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Three Easy Steps to Increase Your Print Revenue!

Posted Tuesday, June 19, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

1) Register for the SGIA Expo at:

2) Fly to Vegas!

3) Discover a world of new opportunities!

printing unitedYou may have recently seen that SGIA Expo registration is now open. Perhaps you have been to the Expo in previous years and are well aware of the value of attending. If not, why should you want to go the Expo?

Selling more to your customers

The reality is that most of your customers are already purchasing various products from other printers. These same printers are adding to their arsenal of products and services to keep as much of their customer’s loyalty and attention as possible. And customers are much more interested in one stop shopping and consolidated purchasing and program management. The more you can do in-house for them, the less likely they are to find someone else who can.

Keeping up with the competition

The Specialty Graphics Imaging Association (SGIA) recently commissioned a study with NAPCO Research to better understand the extent to which printers are looking at other vertical markets to leverage growth opportunities (download the full report.) Anecdotally, we know from the growing number of commercial printers attending the Expo that this is happening. Many printers have adopted some form of digital printing output. Once they have this equipment in place, and the workflows to serve it, adding another piece of equipment that allows them to create new products and sell into new markets or to their existing customers is a much simpler proposition. The barriers to entry are not as steep as if another printing discipline needs to be mastered, such as screen printing or flexographic printing.

In the study, 95% of commercial printers see opportunities to expand into other markets they don’t currently serve. A third have already started and are engaged with new markets based on new technologies acquired, and more than another third are actively researching these opportunities. Rounding out perceptions are 79% of commercial printers who see that the expansion into different products and markets will continue to accelerate over the next five years across all printers.

So where are commercial printers focusing their efforts? - 43% of commercial printers in the study are looking into label converting - 37% are looking into graphics and wide format production - 32% are looking into folding carton - 19% are looking into industrial products

  • And 17% are looking into garment productionAnd to see the broadest array of these technologies, they come to the SGIA Expo.

Higher margins, lower costs

Each year technology changes and so does the best method for printing a specific product. Newer equipment with faster production speeds (presses, finishing equipment, even Print MIS systems) or other enhanced capabilities, such as automation or file handling, can decrease operating costs. Some markets have higher margins than others and provide a better return for each cap-ex dollar spent. There are many ways to assemble a new strategic business plan, and much of it begins with how to create higher value for the least cost. The SGIA Expo brings together not just the technology, but the minds and experience that can help you investigate and validate your new direction. Be it through networking with old or new friends, educational sessions, or meetings with the foremost suppliers in the market.

It’s Vegas, baby!

And, of course, Vegas can be a fun town. But don’t let that distract you from the job at hand – finding your next big idea!

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OSHA Injury and Illness Report Due July 1

Posted Monday, June 18, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

Attention: Printing Operations In California, Maryland, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming

injuryillnessWhen Federal OSHA issued the reporting rule in 2016, it required that all state plan states adopt substantially identical requirements to the final E-Recordkeeping Rule within six months. However, because the state plan states all have their own legislative or rulemaking processes and due to all of the delays issued last year by Federal OSHA, not all states have adopted the rule. As of today, California, Maryland, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming have not yet adopted the regulation.

In order to ensure that all covered employers in all states are reporting their data, Federal OSHA issued a “clarification statement” on April 30, 2018 addressing this situation. Federal OSHA stated that all covered employers to submit their data by July 1, 2018 even if their state has not yet adopted the rule.

The April 30 statement has cause some controversy in that Maryland, Utah, Washington and Wyoming OSHA’s pushed back by issuing their own statements stating that covered employers are not legally mandated to submit reports. California OSHA also issued a statement that acknowledged that while companies were not legally required to report, they were advising companies that were required to report to go ahead and comply.

There are differing legal opinions regarding the ability for Federal OSHA to compel companies in California, Maryland, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming to report. In order to avoid any potential problems, companies in California, Maryland, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming should follow the statement by California OSHA and plan on submitting their data to OSHA. Eventually, these states will be adopting the regulation so that they can maintain their authority to run their program.

Please let us know if you have any questions or need additional information.

