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Prioritize Safety to Prevent Print Related Injuries

Posted Friday, February 9, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

From the Printing Industries of America

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In the latest data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics covering fiscal year (FY) 2016 (October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016), the injury and illness rate per 100 full time employees has increased.

The rate of total recordable cases for printing and related support activities increased from 2.3 in FY2015 to 2.6 in FY2016. Although printing is below the 3.6 recordable cases for all manufacturing, the increase reverses the year over year decline that had been experienced in the past.

To see how your company’s injury and illness rate compares to the industry average visit (PIA login is required. Contact the Association if you need login credentials.)

This increase in conjunction with OSHA classifying the printing industry as a high hazard for amputations, means that safety is not a priority. Now more than ever, a robust safety program is vital for a compliant printing facility.

Members should contact PIA’s EHS Affairs Department at for assistance with establishing an effective safety program.

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Grow Profits Through Management Practice

Posted Wednesday, February 7, 2018 by Kernin L. Steinhauer, Brand Manager JYBE, llc. - A business enhancement and PPI Member company.

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Want to learn more? Kernin is also presenting a Webinar, How Your Workforce Can Fatten Your Bottom Line.

Date: Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm PST

Click Here for Webinar and Registration Information

Every industry endures Cycles of Influence. In the graphic communications industry the 80’s was the Quality Improvement (TQC, TOC) Cycle followed by the Pre-press Digital Workflow Cycle in the 90’s. Then the new millennium brought the Consolidation Cycle. Most recently, enabling technology investments have advanced automation in pre-press, print and finishing operations, the core operations of a printing company, which we call the Automation Cycle.

As a manager and industry consultant over the years my duties afforded me the opportunity to not only embrace the Cycles of Influence head on but to truly understand process and make a dramatic impact on profitability. Interestingly enough, the Cycles of Importance were only a part of the solution. We changed our perspective, accepted a paradigm shift, and visualized the printing company as both a job shop manufacturing environment and service provider to an unknowing and uncaring customer base.

With a new perspective and a tool belt of experience in leading pre-press, print and manufacturers we discovered the importance of achieving a Synchronous State and it’s impact on reducing defects, delays and cost.

To visualize the effect of achieving a Synchronous State first think of your company as a series of invisible conveyors starting at order entry and ending when you get paid for finished goods. On the conveyor are pieces and parts, either physical or virtual that result in billable finished goods. Now, visualize those pieces and parts as dollars.

The first premise is the faster the conveyor the shorter the cycle time.
The second premise is never work on something you cannot complete.
The third premise is the smaller the batch size the faster it moves.
The fourth premise is dependent events dictate process flow.The last premise is to manage constraints and maximize resource utilization.

Here’s an example to ponder: When labor or machine time (WIP dollars) are spent working on something that cannot be completed that time is gone from your capacity forever. It cannot possibly be recovered and is removed from the conveyor waiting to be placed back upon it when it can be completed. To add a bit of clarity to the example, assume that there were other things on the conveyor that could have been completed, shipped and invoiced, but were not.

The example provided is a very common occurrence in printing companies which results in a start-stop-start workflow that builds Work in Process (WIP) inventory ($$$ on hold). When the inventory build up is finally resolved the result is little to no work in some operations.

By contrast, a Synchronous State has every resource, human or machine, working on only what needs to be completed and placing it on the conveyor for the next dependent event to completion. The result is a perfect harmony of hand-offs, from one operation to the next, all the way to invoicing.

How do you get there? Every person in the company must know exactly what to work on and what priority it has on the conveyor.

Of course, the science is in synchronizing the rhythm of market demand while governing capacity, availability and resource flexibility through management actions.

A Synchronous State (your entire company in synch) delivers systemic efficiency, increased overall capacity and improved bottom line results.

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The Importance Of The Personal Brand

Posted Monday, February 5, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

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By Christopher Ebmeyer via LinkedIn

I recently went through a self brand evaluation for a project I was working on, and it was one of the most eye-opening things I could have done when it came to my personal brand, how my brand is perceived, pros and cons and areas of opportunity. It was life-changing to say the least.

Every one of us is a brand, and everything that we are, do and say contributes to our brand. From the job we do, to the car we drive, or the tattoos we get, EVERYTHING plays a role in your brand. One of the classic mistakes is to believe that a shiny logo and witty tagline will make a brand. No, a brand is formed in the minds of your consumers, and they have buckets just waiting to be filled with perceptions of what your brand means to them, and that includes your personal brand as well.

If you haven’t done it, now is the time to take a close look at your own brand and see how it compares with what you really desire it to be. It takes a bit of work, but when you can identify the dissonance between self perception and “consumer” perception, the faster you can make adjustments to align it to what you want.

