Archive for June, 2011

  • Compact print directories on the Sensis line

    Glove box sized White Pages and Yellow Pages print directories welcomed by the elderly will be distributed in mainland metropolitan markets.

    The 2011/2012 Sydney White Pages Business and Government print directory will be the first to feature the new format. The directories will be distributed in capital cities between July 2011 and May 2012.

    According to Richard Allely (pictured), CEO of PMP, the new directories are a “product line extension” and will not replace those that currently exist.

    “Sensis has identified a product that meets the need of its audience and PMP has the means to provide variable options rather than one size fits all. Which is a good thing as it extends the options and range of printing opportunities for us,” he said.

    The new format follows research and consultation with a number of key consumer interest groups including the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) Vision Australia (VA) and the Council on The Aging (COTA).

    Jane Blackley, group product manager at Sensis, says research showed that these users wanted a book that is lighter, compact, portable and practical.

    “The new format is 85% of the current book size making it more convenient for people to use the White Pages and Yellow Pages print directories, while including the same comprehensive content.”

    Ian Yates, CEO of COTA Australia says the print directories are relied upon by thousands of members of “our community, in particular older people. Many older people still prefer to use more traditional means to search for information and the changes to the format and the typeface in the compact-sized directories have made them even more user-friendly.”

    Sensis’ decision to make magnifying aids available free of charge for the visually impaired and those requiring additional support to read was welcomed by Vision Australia.

    Gerard Menses, CEO of Vision Australia says it is important the content of the directories remains accessible to all Australians “It’s pleasing that Sensis has considered the needs of people who are vision impaired as part of its plans to introduce the compact-sized print directory.”

    Pictured: example of Bell Centennial typeface

    Additional improvements made to the new format print directories include: 

    • A new typeface called ‘Bell Centennial’ has been selected specifically for the compact-sized White Pages print directory. 
    • Bigger spaces have been between the street number, name and suburb names in the address lines in the White Pages.
    • Redesigned ‘Telltales’ navigational cues (the letter and word that appears on the top of each page) have been added to make it easier for users to find the page their looking for.
    • A number of design and navigation improvements have been made including the use of colour to highlight the suburb names in each line listing; stronger and sharper heading blocks; and the option to add email or web addresses.
  • Over 100 years of envelope manufacturing comes unstuck

    Nick Mones, CEO and major shareholder of iconic envelope producer, Australian Envelopes, was overseas on holidays when the company went into shock administration with all employees stood down.

    Staff across Australia were told to go home at midday Thursday as administrators, PPB Advisory, moved in. The shutdown of all sales and manufacturing plants happened suddenly and with no warning.

    Operations have been scaled back to ‘care and maintenance’ levels while PPB undertakes an assessment of the business.

    The century old manufacturer, printer and marketer of standard and special make envelopes went into insolvency as it could not be sold or pay its debts. PPB is now trying to gauge the level of interest in the Group’s business and assets.

    The shock closure came as a complete surprise to staff. At the NSW office in Granville only a shell-shocked receptionist was handling phone calls, while another lonely staffer manned the phones at the Wangara manufacturing plant in WA. It is understood all staff were paid up to the time they were stood down without notice.

    In addition to production facilities in Notting Hill in Victoria and Wangara in WA, every state branch offered printing and warehousing facilities. Throughout the group equipment dedicated to making key product lines 24 hours per day include:

    • 43 overprinting machines with 1 to 4 colour process
    • 23 high-speed web making machines all with in-line flexographic print capability – two with 4 colour process print capability
    • 7 blank making machines capable of making the widest range of products manufactured in Australia from pre-printed sheets or specialty paper

     Troy Cameron, general manager of Camerons Group says it feels for the employees as “it is early days in the administration, and there would be a great deal of uncertainty for them all.

    “I feel its unlikely that the hole left by them can be filled by any one company, Camerons will be working with other companies to develop sustainable relationships.”

  • Versamark VL series upgraded with overseas success

    Locally the Kodak Versamark VL-Series has yet to make an impact or sale, but the series is set for a round of enhancements due to overseas success in Europe, North America and some Asian markets.

    Adrian Fleming (pictured), managing director for Kodak ANZ says the VL-Series has been available on the market for around three years, “but no models have been sold locally as of yet. But we do have a couple of its predecessors here, one of each in the VS and VT series.