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PGSF Awards $500,000 in Scholarships for 2018

Posted Friday, June 15, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

As a board member of PGSF, Jules VanSant of PPI, is pleased to share this press release from PGSF announcing their 2018 scholarship awards. Our goal and desire is to bring more scholarships to students in the PPI region through our extensive work through ExploreVizComm. For more information about our work, please visit

PGSFPittsburgh, PA, July 2018— The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation is pleased to announce its student scholarships for 2018. Some 217 students, who are attending more than 90 schools across the U.S. were selected this year to receive scholarships. From a field of nearly 400 applicants, about 250 advanced to the final evaluation stage. A team of industry veterans scored out these applicants to refine down to the final recipients. These students represent the “cream of the crop” among all who applied this year.

The mission of PGSF is to create awareness of the broad range of career opportunities that are available in today’s modern and technology driven graphic communications industry. Then, if they pursue post-secondary education in graphics, to support them financially. PGSF scholarship recipients attend one and two-year technical schools, colleges and universities in virtually every state in the union. Scholarships average $2400, but can be as high as $5000, depending on the endowment.

“Education is critical to the success of promoting gainful employment for students in the graphic communications industry. Graphic communications often falls under the radar when young people consider career options.” stated John Berthelsen, VP-Development for the Foundation. “We strive to increase awareness and then support students to assist with the high cost of post-secondary education.”

A group of ten industry educators, consultants and PGSF alumni from service providers and vendors evaluated the submissions. While total applications were somewhat lower this year, the quality remained quite high. They will make great additions to the future workforce of the industry.

For more details on the program, information regarding tax-advantaged contributions, establishing a scholarship through PGSF, or scholarship applications, contact John Berthelsen at 608-575-3904 or You can also visit our website for more details on the Foundation at

About PGSF: The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation is a not for profit, private, industry directed organization that dispenses technical and college scholarships and assistance to talented youth interested in graphic communication careers. The mission of PGSF is to promote the graphics industry as a career choice for young people, and then to support them through their education process. In 2018, more than 200 students were provided with support totaling over $500,000.

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Support for PRINTING United Grows Among Printing Industry Associations

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by Kate Achelpohl, SGIA.

Fairfax, Virginia — PRINTING United confirms five more independent regional and state affiliates of Printing Industries of America (PIA) have agreed to support and promote the launch of the PRINTING United Expo to their respective members. With this addition to previously reported participating associations, a total of 15 PIA affiliates are now supporting the new trade show hosted by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) in partnership with NAPCO Media, which will launch in Dallas in October 2019.

Pacific Printing Industries Association (PPI), Print Media Association of St. Louis (PMA), Printing and Graphics Association Mid-Atlantic (PGAMA), Printing Industries of New England (PINE) and The Printing Industry of the Carolinas (PICA) are the latest commercial printing industry associations lending their support to PRINT United.

“Our print members are always exploring different options to expand their offerings to customers,” said Christine Hagopian, President, PINE. “It’s extremely valuable to provide an opportunity where they can evaluate capital investments in one location, with vendors who understand their needs and who genuinely want to see their companies succeed in this industry.”

The PRINTING United Expo is designed to give print service providers new ways to address changes that are occurring within the graphic arts marketplace. In addition to finding relevance in the convergence of various market segments, the associations recognize the importance of the wide breadth of technologies that will be on display at PRINTING United. As such, their support will begin this year with the SGIA Expo in Las Vegas, which will be held October 18–20.

“With the rapid and constant change in our industry, it’s vital that our members keep pace with new technologies and innovations available to them,” said Jeff Stoudt, President, PICA. “We encourage our members to attend industry events like PRINTING United, so they can understand the depth and breadth of the imaging technologies out there.”

In their agreement to support PRINTING United, these five associations join 10 previously reported PIA affiliates that have already cast their support. They include Graphic Arts Association (GAA), Great Lakes Graphics Association (GLGA), Printing & Imaging Association of Georgia (PIAG), Printing & Imaging Association of MidAmerica, Printing Industries Alliance, Printing Industries Association of San Diego (PIASD), Printing Industries Association Inc. of Southern California (PIASC), Printing Industries of Ohio and N. Kentucky, Printing Industry Association of the South Inc. (PIAS) and Visual Media Alliance.

“PGAMA is answering the call of many of our members who have, for years, extolled the value of the SGIA Expo and often wondered why PGAMA was not involved,” said Jay Goldscher, President and CEO, PGAMA. “In promoting PRINTING United, we are not only answering the wishes of many of our members, but reinforcing our belief in the dynamic future of our industry with the program that we think best reflects that future — and that is PRINTING United.”

