Archive for June, 2001

  • More news….extra items….more news….extra items….

    PrintPlanet.com, the on-line community and research firm in the graphic arts industry, surveyed print buyers about their perception of pricing received from their print vendors. This survey took place with 247 print buyers from a variety of industry segments located throughout the USA. Buyers were asked: In 2001 describe the pricing you have received from your printer?
    Overall, 40 per cent said they have noticed an increase in prices; 44 per cent of buyers said they have experienced no price changes and only 6 per cent said they have observed a decrease in pricing. (10 per cent had no opinion.)
    When cross tabulated by industry segment, the findings show a significant variance. It’s a good day to be an ad agency or marketing firm with only 28 per cent of these firms noting an increase in prices. A bad day for non-profit organizations with 59 per cent experiencing price increases this year. 34 per cent of professional companies including law firms and consulting firms said they noticed an increase in pricing.

    Xerox is getting out from the small office/home office (SOHO) business segment after failing to attract financial backing for its Blue Dog strategy. Over the next six months, Xerox will discontinue its line of personal inkjet and xerographic products sold primarily through retail channels. However, the company will continue to provide service, support and supplies for its customers who own Xerox SOHO products.
    In the first quarter of 2001, the company recorded a $82 million loss in its SOHO business. Revenues for SOHO were $139 million, representing 3 per cent of total first-quarter revenues. Xerox expects its second quarter pre-tax SOHO operating loss to be similar to the first quarter.
    According to Paul Allaire, Xerox chairman and CEO, the project is a victim of the economic downturn. “While Xerox was engaged in active discussions with potential equity partners, the slowdown in the economy and its impact on the PC and SOHO markets prevented these companies from making what was once considered a compelling investment in Xerox’s SOHO business,” he said.

    PaperlinX is gearing up to sell off its forestry assets in Victoria. The company said the deal could be finalised in two weeks’ time. The only Australian fine paper manufacturer, the company owns 54,000 ha of pine and eucalyptus plantations in an 82,000 ha forestry concession, which has a book value of A$150 million.
    Possible buyers include Carter Holt Harvey of New Zealand, which purchases timber from PaperlinX to supply its sawmills in South Australia, and the US-based Hancock Timber Resource Group, which already has forestry assets in Australia. PaperlinX retained Deutsche Bank last year to carry out a strategic review of its diverse assets, which include plantations, paper mills and a paper merchanting business stake.
    PaperlinX is also selling its envelope businesses, Besley & Pike and Spicers Envelopes, as well as two former Spicers Paper merchanting divisions, Commonwealth Paper and Edwards Dunlop. PaperlinX merged with Spicers in January this year and the sell off of the Spicer’s entities is part of the deal to win approval from the ACCC.

    International magazine publisher Condé Nast’s most recent launch in the UK is being designed and produced with InDesign, Adobe’s page layout and production software. A sister title to the leading American magazine of the same name, British Glamour was launched into the fiercely competitive young women’s market in a revolutionary new handbag sized format (unlike the typical A4 publications) following the hugely successful redesign of Italian Glamour in the same small format.

    Wayne Romminger, managing director of UK print company Bezier Corporate Print, is leaving the company to return to New Zealand in September after spending 15 years in the UK. Romminger has been managing director of the company for six years and has worked at the company for 11 years.
    Bezier Corporate Print has offices in Poole, Dorset and London and employs 80 people in its press and digital printing facility.

    Printers picketed the European Central Bank in Frankfurt over fears that the introduction of the euro will cost thousands of printing jobs. Several hundred protestors took part in a noisy demonstration during which they blew whistles and waved banners that said “hands off our jobs.
    They claim that thousands of jobs will be affected by the launch of euro notes and coins, which will physically replace the 12 currencies of the euro zone on January 1, 2002. The organizers said that the protest was designed to draw attention to their demands for job security.
    “There are 7,000 bank note printing staff across the European Union and unions took their fears about jobs and skills to a recent meeting with employers. But management refused to put in place measures to safeguard print workers’ jobs,” they said in a statement.
    “If the governors of the central banks will not listen to our demands, there will be strikes this year,” said Alain Descamps, president of SCECBU, a coalition of unions representing over 60,000 European central bank workers.
    In most European countries the banknote printing works are a part of, or affiliated to, the national central bank. The protestors were worried that euro note printing would be centralized at their expense.
    “We’re afraid many tasks will in the end be done in Frankfurt, such as those on the payment systems and the financial statistics. That would mean job losses at central banks,” said Belgian protestor Luc Pletinckx said.

    Security inks made with DNA from wine are part of a high-tech strategy to secure the integrity of a prize-winning wine. Wine producer BRL Hardy will use a security seal that incorporates DNA coding to protect the new vintage of its most expensive wine, the 1998 Eileen Hardy Shiraz.

    DNA has been taken from 100 year-old grapevines grown at Hardy’s McLaren Vale vineyard in South Australia and impregnated into the security label’s printing ink. Special light-reflective printing inks are also a feature on the Eileen Hardy Shiraz neck label and can be read by an electronic hand-held scanner.
    The upgraded packaging, developed exclusively by BRL Hardy and Collotype Labels, also has a tamper-proof self-adhesive neck label that seals the product, preventing easy replacement of the capsule and cork.

    Agfa-Gevaert Oceania’s Packaging and Label group will represent the new Combat narrow web label press from Italian manufacturer GiDue in Australia and New Zealand. The move into press supply is part of the development of the company’s packaging and label portfolio.
    According to Nigel Compton, Agfa’s Australian Packaging Manager, the company is aiming for a ‘whole solution’ approach that provides label press customers with a number of complimentary products to use with the Combat.
    “Our BASF photopolymer plates, MDC doctor blades and range of Phoenix Inks, which include water-based and UV inks, are ideal to use on the Combat,” he said. “Agfa can also supply Tectonic Print Inspection Units to check on the consistency of print quality.”

    Collabria is the latest victim of the on-line print burnout. The high profile on-line print buying facilitator turned over its intellectual property to competitor Printable and is switching off its servers this month. It cited the familiar lack of funding as the reason why it has to go.
    Collabria is the latest in a long line of on-line print providers to bite the dust, although there are still quite a number of candidates with various business models vying for the potentially lucrative print supply-chain market.

