Archive for August, 2001

  • Extra news… short bits…more news… people…wots on

    HP Imaging and Printing Systems

    Revenues for the imaging and printing systems division of Hewlett-Packard declined 10 per cent in the third quarter. The division includes laser and inkjet printers, imaging devices and associated supplies.
    Results were impacted by economic weakness in all regions and continued decline in average selling prices, reported the company. HP LaserJet hardware revenue declined 12 per cent and inkjet printer revenue declined 31 per cent. Despite this HP claims it maintained or gained share in all key printer hardware categories.
    The company reported third quarter revenue of $10.1 billion, compared to $11.8 billion in last year’s third quarter, a decrease of 14 per cent as reported.

    Penguin goes into ebooks

    Penguin will launch an ebook publishing programme next month branded ePenguin. According to industry news portal dot print, UK digital printer Lightning Source is providing a complete fulfilment package from the digitisation of content to the secure delivery of the ebooks to customers.
    The ePenguins will be published initially in Microsoft Reader and Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader formats, with the majority costing 20 per cent less than their paper equivalents. With an autumn list of over 200 titles, ePenguins will be published monthly.
    Fiction includes Jane Austen’s Emma and non-fiction, The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. There are also titles for the teen and children’s market. The publisher’s website at www.penguin.co.uk will be the primary outlet and although sales are not expected to be significant immediately, it is predicted that they could be in five to ten years.
    No word yet on an Australian ePenguin printer although PMP has an ongoing ebook business.

    Flirting by e-mail

    eMail Marketing company edesigns.co.uk surveyed over 500 UK men and women on their office e-mail habits. The results published in the email Marketing Newsletter show more than one-third of men spend upwards of 40 minutes daily gossiping or flirting with colleagues through e-mail. Only 13 per cent of women admit using e-mail to flirt, but over one-third of women use e-mail for two hours or more weekly for social purposes.
    Top e-mail abuses by men include office flirting (27%), gossiping about co-workers (18%), contacting friends outside of the office (16%), forwarding pornographic website links (13%) and organizing their social lives (11%). Top e-mail abuses by women include planning their social lives (32%), contacting siblings (18%), office gossip (15%), flirting (13%) and passing along links to porn sites (7%).

    The Standard finally falls

    The Industry Standard, a US weekly magazine that chronicles the internet economy is to suspend publication. Parent company, Standard Media International, says it will continue to run the website, TheStandard.com, and will retain a small editorial team while it seeks a buyer. The company expects to file for bankruptcy protection and most of the 180 staff will lose their jobs.
    At its peak, the magazine had more than 300 pages and in 2000 managed to bring in 7,558 advertising pages. However, recent issues have struggled to reach more than 90 pages, reflecting a trend that applies across the magazine publishing sector.
    The Australian version of the magazine went under earlier this year.

    Martin moves on

    After 10 months researching the dynamics of e-commerce for CPI Group, Ian Martin has taken on the role of National Manager-Imaging and Consumables, responsible for all the Fuji consumables and Electronic Equipment as well as Inks. The move is an indicator of the changed priorities in the industry as suppliers recognise that their customers are not ready for the move to e-commerce. Most are concentrating on using the internet for supply chain management rather than actual transactions.
    Martin will be based in Melbourne.

    Six colour printing upgrade

    Pantone announced a significant upgrade to its HexWare that streamlines and strengthens the Hexachrome workflow with new colour creation and correction tools as well as improved print preview features. HexWare 2.0, a software toolset of plug-ins, contains the latest versions of HexImage for PhotoShop and HexVector for Illustrator. The new product enables designers, service bureaus and print shops to easily separate, colour correct, pre-proof and prepare files with Hexachrome six-colour process printing for sheetfed, web and flexo printing.
    Hexachrome, Pantone’s six-colour process – with specially developed CMYK plus Orange and Green inks – renders significantly more colours than commercial four-colour process printing. As one cannot work in native Hexachrome space in PhotoShop, Pantone developed new tools for HexWare 2.0, one of which simplifies designing and separating files for print by providing colour correction and ink density control in the Hexachrome six colour space.

    New printer for trade

    A new printer in Melbourne, Promologo Printing, specialises in pad printing on promotional products, industrial components and finished products. Run by Jack Xu and Green Sun, they say, “We have more than ten years experience in pad printing, we provide the best quality and lowest prices in Melbourne. Promologo is a new company with a booming business.”
    They can be found at
    1 Dalmor Ave.
    Mitcham 3132
    Victoria
    Ph: 03-98930014

    Getting money takes time

    According to a report by Print Planet.com, WAM! NET has notified investors in the US that it will delay its required stock exchange filing this quarter. “The registrant has been in active discussions with a financing partner regarding a potential financing transaction. These discussions have required a substantial time commitment from the employees of the registrant. Due to the time spent by such employees working on this potential transaction, the registrants’ Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2001, could not be filed within the prescribed time period without unreasonable effort or expense.”

    Super dooper, more Tommy Cooper.

    Man goes to the doc with a strawberry growing out of his head.
    Doc says, “I’ll give you some cream to put on it.”

    And

    “Doc, I can’t stop singing the Green Green Grass of Home.”
    “That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome.”
    “Is it common/”
    “It’s not unusual.”

    Finally

    What do you call a fish with no eyes?
    A fsh.

  • Measuring customer satisfaction –

    We’re discovering these days that it’s not enough to deliver a top quality product on time, on budget, consistently to keep business. If the printer down the street can top your prices by five per cent – he’ll probably snag the next job. Or will he?

    Every company has those cherished few accounts that are vitally loyal, resisting tempting prices and extravagant proposals. We point to the strength of the relationships we’ve built with those accounts as the reason for that loyalty. We always find a way to come through for them regardless of the circumstances – so why would they ever consider leaving?

    Most of us have had customers leave when we were certain they were totally satisfied. Merrily we roll along and then one day, bang! – they move a big job that was perfect for us! How the heck did that happen? After all we’ve done for them? Whatever happened to customer loyalty?

