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Social Media: Ongoing Rules of Engagement

Posted Friday, July 28, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

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By Jules Van Sant, Executive Director, Pacific Printing Industries Association

Featured in the July Issue of PIA’s The Mag

Last month I shared my enthusiasm about the need and opportunity for those in the print/visualcommunications industry to be engaged in the world of social media. To ignore it is a missed opportunity, putting your brand and market messaging at risk.

It Already Affects Your Decisions

How? In a time when we all engage on one or multiple devices to communicate, research, and purchase, consider how you make your buying decisions. Do you check out product ratings, even if you went to a store to purchase? When deciding to dine out, do you check Yelp? Hiring a house painter, plumber, or going on a trip? Do stars, comments, and photos assist with your final decision?

It Affects Your Customers’ Decisions Too

I keep hearing that today’s “print” buyers are multitasking, less educated about the production process, and more interested in quickly finding the right provider. It’s likely they’re researching you, your company, and brand before having a meaningful engagement. They check your website, which may or may not have current information. If you list social media channels, they check those to understand your current products and services, your culture, and what others are saying about you. If they checked right now, would they see the real you?

In today’s world of ratings and reviews, a simple, well-managed presence is important in the short and long run. It should be a key part of your overall marketing plan. Create, modify, revisit, and repeat often with your key staff, sales, and customer service personnel to ensure the message going out is what you want clients to hear.

Here are some guidelines to follow as you build your online presence:

  • Consistency is key to creating a brand message. Posting every three years or six months doesn’t cut it. At least twice a month (if not twice per week) gives you the opportunity to reinforce your company’s forward-facing voice.
  • It’s about conversation, not just a bulletin board or brochure. Today’s consumers look for authenticity. Canned posts and no follow-up responses quickly minimize the positive impact and remove the human element from the interaction.
  • Professional vs. personal is the elephant in the room. Managing and monitoring regularly from the top down, along with a company social media policy, eliminates potential issues. It’s not a one-anddone strategy. You can reap solid results when populating culture, capability, and company information from a few key internal contributors.
  • Positivity wins the day! Buyers not only want a greatoutcome from your production capabilities but a solid experience to pay forward and return to. Use case studies on the effectiveness of print, show outcomes of your amazing projects, fun events, and interesting facts.

New followers and “likes” indicate you are on people’s radar. Reciprocate. Thank them for connecting and invite them to your other channels and website. Finally, if you start the process, post it! #word

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Komori America’s Impremia IS29 Receives Printing Industries of America’s 2017 InterTech™ Technology Award

Posted Monday, July 24, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

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Rolling Meadows, IL, July 24, 2017—Komori America Corporation announced that Komori’s Impremia IS29, a 29-inch inkjet, sheetfed UV printing system, received the Printing Industries of America’s 2017 InterTech™ Technology Award. The Impremia IS29 is an innovative press that delivers on Komori’s three core competencies—product reliability, high quality and substrate freedom. This year is the fourth time Komori has been honored with an InterTech™ Technology Award. Previous accolades were for its proprietary H-UV Curing System, the Komori Lithrone S40 press and the Komori Fully Automatic Plate Changing System (APC).

The Impremia IS29 is an inkjet printing system designed to successfully meet customer demands for complex variable print requirements where size is a factor. The system has the capability to economically produce variable short-run, high-quality color printing not feasible on a traditional press, while making it possible to get to market quickly with reduced set-up costs and color output that rivals offset. Equipped with UV technology, the IS29 can handle a 23x29” sheet which is ideal for a six up print format. In addition, it does not require pre-coated paper, and enables printing on a wide range of stocks, including ordinary offset paper. By taking advantage of its UV inkjet characteristics, IS29 is ideal for not only commercial print applications, but also package printing.

“We are honored to receive the prestigious InterTech™ Technology Award for this first-of-its-kind technology,” said Meishi Tsuya, president and COO of Komori America. “The Impremia IS29 is part of Komori’s line of inkjet output products, underscoring Komori’s continued commitment to offer the industry solutions that expand the potential of print and improve margins with the ability to produce diverse print communications.”

About Komori America CorporationTokyo-based Komori Corporation, a premier manufacturer of printing solutions, provides excellent technology especially suited for today’s highly competitive printing marketplace. Delivering a high level of print quality coupled with impressively fast makeready and open systems architecture, Komori presses help printers achieve the higher productivity and efficiency levels essential for increased margins and business growth. Komori America Corporation headquarters are in Rolling Meadows, IL with sales and service organizations throughout North America.