    And finally for those in the city who think they’ve got it all over the bush when it comes to technology, here are some rural Australian computer terms

    Log on – Make the barbie hotter.
    Log off – take off some wood, the snags are turning black.
    Monitor – Keeping an eye on the barbie.
    Download – Get the firewood off the ute.
    Window – What you shut when it’s cold.
    Screen – What you shut in the mozzie season.
    Byte – What mozzies do.
    Bit – What mozzies did.
    Mega byte – What Townsville mozzies do.
    Chip – A crunchy snack.
    Micro chip – What’s left in the bag after you’ve eaten the chips.
    Modem – What you did to the hay paddocks.
    Dot Matrix – Old Dan Matrix’s wife.
    Laptop – Where the cat sleeps.
    Software – Plastic knives and forks you get at Red Rooster.
    Hardware – Real stainless steel knives and forks.
    Mouse – What eats the grain in the shed.
    Mainframe – What holds the shed up.
    Web – What spiders make.
    Web site – The shed, the dunny or under the verandah.
    Cursor – The old bloke that swears a lot.
    Search engine – What you do when the ute won’t go.
    Upgrade – A steep hill.
    Server – The person at the pub who brings out the counter lunch.
    Mail server – The bloke at the pub who brings out the counter lunch.
    Network – When you have to repair your fishing net.
    Internet – Complicated fish net repair method.
    Netscape – When a fish manoeuvres out of reach of the net.
    Online – When you get the laundry hung out.
    Off line – When the pegs don’t hold the washing up.

  • Wam!Net seeks industry investment

    Sources have reported that the Minnesota-based company will layoff 130 employees, the move coming after the company terminated 105 positions in April and also sent 10 per cent of its work force home last year.

    The company is in negotiations with leading printing and graphic arts companies in the US on rasing extra capital but so far without success. The local operations of the company are unaffected by the cost cutting with the appointment of Paul McClean as the new Australian manager.

    He will make a presentation on content management at this year’s Open Publish Conference, July 30 – August 2, Sydney Hilton Hotel.
    According to McLean, WAM!NET’s work with content management is highlighting two separate, disparate strategies facing publishers.

    “The scenario is how to utilise intellectual assets versus how to manage those assets. One is a profit centre; the other manages costs. Both contribute to the bottom line,” he said

    Wam!Net provides digital data transport, storage and management services and workflow solutions to the publishing, printing, advertising, entertainment and related media business.

    The industry sector is under a cloud since the failure of Vio earlier this year. But it’s an ill wind that does not blow some good with Australian company QuickCut taking over the Vio customer base and server farm in the UK and providing its own well-established service to the industry.

  • Personalised digital printing becomes easer

    An open, variable data exchange standard, has emerged from the Committee for Graphic Arts Technologies Standards (CGATS) making it easier for designers to create and proof variable data jobs, and for commercial printers to produce them.

    The standard which goes by the snappy name of PPML/VDX defines a standardized implementation of the PPML (Personalized Print Mark-up Language) specification using PDF-based workflows for exchanging variable printing data. It builds on PDF and PPML to create an open standard for variable data exchange.

    This enables documents that will combine both database information and variable content to be created through a “save as” command in new software products to create variable data print jobs. PPML/VDX (variable data exchange) creates a verifiable data format that allows designers and printers to exchange final form, variable documents electronically.

    A PPML/VDX compliant job includes creative content from current design applications and variable information from common database applications. The standard combines PPML’s capabilities for encoding the layout of variable data with the PDF format’s openness, reliability and soft-proofing benefits.

    The use of PPML/VDX will reduce the need for extensive communication between designers and printers. This open standard gives designers complete control over the final form, content and merged appearance of each piece – even when every page or document is unique. Printers will be relieved of the burden of manipulating databases, performing merges and ensuring the final product contains the correct variable data.

    Adobe, Dainippon Screen, Digital Printing Council/PIA, R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Harlequin Inc, Heidelberg, Hewlett-Packard, NexPress Solutions, Rochester Institute of Technology, Xeikon, and Xerox have participated in the development of and have expressed support and interest in using PPML/VDX for upcoming products.

    As part of the final review, drafts of the open standard are available at http://www.npes.org/standards/workroom.htm#cgats. Interested parties are invited to participate in the task force development activity, review the drafts, and submit comments to CGATS.

  • Print sales tips – prospecting schedule

    In a recent WhatTheyThink print buyer survey in the USA, respondents were asked which method would give a new vendor the best chance of meeting with you? The results:

    Call placed to me in the morning ……………… 66%
    Call placed to me in the afternoon ……………. 29%
    A walk-in request in the morning ……………….. 3%
    A walk-in request in the afternoon ……………… 2%

    So, what does all this mean to you?

    For starters, and since sometimes the obvious is not so obvious, let’s make sure we state it so we are all on the same page: You have a better chance of getting in front of your prospects if you call them at anytime…than if you don’t call them at all. Procrastination and complacency in prospecting is a recipe for disaster.

    In the execution of your yearly New Business Development Plan (you have one don’t you?), getting in the door requires sustained, well thought out prospecting activities. The information from the above survey clearly calls for an alternating schedule of telephone prospecting calls. Due to the prospect’s normal internal meeting times and other responsibilities, it is likely that even different days of the week (not just the time of day) are better than others for reaching them.

    So how might you optimise the effectiveness of your prospecting skills? Here is a start:

    1. Identify and qualify the accounts you need to develop. (By the way, do you know of a good source for a qualified list of prospective prints buyers?)

    2. Do your research to understand the market, industry trends and company news of each prospective account.

    3. In your planner, set aside specific blocks of time to call on each account. (Eg. two one-hour sessions in the mornings of alternating days and two one-hour sessions in the afternoon.)

    4. Gain permission from your sales manager to make those sessions while “protected” from normal day-to-day interruptions.

    5. Identify the objective of each call and write it down. (Be sure to have a back up plan too, in case your first objective is not attainable on the first call.)

    6. Consider how you plan to get their attention and develop quick rapport.

    7. It is now time to make the calls.

    Once you have finished, assess the results, analyse why you were or were not successful and make appropriate adjustments for the next time.