    It boils down to degrees of satisfaction. The higher the level of satisfaction our customers experience, the greater the trust and confidence they show in us. The greater the trust, the more comfortable they become and the less likely they’ll be to move the business for a few percentage points.

    The key is to consistently measure customers’ satisfaction levels to be certain we aren’t susceptible to abandonment by our accounts – then taking prompt action to raise the comfort level if we sense a decline. There are several ways to measure satisfaction – formally and informally.

    Person to Person

    Customers who are quizzed about leaving long-time supplier relationships most often cite neglect as their primary reason. They feel they’ve been taken for granted. Somewhere along the way the sales courtship ended and their supplier rested only on reliable performance to secure customer loyalty. It’s not enough…and it never will be.

    This is a people business, people doing business with people. If we fail to acknowledge and respond to silent or audible cries for attention by our customers, someone else will – and they’ll move on.

    It begins with a personal touch. The primary contact on the account simply must stay in front of the customer as frequently as possible, but always with a purpose. Educate, inform and persuade, of course – but equally important, that primary contact needs to ask the appropriate questions to ascertain the customer’s satisfaction level. How are we doing? What can we do to improve?

    Quarterly Meetings

    Some firms find it valuable to schedule and conduct quarterly review meetings with their customers. These quarterly reviews cover performance evaluations on both sides of the desk. Customer and printer critique the relationship, the performance of the key people, the successful execution of the work done together and the effectiveness of the communication between the firms.

    Often the meetings include sales, customer service and top management personnel from the printer and the print buyer, designers and key personnel from the customer. Current sales volume and historical sales records are reviewed. A written action agenda is prepared to focus on improving the relationship.

    Annual “State of the Union” Meetings

    Another method of measuring customer satisfaction is the annual State of the Union meeting. A top executive from the printer and the key contact from the customer often conduct this. The sales professional and frequently a higher ranking official of the customer company are present for the session.

    As the name suggests, both firms review the state of their respective companies in this meeting. Aside from the obvious performance appraisal, the direction, progress and future plans of the firms are also revealed and discussed.

    This represents an excellent opportunity for the printer to share industry trends, the availability and cost of raw materials, the impact of technology and other elements. On the other side of the ledger, the customer has the chance to talk about what affects their buying decisions from a marketing and sales standpoint, the competitive pressures they face in their business and the future direction their firm is taking.

    Job Critique Cards

    Customer satisfaction cards or job critique cards are the most obvious ways to be graded on performance. We see them in nearly all consumer markets – restaurants, hotels, auto dealerships, etc. We are also seeing them with more frequency in the printing industry.

    These critique cards are distributed to customers on individual projects to give the buyer an opportunity to evaluate the printer’s performance. They address the quality of the work done, the timeliness of delivery, the completeness of communication and the overall level of service.

    The critique cards can be used on every job produced for every customer. They can also be used to measure performance on only new projects for new customers. How they’re used and when is a matter of what the company is intending to measure.

    One of the keys to success with this tool is active follow-up with customers who cite problems. To simply ask the question and not respond to dissatisfaction is worse than never having asked the question. A system should be in place to review all responses and answer negatives in a timely fashion.

    Customer Satisfaction Surveys

    One of the more obvious and often most revealing means of measuring customer satisfaction is by formally surveying them. This can be done using any number of methods from personal interviews to phone and mail surveys.

    The method to be used depends upon the time frame, budget and size of the audience you intend to study. Mail surveys, for example, take a bit longer to execute but are less expensive per response than phone surveys or personal interviews.

    Satisfaction surveys can also be managed in-house or using a professional marketing or market research firm. The primary advantage of doing this in-house is most often cost-related. The down side is the possibility of lost objectivity in evaluating the responses or inexperience in the field of market research. These can sometimes be obstacles to the effective execution of the study.

    An outside firm can be costly but the return on the investment can be readily measured. Fast results, unbiased appraisals, well-structured questionnaires and objective recommendations of action are all advantages.

    One of the down sides to outside firms is their possible unfamiliarity with your company or the industry. They may know the research business but not the printing business. It’s your assignment to flatten the learning curve and use these professionals and their skills to your advantage.

    Why Measure?

    Hopefully the answer to that question is obvious. To put it all into perspective, when we look for new business we strike our competitors where they’re most vulnerable. We go after customers that are not only attractive to us, but those who have some level of dissatisfaction that we can pick away at to encourage them to move their business to us. So it stands to reason that our competitors might look for that very weakness in our customer ranks.

    Prevention of customer loss or the erosion of customer satisfaction begins with a solid understanding of where you stand with those accounts. And the more successful the measurement process, the greater the chance you can head off potential problems and solidify relationships with your customer base.

    # # #

    Dennis J. Castiglione is the president of PROCOM, a US-based management consulting firm specialising in the development and implementation of Sales & Marketing Plans and Marketing Communications Programs.

    You can contact Dennis at www.procom-mgmt.com

  • ST 300 is ‘number one’ saddle stitcher, claims Heidelberg

    Among the company’s that have switched to the Heidelberg saddle stitcher are Link Printing, RT Kelly, trade finisher Les Baddock, Impact Printing, Finsbury Print, New Litho, Craftsman Press, Quality Images, PrintCraft, Scott Print and Buscombe VicPrint.

    “This is an area where we did not have a product before, which can be a problem because no one wants to be the first. But because it is such a technically superior machine we were able to convince customers on the results. Since the first installation we have not had a hitch and word of mouth from the owners and operators has been very positive,” he said.

    The sales success of the ST 300 leads Heidelberg to claim top position in the number of saddle stitchers sold and installed in Australia during the past two years, “a remarkable achievement considering it was from a standing start,” adds Rudi Kolbach.
    “The ST300 was unknown and untried and proved to be a huge success.”

    The market for finishing equipment is in the middle of an upturn as printers reassess the effect of the new generation of high-speed presses installed in the past five years. Producing the amount of print required to make the new presses economic changes the traditional equation on purchasing finishing equipment. More printers are deciding they now have sufficient work to justify the capital expenditure on finishing equipment.

