and I concur that alot of the printing shows should start to focus on this.

 

 

 

Graphic Systems Group Takes Top Honors As Best 'Shop' On The East Coast For 2nd Year In A Row

Source: Press release issued by the company, unless otherwise noted.

NEW YORK – May 8, 2007 – Graphic Systems Group, America’s leading production agency announced that it has been recognized by Cygnus Publishing’s Wide Format Imaging Magazine as the top “shop” on the East Coast in the magazine’s annual ‘Best of the Best’ rankings for the second year in a row. After a comprehensive nationwide review of ad, design and production agencies offering large format print production services, GSG was ranked as the highest ranked agency east of the Mississippi River and 3rd in the nation. As the largest production agency in New York, GSG offers a wide range of design and production services including design, digital photography, retouching, and design to page-layout, digital printing and database management services. For more information, go to Website

“In the last few years we have been asked by our clients repeatedly to take on more responsibility for expanding the impact of promotional store-front displays, not only in 2-D graphics, but in the 3-D or set design arenas,” said Ken Madsen, owner and partner at GSG. “Recently, a major national toy merchandiser, historically a client for in-store graphics and displays, asked us to create sets (real set designs and scenes) and bring the movie, book, or TV experience to life in store fronts.

This year we're working on several major projects that will draw national acclaim in this area. GSG's success in this niche market has launched the agency to even more opportunities and strategic partnerships worldwide. It's allowed us to find creative ways of transforming typical 2-D wide-format imagery into 3-D projects that blend in robotics, lighting, and sound. The challenge is in making each POP experience unique, exciting, and fascinating enough to capture the imaginations of both young and old alike. It takes the Christmas window display to a whole new level of sophistication and impact.”

“GSG was recognized in our ‘Best of the Best’ feature because it refuses to be satisfied with the status quo,” said Denise Gustavson, Editor, Wide Format Imaging Magazine. “Whether they are looking at hiring new employees, purchasing a new printer, or investigating a new business opportunity, all of the companies in our ranking continually examine themselves, making sure they are exactly what their customers need them to be.”

It sounds like GSG did not try to announce that they were a "solutions provider". To me it sounds as if they focused on what their customers needed, and worked pretty hard, over a long period of time, to give it to them. It seems as if they organically changed their offerings based on what they knew best - their customers and their manufacturing ability.

 

 

 

 

Kodak Adds Digital Flexo Printing Plate to Packaging Solutions Portfolio through Agreement with MacDermid

ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 7 -- Kodak is expanding its package printing solutions portfolio to include digital flexographic plates, giving customers access to a full line of integrated prepress solutions from a single provider that includes workflow, proofing, digital plate imaging and printing plates.

In an agreement announced today at the FFTA Info FLEX Show in Montreal, Canada, Kodak will offer MacDermid (Stock Price Web Site Related Articles Google) Printing Solutions’ Digital MUST, Digital RAVE and Digital EPIC printing plates to customers worldwide.

 

It looks as if Kodak is building, buying and partnering to put together a complete line of functionalities for the commerical printer. From here it sure looks like the right strategy. The still unanswered question is do they have a business model that turns this created value into reliable profitable cash.

 

FreePrinters.com announced the launch of new free printer programs

that eliminate the upfront cost of acquiring high end color printers and copiers! The new programs offer the latest color printer technology available in the market. The latest programs focus on the new Xerox Phaser 8560 high performance color printers and multi-function printers that can print, copy, scan, and fax!

The basic premise of the free printer program is, that any US based organization with good credit, can qualify to receive a free color printer or copiers with free on-site service. The only obligation to the customer is to purchase a quarterly shipment of supplies that are invoiced monthly at a cost of $99-$199. It is also stated that these supplies are discounted up to 30% off the Xerox OEM price.

The President of FreePrinters.com, Dennis Walthers said; "The new free printer programs are a culmination of past years experience. The new programs have been tweaked based on customer feedback and are the strongest offering ever."

The new free printer programs focus on three new printer models from Xerox. The Xerox Phaser 8560DN, Xerox Phaser 8560DT and the Xerox Phaser 8560MFP/D.

The programs range from $99 to $199 monthly, for supplies, depending on which unit you select. The website at FreePrinters.com states; "The only thing you ever pay for is the supplies"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kodak Reports Loss on 1st-Quarter Sales of $2.119 Billion

Source: Press release issued by the company, unless otherwise noted.

ROCHESTER, N.Y.,-- May 4, 2007--Eastman Kodak Company (Stock Price Web Site Executives Related Articles Google) today reported a $172 million year-over-year improvement in results from continuing operations on lower year-over-year revenue, reflecting significant cost reduction efforts and lower restructuring charges. The company achieved a $48 million improvement in digital earnings for the quarter, driven by reduced selling, general and administrative expenses and improved profit margins in its Consumer Digital business.

...At this time, the company has not yet completed the full balance sheet and cash flow analysis adjusted for the impact of discontinued operations. These items will be detailed in the company's first quarter Form 10Q filing on or before May 10, 2007. However, current estimates suggest that the company achieved a year-over-year improvement in net cash generation in the range of $175 million to $200 million. This corresponds to an estimated improvement in net cash used in continuing operations from operating activities in the range of $150 million to $175 million.

...The company also recently extended its digital color portfolio with the introduction of the KODAK NEXPRESS S3000 Digital Production Color Press and the KODAK NEXPRESS M700 Digital Color Press, which received "Best of Show" honors in its category at the 2007 On Demand Conference & Exposition.

..."We are just beginning to scratch the surface of what we think we can achieve in the printing industry, on both the consumer and commercial side," said Perez. "Now is the time to accelerate our activity and more aggressively pursue this opportunity in the interest of creating value for our shareholders."

 

So one narrative is that Kodak has figured it out, and is turning the ship around. The view from here is that they are putting all the marbles on the the print infrastructure business, growing from their niche in commercial printing. In my humble opinion, and based on reading ONE their new publication to printers, they've got the right story. $1 billion in cash is a plausible cushion, if they can execute in time. Should be very interesting to watch.

 

 

Kodak Showcases Continuous Inkjet Printing Technology

ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 3 -- Printers and mailers interested in higher quality, faster turnaround and greater flexibility with personalized printed materials will want to visit Kodak’s booth # 409 at the MAILCOM 2007 Global Convention taking place May 8-11 in Atlantic City, N.J.

“Kodak’s solutions for direct marketers emphasize speed, quality and lower total cost of operation,” said Ronen Cohen ( BIO ), Vice President Marketing, InkJet Printing Solutions, Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group. “Whether the job requires standalone personalization or full color variable data printing, Kodak offers printers the technology to deliver strong results for their customers and profitably grow their businesses.”

At MAILCOM 2007, the KODAK VERSAMARK DS7122 Printing System will be on display. The DS7122 offers an economical fast drying solvent ink solution for high print permanence on high gloss and plastic substrates. The easy to use unit provides a printing width of 2.13 inches with crisp character definition at very high speeds.

Read more

Moving to Another Level in Flatbed UV Printing

Commentary by Andrew Tribute

May 1, 2007 -- When it comes to high-speed inkjet printing few companies have got as much experience as Dainippon Screen. In the past year there has been great attention on Screen’s Truepress Jet520 inkjet press that is sold under an OEM agreement by IBM as the Infoprint 5000. This machine currently sets the target for many other companies with a speed in excess of 400 Letter size pages/minute in full color.