    Then, go at it again as planned.

    Rick Lamos is a Senior Sales Management Consultant with Lysis International, a US management consulting firm specialising in sales management and organisational effectiveness.

    Phone + 1 440-230-9790 or e-mail: info@lysisintl.com

  • Encyclopaedia Britannica prints new edition

    It will be the first printed version since 1994 and will include revisions of thousands of articles and hundreds of new ones.

    Britannica’s CEO, Ilan Yeshua said the new printing reflects the company’s return to its core strengths. “My goal is to extend Britannica’s presence in every market and every medium where we can provide value to our customers,” he said. “While we will continue to work on the internet as we have in recent years, we will pursue opportunities in other media as well, using the internet, print, CD-ROM and DVD in combination.”

    Printer Colin MacFarquhar and engraver Andrew Bell founded the Encyclopedia Britannica in1768 in Edinburgh Scotland. The two founded a “Society of Gentlemen” to publish the work and hired William Smellie to edit it. The first edition of the Britannica was published one section at a time over a three-year period. The three-volume set was completed in 1771 and quickly sold out.

    Encouraged by the success of the first edition, the publishers issued the second edition in 10 volumes (1777-84). The third edition, completed in 1797 and the first to include articles by outside contributors, comprised 18 volumes; the fourth, completed in 1809, boasted 20.

    The Britannica moved to Chicago in 1929 in time for the 14th edition.

    Britannica was an early leader in electronic publishing and new media. In 1981, the first digital version of the Encyclopædia Britannica was created for the Lexis-Nexis service. Britannica also created the first multimedia CD-ROM encyclopedia, Compton’s MultiMedia Encyclopedia, in 1989.

    In 1994 the company developed Britannica Online, the first encyclopedia for the internet, which made the entire text of the Encyclopædia Britannica available worldwide. That year the first version of the Britannica on CD-ROM was also published.

  • Heidelberg sales up by 15 per cent

    Sales are up by 15 per cent to Euro 5.3 billion over the previous year’s Euro 4.6 billion. The figures translated into an increase in profit.

    “The development of the result exceeded our expectations. We boosted the operating result by 10 percent from Euro 463 million to Euro 506 million,” said Dr. Herbert Meyer, Chief Financial Officer of Heidelberg.

    The company expects sales to continue to rise in the future. “The slowing economy in some parts of the world has hardly affected our business up to now. Consequently, we are also expecting continued sales growth in the next few months,” said Bernhard Schreier CEO in reference to the outlook for the current fiscal year.

    Meanwhile, Heidelberg Australia’s new managing director, Andy Vels Jensen, in his first interview since taking on the top job in the country’s supply industry, claimed sales for the local company are in line with the 36 pert cent increase in the Asia Pacific region. In Australia he said that while the company enjoys a dominant share in many sectors of the market its financial performance could improve.

    “We have high sales, but the profit we are achieving does not reflect that,” he told trade magazine ProPrint.

    Market segments he singled out where Heidelberg is the dominant player include the large (40 inch) sheet fed sector with an 80 per cent market share. He claims that 19 of the 21 eight- and ten-colour full size presses sold in the region are Heidelbergs. In addition he lays claim to 55 per cent of the half-size 28-inch presses and a massive 70 per cent in the A3+ format.

    In other parts of the interview he said the NexPress, the company’s revolutionary digital press, will be sold by other vendors apart from Heidelberg in Australia. “We are taking a multi-channel distributor approach,” he said.

    He also foreshadowed further management changes following the departure of Rod Spencer, whose position will not be replaced. “We are not replacing Rod, ” said Mr Vels Jensen. “He has built a very strong team around him, and I have to let these guys have a chance to shine.”

  • Acrobat roadshow around Australia

    The fairly low-key launch of the products is a deliberate strategy, according to Jordan Rizes, Adobe marketing, who said the company wanted to do more direct presentations to industry groups rather than advertising. He believes the benefits of the products are best understood in live demonstrations.

    Acrobat has become increasingly important to the graphics industry. PDFs (page description format) are almost the defacto standard for the industry with an increasing number of pages being transmitted in this file transfer format. Almost all prepress vendors have developed their own version of PDF creation.

    Acrobat 5.0 is particularly interesting to graphic designers and prepress operators who will find it has a lot more capability and new features such as prepress colour management, multiple views online, overprinting and soft-proofing, and the protection of high-resolution work. It also allows you to extract images from PDF documents and save them as TIFF or PNG files.

    PageMaker 7.0 is directed more towards the business and small office publishing market. It is of peripheral interest to the professional design, prepress and printing markets since Adobe refocused its professional imaging strategy with InDesign.

    Show dates around the country are:

    Sydney Wed 11 July Wesley Centre,
    200 Pitt St., City.

    Canberra Thu 12 July National Convention Centre,
    31 Constitutional Ave.

    Brisbane Fri 13 July Brisbane Convention Centre,
    Cnr. Merivale & Glenelg Sts.,
    Southbank

    Melbourne Tue 17 July Hilton,
    192 Wellington Pde.

    Adelaide Wed 18 July Stamford Grand,
    Moseley Sq., Glenelg

    Perth Thu 19 July Novotel Langley
    221 Adelaide Tce.

    Book for these sessions on 1300 550 205
    or visit www.adobe.com.au/events

    Record sales of its Acrobat software helped Adobe’s second quarter results to June 1, 2001 to reach US$344m, compared with US$300m for the same period last year. Net income was US$61.3m for the second quarter, compared with US$65.8m in 2000.

    President and ceo Bruce Chizen said 67 per cent growth in Adobe’s ePaper Solutions business, which includes Acrobat, combined with operational efficiencies, helped produce another quarter of solid performance.

    The company has also settled a lawsuit brought against it in connection with its acquisition of Frame Technology. Chizen said this has no material impact on Adobe’s financial results and concludes an issue that has been pending since 1996.

  • UK’s Print 21 – an industry with a split personality.

    Print 21, a government funded project, blames the cultural divide for the perception that printing is a declining manufacturing activity. The industry is failing to attract young people who imagine it is still a grimy, dirty-hands job with little or no prospects and unattached to the technology revolution.