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Five Ways to Reduce Manufacturing Safety Hazards

Posted Thursday, July 20, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

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Source: Occupational Health & Safety

While safety in the manufacturing industry has gradually improved over the last several decades, the concerns are still very real. Despite the move toward automation, humans remain at the center of today’s manufacturing processes—handling materials and manipulating machinery that subjects them to risk. In addition, the cultures of many companies still emphasize productivity over safety, exposing their employees to serious injuries.

Indeed, roughly four in every 100 manufacturing workers are injured or become ill on the job every year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. And of the 10,000 severe injuries that occur annually in the workplace, the highest proportion is in the manufacturing sector—which accounts for 57 percent of all amputations and 26 percent of all hospitalizations.

Manufacturers that aren’t committed to maintaining safe work environments put employees and their businesses in jeopardy. In 2015, for example, 353 U.S. manufacturing workers died from on-the-job accidents, the highest fatality rate for the manufacturing industry since 2008. Moreover, companies that don’t prioritize safety expose themselves to financial risk. For U.S. businesses, the most disabling non-fatal injuries add up to a whopping $62 billion in direct compensation costs per year—or more than $1 billion per week, according to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index.

So what can manufacturing companies do to protect their employees from safety hazards? Consider the following five tips:

  1. Make safety a leadership priority. At the end of the day, what’s important to every single person in an organization mirrors the priorities of their boss. If workers believe in safety, but their manager solely evaluates them on production output, employees will learn to favor productivity at the expense of safety. As a result, a safe workplace must be established at the top levels of an organization. By prioritizing safety, a company’s owners set the tone and values for their entire workforce.

  2. Hire supervisors who value safety efforts. Another key to workplace safety is committed supervisors. Workplace injuries often result from employees who aren’t effectively supervised on safety best practices. Therefore, it’s critical that manufacturers choose supervisors dedicated to a safe workplace. If your supervisors care about safety but lack leadership skills, they can work to develop those skills. But if they have leadership abilities and lack commitment to safety, they could lead your workforce down a dangerous path.

  3. Establish safety best practices. While there are many types of accidents in the workplace, the most common I see are electrocutions while maintaining “live” machinery, worker falls, and crushed body parts that result from getting caught in moving equipment. To avoid these hazards, manufacturers must protect employees from hazardous energy sources while servicing machines and equipment. They should also create platforms, guardrails, and other fall protection measures to protect employees working at high elevations. And they should build shields and other barriers into their equipment to prevent body parts from coming into contact with hazardous machinery parts.

  4. Implement easy-to-follow safety procedures. Another factor to consider is the ease of adherence to safety procedures. In a nutshell, the less effort/time-consuming safety practices are, the more likely they’ll be followed. Therefore, safety procedures should be designed to be as easy to apply as possible. Take an electrical disconnect that de-energizes a piece of equipment, for example. If workers have to walk 500 feet to flip the switch, he’s more likely to skip that step than if the switch is just 2 feet away. By installing that disconnect closer to where employees actually work, employers increase the chances their workers will actually use it.

  5. Consistently reinforce your safety expectations. To be effective, manufacturers need to ensure their written safety policies and procedures are concise and clear. They also need to continually communicate and reinforce their safety expectations. Both supervisors and workers should be evaluated on their adherence to safety standards, and safe behavior should be consistently recognized. At the same time, be sure to avoid monetary rewards, prize drawings, or other safety incentive programs that deter employees from reporting on-the-job injuries and illnesses.

With a strong commitment to safety, manufacturing companies can avoid the tragic workplace accidents that can ruin their business—and their employees’ lives. To learn more, please visit our “Workplace Safety” webpage.

Bill Kessler, CSP, is Safety Director for Vigilant. He has been a firefighter, a safety professional, and a state compliance officer. The company has offices in Everett, Wash., Tigard, Ore., and Sacramento, Calif. and provides counsel to employers throughout Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho.

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Cybersecurity and Small Business

Posted Wednesday, July 19, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

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It’s nearly impossible these days for businesses to operate without the help of Internet-connected devices, which exposes them to cybercrime. It’s the small- to medium-sized businesses, however, that are especially vulnerable: half are victims of cybercrime and nearly two-thirds of those victims go out of business.1 Hackers increasingly target small businesses because there is a low risk they will be caught and a high probability they will be successful.

Maintaining personally identifying information (PII) on a computer connected to the Internet creates a nearly unavoidable risk. More than likely, names, addresses, and employees’ employment information are stored. If PII is acquired by someone without the authority to do so, in most states that is a security breach (data breach).

Banking, credit, and vendor account information is also vulnerable. Even if that valuable information is not stored on an Internet-connected computer, employees who have access to it can be duped into handing it over to criminal actors.