Screen last year purchased the UK company, Inca Digital, and this company has probably the greatest experience of any company of running high-speed drop on demand inkjet printing operations within the POP (Point of Purchase) markets. Inca created the market for large format flatbed inkjet printing in January 2001 when it launched its first product, the Eagle 44. Since that time it has upgraded its product range and today it offers the Columbia Turbo 220, as well as the Spyder 150 and 320 UV inkjet flatbed printers. The Columbia printers are accepted as the highest performance UV flatbed printers in the market. Fujifilm Sericol sells the Columbia and Spyder models worldwide.read more

 

Meanwhile, keep an eye on inkjet. My guess as of today is that inkjet will be the most likely to replace high speed offset... and

 

 

here's some copy from a Kodak website..Kodak has long had expertise in the application of continuous inkjet for high volume, variable data, digital color document production. Inkjet delivers high quality, high throughput, throw distances, and a variety of inks and affordable color, allowing producers today to realize the advantages of customized shorter runs and enhanced image value.Read More

AlphaGraphics and Print Three Franchising Corporation announce cross-border marketing alliance

Salt Lake City, Utah and Toronto, Ontario – May 1, 2007 – AlphaGraphics ( Web Site Related Articles Google), Inc., a leading print and visual communications franchisor, and Canadian-based Print Three Franchising Corporation, have entered into a strategic cross-border marketing alliance, the two companies announced today.

This strategic alliance between the leading print franchisors in Canada and the United States will target corporate accounts that do business across the North American border. It brings user-friendly, Web-enabled capabilities to clients, facilitating the printing and distribution of their documents across both North American countries while ensuring consistent high quality and service. Read More

 

International deliver and print functionality keeps growing. But the organizational form is still ill defined. Is it going to be Xerox Premier Partners or the Kodak Network or a conglomeration of "quick printers?" or Staples ...

 

 

 

 

Industry and the environment can be on the same side, he said. XEROX Europe, for instance, takes back its photocopiers in 16 countries and strips down their parts. The company recovers 95 per cent of the material from those used machines for use in new machines. It saves XEROX $76 million a year.read more

 

So I'm thinking that if Xerox USA rolled out a similar program here, they could do alot to enhance the brand and increase shareholder value. But as far as I can tell today, they don't.

 

 

Xerox India Rolls Out Momentum 2007

IT News Online Staff 2007-04-29

Xerox India Ltd. has rolled out "Momentum 2007", a series of reseller engagement activities. These activities include appointing new partners, certifying all authorized partners and also conducting partner meets across 20 B & C class cities that include Amritsar, Aurangabad, Guwahati, Vijaywada, Dehradun and Varanasi over the next two months.

"Momentum 2007" has been designed to serve as an extended platform to engage new IT Resellers and also to communicate Xerox's value proposition and the benefits of partnering with Xerox, which includes aggressive advertisement and promotion support, market development funding and customized collaterals and marketing events. read more

VistaPrint Reports Third Quarter Sales Increase of 67%

Press release HAMILTON, Bermuda, Apr 26, 2007 -- VistaPrint (Stock Price Web Site Executives Related Articles Google) announced its financial results for the three month period ended March 31, 2007, the third quarter of its 2007 fiscal year.

Revenue for the third quarter of fiscal year 2007 was $69.3 million, an increase of 67 percent when compared to revenue of $41.6 million in the same quarter of fiscal year 2006.

  • Operating income in the third quarter of was $7.4 million, or 10.7 percent of revenue, and reflected a 45 percent increase over $5.1 million in the prior fiscal year period.
  • GAAP net income for the third quarter was $7.4 million, or 10.6 percent of revenue, representing a 40 percent increase compared to $5.3 million during the same quarter last year.
  • Non-GAAP net income for the third quarter, which excludes share-based compensation expense, was $9.4 million, or 13.5 percent of revenue, representing a 31 percent increase over $7.2 million in the prior fiscal year period, which excluded share-based compensation expense and the reversal of an income tax accrual.
  • Non-GAAP fully diluted earnings per share for the third quarter, which excludes share-based compensation expense, was $0.20, versus $0.16 in the same quarter a year ago, which excluded share-based compensation expense and the reversal of an income tax accrual.read more

 

So maybe Vista Print is for real. Top line revenue gains don't give much information. My picture of vista print is that they are marketing machine with a low customer acquisition cost. But, if the numbers are real it looks like that even with pretty large shareholder comp, about $2 million in the third quarter, they are acheiving real organic growth. I don't know what GAAP means, but let's assume for now that it is a standard accounting standard. It's an interesting story and deserves some watching.

 

 

 

VistaPrint to go after larger businesses with enterprise print solutions

April 24 - VistaPrint (Stock Price Web Site Executives Related Articles Google) Limited, the leading online supplier of high-quality graphic design services and customized printed products to small businesses and consumers, today announced the launch of VistaPrint Business Solutions -- a 24x7 Web-based service that helps large, geographically disbursed organizations provide customized and consistently branded marketing materials across the enterprise. For more information on VistaPrint Business Solutions, go to [http://www.vistaprint.com/partnerprograms]read more

 

Is it real or is it bullshit? This could be vistaprint following the path of outfits like Salesforce(dot)com. Start with end users then organically grow into formal organizations or it could be a marketing idea to keep the stock price going. I dont have the inclination to do the hard work of finding out which. But time will tell.

 

 

The Printing Industry: A Multifunctional and Colored World

By Patrick Hoffman April 23, 2007

Printing analysts say that more and more printing vendors are getting the memo that businesses want multifunctional color printers instead of just those that are single function and monochrome.

With the amount of information increasing everyday, the printing industry has become important for businesses that have an array of printing needs.

"Information is importantly internally and externally for most businesses as the amount of information increases everyday," Susan Lyon, Research Director of the Framingham, Mass.-based IDC Hardcopy Peripherals and Document solutions, told eWEEK.

When talking about printers in the business world, there are many different categories that a printer can fall into such as inkjet, laser, color laser, single function printer and multifunctional peripherals (MFP's), which is a single device that serves several functions including printing, scanning, faxing and copying. Two important trends in the printing industry today concern color printers and MFP's, as both combine to replace single function printers.

According to IDC's "Worldwide Hardcopy Peripheral Tracker Quarterly", single function printers between the year's 2005-2010 will decline about 3.7 percent per year due to being replaced by MFP's.

Two printer companies that are taking advantage of the MFP trend are Hewlett-Packard and Xerox Corporation, both of which launched MFP rollouts within the past year.

IDC's "Worldwide Hardcopy Peripheral Tracker Quarterly" included Xerox in its top five MFP providers, along with Canon Inc., Ricoh Co., Ltd and Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. Read more

Risk Worries Jam Xerox

Andrew Farrell, 04.23.07, 4:34 PM ET

Xerox was riding high on Friday after posting strong quarterly earnings but the company ceded those gains Monday on concerns it is entering a period of greater risk.

Shares of Xerox (nyse: XRX - news - people ) were down 55 cents, or 3.0%, to $18.05, after Citigroup (nyse: C - news - people ) analyst Matthew Troy downgraded the stock to "sell" from "hold." Troy explained in a client note that investors should exit the stock now after a period of significant gains and before one when the company could face greater challenges.

One source of the heightened risk is Xerox's acquisition of Global Imaging Systems (nasdaq: GISX - news - people ). Earlier this month, Xerox said it would pay $1.5 billion to acquire the copy and print distributor in an effort to boost its presence among small and medium-sized businesses. (See: " Xerox Bolsters Small Business Presence".)