    The failure to attract young people means that the average age of a GPMU (the UK printing union) member is now 42 and while the average level of skill required is increasing, many of the existing skilled staff are facing retirement.

    There are now only 12 UK colleges that offer printing courses, many on a block release or night school training basis. This contrasts sharply with the situation in Germany, which has almost 20 times more apprenticeships and the number is increasing further.

    A workforce survey found that only 38 per cent of sites were employing modern apprentices, national trainees or other young people on a structured training scheme. Much of the training is still done on the job and more worrying to the author of the report is that the main reason given for not training is the ‘lack of need’. A fifth of respondents believed that accredited training also made little difference to staff performance.

    The author, Peter James, identified training as the most serious of seven key problems faced by the industry if it is to continue to grow. At a national conference for the printing industry in London he said the only solution to the skills shortages highlighted by the report is to reintroduce a national training levy.

    The failure to attract and train young people was only one of a number of sobering conclusion in Print 21. In a conclusion similar to the one reached about the local industry in the Australian Print 21 report that was released in March, the UK industry report identified over-capacity as a major problem. The phenomenon is critical in some sectors with web offset capacity increasing annually by around 10 per cent in recent years, compared to a 3 per cent to 4 per cent increase in sales.

    The report blames “over-investment in new equipment by some companies, which is related to unsophisticated investment decision making.”

    Profitability in the industry is low and declining. The median return on capital employed fell from 14.67per cent in 1999 to 8.63 per cent in 2000. Some sectors are even worse. Packaging is estimated to have declined from margins of 6 per cent in 1995 to only 2.8 per cent in 1999.

    While the competitive pressures have focused printing firms on becoming more productive – sales per head in printing increased by 27.6 per cent over the period 1992-98 – they have been devastating on margins.

    Despite the negative comments the report concludes that the UK printing, paper and publishing industries can be regarded as the technological pioneers of UK manufacturing industry with a combined turnover of £29bn (Aus $110 bn) a year, representing 3.5 per cent of total GDP.

  • Press maker Xeikon looks for funding

    The company is working with an investment banker on raising up to $40 million. Xeikon has used $23.8 million out of $30 million available under its credit terms by March 31, 2001 and expects to post a loss in the second and third quarters.

    The company blames the losses on a lack of purchases by Xerox, currency fluctuations, and the delayed introduction of its new printing system CSP 320D. There were also problematic issues with the integration of the Nipson black-and-white printing business and the transfer of Agfa’s Chromapress sales and services business to MAN Roland.

    Patrick Berneau, marketing manager graphic systems, Fuji Xerox Australia, confirmed that there was little sales demand here for the company’s Xeikon-based engines, the DocuColor 100. “These are very complex machines that put out a sophisticated level of digital printing. They require skilled operators and are not suitable for every situation.”

    He confirmed the company was concentrating on its popular 2060 engines that are proving to be a great success with over 30 installed in Australia. There is only one DocuColor 100 remaining in operation in Australia, at Boat Race in Sydney where manager, Rob Dean, says he’s very happy with it.

    “We’re making good money from it now. We brought the service function in-house and that has made a big difference. They can be unreliable until you get that right,” said Dean.

    The local industry was given its introduction at PacPrint to the MAN Roland version of the Xeikon technology with the display of the first model from its Dico range. Print & Pack, a wholly owned of MAN Roland subsidiary, has taken over the servicing of the existing Xeikon engines in Australia and New Zealand which were installed under both Agfa and Xeikon brands. Terry Fox, managing director of Print & Pack reported solid industry interest in the new version and expects to have machines in the market this year. Dico will be the only version of the Xeikon engine available in Australia.

    Xeikon’s new executive chairman Gino Despeghel says recent operating losses and a high level of working capital have caused the company’s short-term credit squeeze

  • Diamond Press Sydney premises to be sold

    Ferrier Hodgson partner and joint administrator, Brian Silvia, said contracts had been exchanged with AMP Henderson Global Investors for the sale of land and buildings on the Sydney premises of Diamond Press, in the inner-western Sydney suburb of Alexandria. Sale is expected to be completed by October 31.

    Meanwhile, Mr Silvia said he had commenced an international tender campaign for the sale of Diamond Press’ major plant and equipment located at both the Sydney and Melbourne sites. Tender notices were placed in the national press last weekend. A decision of the future of Diamond Press’ Melbourne premises, in Sunshine, has yet to be reached, he said.

    The sale by tender of major items of printing equipment will centre on the relatively new Heidelberg web presses and publishing equipment in Mebourne and some of the earliest MAN Roland 700 sheetfed presses in Sydney.

    Diamond Press last month announced it would close down both its Melbourne and Sydney operations. The Group entered voluntary administration on March 30, amid what owner John Spira described as an unprecedented downturn in the company’s business in the third quarter of 2000/01.

    A full report being prepared by Ferrier Hodgson will be presented at a second creditors meeting, due early next month.

    Previous reports on Diamond Press are available in the archive.

  • Software truce runs out – Adobe declares war

    Adobe Systems has announced a ‘get tough’ campaign from next week in Australia and New Zealand on anyone using illegal. Led by Victor Guerrero, Anti-piracy Manager of Adobe Systems and newly appointed Anti-piracy consultant, Faye Chatillon, the vigorous anti-piracy campaign will be targeting businesses from SME’s to large corporates.

    The truce gave small and large companies who may be unaware they are using Adobe software illegally 60 days to legalise their software. From now on for companies that don’t get legal, Adobe will follow through with legal action if required.

    “Many culprits do not intentionally pirate software, but rather don’t know what is legal and what isn’t,” said Mr Guerrero. “They don’t know they are breaking the law; but company directors need to realise they are also liable for pirated software found within their business.

    “Over the years Adobe has developed an accurate knowledge of who is using Adobe software illegally. We gave companies time to get legal through the BSAA truce, but now however, we will be approaching companies, and taking more serious action.”

    To reinforce its seriousness Adobe, in conjunction with other software vendors recently took legal action against the director of a small business, who was fined $10,000 for possession of pirated Adobe software.

    Adobe put out a list of the common forms of software piracy that includes:
    Sharing or copying fonts beyond what the license agreement for that font allows including using or supplying corporate fonts to customers or service providers who do not own their copy of the font.