    “There have been a couple of inkjet sales in to the local market in the past 12 months, but we have yet to place a VL into the country. Historically it has a fairly niche place within the transactional market space, but it has been moving towards digital newspapers.”

    The backward compatible improvements to print quality, reliability, and operator maintenance are available for existing customers through an upgrade plan.

    Vince Ferraro, VP of marketing, digital print solutions for Kodak US says the enhancements made to the VL-Series “will enable in-plant printers, transactional service bureaus, and newspaper publishers to maintain peak efficiency while delivering the quality their clients demand and expect.

    “The VL-Series is a key part of Kodak’s inkjet portfolio, and we will continue to innovate and expand our Versamark product category to be in front of the changing market needs for our customers and their customers.”

    Specific enhancements made to the Versamark VL-Series include:

    • More consistent dot-size variation, which optimizes flat-field print density and delivers enhanced reliability, quality, and system uptime while reducing jagged line occurrences.
    • Increased printhead life through ink degassing and temperature control innovations.
    • Improved uptime and component lifetime achieved through advanced operator training for preventative maintenance.
  • Anitech brings improved VersaCoater XL 80 to Auz

    After successful European demonstrations at FESPA Digital, Drytac’s improved VersaCoater XL 80 is on its way down under through Australian agent, Anitech.

    The VersaCoater XL wide format UV curable roller coater was demonstrated live at Fespa running at speeds up to 33m/min, where a 100m roll of printed vinyl was coated, cured, and using the optional roll-to-roll feature, wound back onto a core in four minutes.

    Neil Gomez, BDM of consumables at Anitech says the XL 80 seems to be the way forward in markets around the world. “Drytac have had considerable success with it and we are determined to bring the same advances here in Australia.

    Drytac also unveiled of the optional White Kit for the VersaCoater XL. White liquid coatings for both flexible and rigid substrates can replace the need of printing in white as well as give flexibility in opacity depending on how many passes through the coater the print went.

    “Fespa Digital was an overwhelming success for Drytac, and we expect that sales success to continue in Australia.”

    Pictured: VersaCoater XL 80 UV Liquid Coating machine

  • Greenies reject Australian Paper sustainable initiative

    Only complete withdrawal from native forests will satisfy the Wilderness Society in its ongoing boycott of Reflex paper.

    Sustainable solutions for fibre sourcing, which have been tabled as part of Australian Paper’s review of its long-term strategy, drew a predictable response from environmental groups. Despite a new stakeholder engagement program to examine a long-term approach to AP’s wood resource strategy, Peter Cooper, senior campaigner for The Wilderness Society says it does not “have any value unless it includes a commitment to rapidly exit native forests.”

    Jim Henneberry, CEO of Australian Paper says its fibre is currently sourced from privately owned plantations, recycled sources and the Victorian Government through VicForests.
    “Our wood supplies from the Victorian Government are sourced using sustainable, third party certified, forestry practises. We are committed to ensuring our future fibre supplies come from internationally recognised, third party certified sources,”

    Australian Paper has engaged with consultants in regards to the feasibility of the western triangle plantation wood, the largest impediment of this is the 500km distance from its Maryvale Mill, which makes the wood less economically viable. Plans for plantations around Gippsland have been reviewed, but it would most likely need assistance from the State and Federal Government to ensure this can happen.

    The Wilderness Society vows to continue encouraging consumers to avoid the leading Reflex brand until it sees a firm public commitment from Australian Paper to embrace what it calls “real sustainability. “
    “Over 750 organisations and businesses to date have signed the Ethical Paper Petition to put the pressure on Reflex. Over 9,500 individuals have pledged to stop shopping at Office Works until it stop stocking Reflex paper. We are asking Office Works to honour their own green policy, and show that there is substance behind that policy,” said Cooper.

    Shaun Scallan, general manager of corporate social responsibility at Australian Paper says meetings with the Wilderness Society and Australian Conservation Foundation have been “cordial, but there was certainly a bottom line for all use of native forests to cease. Our position has always been that we want more native plantation in the ground.

    “We would like to continue dialogue with the Wilderness Society and other environmental groups in a constructive way, as we respect their view and welcome their input. But to move forward we have to sit down and talk to define the future of the industry balancing the needs of all stakeholders.
    “Essentially we have always planned to extend our plantations, but factors like the drought and fires have impacted the available supply of wood. And it takes around 10 to 12 years for hardwood to grow to be used for our needs.”