    The industry is also in the middle of the replacement cycle, according to Rudi Kolbach, who has been placing finishing equipment into the market for more than 20 years. The previous generation of saddle stitchers went in between 1987 and 1989 and although the current economic softness is slowing the cycle somewhat, there is still the need to replace old equipment.

  • Scitex core business makes the money.

    Scitex revenues for the second quarter of 2001 increased 27 per cent to $66 million, compared with $52 million in the second quarter of 2000. This is the first quarter for which Scitex is able to provide meaningful comparative figures since the April 2000 transaction with Creo.

    Due to the recent announcements from Creo, Scitex has written down by $150 million the carrying value of its shareholding in the Canandian company. Creo posted a nine month loss of US$29.5 million and cut 200 jobs world wide.

    Scitex reviews the value of its Creo investment on a periodic basis to determine whether there has been an other than temporary decline in value. The review concluded that Scitex needs to reduce the carrying value to reflect the decreased valuation of Creo. The reduced book value as of June 30, 2001 is $199 million.

    According to Yoav Chelouche, President and Chief Executive Officer Scitex’s focus on the fast growing digital printing markets, combined with its inkjet technologies, ensured continued strong performance in the core operating businesses.

    “Scitex Digital Printing and Scitex Vision continued to show high growth in spite of the current difficult market conditions. Creo, however, has been affected to a greater degree by market conditions and has recently reduced its outlook for the coming quarters.’

    Scitex Digital Printing increased revenue by 20 per cent to $42.5 million. Scitex revenues grew by 46 per cent to $23.9 million (second quarter 2000: $16.3 million).

    Mr. Chelouche announced that he will step down from his position of President and CEO of the Company at the end of August. The Scitex board of directors is currently reviewing the company’s plans.

    Scitex describes its strategy as building a network of innovative companies focused on combining digital imaging technologies with the power of the internet to create a world of visually rich business communications.

  • “Graphic design businesses have more than doubled in 10 years”

    In a preview of his address in Chicago next month, Webb, founder of the TrendWatch survey, was optimistic in his prediction for growth in the industry in the US and the sustainability of printing and graphics companies

    “Just because the economy is slow doesn’t mean that companies can’t be growing and profitable. For executives with new and creative ideas, this is an incredible time to be in the printing industry. Old industry structures and practices are crumbling, creating opportunities for those willing to seek them and take them. The industry has gone through massive technological upheaval, mostly related to desktop publishing, ” he said.

    “Until ten years ago, the fastest growing and most profitable businesses were those that created digital files of colour images. The number of these colour separators and service bureau businesses has since declined by half, and the industry has lost more than 26,000 jobs and $1.3 billion in annual payroll in these sectors alone.

    “But in that same time, the number of graphic design businesses has doubled, more than making up for the loss in jobs and businesses. The tools that graphic designers and other graphic production personnel have on their desktops today that caused this upheaval are just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come.”

    Ironically, the latest TrendWatch survey reports that the sluggish US economy had finally caught up with the creative community.

    “We knew it had to happen eventually. Whenever companies are in financial distress, it’s advertising and marketing that get the axe first. We saw this first with publishers, then printers, and now the ones who actually create ads and marketing materials. On top of that, now that everyone has a Web site, there’s less Web work, too. It’s no comfort to know that we’re not in a recession.”

  • Industry ‘bible’ is a landmark reference work

    “The graphics industry is shaped by far-reaching changes, characterised mainly by digitalisation and the networking of steps in production processes,” explains Professor Helmut Kipphan, head of technology and innovation research at Heidelberg. He is the editor and author of this huge reference work.

    “Our goal and challenge was to gather the knowledge of experts in an up-to-date standard work that is independent of any one manufacturer. It should take into account the international state of technological development as well as point out trends of the future,” he said.

    The Handbook of Print Media deals comprehensively with traditional printing processes and the workflow sections of prepress, press and postpress. The new computer-aided and digitally controlled processes and equipment for the production of print media and all relevant information about digital printing are described in depth.

    For the first time, the non-impact printing processes are thoroughly dealt with in their entirety and compared to conventional printing processes which require a printing plate. The book assesses electronic media and multimedia as opposed to print media.

    The fact that print media and electronic media ideally complement each other is demonstrated in the volume itself: the accompanying CD-ROM contains the entire manual in fully searchable form complete with a user-friendly database with information on the graphics industry.

    “The systematic and detailed structure of the book satisfies the highest didactic demands,” said Professor Kipphan. “The fundamentals of communication technologies, materials, and commercial aspects are presented, and chapters on prepress, the various printing methods, and the printing-finishing processes are included. Production strategies for print media and the comparison of printing and production processes are also discussed.”

    The book is aimed at skilled workers and managers as well as trainees and students. Trade associations, universities and technical schools will benefit from this standard reference work.

    Handbook of Print Media costs $162.25 plus postage (DM 185.90)

    Contact: Greg Grace, Heidelberg Australia greg.grace@ap.heidelberg.com) to order your copy.
    PH:(02) 9318 5222

  • Nine technologies win GATF 2001

    The nomination criteria stipulate that the technology has to be recently developed and proven in industrial application, but not yet in widespread use. Historically, the recipient technologies have indicated significant trends and have predicted major technological impacts on industry production and profitability.

    The nine winners are :

    • Digimarc MediaBridge
    • Ecocool
    • Supertrap
    • Imation Matchprint Professional Server
    • CIP4 Job Definition Format (JDF)
    • DICOweb
    • MarkzNet
    • Digi-Stitch 2000
    • ProFire Imaging, Dimension CTP and Anthem Thermal Plate

    Digimarc MediaBridge (www.digimarc.com)

    Digimarc MediaBridge Solutions is a suite of software tools that allows printers and publishers to embed a unique and imperceptible digital watermark into virtually any printed material. Digitally watermarked print materials instantly link readers to online information when held in front of a Web camera or other image-capture device enabled with free Digimarc MediaBridge software.
    The software launches a browser that instantly connects the user to relevant information, applications, offers, or opportunities to purchase on the Internet.
    “Digimarc has created a way to give a longer life to a print product and increased the value of print materials in today’s Internet society.”