    Multiple copies of one application loaded on multiple machines. Many people have one copy of PhotoShop installed on multiple machines, or a server, but only use one application at any one time. This is an illegal use of the software.

    Using Acrobat Distiller on a Server. It is a breach of the licence agreement to use Adobe Acrobat software to provide services to others who do not have their own copy of Acrobat installed on their machine.

    Having the incorrect number of licenses for the number of computers, including licences for Adobe fonts. This includes ensuring each printer owns a copy of the fonts that is sent to it.

    Printers are particularly vulnerable if they receive jobs from clients with fonts attached. They break the law if they use the client’s fonts without having their own copy. This is a common and widespread practice in the industry.

    To help people understand how to be legal, Adobe has developed an
    educational brochure, which outlines the parameters of software piracy and helps companies get legal. It is also hosting a series of seminars in July for targeted markets that are most affected. A free hotline is also available at 1 300 882 546 for companies wanting to seek information.

    The brochure also highlights the benefits to having registered Adobe
    products, which include: customer support, updates to Adobe’s latest developments and access to upgrade and crossgrade offers.

    The BSAA maintains that 32 per cent of commonly used software in Australia is pirated – a figure that is on the rise. During the truce there was according to Adobe, “a phenomenal reaction, with hundreds of businesses registering to go legitimate.”

    “By appointing a specialist anti-piracy consultant and implementing a strong anti-piracy campaign, Adobe is committed to decreasing the rate of Piracy on Adobe software in the Pacific region and helping individuals and companies to get legal, and stay legal,” says Craig Tegel, Managing Director, Adobe Systems Pacific & South East Asia.

    One of the most commonly pirated Adobe products in Australia is Adobe PhotoShop and Adobe Fonts.

  • More news… items…. other news…latebreaking…

    Agfa figures down

    Agfa Graphic Systems had sales of Euro 471 million in the first quarter of 2001. This is equivalent to a decrease of eight per cent. The EBIT, at Euro 20 million, was 43 per cent down on the first quarter of the previous year. The main reason was the weaker economic situation, which led to lower production of printed advertising matter, especially in the North American and Australasian regions. Sales in Europe remained stable.

    Putting a shine on the Apple

    In contrast to its Australian Buzzle shemozzle, Apple’s first two retail locations in the US welcomed over 7,700 people and sold $599,000 during their first two day weekend. The stores, located in California and Virginia are the first of 25 stores the company is opening across the U.S. in 2001.
    “We are blown away with the numbers,” enthused Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “More importantly, customers have told us they love everything about the store from the knowledgeable sales staff to the Genius Bar, to the store’s design and unique approach to presenting digital lifestyle solutions.”
    The Apple stores carry over 300 third-party software titles and inventory for every product displayed to ensure immediate fulfilment. No announcement as yet as to possible Australian Apple stores, although it must seem an attractive option following the company’s tragic engagement with the Buzzle chain of resellers that went into bankruptcy this year.

    Heidelberg walks the walk in China

    Heidelberg won orders worht Euro13.5m during the China Print exhibition in Beijing last month. This builds on its success in the market where regional manager Gunter Zorn estimates Heidelberg already has 80 per cent of the high-end market. China’s entry into the World Trade Organisation will further boost the attractiveness of imported presses as the threat of protective tariffs declines. In fact entry would deliver a cut in tariffs from 40 to 15 per cent.
    This will leave local manufacturers competing for orders from smaller printers while Heidelberg services the larger colour printers. At China Print this resulted in orders for 11 units of CD74s and 28 CD102 units. China is already Heidelberg’s fifth-largest market and will become its third-largest market within five years.

    Brite Aussies win in the US

    Brite Solutions, one of Australia’s largest screen and digital imaging companies, won the Andre Schellenberg Award at the recent DPI show (Digital Printing & Imaging Assoc.) held in Atlanta Georgia. This is the first time this prize has been awarded to a company operating outside the US.
    Peter Hillier, managing director of Brite says, “We are very proud to be honored with this award” The prize was for a large format image printed on a HP DesignJet 5000. Brite Solutions has extensive production facilities in both Sydney and Melbourne. The company has been operating since 1946 and specialises in supplying printing for the outdoor, fleet, retail, gaming, exhibition and POP (point of purchase) markets.

    Here comes electrocoagulation technology

    It’s quite a mouthful and its been in development for a long time, but the first Elco 400 digital press from Canadian inventor, Elcorsy, has finally started trials at the Tokyo factory of its ink formulation partner, Toyo Ink. The company says it is aiming to install four machines by the end of this year.
    The machine at Toyo Ink will be used for testing the inks, for customer demonstrations and as a service bureau operation to generate revenue. According to Elcorsy, the other units scheduled for delivery later this year will be going to a black-and-white on-demand printer which is moving into colour; to a trade magazine printer producing special editions for individual towns; and to a printer producing inserts and fliers for segmented print runs. The first commercial machine is scheduled for delivery in September.
    The machine at Toyo Ink runs at a fast 400 feet a minute at a resolution of 400 by 400dpi. It has four printing units and uses the proprietary ‘electrocoagulation’ technology. This involves placing small globules of ink on a drum. An electric current coagulates the ink and the excess is scraped away with a doctor blade. The dots are then transferred directly to the paper. The technology is capable of immensely fast print runs.

    Ouch! HP slugged for $400 million in patent deal

    Hewlett-Packard has agreed to pay Pitney Bowes $400 million in cash but has not admitted any infringements in settlement of a patent dispute. Under the terms of the agreements, the companies resolved all pending patent litigation under a 1995 lawsuit brought by Pitney Bowes involving print technology patents
    The companies entered into a technology licensing agreement and expect to pursue business and commercial relationships. No further details of the agreements will be made available.

    Scitex bows out of 74 Karat

    Karat Digital Press company with its 130 staff, has become a wholly owned KBA company following the termination of the joint development agreement with Scitex. Under the terms of the new agreement, CreoScitex will provide imaging technology and CTPress software for the 74 Karat. KBA and Creo-Scitex will guarantee the ongoing development and provision of imaging technology for the 74 Karat as well as direct access to Brisque workflow system.
    The 74 Karat went into serial production in May 2000, just before Drupa in Düsseldorf, Germany. So far 45 units have been sold and more than 30 of these are on stream in Europe and North America. The 74 Karat is a waterless offset press with keyless inking units and standardised process sequences. It is marketed as “push button offset.”