  • Printing Businesses for Sale

    Are you thinking of purchasing a printing business? If so, we have a number of printing businesses on our books for you to choose from. These include the following:

    Design Print and Copy Franchise
    This established franchise has an enviable Sydney eastern suburbs territory. It has well presented premises that have just been upgraded to the latest franchise branding.

    The business has a broad spread of customers with no particular customer dominating the customer list. Most clients pay for their jobs at the time of placing their orders, providing great cash flow.

    The business has been showing good profit growth. Pro rata 2011 return to an owner operator is $165,000.

    This business is being offered for sale at $350,000. This is a WIWO price as the vendor will pay the franchise transfer and training fees.

    Design and Print Business – Victorian Tree Change Location
    Are you after a tree change? Located close to Wodonga in Victoria, this business is positioned within a bustling rural town centre.

    The business offers printing and design services to its clients. As all printing is done using digital equipment, the business is able to maintain a clean, pleasant working environment. Further, the business has a good range of bindery and finishing equipment that allows most digital work to be fully produced in-house.

    Customers are mainly smaller to medium sized businesses located within and around the town.

    Pro rata 2011 sales are $323,000 and pro rata owner’s return is $78,000.
    This quality business is being offered for sale at $120,000 negotiable.

    Design and Print Business

    Positioned within an industrial area on Sydney’s northern beaches, this digital printing business has the potential to be relocated. This is a small operation that is currently owned and operated by the vendor.

    Established since the 80’s, the business has a number of long established clients that have followed the business as it moved to different locations.
    The vendor is happy to sell the business as a whole or to sell the customer base only. The purchaser will, however, be required to take over the existing digital printer HP arrangement.

    Annual turnover is close to $250,000 per annum. The 2011 pro rata return to an owner operator is $77,000.

    This business is being offered for sale at $115,000 negotiable.

    Snap Printing Franchise

    This Snap Printing franchise is located in Sydney’s western suburbs. It has a particularly large territory, providing the new owner with significant potential for growth.

    The premises have been fully upgraded to the latest Snap (Level 2) branding.
    Experience is not required as full training will be provided. The current owner worked in an entirely different industry prior to purchasing the franchise.

    The centre has a history of good profitability and sales. For the 2010 financial year, the return to an owner operator was $166,000. The pro rata 2011 return to an owner operator is $175,000.

    This established Snap Printing franchise is being offered for sale at $390,000.

    If you are after a particular type of print or graphics business, please give me a call as we may just have something for you. Also, If you are thinking of selling your business, please contact me on 0425 329 765 for a confidential discussion. We are committed to confidentiality and discretion.

    David Ferraz (David is a licensed business agent at Cornerstone Business Sales and Valuations. He specialises in the sale of printing and graphics businesses)

  • 15 years of Big Issue empowering people through print

    One of the most enduring and high profile not-for-profit print enterprises in Australia, The Big Issue marks its 15th anniversary milestone of helping thousands of homeless and marginalized Australians get back on their feet.

    Steven Persson, CEO of The Big Issue says the occasion marked a major milestone for the country’s largest and most successful social enterprise.

    The Big Issue has changed the lives of thousands of homeless and marginalised men and women by giving them the chance to earn an income and reconnect with the community,” said Persson.

    Since it was launched on the steps of Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station in June 1986, various printers have produced the street magazine.

    A timeline of Big Issue printers over the years is:

    • Progress Printers (VIC) – 1996 – August 1997
    • Southern Colour (VIC) – August 1997 – September 1999
    • Harris Print (TAS) – September 1999 – August 2008
    • Rural Press Printing – August 2008 – April 2009
    • Offset Alpine (NSW) – April 2009 – current

    Alan Attwood, editor of Big Issue says the growing popularity of the magazine is reflected in the latest Roy Morgan readership figures, which show a 57 per cent readership increase to 242,000 a fortnight in the year to March, “the largest percentage increase among magazines in Australia.”

    “The magazine has struck a chord with readers – it’s surviving, and indeed growing at a time when print publications are struggling. Our 15th anniversary gives our vendors and readers the opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come and what we’ve achieved together.”

    To date, the brightly clad vendors have sold over six million magazines on streets across the country, earning more than $13.2 million in income. Vendors buy the magazine for $2.50 and sell it for $5, pocketing the difference.

    Around 3,500 people across Australia have been recruited and trained as vendors since its inception. There are currently more than 450 vendors nationally, including 138 in Victoria.