Troy said in a client note he believes the acquisition is "strategically right minded" in the longer-term but could raise problems for the company in the near term. He said, given the scope of the deal, the integration of Global Imaging is likely to entail some "teething pains."read more

New KODAK MARKETMOVER Targeted Sales Module Helps Digital Printers Grow Business in Specific Vertical Markets

BOSTON, April 19, 2007 -- KODAK MARKETMOVER Business Development Services now offer owners of KODAK NEXPRESS digital presses a fully integrated sales and marketing program for increasing revenues from customers in defined vertical markets.

The KODAK MARKETMOVER Targeted Sales Module provides printing companies and their sales forces with all of the essential tools to effectively market and sell into existing customers and specific industries. Features for each vertical market include segmented databases of prospects; detailed information about specific sales and marketing nuances and challenges; and customizable communication tools such as direct mail templates, advertisements, press releases, media contacts, open house materials, telemarketing scripts and presentations. These tools, easily accessed and managed through the online service, have been designed as campaigns to maximize the value of cross marketing and lead nurturing.

...“Like most printers, we don’t have a dedicated marketing manager or the resources to develop a marketing program for our company,” said Joe Olivo, President, Perfect Printing. “By providing turnkey marketing and sales components that we can customize for our business, the MARKETMOVER Targeted Sales Module provides the needed marketing and sales support that we couldn’t implement on our own.”

Manufacturing and existing customers serve as the initial segments featured in the MARKTEMOVER Targeted Sales Module. Retail and Advertising Agencies will be added by the end of May, followed by four more verticals in 2007. Read more

 

Looks like Kodak figured out that what printers need are lists of prospects. How to turn them into customers is going to be up to the printers, some will do it well, some will do it not so well. The idea that programs turns prospects into customers is bogus. People and teams turn prospects into customers, so I don't have much faith in that part, yet. But it does sound like instead of telling them what to do, or trying to "teach" them, they are giving them practical access to ways to do it...

Should be very interesting to watch.

 

It speaks to the most pressing reality of printers on the ground. No time to focus.

If Kodak actually delivers (always the most important question) I'm thinking saving them time is going to be a huge value prop.

 

 

Kodak and Canon Extend Alliance into Digital Color Printing Space with New KODAK NEXPRESS M700 Digital Color Press

BOSTON, April 16 -- Eastman Kodak Company (Stock Price Web Site Executives Related Articles Google) and Canon (Stock Price Web Site Related Articles Google) Inc. today announced a broadening of their long-standing alliance with the launch of the KODAK NEXPRESS M700 Digital Color Press for the U.S. and Canada market. The introduction of the NEXPRESS M700 digital color press serves as an extension of a drupa 2004 announcement to collaborate across a broad range of digital printing technologies and market development opportunities. Kodak and Canon have successfully collaborated in the black and white digital production printing arena since 1999.

The NEXPRESS M700 digital color press integrates Canon’s newly developed 70 ppm color imaging print engine with the scaleable KODAK NEXSTATION Front End and unique operator replaceable component (ORC) capability. The ORC capability allows printers to drive greater uptime and help control costs and image quality. The NEXPRESS M700 digital color press will be available in the U.S. and Canada, at this time.read more

 

So maybe it's going to be Kodak (with Ofoto+Canon suppying the boxes on the ground?

And Oce with IBM doing transactions and books

And Xerox and GIS doing formal organizations and SMB?

And of course HP with the Indigo and the huge consumer base.

 

 

intheblanceblog.com

The “In The Balance Blog” is brought to you by Xerox and created for all within the printing and graphic communications industry. The intent is to provide a vendor-agnostic space for industry-focused exchange where printing professionals around the world can discuss the latest topics, and participate in discussions on the hidden opportunities and pitfalls that affect the future of printing and graphic communications.

Why would Xerox embark on this ambitious endeavor? We think that listening is vital not only to our success, but to the success of the print industry. We encourage you to participate and hope you’ll come along with us on the journey.

Because of the open nature of this medium, posts and comments are independent of the views of Xerox and do not always represent Xerox's positions, strategies or opinions. This blog is hosted by a team of Xerox people and partners from the marketing and technical communities.


 

BlogPost

 


April 10, 2007

Some questions from another friend

 

1. What are the top technical and educational issues vendors should be addressing when convincing customers to make the transition to digital?

I think that it is very hard and expensive to try to "convince" a customer. A better approach might be to be available to show a customer how a certain capability will solve a pressing problem. In my opinion, most, although not all, end users don't care about the method of production as long as it is affordable, reliable and can solve their problem...now. If that information could be supplied by a vendor in real time, no need to convince anyone of anything.

 

2. What should print industry vendors be doing to help print providers grow their volume?

For years the print industry has fought the idea of print as a commodity. Maybe if eveeryone relaxes and recognize reality, instead of denying it, it might help suggest a direction. Coffee is a commodity. Costs about 5 cents to make, can sell for 50 cents, $1.00, or $4. Sure there are some quality differences, but Starbucks and my corner deli are selling essentially the same product. Sometimes I buy the 50 cent cup, sometimes I buy Starbucks. The difference for me is the convenience of purchase and what I am in the mood for.

Vendors could help providers by showing them how to make purchasing print faster, easier,cheaper and accessible in real time. As any provider can tell you, timing is everything and time is money. Today's problem is forgotten as soon as it's solved, so that there is room to solve tommorrow's problem.

Unfortunately, most vendors are still working in organization time, instead of real time. Real time response to vendor problems would go a long way to making life better on the ground.

 

 

3. What steps are vendors overlooking when it comes to teaching printers to sell digital/articulate the capabilities of digital?

After years in educational organizations, I have come to have alot of respect for the teachable moment. That's when someone needs something to be able to do something they want to do. I spent years boring design students with production knowledge doing everything I could to get their interest. We had enjoyable interchanges. There was lots of teaching, but not much learning going on. But when my design students had a problem with printing a project, there were many "teachable moments". They learned more ab out production in 15 minutes than in 15 weeks,because they needed the information to do what they wanted to do.

The trick is that "teachable moments" - like "selling moments" disappear as fast as they arise. If I were not accessible, the students would get their info from someone else, or make a best guess as to how to proceed.

This implies that if the vendors had a way for providers to get real time solutions to real time problems, efficient teaching and lots of learning could happen very quickly.

 

 

 

4. What are the key printing applications print providers should be selling in 2007?

It all depends on the specific time, place and situation of a vendor. Start with looking closely at your customer's problems. Think hard and get information about how you can help solve that problem, by providing a service that you can deliver for a price that is more than it costs you to produce. The days of the one size fits all, or magic bullet or over...if they ever existed in the first place.

 

5. Where do you see the industry in the next 10-15 years?

The short story is that networks of print manufacturers will be the output print engines of the internet.

 

The long story follows:

I think we've already past the tipping point into a new kind of economy. I call it the Google-Mart economy. For my money, Google and Wal-Mart are the leaders of data driven infrastructure organizations that make their strategic decisions based on what their customers are doing AND they respond to that information in very close to real time. Google's big idea is innovative business models and flawless execution. Wal-Mart is low prices all the time and flawless execution. Wal-Mart is now moving quickly to deliver a customer experience that is built on their extraordinary logistics infrastructure but customized to different communities.

 

The other thing that has passed the tipping point is the emergence of a generation that has never not known the network. The leading edge has recently graduated from college The incoming freshman are people who started using the internet in about the 5th grade. I have a 4 year old grandaughter who enjoys sitting on my lap and asks to "Google cats" as we look through 1000's of pictures of cats delivered in a second.