    A man on the rise

    Boudewijn Neijens has been named corporate vice-president of marketing for CreoScitex worldwide. He will be based in the company’s global headquarters in Vancouver from July.
    Mark Dance, president and coo of CreoScitex, says this is a new role. “By integrating our overall marketing strategy, Boudewijn will help drive the CreoScitex vision for the efficient and profitable digitisation of the graphic arts.”
    Neijens joined Creo Products in 1994 as general manager of Creo Products in Belgium and launched the European subsidiary that generated 38 per cent of Creo’s revenue last year. Prior to this he was European sales and marketing director of Optrotech and products group manager of Crosfield Electronics in the UK.

    Invisible ink still top secret

    The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has gone into battle to protect one of its espionage secrets – the formulation of invisible ink. Despite ridicule from opponents that the classified materials involve basic formulas that for decades had been in the public domain, the CIA doggedly maintains that disclosure will harm national security.
    According to a report by Bill Miller in The Washington Post the formulas are the oldest classified secrets of the US Government dating back more than 80 years
    A public interest group filed a lawsuit to gain access to the US government’s oldest classified documents – papers that date to World War I and bear such titles as Secret Inks, Detection of Secret Ink, German Secret Ink Formula and Pamphlet on Invisible Photography & Writing.
    The legal battle began in 1998, when the organisation asked the US National Archives to identify the oldest classified document in its custody. Officials responded with titles and dates of six documents dealing with secret ink. But they did not release the materials, saying that decision was up to the CIA.
    Government lawyers claim that enemies of the United States do not know which particular formulas and methods the CIA considers reliable. They said secret inks remain viable for use by CIA case officers and sources.
    “The age and availability of information about the science of secret ink does not diminish the value of keeping secret the particular formulas and methods at issue here,” wrote government lawyers.
    Historians have traced the use of secret ink back to 230 BC.

    And finally… in memory of Tommy Cooper

    So I went to the dentist.
    He said, “Say aaah!”
    I said, “Why?”
    He said, “My dog’s died.”

  • Heidelberg Icon retires – Rod Spencer leaves after 44 years

    By Alison Stieven-Taylor

    Musing that he could have served two or three terms for murder in the 44 years he has been with Heidelberg, Rod acknowledges with reluctance, that today he is somewhat an iconic figure for the printing and graphics communications industry in Australia. Perhaps one of the forefathers of an era that has seen the most extraordinary changes in the way the industry operates.

    With fire in his belly, Rod’s never been one to shy away from change and has been instrumental in achieving a significant transformation in the way the Heidelberg business is conducted in Australia. On an industry scale, his influence has overflowed to embrace other industry efforts as can be seen in his recent role as the Chairman of the board of PacPrint 2001.

    “You can’t replace someone like Rod Spencer,” comments Andy Vels Jensen, Managing Director, Heidelberg Australia & New Zealand (HAN). “You can’t buy that kind of knowledge and experience. Succession is inevitable in all organizations. Rod has been instrumental in creating the sales philosophies held by Heidelberg Australia today. We have excellent training and systems in place and will continue to grow in these areas. Rod built a strong team around him and this team will take over the reigns when he leaves. Personally, I will miss the opportunity of working with Rod in HAN; I wish him a healthy and happy retirement.”

    The industry at large also recognizes Rod’s contribution. This year he was the first supplier to be named the Graphic Arts Person of the Year Award. “I was genuinely surprised,” comments Rod on receiving the award. “For a supplier to get this award, that’s a hell of a breakthrough. When I joined the industry, suppliers were almost seen as pariahs, never allowed to be full members of industry organizations. Today it’s quite different. GAMAA’s done a lot to change attitudes and is very much a part of the industry. To be recognized by your peers is very flattering. To say I wasn’t impressed would be a lie.”

    From his earliest working experiences in his family’s butcher shop in Adelaide, Rod recognised his need to work with people. “I used to talk to the women who would come into the shop. I thrived on that interaction, the face to face of selling, joking with the housewives. I knew from an early age that life in a butcher’s shop wasn’t for me. I didn’t want blood on my hands . . . instead I ended up with ink.”

    At the age of 15, he left the carcasses behind to take up an apprenticeship as a Printers Engineer with the sole Australian agents for Heidelberg, Seligson & Clare. “I was a pretty lousy technician,” says Rod somewhat proud of his inability to knuckle down to his engineering role. “I wanted to be with people, get out there and talk up a sale. I embarked on a bout of study. Like a sponge I soaked up information on sales and marketing. Somewhere along the line I studied credit management – I was study mad.”

    The company identified Rod’s unique capacity for selling and moved him quickly into the sales arena. “I loved working with the customers, planning their purchases, getting an understanding of their business, looking at their futures. That’s never really changed and I think is the core reason why I’ve stayed and thrived in the one company for so long.”

    The major turning point in Rod’s career came in 1973 when he was appointed as Victorian Sales Manager. Moving his family to Melbourne, Rod was responsible for the Victorian and Tasmanian markets. “It was at this point that I really began to understand what our business was about. Before then I was essentially a door to door salesman.”

    By 1980 Rod was the National Operations Manager, but didn’t like being desk bound. Howard Dare was brought in as General Manager and Rod moved into the role of National Marketing Manager. “It was in this position that I really hit my stride,” says Rod. “In this role I focused on developing a truly professional sales organisation. We began to employ graduates and under-graduates and moved tradesmen into the sales team giving us a sales force that had a good mix of knowledge and technical understanding.”

    Training, training, training, hang dollars off your benefits, became his catch-cry. The processes Rod put in place have continued to be practiced by the company. Today the Heidelberg sales teams reflect a solid understanding of the industry from technological and business practice perspectives enabling the company to develop lasting business partnerships with their customers.