  • Letters, feedback, get it off your chest: 28 June 2011

    Once again, this weeks postbag is dominated by the closure of Brisbane’s Colourscan.


    This is an absolute disgrace, this is why we need proper protection for workers, employees should be classed as secured creditors and have all their entitlements paid first, just another example of why we need trade unions.

    Steve Walsh

    Superannuation Warning

    Yes, an interesting subject in the “shrinking offset printing industry”. I have experienced the illegal non payment of superannuation to nominated funds by printers in financial trouble.

    I warn all employees to check their super payments for accuracy and payment timings.

    Some companies believe it is their money, even the sacrificed monies have been used to fund a company’s longevity. Let the employee beware.

    The trust factor is a thing of the past.

    Phil Heaton

    When is this garbage ever going to stop. I’ve been through this twice with printing companies.

    The government must do something about these crooked employers now.

    My heart goes out to the staff at Colourscan. It took me four months to get the money owed me from Geers, the liquidators could not give a stuff.

    Don’t believe them when they tell you things, their only concern is their bottom line, they have no interest in employees. They will do anything to get their money, which is the employees money.

    People’s well being is at stake here, we should have a printing industry campaign to tell the government that owners of companies must be held financially responsible for employees entitlements. PIA should get off their collective arses and do something about this – now.

    Rob Kennedy

    I don’t know the person who ran Colourscan, but it sounds like he has stashed all the money out of harms way then put his business into receivership, owing everybody money including his loyal staff.

    As usual, he walks away with assets and not a care in the world about the people and the business he is hurting. The law needs to be changed so we can stop this happening.

    Looking at comments made, he may have once been a good businessman.

    Alf Puglia


    If this is true it is despicable – how can we work together to ensure this doesn’t happen again?

    We need to clean up our industry and make it one we are all proud of, not ashamed of as I am of this

    Graham Morgan

    Just a little further information re Colourscan

    On the Worrells web site Sue Osborne, Jeff’s wife has registered herself as Colourscans’ biggest debt she has lodged at claim of $1021,021.40, honestly talk about the one pocket owing the other pocket.

    So typical of this whole mess.

    Bryn Williams

    Great to see such an articulate and accurate response to our pollie’s plight (by now they should understand that big business doesn’t necessary mean success).

    I am an avid reader and still love to browse bookshops… particularly the type with variety from new to old!

    Thank you for publishing this view. Well done.

    Pat Roberson

  • Brisbane waters fail to sink franchise winner

    Recognising achievements before and after to the Brisbane floods, Worldwide Online Printing has named George Bacic, franchisee of South Brisbane as national franchisee of the year 2009/ 2010.

    George Bacic, managing director at Worldwide South Brisbane says that while the title is great, “it doesn’t change our ongoing commitment to our customers and our ability to give them great service and great quality products to help them promote and grow their business.

    “This is an award that belongs to all our staff past and present that have put in over the years to make sure our operation runs smoothly and consistently to produce the outcomes that our customers have learnt to expect.”

    The award follows South Brisbane’s earlier win of Queensland Franchisee of the year at the Worldwide Queensland State Awards held last November.

    Pictured: Franchisee of the year George Bacic with wife Suzanne

    According to Worldwide Online Printing, the criteria for selecting its franchise of the year are based around encouraging and rewarding the behaviour exhibited by the most successful owners in its network. Sales figures from 2009/2010 were also a contributing factor.

    Queensland floods drew half a meter of water through the South Brisbane franchise, which shut down the premises for around three weeks.

    “We have managed to get back on our feet with a lot of hard work from staff, partners, friends and volunteers, it has been stressful, but thanks to the support of our customers and suppliers our business is better than ever,” said Bacic.

    Natasha Anich, business development manager for the South Brisbane franchise says it moved all of its machinery out a day before the floods hit, “we were fortunate to do that with the help of Konica Minolta and Océ. It was all hands on deck with suppliers and curriers to get everything out in the nick of time.”

    “We didn’t shut the business down completely, production moved down to our store at Springwood and offsite to some of our suppliers to help us out. We couldn’t move our large format into Springwood so we moved it into one of our supplier’s workshop. By doing this we were able to keep production up while operations at South Brisbane were closed down.

    Worldwide Online Printing’s state support helped with the clean up and the marketing to make sure all of its customers knew when it was back in business.

    “Our directors George Bacic, Paul Anich and Andrew Cochrane have been working for a really long time to build the customer base and offering of South Brisbane, and the franchisor has recognised that hard work,” said Anich.