To them the network is just taken as given. For them their expectation is that they can should be able to get what they want, when they want it, where they want it at a price that is worth it.

 

The third big wave is that formal organizations have less and less power to control the market or even their own destiny. While private hedge funds can put any corporation in play, the market and how fast and smart they respond to it determines sustainable growth. Welcome to world of small business!

 

My best guess for what this means for print is that everyone in the supply chain is going to see that SMB and consumers are the people putting the money in. As more timely accurate information becomes more available, every decision maker is going to expect access to that information. And decisions for everyone in every organization is going to be made on the basis what people are doing on the ground, in the real world.

 

And what will the people on the ground want?

They will want a reliable easy way to get what they want, when they want it, where they want it at a fair price. It's the common sense facts of life, that every moderately successful vendor lives with every day. The good news is that it's become pretty clear that people want physical printed product.

 

For the industry in general, my guess is that distribute and print is the next big thing. Move files anywhere through the network, pick up the product anywhere there is a local manfucaturer. And do it all in next to real time.

 

The real challenge is to cut the time of communication response. It can take longer to get a price, or get in touch with the right person at the right time than it takes to print a job. That's not going to work. One of the secrets of Starbucks is that they figured out a way to standardize a way of communicating the specs of the "double espresso chai latte grande", by printing the specs on the side of the cups.

Customized product in real time.

 

I think print and distribute will be unsustainable pretty soon. Transportation costs are just going to go up, mail rates are not going down any time soon, and even Fedex is starting to take too long, plus the carbon footprint of transportation costs is going to be a perceived disadvantage among consumers.

 

The trick is the business model that is going to make this work for everyone. I can imagine that at some point outfits like Lulu.com and blurb.com will need distributed manufacturing to speed delivery and cut delivery costs. And there already are models of print system integrators that help large corporations deliver multi language product to local manufacturers for local delivery.

 

 

 


 

 

 

New Document Finisher Now Available for Xerox DocuColor 5000 Digital Color Press

(Andover, MA) – 4/6/07 - On Demand 2007 in Boston will be the official launch and order-taking venue for the Standard Horizon ColorWorks 500, an all-in-one next-generation document finisher designed exclusively for operation in-line to the Xerox (Stock Price Web Site Executives Related Articles Google) DocuColor 5000 Digital Color Press. The compact multi-functional ColorWorks 500 performs stitching, folding, face trimming, and stacking, making it a nearly full-service “bindery in a box.”

The compact ColorWorks 500 system performs corner, side and center-stapling functions, with booklet folding and face trimming. Finished booklets are delivered to an integrated motorized vertical stacker for convenience and space efficiency, while flat sheets are delivered to an offsetting catch tray. The system can be field-upgraded to include bleed trimming and scoring, or to run in-line with the faster DocuColor 7000 or 8000 color printers.read more

The faster we get to the black box that makes books and magazines with a reasonable business model and a small -(ready for a school, department or SMB market) footprint, the faster we all get to true distribute and print - in my opinion the next big thing.

 

 

 

Below is a quiz from a friend

I decided to treat this as a short answer test, instead of essay.

 

1. What are the most prevalent challenges today for those shifting from offset to digital?

Old mindsets that worked well for the last twenty years, and don't work as well today.The way you look at the world, when print is the only game in town, is very different from the way you have to look at the world when all the new kids come in.

 

2. What are the top technical and educational issues vendors should be addressing when convincing customers to make the transition to digital?

I don't believe you can ever "convince a customer". Especially when everyone can get whatever information they need, once they know what question they want to ask. I think the trick is finding the right question, then doing the grunt work of looking at the world for the answers. Instead of convincing, I might ask " how can you help your customers". No one wants to be convinced of anything. Everyone can use some help.

 

3. Have these issues changed in the past few years? How?

The difference is that all the stuff that was discussed at shows two or three years ago, are mostly in the real world now. I think we've past the tipping point and digital printing has become a mainstream tool. Ecommerce is a fact of life. Cell phones are ubiqituous. The big infrastructure changes have been made, and it's time to get back to business.

 

4. In your opinion, who are the most unlikely digital print customers?

If the functionality helps solbe a pressing problem everyone is a digital print customer. If it doesn't, no one is.

 

5. What are the most common mistakes vendors make when selling digital print?

They make the same mistake they make when selling regular print. They don't make the time to really pay attention or care about their customer. Becuase of the old way of looking at the world - when print was the only game in town - the incentive structure and the focus always actively searching for the opportunity to get the customer to buy what a company makes, instead of finding out what the customer needs and helping them figure out if that's what you are selling.

 

6. For those of you with blogs, what types of recurring themes or issues are resonating with your blog readers? Are there specific blog posts that have received a large number of comments?

Doesn't apply becuase I don't really host a blog discussion - much too much work. I just have a place to put my screeds mostly cause it's fun and keeps me focused on an industry I love.

 

7. What key attributes help one digital print vendor stand out over another?

Speed and accuracy of response to inquiries. Price, quality, service, etc. are all assumed. If they are not competitive in the market place, that trumps everything.

 

8. How do you best convince a customer they need to make the transition to digital?

I truly believe that it takes much too much time, energy and money to convince anyone. Don't waste the resources that could be spent on finding what your customers stress points, and how you can help them.

 

The Digital Opportunity

 

 

9. What should print industry vendors be doing to help print providers grow their volume?

Help get them work. Make machinery that runs cheaper, better, faster. Have communications systems that can respond in real time to inquiries and lead to acceptable solutions of problems. Care about them as more than a source of revenue. Which means a continuous focus, incentives and communication systems on helping them get to sustainable growth.

It's pretty much the same story as for any business. When print was the only game in town, businesses were competing with other printers.Hard enough but with a long history of rising and falling with the GDP. Well that was then, this is now.

With a competitive communication providers, the rules are a little different. Print is a business like any other business. Same rules apply.

For the big guys they can be the Starbucks of output. For the little guys they can be that great speciality store on the corner, or the boutique dress store that is doing great and treats all their customers so well. For the manufacturers they should be the GE of output infrastructure.

 

10. Opinions vary on the quality of digital printing. How do you recommend vendors deal with the argument that image quality isn’t on par with offset?

Show samples of the work these folks produce. Quality is decided by the customer and the use they put on it. If someone belives the quality is not good enough, it's not good enough for that person. Move on. Stay in touch. Keep focusing on how what you have can help them solve their next big problem. Very few people have time to solve yesterday's problem that went away.

 

11. What steps are vendors overlooking when it comes to teaching printers to sell digital/articulate the capabilities of digital?

Stop worrying about teaching. We have a multi billion education business that is in the teaching business. There are smart people thinking about this as the main function of their day job. In my opinion, you can't really teach. What you can do is make the possibility of learning more possible.

Focus on the printers problems, have someplace in the organization that accumulated wisdom of seeing granular problems all over the world, make that knowledge accessible, and get your sales people to translate that knowledge so that is specifically solves a specific present problem. Using resources to educate in other ways is probably not worth it.

 

12. How can print providers develop closer relationships with key print specifiers, such as creative agencies?

By honestly caring about their problems. What creates stress, what do you have, if anything that might be able to help relieve that stress.

 

13. How can privately-owned print providers compete with the wealth of offerings and marketing clout that a national power like FedEx Kinkos, OfficeMax or Staples can offer?

Same problem as grocery stores and Wal-Mart. Give more personalized service. Use your superior knowledge of the customer to help them achieve whatever goals they are trying to achieve in a pleasant efficient way.