    “I’ll miss that most, helping and guiding our own staff,” says Rod. “Prior to initiating the training programs for our sales teams, there was no structure in this whole game. It’s only looking in hindsight that you realise how bad it was. Customers were screaming for better representation, better technical and after sales service. What we didn’t understand before then, is the fact that a good salesman, or technical representative, whatever you want to call them, I call them salesmen, are as important as a mechanical technician because bad advice can kill you and that’s what customers are asking for, advice. So as much as we are labeled salesmen we are consultants as well and in that role we have a responsibility to know what we are talking about.”

    When Heidelberg acquired Seligson & Clare in 1995, Rod moved into his current role of Sales & Marketing Director.

    Over the four decades he has worked in the industry he has witnessed massive change, in the way people conduct their businesses and in the technological revolution.

    “I had three products to sell when I first started in sales,” laughs Rod. “Today we have more solutions than we have problems. The changes in the industry have been remarkable. I leave at a fascinating time.”

    “We are part of the electronic change sweeping the world. The printers dimension is growing within the changing landscape; PDF is a classic example – 50% of printers employ all or part of PDF as their chief workflow system, which is a huge percentage.”

    “I’ve been fortunate to have been part of the technological explosion. When I went to drupa in 1972 for the first time, the industry was almost totally a letterpress industry. At drupa that year, Heidelberg released a new product, a little thing called a GTO and it changed the industry forever.”

    “The GTO was a small offset jobbing press. Most general printing done in those days was on Heidelberg Platens and Cylinders and in one exhibition Heidelberg released this product and it turned the industry upside down. We couldn’t import enough of them. We were selling 150 units a year. And with the change in technology came the need for retraining of both our own and customers’ staff. It was a very exciting time and there was lots of energy in the industry.”

    And change will keep coming. Rod believes the industry is in the embryo stage of another massive shift.

    “The next revolution is electronic colour,” he says. “Xerox, Hewlett-Packard and Heidelberg – they will be tackling a whole new market. Here we’ve got a technology, but not necessarily an application so we have to create an industry.”

    “Marketers will change the way they market. There may be a time when direct mail is all too intrusive; just think about how many items you receive in one week. And when marketers start thinking about different ways to communicate with their audiences, this will impact on the industry. We need to have the solutions for these communicators and know how to service them.”

    “I think the industry pussyfoots around with change and the process is too slow, but then all process are too slow for me, I like to break down barriers, not wait for them to fall down. I think the industry is teetering and doesn’t know what to do with themselves.”

    “Print 21 is a great initiative, fantastic, but it won’t increase the size of the pie and that’s the real issue. Fear of the unknown, of not knowing how to do it – that’s where the reticence lies. The cost being charged to produce print in this country is all too low. If you go to the US the cost there is almost three times, so if you are going to charge the low rates, then go and compete in a land where there are high rates. At least you have a chance of getting some of it back.”

    “The industry keeps needing to ask itself, how can we be smarter. We need to put our energies into areas to grow the industry such as export for example rather than to try and teach people how to run a better business because that knowledge is already available, all we have to do is try and point them in the right direction.”

    If that’s controversial so be it, remarks Rod and those who know him understand that controversy has never stopped him moving forward. “I don’t have any compunction in saying what I think. It frustrates me to watch probably one of the best quality printing industries in the world – our knowledge of being able to put ink on paper is second to none – get the staggers.”

    “What we’re not good at is trying to expand our market. Projections say it might grow at the rate of GDP and if that’s realistic, it will implode. We need to look off-shore.”

    He cites Singapore as an example. “The Singapore Government taught industry, and in particular the printing fraternity, how to export. Now the doubting Thomases in our industry will say they were successful because their cost base was low. That’s absolutely true, however today their cost base is higher than ours, salaries, costs to build, to service etc., are higher, yet they are still competitive because they know how to export.”

    “We have to learn something from that. So while we are sitting looking at each other and cutting the profits out of each other’s businesses, there are opportunities off shore. Print is a good cash flow industry. However, margins are shocking. The cost of service is high. High turnover, high debt. Something has to change.”

    For a man who is retiring after 44 years, there seems to be no slowing down, his energy and enthusiasm for life impossible to quell, however the next wave of change in the printing industry is going to have to be spearheaded by another champion.

    “I want to be selfish for a while, spend time with my family, time tripping around – Australia first, then Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland. There will be those renovations I’ve put off for years and a spot of golf and fishing. There’s another life for me out there that’s not necessarily in the printing industry. I’ve had a couple of offers to stay, everyone says you’ll be back. But why retire if I’m coming back. There’s a lot for me do to.”

    “People drive this industry and that’s what’s kept me going. From a very early age I realized that relationships are what make good business, relationships with your team and with your customers. A lot of my best friends are in the industry. Even though I’m leaving the industry, I’m not losing the friendships so I won’t be escaping entirely.”

    “I’ll remember every minute of it.”

  • Challenge 21 – LIA in Sydney

    Field is the Professor of Graphic Communication at the California Polytechnic State University, a well-known author on graphic technologies and is acknowledged as one of the foremost authorities in colour reproduction, management and quality.

    The Technical Association of the Graphic Arts (TAGA), the Institute of Printing (US) and the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF) have all awarded Field their highest honours in recognition of his research contribution. According to Bob Lamont, LIA conference chairman, Field has an outstanding reputation in the graphics communication industry and will play a key role in delivering the conference theme of Merging Graphic Technologies.

    Other outstanding speakers include Professor Robin Williams, Dean faculty of Art, Design and Communication, RMIT and UNESCO Chair in Communication, Dr.Karl Kruszelnicki, Professor Julius Sumner Miller Fellow at the University of Sydney and well-known radio talkback science commentator.

    Joining this elite group is Brian McGrath, Director of European Sales, Seven Worldwide, arguably one of the world’s leading global graphic communications companies.
    The announcement of further high profile speakers will be made shortly.”

    “CHALLENGE 21 – Merging Graphic Technologies” will be held at Star City Sydney 26 – 28 October. Early Bird bookings will be available from around the end of July.

    “The LIA has high hopes for a record number of delegate registrations given the quality of the conference content,” said Lamont. “Final conference pricing details are yet to be confirmed, however, due in no small part to the generous patronage of GAMAA, we can guarantee a very affordable cost for an outstanding conference experience”

  • It’s freezing out there – the challenge of cold calling

    Ask most sales people about prospecting for new business or ‘cold calling’ and you will find their reaction will be negative.