    Since the trio have been operating the franchise they have built the business to include a range of services including digital, offset and large format print capabilities and graphic design.

    Worldwide Online Printing South Brisbane would like to thank it’s customers as without their support and relationships it may not have been in this position to win franchisee of the year.

    Pictured: During the floods

    Pictured: After the floods

  • Fuji Xerox turns printers into MSPs with One Solution

    First Australian marketing Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, One Solution, will be officially available on 4 July for businesses looking to in-source their marketing campaigns and reduce operating costs through subscription based SaaS.

    Launched at PrintEx, this first of a kind Australian offering caters to print providers, marketing professionals and creative agencies wanting to expand their services offerings and grow their business while reducing operating costs.

    Peter Brittliff (pictured), marketing manager of Graphic Communications Software Solutions at Fuji Xerox Australia says the One Solution SaaS model allows print-for-pay businesses to easily transform from just providing core printing and finishing solutions to full marketing communications service providers.

    “It gives our customers a choice to develop their business and become a MSP, and it’s not a massive risk with a monthly subscription fee.”

    “This is the perfect solution for suppliers who currently provide standard printing services to their customers, yet want to grow their business by providing additional, new services in a simple and cost-effective way.”

    Fuji Xerox will provide a full range of on-demand support services, including training, marketing consultation and business development to ensure that customers get the most value from software subscriptions and maximise return on investment potential.

    One Solution packages three key end-to-end software services from which customers can select:

    • OneWebPrint – Web to print services through a partnership with Online Print Solutions, which expands its existing range of solutions, Freeflow Web Services and XMPie Ustore.
    • OneMedia – Cross media marketing solutions including all non-print campaign functionalities – email, rurls, web and campaign analytics.
    • OneGifting – Photo gifting services such as photo-books and production of photo marketing collateral

    “We will continue to expand the One Solution offering, and expect it to become a cornerstone of our solution set for clients and … to offer our full range of FreeFlow and XMPie solutions, and we view the One Solution as a stepping stone to these more fully featured range of products,” said Brittliff.

  • Criminal insolvent trading is tough to fix


    Most readers would be aware of a director’s duty to prevent a company from trading (incurring debts) whilst insolvent, and the liability that may arise to the company’s liquidator and creditors if they breach that duty. In light of continuing company failures leaving employees and creditors out of pocket, the question is often asked why are not more directors taken to task. Michael Peldan, partner at solvency & forensic accountants, Worrells explains why.

    This matter was discussed late last year when asked why we (as liquidators) did not take recovery action against directors more often, and why the criminal prosecution of directors was not undertaken more often. The question is worth answering by way of this article.

    Only ASIC can commence a criminal prosecution of directors, albeit that these actions usually originate from a report from the liquidator. Liquidator’s rights of action are limited to proceedings to recover money for the company by way of compensation from the director when the 588G duty has been breached. It is aso worth remembering that our law here in Australia is considered to be one of the toughest in the world.

    The most common reason that liquidators do not take these actions more regularly is that often the directors have no money or other means to satisfy any claim that may be made against them. It is not unusual for companies to be commenced with very little working capital. This is usually because the director or directors have little money available personally to provide that capital. Whatever capital the company had is lost by the time liquidators are appointed.

    It is also not unusual for directors to ‘invest’ everything that they have into the company in the period before the liquidation. It is also not unusual for them to borrow money against every asset they own simply to get a company started or to keep the company alive a little longer when it is bordering on insolvency.

    It is also not uncommon for directors to pour whatever they can get, beg or borrow into the financial ‘black hole’ when finances get really bad.

    Often by the time that liquidators are appointed there is nothing to recover from directors. They are heading towards bankruptcy themselves. Commercially then it would be irresponsible for liquidators to spend money (assuming they have some available) chasing a recovery action that they know will not lead to any recovery.

    Why doesn’t ASIC take civil or criminal actions more often? The only party that can answer that fully is ASIC, but consider the following figures.

    “Leaving aside the very real fact that sufficient evidence would have to be discovered in order to maintain a criminal claim and in many cases this evidence would not be sufficient for a conviction (given the high standard of proof required in acriminal case), I personally could refer at least 25 directors a year to ASIC for possible prosecution. At least 100 other liquidators in the country could do the same.”