 

14. What’s the biggest mistake a print provider can make in this competitive climate?

Not caring about their customer and looking at them totally as a revenue source. Not knowing exaclty what every step of their operation is costing, so that they will know first what can be easily and quickly fixed to make it cheaper and second to know how competitive they can price and still make money.

 

15. Should commercial printers be concerned with the proliferation of desktop printing?

Commercial printer should be considered about what there best customers need. And make sure they have some bandwidth for new potential opportunities.

 

16. We all hear how digital has huge potentials for growth. Why are some print providers having difficulty making money from it?

Because it's really hard to make money from anything. It's amazing that so many are surviving and growing.

 

Applications

 

17. What are the key printing applications print providers should be selling in 2007?

Whatever will solve printers granular specific problems. Forget about "big picture" one size fits all.

 

18. What’s the next big growth opportunity for digital printers – packaging applications, photo applications, something else?

In my opinion, it's the growth of cell phone to internet. Finally there is a connection from physical to digital that real people can use. i believe that's the next big thing...

 

19. Do personalized marketing materials really have a significant impact on response rates and ROI?

Probably..but until response rate gets close to 80 or 90, it's still junk mail.

 

20. Is the digital book publishing industry limited to “vanity publishing” or is there real opportunity in other markets, such as education?

This ship has sailed. Talk to Lightning Print. The elephant in the room is the textbook industry. That's going to tip eventually. Any timing guess is just that...but for whatever it's worth, my guess is prototype proof of concept stuff within 2 years.Infrastructure changes will be tied to adoption calendars.

Industry Outlook

 

21. Where do you see the industry in the next 10-15 years?

Depends on the where the world is in 10 -15 years. But..the integrated network of output functionalities will be able to print where and when necessary. The gateway will be primarily the browser. And printers who have paid a lot of attention to where their customers are going will be there at their side.

 

22. If you could change one perception in the industry, what would it be?

It's not about the machinery, it's about the busines process and the value proposition. The value- read money - for the entire logistics infrastructure is ultimately the individual consumer. Google knows it, Wal-Mart knows it. That's only going to happen more.

 

23. Kodak has acquired NexPress and Creo, Xerox recently purchased XMPie – is this sort of consolidation good or bad for the industry?

All depends on what they do with it. I'm much more interested in is it good for them. The manufacturers do not control the industry. Control has shifted to the consumer. if the industry - by which (I mean the thousands and thousands) of printers producing and delivering real stuff to real people, continue to do that, the big companies have to keep up.

 

24. According to industry research, another 10 percent of total print operations ceased operation between January 2004 and April 2006. Good or bad for the industry?

Good for the survivors. Bad for the losers. Stressful for manufacturers who need a vibrant marketplace to sell into.

The printing industry seems to be losing business to new forms of media, including the Internet. How can print providers adapt and survive in such a competitive marketplace – is the key developing a new business model?

Yup. Figure out what your customers need, figure out how to make it and deliver it, figure out the best way to monetize it. Pretty basic.

 

25. With the industry’s emphasis on color, is there still a place for black-and-white printing in the graphic communications market?

If it's better faster cheaper and gets the job done. You bet. This is an empirical question. How many clicks are black and white, how many are color. Which is growing faster.What's the curve of black and white clicks look like. A flat curve of a mature large market is just as interesting as a hockey stick curve of a small market. On the global scale, with product growth at the bottom of the pyramid, it makes sense that black white has lots of space to grow..and probably fast. Here in the US.. harder to tell. For the manufacturer, if you can make incremental improvements that will make black and white cheaper, better and faster, and can make the business case to go through changeover or upgrade..why won't that work?

 

26. Are you concerned that the pool of qualified graphic communications employees is drying up?

It's a stress. This is an empirical question, so I have no real info. But successful business offering the right compensation and culture have always found a way to get it done. If you have so much work that you can't do it by training your own people to work smarter, that's a high class problem.

 

27. Should printing companies really be dropping the “print” to succeed?

It doesn't matter what you call it. Just let it really reflect what you are great at.Nothing kills trust faster than a "Communications Problem Solution" which is a printer.

 

 

I'm going to assume this test as an extra credit section:

Any printer who is still in business and making money and growing knows what works. Based on evidence, not blah,blah,blah they are doing what works. If the manufacturers would stop thinking they know better and just listen carefully, they have a great role to play.

 

Most printers are much too busy doing it, to think about why or what they are doing. They are the real innovation engines every day. Solving the next problem. Managing the next customer. Their activity is look, think, act every day, and sometimes every minute of every day.

It would be wonderfully useful for everyone in the supply chain if the manufacturers who do have some resources, would make the time to look at what works, think about why it works in a particular context, and then act to tell other printers about how that might be modified to work in their unique situations. To me, it's just common sense.

 

The days of one size fits all are over - if it every really existed in the first place. But the days of innovation in one place moving to every place very, very fast are just beginning. The manufacturers could accelerate this natural process, and build their brands by serving a useful knowledge transfer function.

 

The problem is that this means that everyone has to stop thinking they have the answers and if only people would listen to them every thing would be just fine. The principles of success can be analyzed and communicated, but the application of those principles to any local situation is hard work, done over a long period of time, with incremental improvements to solving time sensitive problems in real time.

The good news is that this is what really builds a brand.

The bad news is that there are no magic bullets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xerox spends $1.5 billion to buy SMB access

 

The Elusive -- and Desirable -- SMB

VARBusiness logo By Jennifer Bosavage, VARBusiness

5:32 PM EDT Mon. Apr. 02, 2007

Small businesses are the growth engine of the U.S. economy. The stats tell the story: According to the most recent data available (2004), the U.S. boasted 24.7 million small businesses. Small firms with less than 500 employees make up more than 99 percent of the total number of all firms; there are 17,000 large businesses in all. It's little wonder why large firms covet the small to midsize business as a customer.

In general, however, that longing for SMB customers goes unrequited. Behemoth companies start their courting strong, promising their little friends support, money and assistance. But within no time, the initiative is put on the back burner, and the SMB customer is left in the cold. It's not hard to see why SMBs are skeptical of tbe big guys' overtures, particularly of large vendors.

And that's why Xerox has seemingly scored such a coup with its announcement today that it will acquire an integrator that has made a name for itself catering to its exclusively SMB clientele. Global Imaging Systems focuses on its customers through 21 regional core companies in the U.S. that sell and service document management systems such as printers, copiers and multifunction devices; network integration services; and electronic presentation systems. read more

Is Xerox "buying the channel" with the idea that it will fill it with their products? In my humble opinion, not a great plan. Xerox boxes have almost no penetration in this market. Are they beter, faster, cheaper than what is there now? If yes, they probably would have already been there. If not so much, trying to force it down a channel is not going to work. And given the localized entreprenuerial structure of GIS could destory the value of the acquisition.

Plus my guess is that the office products are very low profit, and will become more so going forward, unless Xerox has figured out some innovations in the logistics chain - always a possibility.

One possible good outcome for Xerox would be that the greater exposure to this market will teach them how to make better product at better prices at greater profit for this particular market. A possible bad outcome is that this is a way to buy market share to get the stock price to pop.

As Xerox is a signficant part of my 401K, in my opinion, the most hopeful outcome is that Xerox is buying exposure to the market with the aim of integrating the network relationships into the Xerox commercial print infrastructure. My sense is that the real profit for the company is in clicks and supplies. My hope is that they will use the network carefully, not to try to force office equipment, but to immediately make connections between SMB to commerical printers that are using supplies and clicking on Xerox commercial boxes.