    Ecocool(www.heidelberg.com)

    Heidelberg’s Ecocool is the first web offset system to integrate the drier and the chill roll section within a single module, an innovative configuration that improves print quality by eliminating condensation. The design also reduces space requirements for a web press by up to 11.5 feet and improves web dynamics.
    “This change increases efficiency and, more importantly, eliminates condensation that occurs with conventional systems. The result is better print quality and improved productivity.”

    Supertrap (http://www.us.heidelberg.com/03_pro/prepress/output/test/work_supertrap.asp)

    Supertrap from Heidelberg is the first plug-in for Adobe Acrobat 4.0+ that traps native PDF 1.3 documents; there is no conversion to an alternate file format. This allows users to create their own modular PDF workflows. It offers fully interactive trapping, as well as some automated trapping, which is especially useful when trapping multi-page documents.
    Trap decisions are based on neutral density, and since each trap is identified as a unique vector object layer, each trap can be edited independently of others, or like traps can be edited simultaneously (size, direction, colour, etc.). SupertrapPlus adds the ability to create traps with special corners, such as mitered, acute, and bevelled, as well as the ability to edit the actual trap paths under visual and interactive controls.
    “It is fast, accurate and works flawlessly, but most importantly, it propels the modular PDF workflow.”

    Imation Matchprint Professional Server (www.imation.com)
    The Imation Matchprint Professional Server is a digital front end (DFE) or hardware raster image processor (RIP) that leverages Imation’s colour technology to produce fast, accurate, and consistent output in the earliest stages of the creative/production cycle. The server embeds a patented smart colour matching module that analyses ICC sources and destination profiles for precise colour target simulations.
    The Imation Matchprint Professional Server with the Xerox DocuColor 12 is the only printer/copier to be granted SWOP certification, and there is a licensing agreement with PANTONE, contributing to optimum simulation of spot colours.
    “Imation’s Matchprint Professional Server brings proofing to the end user by allowing in-office remote proofing using unique materials and a unique printing engine.”

    CIP4 Job Definition Format (JDF) (www.cip4.org)

    JDF is a comprehensive XML-based file format industry standard for end-to-end job ticket specifications combined with a message description standard and message interchange protocol. As an open standard it will benefit print buyers and print service providers by simplifying the job specifications process by ensuring cross-vendor system communication, and by automating many of today’s manual production processes with a flexible, universal job ticket.
    “We are pleased that an international industry collaboration has produced such an integrated effort which will ultimately lead to productivity gains and cost savings.”

    DICOweb (www.manroland.com)

    DICOweb from MAN Roland is a fully digital web offset press. The core technology is in-press imaging and de-imaging, which makes it unique in the market. The image is produced by a laser shooting pixels from a transfer ribbon onto the printing cylinder. No plates need to be used as the image on the cylinder can be removed after printing. Finishing components are also integrated in the press and can be controlled by console software.
    “The DICOweb affords web printers the flexibility to adapt to the future. The DICOweb is truly innovative and sets the stage for the automated press of the future.”

    MarkzNet (www.markzware.com)

    Combining the power of preflighting with the speed and convenience of the Internet, MarkzNet performs job ticketing, preflighting, collection, compression, and transmission of the job over the Internet. It provides instant and precise communication for printers and their customers to identify and resolve document problems as well as an easy and efficient way to deliver them through the Internet.
    Through combining the connectivity of the Internet with preflighting, MarkzNet gives a receiving party control over quality at the sending end, allowing sub-standard documents to be refused and corrected without wasting time and bandwidth transmitting them.
    “This is great for designers because it is extremely user-friendly and provides instant feedback and guidance for correcting files. It could significantly reduce the number of incorrect files submitted to printers and therefore reduce turnaround time.”

    Digi-Stitch 2000 (www.oceusa.com)

    The Digi-Stitch 2000 from Océ is part of a complete in-line book finishing system specifically designed to provide an integrated bindery solution for sheets produced on today’s high-speed digital continuous monochrome web presses. It is capable of changing book thicknesses automatically without stopping the upstream printing process. In this way, it provides an ‘on demand’ book finishing solution to suit a large range of book run lengths.
    “Because it can bind different paper weights and thicknesses, the Digi-Stitch significantly upgrades the appearance of the digitally printed and bound publications.”

    ProFire Imaging, Dimension CTP and Anthem Thermal Plate (www.presstek.com)

    ProFire thermal imaging enables DI presses and Presstek’s Dimension Series of CTP systems. The Dimension Series provides the reliability, versatility, speed, and quality that printers require in their CTP investment. Productivity is improved by automating key steps and eliminating many time-consuming prepress procedures; more jobs are completed in the same amount of time.
    Each of Dimension’s platesetters has an extremely small footprint and is optimised to work with Anthem plates. Anthem offers exceptional print performance and resolutions of 1%–99% at 200 lpi.
    Anthem is a ‘drop-in product’ with excellent ink/water latitude, compatibility with a wide range of press chemistry, and run lengths up to 100,000 impressions. After imaging, only a simple cleaning with water is required; there is no baking and no chemistry. ProFire, Dimension, and Anthem plates were nominated as separate technologies; however, GATF awarded one InterTech award for all three.
    “Presstek has developed three very innovative and unique technologies; when implemented into the one system, like a Dimension platesetter, the result is an easy-to-use compact system that offers high resolution and fast imaging without chemical processing at a price that is affordable for all size printers.”

  • Bernie Grinberg buys back the software farm

    The business was bought by a new company, Media Command, one of whose owners is Grinberg, (President and COO Asia-Pacific) founder of the one-time Australian power house software creator, Cybergraphics. Other partners include Phil Lowe, whose original UK-based company Matrix, was also part of the division. Cybergraphics and Matrix were the key elements in GEAC’s publishing systems business located in Tampa, Florida. The new company is headed by venture-capitalist, Robert Banner of Delaware.

    In a statement Media Command said it expects to build on the successful global market presence established by the constituent businesses of Cybergraphic and Matrix. It will continue to support the product lines inherited from those companies as well as continuing to develop and deploy new generation, multi- and cross-media publishing solutions.