    2,500 possible claims a year
    The cost of ASIC’s time in investigating the claim and preparing the material for the prosecution, the cost of the DPP’s time in running the prosecutions would have to be at least $100,000 each on average (much lower in some cases but probably significant more for complex cases). Remember that, in most cases, these costs will not be recovered.

    $250,000,000 in costs

    On average it would have to take about three years from the start of the investigation to obtaining result in court. Usually more than half of this time would be spent in the investigation stage, before charges were laid and the matter went to court.

    7,500 actions running at any one time

    The staff at ASIC and the DPP offices would have to be increased just to handle the number of these claims, and the number of court rooms and Judges may have to be increased simply to be able to hear them. This does not include the costs of keeping any person found guilty in prison.

    37,500 court days, if each of the 7,500 claims running at any time only used on average 5 days in court (or 12,500 days a year – or 50 courts running a full 50 week year)

    Divide these figures in half, and the numbers are still large. Simply the cost of taking actions against every director that may be guilty of insolvent trading is extremely large – and payable by us, the taxpayer.

    Peldan doubts that there is any evidence to show that prosecutions on these large scales actually would stop other people from committing the act in any event, especially when most directors do not think that they are doing anything wrong – they are just trying to save their company.

    He has no doubt that ASIC would like a larger budget to undertake more prosecutions that it currently can handle, but I think that their approach of taking on the big offenders provides the same deterrent message as taking on thousands of small offenders.

  • Breakfast aids printer’s digestion

    While the use of databases by printers on behalf of their clients is becoming increasingly common, there are associated copyright issues printers need to be aware of that could prove costly if not managed correctly.

    This was one of many topics canvassed at a Printing Industries breakfast briefing in Sydney last week opened by Printing Industries new CEO Bill Healey.

    Representatives from graphic, packaging, printing, label and print system manufacturers were guided through a plethora of staff management, Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) and intellectual property issues arising from developments in the digital data world confronting the industry.

    The first of three speakers, Printing Industries National Manager – ER, OHS and Legal Charles Watson (pictured), spoke about changes to OHS laws, the incoming system for registering interests in commercial transactions, managing social networking website problems and pending increases to Award wage rates.

    He also previewed Printing Industries Job Dictionary to be released later this year. The Job Dictionary is an industry specific resource providing assistance with the prevention and management of musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace.

    Recruitment and retention consultant, Tracy McClenaghan gave insights into managing a multigenerational workforce and provided some entertaining observations on the differences including stereotypical characteristics, and an overview of the soon to be released into the workforce ‘Generation B’ – the most tech savvy generation yet.

    She also advised on how to harness the different generations to create an innovative and creative work team and provided pointers on how to successfully attract, engage and retain employees with just some small steps in their workplaces.

    Philippa Bergin, Senior Associate with the law firm Freehills, clarified aspects of copyright affecting the creation of material in-house versus using third party contractors and stressed the need for having appropriate permissions and licences in place.

    She says printing companies could find themselves legally exposed if the appropriate protections weren’t included in their dealings with clients and third parties.

    Emerging copyright issues relating to databases, the important differences between authorship and ownership of intellectual property as well as practical tips to avoid litigious outcomes were also discussed and attendees provided with a list of matters to consider and review in their businesses.

    Watson says the briefing was held to highlight emerging issues companies must work with in changing industry conditions.

    “While most people are aware of Printing Industries traditional employee relations focus, there are many other areas we advise members on, particularly in relation to their responsibilities in regard to managing digital communication issues,” said Watson.

    “While there are many new opportunities arising in the digital communication world, these often come with compliance and legal baggage companies must be prepared for.”

    Watson says he has received good feedback from the session and some suggestions that will assist in creating a follow-up event.

  • Mergers, acquisitions and alliances from around the world: 28 June 2011

    This week’s M&A activity is headed by the absorption of Océ Japan by Canon Marketing Japan and the end to xpedx and Ryobi’s distribution agreement.

    Canon Marketing Japan absorbs Océ Japan

    Plans to combine both Canon and Océ printing operations in Japan have been announced.

    The alliance is forecast to position the two companies in a better position to generate sales, particularly in the wide format and production printing segments.

    The combined sales organizations will make both companies’ products and services available to a broader customer base, serving to reinforce the Canon-Océ market position in Japan.

    xpedx and Ryobi end distribution agreement

    The US and Canada distribution agreement between xpedx and Ryobi has ended, as Ferrostaal AG steps up as master distributor for Ryobi offset printing presses in these markets from 1 Oct 2011.