It’s a 5-step process:

  1. Define your brand. List achievements, key skills, attributes and where you are now. Write it down.
  2. External perception. Ask colleagues, partners, friends and family to ANONYMOUSLY help you get a fix on how you are perceived. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What do they value most? What are you good at? Use SurveyMonkey or another form of gathering feedback. Don’t just get the folks who sing your praises, you need constructive feedback!
  3. Compare. Once you get feedback, compile it and measure it up to what your original perceptions were (remember the list you wrote down?) See where you were spot on, and where you need some help to achieve parity with what you perceived your brand to be originally.Map out a plan. Once you have the areas that need more focus, list out some key, tangible and concrete steps to elevate your brand. It could be attending a conference, responding to email more quickly, or just delivering what you said you would, when you said you would. Create goals and timelines to get it done.
  4. Vision. A brand does not sit around and let the world pass it by, nor should your own. Create a list of 5-10 things you see down the road for you personally. Hopes, goals, dreams. See how you can use your brand to achieve those goals, and how they will help you to enhance your personal brand in the process.

Sometimes it’s hard to step outside of yourself and look back at what your personal brand is now, but once you put in the work to analyze that brand, and put the tools in place to build that personal brand, anything is possible.

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Reading Preferences and Habits of U.S. Consumers

Posted Monday, February 5, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

alt text By Phil Riebel via

The consumer survey, “Print and Paper in a Digital World,” highlights interesting consumer trends on reading preferences and habits related to print vs digital.

The recent Toluna survey commissioned by Two Sides showed that 62% of U.S. consumers between the ages of 18 to 55+ preferred to read books in print vs electronic devices, including 63% of the youngest age group (18 to 24 year-olds). Both groups strongly agreed (72-73%) that reading a printed book is more enjoyable than reading a book on an electronic device.

Reading magazines showed a difference between the overall consumer response (66%) and the 18 to 24 year-olds (56%) although both still prefer print to digital. When asked if reading a printed magazine is more enjoyable than reading a magazine on an electronic device, the overall response was 73% and the younger group response was 66%.

Clearly, many of us enjoy reading in print when it comes to books and magazines, but the survey showed that news consumption habits are changing.

A total of 74% overall and 81% of 18 to 24 year-olds say they read news on a tablet, smartphone or computer at least once per week. Overall, 63%, and less than half of the younger age group (46%) also say they read a printed newspaper at least once a week.

The younger the reader, the more likely they are reading news on e-devices, with only 35% of the 18 to 24 year-olds preferring to read newspapers in print (vs digital) while the overall response was 61% in favor of print. However, when consumers were asked if reading a printed newspaper is more enjoyable than reading a newspaper on an electronic device, the responses were higher: 56% for the younger age group and 65% overall.

When asked if reading news in a printed newspaper provides a deeper understanding of the story, the overall response (71%), was very similar to the response of the younger age group (68%).

According to recent studies in the United States and Norway, participants read faster online and thought they understood better than when reading in print but in fact, their overall comprehension was better for print. While it was no problem to get the main idea of the text when reading online, for specific questions, students answered more accurately when they read printed texts. For example, those who read in print gave more correct answers to questions having to do with the timing of an event in the text or how long it lasted than those who had read the story on a Kindle.

Evidence of consumer enjoyment of printed media is even evident at a very young age. The New York Times tried out a print-only section for kids in May 2017 which included sports, national news, food, opinion and arts and mimicked regular sections in the paper. The Kids section was so popular that the NYT will start producing it monthly in January 2018. Meanwhile, in the UK, a weekly full color tabloid for 7 to 14 year-olds called First News has been enjoying year-on-year growth for the past five years.

The full global survey report and key US findings can be accessed at:

For a free print copy of the report, contact Two Sides at

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PIA Joins Paper Trade Case Coalition

Posted Monday, February 5, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

from the Printing Industries of America:alt text

Following the strong support of the Board of Directors of Printing Industries of America (PIA), PIA and its allies moved last week to formally launch the STOPP Coalition, which stands for Stop Tariffs on Print and Publishers.

PIA spent time on Capitol Hill this week educating key members of Congress on the market impacts of levying trade remedies on Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood paper, particularly for print customers in the Midwest and Northeast (90 percent of newsprint in these regions is imported across the northern border).

Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) had already emerged as a vocal champion on the issue; this week Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made it a bipartisan issue by publishing a passionate letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on behalf of the industry. (Both Isakson and Schumer were solid advocates of preserving the advertising deduction as well.)

PIA member companies with a particular interest in this issue are encouraged to contact Lisbeth Lyons at to be involved in grassroots advocacy.

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