Best Practices and Security Tips

Tip 1: Train Employees in Information Technology Security. Training should be offered especially to those who are responsible for accounts payable, human resources records, and wire transfers. Training for all employees should be reinforced periodically.

Employees should be instructed to refrain from clicking links or attachments in e-mails, and not to pay an invoice until it’s confirmed that the sender actually sent it. Even if the e-mail appears to be from a trusted source, employees should learn to always copy and paste links or type URLs into a browser to see if the address is valid.

Tip 2: Funds Transfers. Put a policy in place to have an in-person or telephone conversation to confirm e-mail requests for funds or personal information. It can greatly reduce the likelihood of fraudulent transfers or information sharing.

Tip 3: E-mail Authentication. Phishing can be substantially reduced by verifying that the e-mail originated from the domain it is associated with. If your domain is hosted, it’s worth taking some time to look at how your e-mail is set up to ensure proper authentication schemes are used.

Tip 4: Change default passwords on your router and other Internet-connected devices.

Tip 5: Use a trusted VPN service when using WiFi.

Tip 6: Back up your data regularly both to the Cloud and to a removable device.

Tip 7: Update firmware and software regularly.

Security professionals used to strive for perfect security, but today they accept that goal is unachievable. Instead, they strive for optimal security by combining best practices with a risk management program that considers purchasing data compromise and cyber coverage through a knowledgeable insurance provider.

Cyber ShieldSM from Federated Insurance is a two-part coverage program designed to help provide essential protection against many of the critical cyber and privacy exposures businesses face. Data Compromise Coverage and Cyber Coverage can help your company recover from intentional or accidental breaches. Visit for more information or to find your local Federated representative.

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Oregon Legislature Confirms Overtime Pay Rules for Certain Industry Employers

Posted Friday, July 14, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

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Source: Barran Liebman

By: Tyler Volm

As we initially reported in January, most employers employing workers “in a mill, factory or manufacturing establishment” were aware that they had to pay their employees overtime for any work exceeding 10 hours in one day, and that these employees were entitled to overtime for all hours over 40 in a workweek. Most employers were accustomed to paying the greater of these two amounts, but not both. In January, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries took the position in a lawsuit that the employer should be required to pay both daily and weekly overtime, not the greater of the two. Notably, this was a break from BOLI’s traditional enforcement practices of only requiring payment of the greater of the two amounts. Here is a link to our January article.

In March, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Dailey, who was presiding over the lawsuit, ruled that employees are entitled to only the greater of the daily or weekly overtime pay, but not both. Here is a link to our March article.

Over this last legislative session, the Oregon legislature took steps to codify the prior BOLI interpretation, upheld by Judge Dailey. House Bill 3458 amends ORS 652.020 and 653.265 to specifically state that employers in these industries (mills, factories, manufacturing, canneries, driers, and packing) are only required to pay the greater of the daily or weekly overtime amounts, but not both. This bill provides important clarity on an issue that had many important local agricultural and industrial employers on edge.

However, effective January 1, 2018, the bill also creates new restrictions on the maximum number of hours employees in a mill, factory, manufacturing establishment, cannery, drier, or packing plant may work in a workweek (the daily maximum of 13 hours still applies). Maximum weekly hours are now capped at 55 per workweek, but may be increased to 60 hours in a workweek if the employee requests or consents in writing to work more than 55 hours. However, employees may work up to 84 hours in a workweek for four workweeks of an “undue hardship period” and 80 hours per week after that, so long as the employee consents in writing, the employer registers the undue hardship period with BOLI, and the total undue hardship period does not exceed 21 workweeks in a calendar year. Undue hardship is reserved for those employers who need to process a perishable product in a short period of time after its harvest, slaughter, or catch. Note that seafood processors (canneries, driers or packing plants that process seafood) are not subject to any of these weekly overtime maximums.

Finally, the bill prohibits employers, including their overseer, superintendent, or other agent, from requiring an employee to work hours in excess of the revised maximums, coercing an employee into consenting to work more than 55 hours in a given workweek or retaliating against an employee for inquiring about these requirements or reporting a violation. The bill creates a private right of action for any violation.

The bill is currently awaiting the governor’s signature, which is expected soon. A copy of the bill can be found here.

Employers across these industries can breathe a sigh of relief, but should review the revisions to the statute and confirm that they are compliant with the revised requirements. BOLI is charged with adopting rules and the form for the notice of undue hardship exemption, which we anticipate being available by the end of the year before the new maximum weekly overtime caps go into effect.

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