The GIS networks wins by being able to sell a new functionality, commercial printers win as they are exposed to a new flow of work, Xerox wins as the clicks increase and the value of buing a Xerox box vs a HP or Kodak box increases, and Xerox drives clicks and brings into being the potential of the Xerox output network. And the stock price starts going to where it should be.

The sustainable Xerox advantage is the global network of Xerox vendors, everything else is much more expensive and difficult to defend. But the network value, once it is completely operational should be considerable. The network capability mitigates the constrainsts of time and space. It promises the ability to print what you want, when you want it, wherever in the world you want it, at high quality levels through the browser or through a person.

Some possible products that actors in GIS networks might value..Click this button and a printed version of your proposal is in a prospects hand tmw, or a sell sheet, or a personalized version of sales catalog, your company newsletter, or .......The functionality already exists in the Xerox network, it's just a matter of integrating them in a customer facing offering that is as good as Google.

 

 

 

Zell wins out in battle for Tribune

By Joshua Chaffin in New York

Published: April 2 2007 13:40 | Last updated: April 2 2007 14:11

Sam Zell, the Chicago billionaire, has emerged victorious in the contest for Tribune, one of the largest US media groups, after its board selected his bid over that from rivals Eli Broad and Ron Burkle, according to a person familiar with the situation. Details were not yet available.

Mr Zell prevailed by agreeing to raise his bid to $34 per share, valuing the company at more than $8.1bn. He will contribute $315m in cash, up slightly from the $300m he had originally proposed. The transaction will be financed through the creation of an employee stock ownership plan.

...When the deal is completed, the company will become private, joining a growing list of media groups that have turned away from the public market. Current management, led by chief executive Dennis FitzSimons, will remain in place. Read more

Info about Sam Zell

Xerox blogs

Xerox people may be some of the most dedicated individuals on the planet, with a strong loyalty to the company and unwavering commitment to its future success. It is this very culture of hard work, commitment, and enthusiasm coupled with the incredible will to win, that makes Xerox a special place to work, play and innovate. Through the blogs on this site, members of the Xerox family will share their observations on our culture, our triumphs and our challenges. We welcome your comments and suggestions, and hope you enjoy taking an inside look at our Xerox world.[Go there

Xerox Intends To Buy Global Imaging Systems For $29 Per Share

Increases Xerox's U.S. distribution to SMB customers by 50 percent; 1,400 more 'feet on the street' serving 200,000 new customers

STAMFORD, Conn., April 02, 2007 -- Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) and Global Imaging Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: GISX) today announced a definitive agreement for Xerox to acquire Global Imaging for $29 per share in cash. The total purchase price is expected to be about $1.5 billion.

Global Imaging Systems focuses on small and mid-size businesses (SMB) through 21 regional core companies in the U.S. that sell and service document management systems such as printers, copiers and multifunction devices; network integration services; and electronic presentation systems. As an office technology dealer, Global sells products from various suppliers, none of which today include Xerox. In addition to its existing offerings, Global will start selling Xerox document management products following the close of the acquisition.

"Joining forces with Global Imaging Systems gives Xerox access to their extensive customer base and adds more than 1,400 'feet on the street' selling Xerox systems," said Anne M. Mulcahy, Xerox chairman and chief executive officer. Read press release here

WIRED and Xerox Combine to Offer Personalized Covers for Subscribers with the July Issue

NEW YORK, March 23, 2007 -- Inspired by WIRED Magazine's July cover story on the future of personalization, WIRED Media is executing its first integrated marketing program by collaborating with long time advertising partner Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) to offer subscribers the opportunity to put their own photo on the cover of WIRED.

The program will be announced in the April issue of WIRED and promoted on WIRED.com starting Friday, March 23. Magazine subscribers will be encouraged to go online and upload a 4x6 inch photo. The first 5,000 WIRED subscribers to participate will receive in the mail the July issue of the magazine with their image on the cover. read the press release here

My "Long Tail" About Book Publishing

To take a quick break (okay, it's kind of long) from PMA posts, I thought I’d talk about Brian’s reference to the importance of "The Long Tail" to digital print. Digital print has become an essential tool in the overall platform management of many titles in many major book segments. The impact on total cost, speed of production, and title distribution makes it one of the key technologies helping the book publishing business model adapt to the needs of the market and its member supply chain partners. - John Connely, VP of Publishing, Xerox

 

Sounds right to me. But Xerox isn't the machines of choice for Lightning Source or the other players in this field..It seems that Oce is on the leading edge of this space. Faster, cheaper..This might change when it gets to color, but right now it seems to me that Xerox equipment doesn't seem to be the best fit.

 

 

 

From In the Balance Blog

... A recent PMA Marketing Research report found that 21.4 percent of households that made no prints from their digital cameras in 2006 purchased some other photo-related product or service such as a photo book, personalized calendar, or other item.

The association further noted that this figure practically doubled from 2005 when only 12.3 percent of the members of this group made photo-related purchases. According to PMA: " In terms of absolute numbers, the size of this group went from about 7 million households in 2005 to almost 15 million households in 2006."

 

As Kodak, HP, Oce and Xerox fight for growth in digital printing, Kodak seems to have something interesting going on. Having bought Ofoto a while ago, they have a way to get directly to the mass consumer market. Then drive all those clicks through Kodak equipment. A market that doubled in one year sounds interesting to me.

 

 

In The Balance Blog

The “In The Balance Blog” is brought to you by Xerox and created for all within the printing and graphic communications industry. The intent is to provide a vendor-agnostic space for industry-focused exchange where printing professionals around the world can discuss the latest topics, and participate in discussions on the hidden opportunities and pitfalls that affect the future of printing and graphic communications. go there

Why would Xerox embark on this ambitious endeavor? We think that listening is vital not only to our success, but to the success of the print industry. We encourage you to participate and hope you’ll come along with us on the journey.

Are Printers Rational?

Question: About a year ago, Steven Schnoll had the following to say on WhatTheyThink:

(The article)"Printers are categorically extremely irrational. They have a tough time identifying good options even when presented to them on a silver platter. Many aren't very good decision makers and tend to be followers rather than leaders. While many have been in the industry for decades, they possess two common traits - fear and greed and therefore are prone to make many mistakes in business."

If he was correct in his assessment of about a year ago, will a rational numbers argument make a difference anyway?

Answer: Sorry, but I hate to say that printers are actually rational from an economic perspective. All economic decisions over time are rationally based on what printers believe to be true at that time. This is one reason why many printers are more profitable than the great bulk of industry vendors. This doesn't mean it's rational in an individual business sense, which is what Steve is talking about. But more about that below…

What most people miss in analyzing the print market is the personal pressure on shop owners and how heavily family and personal matters influence their decisions. Yes, they make suboptimal decisions very often, but they make rational decisions based on what they know at a particular point in time.

Printers are skeptical of the cold rationality of numbers presented to them by accountants and financiers. After all, they know how flexible those numbers can be and how you can make them come out any way you want. Aside from playing tax minimization games with their accountants, most of these folks have had to estimate a print job cost! And if that doesn't seem like playing with darts blindfolded some of the time, I don't know what does!!

Basically, the assumption that you have to make in examining these things is that behavior that is repeated consistently must have as its cause a decision that is rational. From the outside, it is impossible to understand all of the elements that went into making the business decision in the first place; and "rational" and "right" are not necessarily equivalent terms. What Steve is saying is that they are not making the right decisions. What I'm saying as an observer of industry structure is that "right" doesn't matter in getting the macro perspective correct. I look at market behavior, and my assumption is that the behavior is rational from an economic perspective, and that I can't know all of the aspects of the decisions that led to the creation of the behavior.