    In recent years almost all the major newspaper groups in Australia, including News Limited and Fairfax, have opted for GEAC publishing software for both editorial and advertising systems. The company also has a substantial international presence.

    Early this year the McPherson Media Group, publishers of the Shepparton News and 14 other regional titles in Victoria and southern NSW, became the first fully integrated site using GEAC’s Media and Sales Command solutions.

    The company’s Melbourne offices remain a software creative hub for the group with Grinberg proclaiming the Australian programmers, “as good, if not better, than any in the world.” They will continue to operate under the new regime with an emphsis on developing e-commerce solutions integrated with Adobe InDesign.

    “We intend to build on our technical superiority to further increase our global market share,” said Banner in a press release. “We are already dominant in the Asia Pacific region, we dominate in the UK with our circulation systems and have more than 400 customers in the United States. We have therefore an extremely strong foundation on which to expand our global position.”

    The GEAC decision to sell reflects the difficulty in generating satisfactory revenue from a newspaper industry that has, by and large, completed its migration to networked publishing and advertising systems. A statement on the GEAC web site said that it had now divested itself of all unprofitable divisions. The publishing business accounted for less than three per cent of GEAC’s revenue during fiscal year 2001.

  • More news… extra, extra…..more news….extra, extra…

    Heidelberg Used Equipment is to launch its new used-equipment trademark, ZISMO! at Print 2001 in Chicago where it is exhibiting on the main Heidelberg stand for the first time. The trademark has been conceived to take used machinery sales to a new level of professionalism and to underline Heidelberg’s commitment to top grade refurbishment and after-sales customer support.
    ZISMO! stands for Zero Impressions Since Manufacturer’s Overhaul.

    Heidelberg will also unveil a new DI press at the Chicago show. The new machine, which the company is keeping under wraps until a press conference on September 5, is based on an existing press. With the dispute with Presstek now behind it, this new DI press might make use of Presstek’s Profire imaging unit.
    Print 01 will also see the commercial launch of Heidelberg’s NexPress 2100 digital colour press.

    The Adobe Acrobat 5.0 Roadshow proved an outstanding success attracting 8,000 IT, design and business professionals and enthusiasts, who attended the seminars Australia-wide during July. The roadshows, which consisted of three free half-day seminars, were well attended in all cities with 2,486 visitors registering in Sydney; 2,321 in Melbourne; 1,288 in Brisbane; 629 in Perth; 565 in Adelaide and 624 in Canberra.

    Jailed rogue Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov is out on bail in the US after a US$50,000 bond was paid by his employer in Moscow. Sklyarov is restricted to Northern California and has had his passport confiscated.
    The grass roots hacker ‘free-Sklyarov’ coalition claimed it as “a major victory” adding that the public support and pressure exerted played a large role in the court’s decision. Sklyarov, who faces up to five years in jail and a US$500,000 fine if convicted, was arrested on June 16 after the conclusion of the Def Con conference in Las Vegas.
    He is charged with violating the terms of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which forbids the distribution of information tools or software designed to circumvent copy-control measures. Advanced eBook Processor, a program written by Sklyarov, attacks the security features of Adobe’s eBook Reader format. The software is legal in Russia.
    Sklyarov is back before the court on August 23 to enter a plea.

    PrintCafe, the supplier of print management systems, has signed an agreement with General Motors to provide the company with enterprise-wide print procurement solutions. This could see the company grow a print procurement presence in Australia.
    The car manufacturer will be using printCafe’s Impresse product and joins other US corporate print customers such as AOL Time Warner and Hewlett-Packard.

    Lightning Source, a digital fulfilment services company opened a print-on-demand facility in Milton Keynes, UK. It is using an IBM Infoprint 4000 digital web-fed press, a digital content management system, an offline finishing system from Duplo and an InfoColor 70 for printing book covers.
    The business aims to produce 400,000 on-demand books in its first year rising to three million books a year by 2004. A second print line will be installed by the end of the year and at least four are planned to be installed within two to three years.

    The inaugural Open Publish conference concluded last week at the Sydney Hilton Hotel. Over 200 delegates registered to attend the conference to hear some 60 presentations from more than 50 speakers from the US, Holland, Germany, India, New Zealand and Australia.
    Conference chair, Nick Carr, said “We were extremely pleased at the response to this first conference. It vindicates our belief that just as the Seybold conferences are an institution in the USA, there is a great need for genuine, informed discussion here in Australia about the many issues that face all of us who publish information – in any form, to any device, on any platform, anywhere in the world.”

    Xerox has reinforced its position as a major print supplier by signing an exclusive A$200 million ($£55m), five-year deal with Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group (IC Mobile) to outsource the production and distribution of user manuals for its mobile and wireless telephone customers. Initially, the deal covers the German production plant, starting next month.
    Xerox will become the prime contractor, managing the data handling, printing, packaging, logistics and distribution of the user manuals. The company will set up a Central Programme Office at Siemens’ German headquarters, which will be responsible for all aspects of the programme. IC Mobile is expected to make cost savings through the reduction in the number of suppliers, rationalisation of print management and improved time to market.

    According to CAP Ventures latest report, Catching the Wave, U.S. companies spent US$3.1 billion in 2000 for black & white print-on-demand (POD) systems and their related services and supplies. Based on the company’s research, that market is growing 20.4 per cent per year and will reach US$8.0 billion in 2005.
    Most equipment dealers cite POD as the most attractive profit opportunity for their company.
    “As equipment prices come down and traditional office copier vendors move up market, many dealers keen on selling black & white POD systems,” said Hayes Director at CAP Ventures. “For many dealers, the POD market is a vast green field waiting to be harvested.”

    And finally, more from the great Tommy Cooper.

    “So I was in my car, and I was driving along, and my boss rang up, and he said, “You just been promoted.” And I swerved.
    And then he rang up a second time and said, “You’ve been promoted again.” And I swerved again.
    He rang up a third time and said, “You’re managing director.” And I went into a tree. And a policeman came up and said, “What happened to you?”
    And I said, “I careered off the road.”