    Ask most prospects, your potential customers, their opinion about being ‘cold called’ and you will likely get an even stronger reaction.

    Prospecting for new business is one of the critical components of most tactical sales plans. It has to be done if you are going to gain new customers and grow your business. But there are ways of doing it that are counter productive.

    We have all had the 8:00 p.m. phone call at home offering an unspeakably good deal on a credit card, new windows and siding or any of a myriad of products and services. Most business to business prospecting takes the same shape and actually reduces your salesperson’s chances for success.

    Typically here is how it goes… from the prospect’s perspective

    Monday morning during the weekly staff meeting he is interrupted by the receptionist with a message that your salesperson is on the phone.
    With little knowledge of your company and never having heard of this salesperson before he instructs her to take a message.
    Monday afternoon or Tuesday a second call comes through while he is out of the office. Upon returning there is a second message awaiting him.
    Returning the call is of no urgency to him and his receptionist is beginning to roll her eyes with each call. Knowing there is no urgency on her boss’ part the calls are now becoming a nuisance.
    Finally, on a day when the receptionist is out, your salesperson gets lucky (he thinks) and the boss answers the phone in her absence.
    Depending on his mood or personality type he will do one of two things.
    Weary from the barrage of messages and not wanting to appear rude for not having returned the call, he reluctantly agrees to a meeting with your salesperson. Worse yet simply refuses the meeting altogether. Or after scheduling the meeting, abruptly cancels it.

    Now, your competitor’s salesperson may be going about it in a different way. Here’s how your potential customer may find that relationship.

    On a similar Monday morning, after his staff meeting he opens his mail which contains the copy of an article from a trade magazine discussing a timely event related to his business. Attached to it is a handwritten note and business card requesting a meeting when his needs dictate.
    The following week he walks in and finds a handwritten note referring to your competitor’s website and an article or resource he can pick up there.
    Later that same week a request comes through from the receptionist asking him to take a call from your competitor’s salesperson. Recognizing the salesperson’s name, and with his interest piqued from the two previous calls, he takes the call and agrees to a meeting.

    So what’s the point?

    Even if your salesperson was fortunate enough to get the appointment, is he or she in a better strategic position than your competitor’s at this step in the buying process? Of course not.

    Your prospecting strategy should be built on the premise that you must earn the right to begin the selling process. Earning that right begins with understanding of the buying process of your prospect.

    The same principle applies as the sale begins to unfold. Assume for just a moment that the need was for new print inventory management. Each salesperson has done due diligence in presenting the benefits of their product, completed a demonstration of their respective offerings and delivered a professional proposal with competitive pricing. Both systems seem to meet his needs, delivery and pricing are similar.

    The prospect asks for some time to review his choices and the waiting begins. A week later, as the messages mount from your salesperson, the prospect has received one note from your competitor’s salesperson regarding a potential applicant to fill the vacant position in the accounting department and a second from him notifying of an upcoming seminar related to industry trends in inventory control.

    To whom is the prospect going to be most inclined to give his business?

    Rick Lamos is a Senior Sales Management Consultant with Lysis International, a US management consulting firm specializing in sales management and organisational effectiveness.

    Phone + 1 440-230-9790 or e-mail: info@lysisintl.com

  • Australian developer takes on DuPont

    Moving right along he soon lighted on ImpoProof to describe his unique machine. Chinchen needed the new name quickly to market his product following a parting of the ways with backer DuPont which decided to go with a single engine US-produced machine, SpinJet. Until recently the ImpoProof was being produced under license by Dupont as its DI-1050 imposition proofer using Digital Dylux paper.

    “We have substantially modified the device so that it can now work with virtually any media as long as it meets some basic criteria,” said Chinchen. “We have even tested it with newsprint and it works.”

    In an ironic twist the first sales of the newly-named ImpoProof have been to the USA where it is replacing a DuPont-branded machine in Detroit. Chinchen is currently in the States installing the Australian-developed technology and reports that negotiations are underway for five more of the machines to go to New York.

    He is one of a new breed of local techno-entrepreneurs who are taking the development battle to the world. Unwilling to accept the market dominance of the large US-based companies they are finding there are enough customers overseas to support the Australian industry.

    “It’s harder to sell Australian technology in Melbourne than it is in the United States,” said Chinchen. “Over there people are prepared to judge a unit on its merits while here there is a greater reliance on a brand name.”

    ImpoProof uses proprietary software to drive one or two HP 1050c large format inkjets to produce dual-sided eight-up proofs for CTP workflows prior to plate-making.

    Hyphen’s move comes as DuPont announces it is merging its colour proofing and Cyrel packaging graphics businesses into a new organisation to be known as DuPont Imaging Technologies.

    The company will use the new division to launch “more focused and competitive offerings” to the packaging graphics and colour proofing sectors and expand into the broader imaging market.

    As part of the local move DuPont has lost the services of long-term industry proofing specialist, Mike Webb. A 25-year well known industry veteran, Webb said the parting was amicable. “They asked for volunteers and I put up my hand,” he said. He intends to take on some offers of consultancy work.

  • PMP Printing hits soft ground

    Despite a number of new print contracts becoming available following Diamond Press’s demise, there will be no startlng recovery with profit margins continuing to be tight in a competitive market. The sudden slump in retail marketing activity, specifically in the production of catalogues, was a major factor in downfall of Diamond Press.

    The weaker print market has produced aggressive pricing strategies across the industry with PMP now locked in battle with erstwhile merger partner IPMG for market share. Ironically the tussle comes after PMP was able to discover the dynamics of its rival’s printing business following disclosure as part of the failed merger bid earlier this year. The discovery that they are equalling and in some cases beating the previously secretive opposition in terms of pricing margins and in such parameters as the amount of waste per start-up is reported to have buoyed PMP Print morale.

    For PMP, the print market first began to soften during late March and early April. The company expects the extremely soft market conditions in May to continue through to June. Print volumes in May and June combined are forecast to fall by 32 per cent compared to the same period last year. Forecast scheduled work for the print division for Q1 2002 is down seven per cent on the same period last year.

    The softness in the print advertising market has also negatively impacted the profitability of PMP’s digital graphic arts division, Show Ads.