Steve's job as a consultant is to help individual clients make the right decisions that lead to meeting their goals. This implies that they will have to do something different than the rest of the marketplace is doing-and than they have done in the past themselves. It also means, like I have said for so long, that management skill DOES make a difference, and making the right decisions is what matters.

Does this mean that "rational numbers arguments" don't work? Not at all--they're just one element of any decision. I've seen many cases where numerical arguments are correct but don't fit the totality of a situation. But again, let's not confuse "right" and "rational." They can be quite different.

 

Dr.Joe get's it right again. I've been trying to use a similar perspective but past way past the economic view, to edescribe when communication works better and when it works less well.

 

But Dr. Joe nails it, in this one. "What most people miss in analyzing the print market is the personal pressure on shop owners and how heavily family and personal matters influence their decisions. Yes, they make suboptimal decisions very often, but they make rational decisions based on what they know at a particular point in time."

 

 

 

ON DEMAND Printing & Publishing Conference and Exposition in China

(Weymouth, MA & Beijing, China) March 28, 2007 -- InfoTrends ( Web Site Executives Related Articles Google), the leading worldwide consulting firm for the digital imaging and document solutions industry, and CIEC, one of the largest exhibition management companies in China, announced today that the ON DEMAND Printing & Publishing Conference and Exposition will take place November 14-17, 2007 at the China International Exhibition Center in Beijing, China.

The ON DEMAND Printing & Publishing show is the first event focused on print on demand technologies (including digital printing equipment, digital workflow, digital direct-to-plate, and wide format printing) in the Chinese market.

“China represents the next major growth opportunity for digital printing,” commented Mr. Charles Pesko ( BIO ), President of InfoTrends. “The ON DEMAND Printing & Publishing Conference and Exposition provides a strategic forum to demonstrate technology, showcase solutions, and educate users about the digital printing business opportunity.”

Let's Reinforce the Benefits of Print

In recent presentations, I've been working on a list of print's benefits. This is the current list as it now stands. I think these are print's most compelling ones:

  • Image consistency in production and intent: electronic devices have many shapes and sizes, and abilities to reproduce images in the manner intended by content creators vary widely; once something is printed and approved by the print buyer, that buyer knows that the image will always stay that way.
  • Design creates emotional response: content creators use graphic design techniques to ensure that images are viewed in a manner that will make their client's message effective; in print, they have almost full control of the physical nature of that message.
  • Cuts through media “overcommunication”: print is still allowed to intrude into our lives though daily events like “the mail moment ,” where attention specifically focuses on printed materials.
  • Control of distribution to an intended audience: printed materials are usually handed to someone, mailed to an individual, purchased, or put out for display at an intended location; the content creator has greater control over viewing situations to reach the intended target.
  • Authoritative, more permanent: print costs money, whether it's a magazine subscription, or postage, or just the costs for printing itself, and has an authority to it; new media still has a “free” feel.
  • Supports personal interaction: print is used in settings such as classrooms and client meetings, where it supports learning and training, instruction, or discussion, in ways that other media can't.
  • Deliverability is more certain: e-media still have deliverability issues because of spam filtering and blocking and other transmission uncertainties that are not yet resolved; though you can never force someone to read a printed message, you can be more certain of deliverability than with other media.
  • Supports other media: media planners have come to realize that a consistency of message across multiple media has a greater return than using only one medium; printed messages instigate use of e-commerce, events, and other elements of the media mix.

From Dr. Joe Webb IMHO, one of the smartest people focused on the printing industry.

 

The focus is on print's importance in the marketing process. Except for it's ability to support personal conversation, IMHO, the rest of the stuff is bogus. Maybe the big shift is that print should look at building learning as the real opportunity. Printing user generated content, printing teaching for education, from k-12 through graduate school.

The long term trend is less print for marketing communication. It's hard to face, but I think that ship has sailed.

 

 

Postal Rates tied to CPI

The section that has everyone jumping up and down is the limitation on rate increases to equal the change in the Consumer Price Index. That may be a delusion, since you will note that the calculation of the inflation of postage from 1893 to today – using a calculator based on the CPI – got us to the rate that will be implemented in May. What will happen though is that the new reform process will result in regular changes of predictable amounts. For better or worse, the new rates must be implemented within 45 days as opposed to as much as 10 months or more that the previous system allowed. read more from WTT

 

So if postal rates are tied to CPI, that means they are only going to go up long term. Combine that with the growing Do Not Mail initiative in state legislatures, and it spells the long term end of spam (junk) mail. So, if you have a business model based on dumping 100 of thousands of pieces into the mail stream, and getting a 1,2,3 or even 10% response, you probably want to start focusing on "opt in" mailings.

 

 

 

Emerging tipping point for the k-12 textbook industry

March 27, 2007 -- The news article yesterday covering the recent Interquest Book Publishing Conference and Expo showed once again just how significant is the adoption of digital printing by the book publishing industry. At a time when music and video publishing has moved to downloaded delivery it is interesting to see that printing of books is increasing despite the availability of electronic book reading systems to which digital books can be downloaded. For the digital printing suppliers of production level monochrome sheet and continuous-feed printing systems, printing of digital books have been an important business.

...Donald Seise, Vice President, Central Imaging Services, Pearson Education showed this. He explained why the digital print component of Pearson's printing strategy has led his company to “Lean Manufacturing.” Digital printing has helped with timely production, waste control and seasonal spikes in demand. He said that one of the main benefits of digital printing is to allow Pearson to sustain inventory and grow its title list with little or no influence on operating costs.

...Another interesting point is to see how publishers and printers are working together to utilize the benefits that digital printing can bring in the area of personalization and building of custom products. Stephen DeForge, Senior Account Executive for Ames On-Demand, talked about the company's solutions for higher education. Ames has created an advanced electronic library and title management technology platforms. He said his company has created a model where publishers and professors can create books and course packets that contain customized content to fit a specific curriculum. Andrew Tribute at What They Think.com

 

In the right space/time for the right person, a book is the most efficient delivery functionality to deliver certain kinds of content. No electricity. No technical mediation required. Light - easy to carry. Inexpensive and infinitely adjustable viewing positions. And becuase it involves all five senses, it is a very broad band channel for an individual to accept new information.

 

It should not be a suprise that "printing of books is increasing". It's the natural process governing media - the more...the more. It's just the business models that are being destroyed and reinvented.

 

To me the most interesting is finally the attention given to educational publishing,

while still mostly focused on higher ed, sooner or later someone is going to figure out the value created by customized text books in K-12. The tech is almost in place, the need to improve K-12 outcomes is high on the political agenda, NIMAS is getting all the K-12 textbook programs on line in XML format.

iPods and Textbooks Part 1

 

 

TV Guide Readies 'Grid' for Online Video

Can TV Guide parlay its namesake brand into the world of broadband video? The online division of Gemstar-TV Guide International will test the idea starting April 16, when it plans to launch a site that provides links to professionally produced programming from broadcasters and cable networks.

Code-named Project Stingray http://www.tvguide.com/Special/Project%2DStingray, the TV Guide Online Video Guide indexes and provides summaries for video content on 55 Web sites, ranging from A&E Network's Web site http://www.aetv.com to Yahoo TV http://tv.yahoo.com, and from Apple's iTunes http://www.itunes.com to VH1's VSPOT http://www.vh1.com/vspot.