  • Prof. Gary Field is confirmed as keynote speaker for the LIA Conference in Sydney

    A popular speaker, Gary Field, expatriate Australian and California Polytechnic Professor, will kick off the industry body’s conference with a presentation on his main area of expertise, Colour Quality, a subject on which he has written extensively. He will also address the challenge of adopting business strategies in a changing environment.

    Other notable international speakers include Brian McGrath, director of Seven Worldwide who addresses the theme of graphic communications in a shrinking world and Brian Bradbury, CEO of A.P.I. Foils U.K who will present on the development of packaging.

    Highlights of the conference include academic and science populariser Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki, with his Great Moments in Science while on a more serious note Prof Robin Williams of RMIT will take a look at the future of education in the graphic communications industry.

    The full programme and list of speakers is included below.

    Enquiries to conference chairman Bob Lamont on lamont57@ozemail.com.au

    Time Topic / Speaker(s)

    Session Moderator: Conference Chairman

    8.25 a.m. Official Opening of Conference
    Rodney Spencer,
    F.L.I.A. Graphic Arts
    Person of the Year

    8.45 a.m. Keynote Address
    Colour Quality & Business Strategies

    Prof. Gary Field,
    California Polytechnic
    U.S.A.

    9.45 a.m. The Graphic Communication World is shrinking fast.
    Brian McGrath,
    Director,
    Seven Worldwide

    10.30 a.m. Coffee Break

    10.45 a.m. A view from Beijing
    Peter Lane,
    Chairman,
    World Print Congress

    11.10 a.m. IPEX 2002 A preview
    Nigel Cottingham

    11.30 a.m. A look at the future of education in
    the Graphic Communication industry

    Prof. Robin Williams,
    R.M.I.T

    12.30 p.m. Luncheon break

    Session moderator: Mitch Mulligan

    1.30 p.m. Great moments in Science
    Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki,
    University of Sydney

    2.30 p.m Paper – global and local perspectives
    Ms. Gwen Evans,
    Snr. Technologist,
    Stora Enso

    Tom Engelsman,
    Exec.G.M.
    Australian Paper

    3.15 p.m. Coffee break

    3.30 p.m. PDF – How it can work for you
    Jordan Riezes,
    Marketing Manager,
    Adobe Systems

    4.30 p.m. Now for the latest news
    Andy McCourt,
    Business Manager,
    CyraChrome

    5.00 p.m. Winner! – The lucky draw

    5.15 p.m. Session close

    6.30 p.m. Cocktail party

    Saturday 27 October 2001

    Session Moderator: Carl Pagano

    Keynote research paper
    8.45 a.m. A scientific paper which
    analyses the effect of fountain water
    on print quality

    NSW Division,
    Technical Committee

    9.55 a.m. Presentation of Fellowships
    and Associate Fellowship

    Colin Taylor,
    LIA Federal President

    10.15 a.m. Coffee break

    10.30 a.m. A multi process package
    Brian Bradbury
    C.E.O.
    A.P.I. Foils
    U.K.

    11.45 a.m. WWW & interactive media
    Tony Redhead,
    Director,
    Red Square

    12.30 p.m. Luncheon break

    Session Moderator: Phillip Lawrence

    1.30 p.m. Computers of the future
    Eric Persijn,
    Apple Australia

    2.15 p.m. So who needs water anyway?
    Speakers to be advised

    3. 15 p.m. Coffee break

    3. 30 p.m. 3DAP
    Barry Smith,
    Technical Director
    A.C.P.

    4. 15 p.m. CtP Thermal or laser? debate
    Participants to be confirmed

    5. 05 p.m. 2003 LIA Conference Presentation
    Robert Black,
    Pres. LIA Victorian Division

    5.20 p.m. Winner! The Lucky draw Prize,
    Technical sessions conclude

    7.00 p.m. Drinks, gala dinner,entertainment

  • Potstill Press wins a Benny in Chicago

    The book of photography, the Ken Duncan Collection, was nominated after winning a gold medal at the Australian Print Awards last year. It is one of the few Australian entries to have ever won a Premier Print Award, a Benny, in the international competition that is regarded as one of the most prestigious in the world.

    According to Potstill Press print operations manager, Ross Clark, the winning entry was a “faultless production” not least because of the demanding nature of photographer Ken Duncan who personally checked every book, page by page before signing off. A limited edition of 1,000, it originally retailed for $1,000 but remaining copies are now fetching up to $1,700.

    The book was produced on a Heidelberg CD 102 using waterless printing, a process that allows the reproduction of very fine screen levels – in this case 300 lpi. Potstill Press is one of the few companies in the country that use this technology.

    “We’ve always aimed for the high-end of the market, but not every job is suitable for waterless printing. We only recommend it for special quality productions,” said Clark.

    Waterless is growing in popularity, especially as environmental laws become stricter on the use of alcohol in printing. The US-based Waterless Association named Potstill Press ‘Best Waterless Printer’.

    The leather-bound book was hand finished with 23-carat gold leaf embossing. It was hand folded and bound using a single Scottish premium leather hide for every book. Copies purchased now are bound on demand.

    The Benny, named after Benjamin Franklin, will be presented to Potstill Press at an awards ceremony at Print 01 in September in Chicago.

  • Tomasetti PaperHouse disappears in PaperlinX reshuffle

    In a press statement PaperlinX said the restructure results from a detailed strategic analysis of the businesses following the acquisition of Spicers Paper in January this year.

    “This keeps us on track to achieve our targeted synergy benefits, on an annualised basis, as indicated when we acquired Spicers Paper”, said Mr Ian Wightwick, Managing Director of PaperlinX. “Since acquiring Spicers, our management have taken the appropriate steps to prepare for these changes, ensuring the desired benefits are achieved”.

    The merchants will be re-organised into four businesses known as: Dalton Fine Paper, Dalton Web Papers, Spicers Paper and Spicers Office Papers. The new structure is expected to be fully operational by October 1.

    “We look forward to building efficient and focused businesses in Australian paper merchanting achieving the maximum level of customer satisfaction”, added Mr Wightwick. “This is an important development for PaperlinX in our drive to improve returns for our shareholders”.