About PRINTING UnitedPRINTING United, a new event hosted by SGIA in partnership with NAPCO Media, will launch in Dallas, Texas, October 23–25, 2019. Focusing on the opportunities presented by the convergence of printing technologies and markets, PRINTING United will cover print and finishing technologies in industry segments from garment to graphic, packaging to commercial, and industrial. Its objective is to convey all components of integrated solutions to satisfy virtually any client need.

SGIA — Supporting the Leaders of the Digital & Screen Printing Community

Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) is the trade association of choice for professionals in the industrial, graphic, garment, textile, electronics, packaging and commercial printing communities looking to grow their business into new market segments through the incorporation of the latest printing technologies. SGIA membership comprises these diverse segments, all of which are moving rapidly towards digital adoption. As long-time champions of digital technologies and techniques, SGIA is the community of peers you are looking for to help navigate the challenges of this process. Additionally, the SGIA Expo is the largest trade show for print technology in North America. “Whatever the medium, whatever the message, print is indispensable. Join the community — SGIA.”


NAPCO Media is a business-to-business media company serving the printing & packaging, publishing, marketing, retail & non-profit, promotional products and consumer technology industries. Its mission is to build community between its audience and clients through integrated media programs, video services, events, marketing services, custom content and e-learning.

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4 Ways to Lower Your Rate when Processing Credit Cards

Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2018 by Jules VanSant.


What is the Best Rate?

While there are many things that separate one credit card processor from another, pricing is a huge factor that has an immediate impact on you, the merchant. However, with over 1200 separate interchange rates, the age-old question of, “What rate do you offer?”, requires a much more detailed response. Several factors affect the actual cost of accepting payment with a credit card – industry, customer card type, processing method, settlement time, etc. Many variables impact what your customer’s card actually costs you. So, how do you lower your rate when processing credit cards?

Just because there are over 1000 different rates, and numerous factors that impact the cost of accepting any given credit card, doesn’t mean you are helpless in reducing your costs. There are definitely best practices that can help you reduce costs and improve your bottom line. Here are 4 ways to lower your rate when processing credit cards.

  1. Swipe or Dip If you have a customer in front of you, swiping or dipping the card will get you a lower rate than manually keying in the same card. Interchange rates are closely related to risk – the more risk a transaction holds, typically the more expensive it is. By keying in a card manually, the card-brands (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express) see that as card-not-present. Any time a card is considered to be away from the point of sale, higher risk is implied, thus a higher cost for that transaction. Long story short: if you can see the whites of their eyes, swipe or dip the card. Do everything you can to avoid manually keying in a transaction.

  2. Data, Data, Data If you operate in a card-not-present world (e-commerce or mail / telephone orders), the more customer information you can provide, the lower your rate will be. With every transaction, providing the AVS information, which is the customers’ street address and zip code, will help qualify your transactions at the lowest possible rate. Even greater savings can be achieved with Level III interchange. This is unique to business and purchasing cards. Lowering the rate to this level requires a substantial amount of data to be submitted, usually from a specialized gateway like the one offered by BASYS Processing.

  3. Settlement Times Setting your terminal up for auto-settlement is a quick update to any piece of equipment and can help improve your situation immediately. Many merchants have not been taught that leaving transactions unsettled in a terminal for more than 24 hours actually makes those transactions cost more! Except for very unusual circumstances, your processor should set your equipment to auto settle at the same time every day.

  4. Right Tool for the Job While the credit card terminal is still the standard means to accept a card payment, there are numerous other solutions, frequently unique to an industry. There are systems designed to accept credit cards specifically for e-commerce businesses, and systems that are designed just for restaurants. Other systems are designed to operate in a business-to-business (B2B) environment, or for companies whose primary sales are recurring monthly payments. Just because the terminal you’ve been using for the last 5 years technically works, that doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for you right now. We recommend continually working with your credit card processor to learn what options are available to you, and ensure you’re using the solution that can offer you the lowest rate qualifications and other helpful functionalities.

Stay Engaged

While these are some general ways you can lower your rate and control your costs, the most important thing is to stay engaged. Just because you’ve always paid certain fees, doesn’t mean those are fees you should still be paying. BASYS Processing would be happy to provide you with a FREE SAVINGS ANALYSIS to show you how we can drive down your rates, ensure you are using a processing system that is the best fit for your business and improve your overall credit card processing experience.

If you have any questions about the credit card industry – lowering your rate, EMV chip card acceptance, charge-backs, PCI Compliance, mobile processing – please reach out to us. Call 800.386.0711, ask for Danny Turner or write an email to .

*by Pat Redd, Basys*

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