So far, the guide has data on 72,000 clips. It won't serve up any video itself. Instead, the ad-supported site will provide direct links to authorized streaming or downloadable video. "It's the next generation of the listing grid," TV Guide Online http://www.tvguide.com general manager Paul Greenberg http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6313627.html said.

The reason I posted this one, is that print lives in the same Communication Ecology as the other media, and at the scale of national media, broadcast TV is still the primary mover. A search engine for online downloadable video is the enabler for TVoIP. Apple has released a prototype of their box, and high def and flat screens are in the marketplace. Smells like a tipping point to me.

 

 

From a post on VDP list serve

 

There seems to be a fair amount of posts that focus on the issue of client

communications and education (purple cows). I agree that companies

involved in variable data must continue (and at a faster rate) to create

demand for their services / solutions by enlightening their target

markets. Judging from what I've read in past posts, the equipment

manufacturers have done a poor job supporting them in this area. I'm

obviously passionate about this because this is what my company provides;

turn-key communications programs that allow digital printers to

effectively promote their solutions. I'm happy to discuss this with anyone

or provide samples. Regardless of whether you utilize a service such as

ours, or, you create your own marketing program, it's critical to be

effectively communicating the benefits of these new technologies to your

marketplace. And by being the source of this information, you also pump up

your brands perception relative to that of your competition. Not to

mention the added benefits of top-of-mind awareness and relationship

building that meaningful, consistent communications produce.

Just my two cents.

 

 

So I'm thinking that the last thing printers need is to be educated. It only makes getting through the day more complicated, at a time when they are trying to figure out ways to lower stress and create wealth. The hard to face truth is that customers don't really care about technology, no matter how elegant or effective it is.

 

My bet is that the printer is thinking, "Show me how you can lower stress and increase my wealth, and tell me what it's going to cost...and I'm interested. Otherwise, it's all blah,blah,blah... and frankly, I don't have the time for blah,blah, blah...."

 

The other problem I see with this approach is that it is not focusing on the real value creator in the print infrastrucutre business - the printer's customer. There seems to be an assumption that printers have all these great solutions, and it's a communication problem between the printer and the customer. My sense is that any printer that has great solutions is probably selling them fast and furious using primarily word of mouth communication. The people who have problems which can turn into money is not the printer, but the printer's customers.

 

The real value add of a printer is to translate all the things they can do, into useful information about their customer should do to relive stress and create wealth. Without the active focus of the printer on their clients nothing can happen.If somehow manufacturers could figure out ways to get a printer to focus on their customers..that would be a real way to create a smarter logistics chain.

 

 

Sometimes you get lucky...

In May, 2005, I wrote in a letter to On Demand Journal.com,

"In fact I think the whole 1-to-1 approach is going to turn out to be a short lived bubble. I believe that the best way to do 1 to 1 is the web. The industry is taking what they know -- direct mail -- and adding a new functionality. It's okay, but can a business model that calls it a major success when only 94% instead of 98% of its product to go into the waste stream really be sustainable? My own feeling is that a National Do Not Mail list is only a matter of time.""

March 19, 2007, Dr Joe Webb's column started with

A recent Advertising Age e-mail newsletter had an article titled “Do-Not-Mail Movement Gains Traction in State Legislatures.” The article says, “More than a dozen states are considering do-not-mail lists. If passed, residents from Hawaii to Colorado, Maryland to New York and Texas to Washington State will be able to sign up for a list and be free of 'junk mail' forever.” Read more

 

 

HP to Acquire Tabblo, Aims to Make Printing from Web Easier

"HP's goal is to make printing content from the web the easiest and best experience possible for people - whether they are printing a simple map or a book of their favorite blogs," said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. "By acquiring Tabblo's technology and making it available to companies that host popular websites, HP will be firmly on the path to becoming the print engine of the web."read more

 

 

Dome Printing Works Towards "Lights Out" With Quadtech

Source: Press release issued by the company

Dome Printing, based in Sacramento, California, USA, has invested in the QuadTech Register Guidance System with MultiCam, the QuadTech Ribbon Control System with MultiCam and the QuadTech Color Control System, all integrated through the QuadTech ICON platform. The equipment was bought to help reduce waste and move the company towards a lights out pressroom where the presses are fully automated and able to run unattended 24/7.

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Kinko's sales drop 3%, Operating income down 43%

Source: Press release issued by the company, unless otherwise noted.

MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 21, 2007 - FedEx Corp. today reported earnings of $1.35 per diluted share for the third quarter ended February 28, compared to $1.38 per diluted share a year ago. Third quarter results were negatively impacted by a slowing economic environment, lower fuel surcharges and severe winter storms, with the storm impact estimated to be $0.06 per diluted share. Results for the quarter also include an $0.08 per diluted share benefit from a reduction in the company�s effective tax rate.

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Hayzlett Clarifies Kodak’s Print eCommerce Network Strategy

By Cary Sherburne, Senior WTT Editor

 

March 19, 2007 -- Kodak’s announcement last week of the launch of a new online design and printing solution for the small office/home office market met with a lot of blogging and other commentary on PrintCEOblog, the PrintPlanet forums and more, as well as a clarification from Kodak about who would actually be doing the printing submitted through this network and what Kodak’s strategy was in launching this service. WhatTheyThink spoke with Jeff Hayzlett and his team at Kodak to get more detail on this and other Kodak announcements and programs, including the departure of industry veteran COO Jeff Jacobson.

 

WTT: It seems as though the Kodak Creative Network is somewhat of a joint Graphic Communications Group (GCG)/Consumer effort. We were curious if that was the case and if the press release was coordinated between the two organizations. It created quite a bit of negative stir because of the way it was interpreted by the market.

 

JH: Kodak has had online printing offerings driving volume to our customers for years. This particular service is offered by our Digital Imaging Service, the same organization that runs the online printing services offered through Kodak EasyShare Gallery, among others. These offerings, including the Kodak Creative Network, utilize networks of printers that are using Kodak products. In the case of EasyShare, the Kodak Creative Network and our MarketMover Network, these printers happen to be running NexPress equipment. While the Kodak Creative Network itself is new, the concept is not new at all for Kodak.

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Doing More --and less-- in Baltimore

March 16, 2007 -- For sheer variety of documents being produced, it's hard to find enterprises doing more than the Mayor’s Office of Information Technology in the City of Baltimore. The total volume ranged from 2.5 to 3 million images to as high as 4.2 million. But that was before a city-wide PDF initiative reduced the total amount of printing while making city documents more accessible and easier for customers to use. Read more

 

 

According to the Report

  • 48% of U.S. printing and prepress establishments are small commercial and quick printers, and yet small commercial and quick printers only account for 16% of all shipments in the industry;
  • ad agencies account for only 16% of U.S. design and production establishments, but account for 35% of the revenues;
  • book publishers account for 19% of U.S. publishing establishments, and account for 44% of the revenues;
  • magazine publishers' capital expenditures are up 7.7% over last year;
  • U.S. graphic design firms plan to spend an estimated $44+ million on new software this year, down 6.2% from last year. read more

 

 

From Heidi Tolliver at ODJ.com

While the industry transition is well underway, there is still a large amount of uncertainty about how it is going to play out. This is creating nervousness and trepidation that ripples throughout the market segments, on both the production and vendor sides, creating both challenges and opportunities alike. From an analyst’s perspective, however, it’s an exciting time to be watching this industry, because to a great extent - like watching the children’s “magic rocks” that drop into water and grow into great, colorful crystal forests - the dominant structures and business models are still being molded. read more

 

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