    The announcement comes as Spicers launches a greenfield paper merchanting operation in Kansas City, USA. The expansion continues PaperlinX’s North American paper merchanting growth and follows the recent acquisition of Coast Paper Canada, and builds on Spicers Paper, North American operations based in the USA West Coast.
    Managing Director of PaperlinX, Ian Wightwick said, “PaperlinX’s growth continues as we build a substantial presence in North America with the support of our key paper suppliers.”

  • Printing Industries of Australia (PIA) gets behind Print 21

    “Less than 10 per cent of companies operating in the industry have a business plan,” according to Gary Donaldson, CEO of the PIA. “It is essential that we get them to change this way of thinking and embrace business reform.”

    Following the Federal Government’s nomination of the PIA as the implementing organisation for the groundbreaking Print 21 report, a series of seminars, industry breakfasts and mentoring projects are underway to increase industry involvement.

    The campaign kicked off on Monday August 6, with a breakfast meeting in Parramatta where Goran Roos, the London-based author of the report, emphasised that unless many printing companies changed their way of operation they would go to the wall. He shocked many by revealing that by applying investment banker’s terms of valuation “most small printing companies have a negative value.”

    He commended the eight Business Diagnostic Tools in the Print 21 package as a way of developing a strategy to handle the changing business environment.

    “We can make them available, but only you can decide whether you want to use them or not,” he told over 100 industry professionals.
    “The challenge you face in applying these tools to your business is one of self knowledge. By themselves they are in no way a magic bullet. A high degree of honesty with yourself and some self criticism are necessary if these tools are to be of any use to you.”

    The lack of business planning is identified as symptomatic of problems affecting the industry. It is partly due to the size of most printing and graphics enterprises with 97 per cent of the 6,800 businesses in the industry employing on average 10 or fewer employees.

    The Business Diagnostic Tools focus on the way the information economy is challenging traditional ways of doing business. They form the basis on which printing and graphic arts businesses, large and small, can recognise where they are, identify where they want to be and make changes to the organisation to ensure they get there.

    Thanks to financial support from the Federal Government and organisations such as GAMAA, the Tools are free to any enterprise in the industry – a remarkable fact, considering similar documentation would cost many thousands of dollars if sourced from a consultancy company. All you have to do is contact the PIA in your state, provide some bona fides, and get your kit.

    Mentoring programmes are being developed to help those companies who do not have the resources or who require some extra help to initiate the diagnostic process in the toolkits. Other educational forms will be developed by the PIA using the distance learning model and the internet.

    “With Print 21 and the government resources backing it, the industry has a wonderful opportunity to move forward in terms of business expertise. This is crucial in the printing, graphic arts and visual communication industries where there are so many small to medium businesses,” said Donaldson.

    Details of Print 21 seminars near you will be posted as they come to hand. For info contact Joe Kowalewski, Marketing Manager PIA
    joe@printnet.com.au

  • Creo cuts workforce by 5% – Australian operation escapes the knife

    Despite almost doubling its revenue to US$513 million as a result of the creation of its principal operating division, CreoScitex, Vancouver-based Creo is lowering its sights for last quarter’s results. For the fiscal year ending September 30, 2001, the company is targeting revenue in the range of $658 to $663 million. This will still produce an overall loss.

    The Australian and New Zealand CreoScitex operation has escaped any of the jobs fallout because of its good performance.

    “We’re ahead of the game here, we’re doing better than expected,” said Steve Dunwell, marketing director CreoScitex Australia.

    A downturn in customer’s order in Europe and the USA because of weaker economic conditions is given as the primary reason for the company’s slump, according to Amos Michelson, chief executive officer of Creo.

    “Given the continued weakness in the North American and European markets, we are focused on those elements of our performance that we can control – bringing strong products to market quickly and ensuring that our sales force is optimally effective. We are also implementing a worldwide initiative to reduce costs and increase operating efficiencies while continuing to manage the company for the long term,” he said.

    “We recognize that the market is broadening to include more sizes and types of printing and prepress companies. To meet this demand, we are rolling out a new line of entry-level products that will allow a broader range of printers and prepress providers to take advantage of the reliability and quality of our equipment.

    “We are focused on ways to cut costs and save money. Areas of cost containment include travel, senior management compensation, capital expenditures, facilities and purchasing practices.

    “Of all the difficult decisions we had to make, the toughest has been the reduction in people,” commented Mr. Michelson.

    At the same time Yoav Z. Chelouche has announced that effective September 1, 2001 he will step down from his position of President and CEO of the Company.

    Chelouche was appointed President and CEO of Scitex Corporation in 1995 having served in different executive management positions since joining the Company in 1979. He masterminded the sale of the company’s prepress division to Creo.

  • ODIS integrates with parent Toyo

    The arrival of the basysPrint ultra-violet light platesetter in Australia not only impacts on the dynamics of the CTP supply industry, it is also the first obvious result of the integration of ODIS (On Demand Imaging Systems) into the larger organisation of its parent company, Toyo.

    ODIS Australia is the sole supplier of Indigo production digital colour printing systems in Australia while Toyo Ink Australia is one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of offset ink.

    ODIS has moved to take advantage of the Toyo corporate support infrastructure throughout Australia and New Zealand to expand its role in the graphic supply industry. It remains the sole supplier of Indigo presses in the region but will be in a better position to expand its product range.

    “We intend to capitalise on the experience and knowledge of the industry that ODIS has developed in prepress and digital printing, ” said Phillip Rennell, marketing manager ODIS. “We want to provide our customers with a broader range of products and services that will add value to their businesses.”

    There will be no change to the level of support and commitment Indigo customers have traditionally enjoyed from ODIS. Production digital printing remains a high priority for the company, which is the leading supplier in the region.

    The move is part of a strategy to become a more complete supplier to ODIS customers. The introduction of the evolutionary basysPrint conventional plate system is the initial step towards delivering a comprehensive service to the industry.

    “ODIS is in a unique position to supply a range of services not previously available from one supplier to the industry. Our specialised knowledge of the digital printing market combined with Toyo’s experience in offset supplies will mean customers can get the best advice on both technologies,” said Rennell.

    basysPrint produces the UV-Setters, able to expose digital data directly onto conventional offset printing plates.

    Unlike other CTP systems, the UV-Setters expose materials with the Digital Screen Imaging process (DSI) with ultraviolet light in the wave length range of 360 nm to 450 nm. This is a significant advantage. It allows the use of proven materials. Conventional plates that have been used for years in the printing industry can be directly imaged.

    The UV-Setter is easily integrated into the existing prepress environment. Compared to other CTP systems the UV-Setter pays for itself over a very short period of time – because of the use of conventional printing plates. These plates cost up to 50% less than thermal or other CTP plates. You do not need to invest in an additional processor for plate development or have to worry about additional chemical disposal.

    The UV-Setters are configurable for almost any kind of printing task, whether it involves newspaper, book or high-quality commercial colour printing. basysPrint now offers four UV-Setter models to meet a variety of demands: 57, 710, 1116 and the UV-Setter 57-Z for the newspaper industry.

  • Rural Press cops $600,000 fine for mis-use of market muscle

    Individual penalties totalling $70,000 were handed down against Ian Law, general manager of Rural Press’ Regional Publishing Division, and Trevor McAuliffe, South Australian State Manager, for being knowingly concerned in the contraventions.

    Paul Taylor, managing director of family-owned Waikeries Printing was also fined $75,000 for buckling under pressure and agreeing to share the market after being threatened with a newspaper war if he did not stay out of Rural Press’s Murray Bridge territory.

    “The Act is designed to protect competition in rural and regional markets as much as in metropolitan markets,” said Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman, Professor Allan Fels. “The Court’s decision seeks to send a deterrent message to large businesses that operate in rural and remote Australia and may be tempted to misuse their market power.”

    Waikerie Printing House, and its parent company, publish three regional newspapers, The River News, The Loxton News and The Murray Pioneer in the Riverland region of South Australia. The River News has traditionally circulated in Waikerie and as far south down the Murray River as Swan Reach.

    In July 1997 the circulation area of The River News was extended further south to Mannum, a town not far from the regional centre of Murray Bridge which had traditionally been serviced by a Rural Press newspaper, The Murray Valley Standard. The River News reported on news and events occurring in and around Mannum, appointed a local resident as its correspondent and attracted advertising revenue from the area by providing a new opportunity and extra choice for small businesses in Mannum to promote their businesses.

    Rural Press wanted The River News to stick to the Waikerie district of the Riverland region, its prime circulation area. From July 1997 to April 1998 senior representatives of Rural Press threatened Waikerie Printing House not to solicit advertising in The River News from the Mannum area.

    It told Waikerie Printing House that it had already begun the groundwork to introduce an opposition regional newspaper throughout the Riverland. This was in retaliation for Waikerie Printing House entering into the Murray Bridge market.

    Heeding the threat, Waikerie Printing House advised Rural Press that it would withdraw The River News from the Mannum area. Rural Press and Waikerie Printing House entered into and implemented a market sharing agreement to that effect. As a result Waikerie Printing House withdrew from the Mannum area in May 1999 and Rural Press did not proceed with its plans for a new newspaper in the Riverland area.

    Justice Mansfield found that Rural Press and, its subsidiary, Bridge Printing (which published the Murray Valley Standard ) had substantial market power in the Murray Bridge market for regional newspapers by virtue of their financial resources, their strength, and their capacity to immediately carry out the threat, and that they had misused their market power by making the threat to Waikerie Printing House.

    “The ACCC took this case to the Federal Court because a powerful player in a market had used its power to threaten a family operated publisher,” said Professor Allen Fels. “Rural Press not only succeeded in getting Waikerie Printing House to stop competing against its newspaper but it also ensured that Waikerie Printing House contravened the Act by entering into an anti-competitive market sharing arrangement with it.

    “The message from the Court is that firms that are threatened or bullied by bigger businesses should not succumb to the pressure or temptation to break the law. If they do succumb, commercial pressure or temptation will not be an acceptable excuse. Alerting the ACCC to such conduct or pressure would be an appropriate response.”

  • Adobe considers service provider’s font licence compromise

    Under the scheme prepress operators and printers may be able to buy a service provider’s licence for Adobe fonts which will be significantly cheaper than the present tariff. Although no figure has been mentioned it’s likely that that the service provider’s licence would be significantly less than $10,000. The full licence is currently on special until November for $16,000, down from $24,000.

    This would allow service providers such as printers and prepress houses to use Adobe fonts for processing of jobs where there is no element of creation. The compromise follows uproar in the industry when Adobe initially threatened to begin prosecutions against printers and prepress operators for processing work with fonts they did not own. The possible compromise was reached after extensive talks between Adobe and the PIA and GASAA

    Adobe has undertaken not to pursue service providers, printers and prepress companies who are not complying with the current font licence while waiting on a decision from head office. This does not apply to companies that use Adobe fonts to create work or use other Adobe software applications such as Adobe PhotoShop or Adobe Acrobat.

    “Look, I don’t know when printers and prepress houses began to think they did not need to own licensed fonts. The rules have been clear since the mid-nineties at least, ever since designers stopped using screen fonts,” said Jordan Reizes, Adobe Marketing Manager. “The industry has changed from the early days and now many prepress houses have some design and make-up in their businesses. There’s a fair amount of hypocrisy in some of the claims.”

    As part of its campaign Adobe is attempting to stamp out the common practice whereby designers ring around their suppliers and mates in search of a specific font they don’t own. Because prepress houses usually have a large array of, mostly illegal, fonts accumulated from previous jobs, they often supply the font to the designer who is a customer.

    “If we could stop that single practice, this whole effort would be worthwhile,” said Jordan Reizes. “I’m not saying all designers operate like that but a lot do. We’re trying to work with the industry, we’re not taking the heavy jackboot approach and I think many people in the industry recognise that.”

    He concedes that long industry practice has given a seeming legality to the practice of unlicensed fonts and admits that the current crackdown could have been handled better.

    “With hindsight we possibly could have approached it in a different way, but if we had, I wonder whether it would have attracted the type of attention it’s getting now,” said Jordan.