    Dan Watkoske, executive VP of sales at xpedx says it has enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Ryobi. But after examining the evolving marketplace it has chosen to exit the offset press market and focus on the things that will enable xpedx to support customer growth.

    Heidelberg UK names Watkiss and Morgana preferred digital finishing partners

    Chris Matthews, digital equipment business manager at Heidelberg UK says Watkiss and Morgana complement each other and don’t conflict with anything it supplies.

    "On top of that, they are both UK companies so it’s a great fit. We think there is a nice dynamic here. Both companies are happy to work together, neither of them were asking for exclusivity,” said Matthews.

  • Printing Industries move to minimise NSW electricity cost increase

    With NSW about to be hit with the nation’s biggest power increases, estimated between 15 to 18 per cent, Printing Industries has unveiled a strategy to help the NSW industry reduce its costs.

    Throughout July and August 2011 Printing Industries will stage a series of free one-day workshops for printing companies to identify how to reduce their electricity costs and minimise the impact of the price increases due to be announced on Friday this week.

    Ian Walz, National Manager, Learning and Development at Printing Industries says five workshops were scheduled for Sydney and others would be scheduled for non metropolitan areas depending on expressions of interest received.

    “It is really important that companies re-assess their power consumption and look at ways to become more energy efficient because these expected electricity price increases will have a significant impact on their bottom line,” he said.

    “On top of that we are headed for a carbon constrained economy, so managing electricity consumption becomes an ever greater imperative.

    Printing Industries is trying to minimise this pain because it will become a very real economic threat for many businesses, particularly where margins are low and business conditions are challenging.”

    Walz (pictured) says the course had been mapped to the competitive manufacturing competency unit MSACMT270A: use sustainable energy practices.

    “This is a formal qualification and Certificates of Attainment will be provided to course participants on successful completion of classroom activities and submission of the Assessment Tasks and supporting information where necessary,” he said.

    “Workshop participants will receive a comprehensive workbook as well as valuable resources including an Energy Tracking and Reporting Tool to assist with monitoring energy use and implementing energy efficiency initiatives.”

    Walz says additional advice and assistance would be offered to participants six months after course completion to review their progress and document the outcomes.

    The course aims to provide companies with:

    • Greater knowledge of the link between energy use and climate change
    • Increased ability to develop, implement and assess Energy Conservation Plans
    • Improved understanding energy use across Australia and across different sectors
    • Improved awareness of energy use within the printing sector

    The courses are limited to 10 participants each and are scheduled for Thursday 21 July, Wednesday 3 August, Thursday 4 August, Wednesday 17 August, Thursday 18 August.

    Registrations for the Sydney courses or expressions of interest for locations outside of the Sydney area should be directed to Ian Walz on (02) 8789 7362 E-mail:

    The courses are being run by Printing Industries in partnership with the Office of Environment & Heritage NSW and SD Environmental Management.

  • Dear Mr President, print is not dead

    Responding on behalf of a US$140 billion industry, Printing Industries of America sent a rebuttal letter to the Obama Administration regarding it’s Executive Order to cease the printing of the Federal Register.

    The rebuttal letter revolves around Obama’s comparison to the printing and mailing of the Register as a stack of "expensive doorstops" and "stupid spending" that "doesn’t benefit anybody” as the contents of the Register are available online.

    Michael Makin, CEO of Printing Industries of America says it’s important for printers to stand together "and deliver a strong, coherent message about the viability and effectiveness of print.”

    He is concerned the video announcement contains “the potential negative mischaracterization of the print and graphic communications tat those remarks may have created.” And presumes any misperceptions associated with Obama’s remarks were unintentional.

    “We encourage printers to stand up for their industry and communicate to their members of Congress that print is more than an expensive doorstop and it vital to our economy. What better way than to encourage legislators to visit printing facilities first hand!"

    Printing Industries of America hopes to inform the current presidential administration about the importance of print in the US economy, that it’s not dying or an irrelevant relic.

    You can read the full letter here, or watch Makin’s video rebuttal here.

  • $53m French buyout of local finishing firm

    Expanding operations of its new regional headquarters in Singapore, French mailing supplier Neopost has scooped up GBC Australia for AU$53 million.

    With mail volumes globally not growing at the rate Neopost would like, it went looking to expand into adjacent categories and since GBC Australia has been distributing Neopost products for over 20 years, the two already have a very close relationship.

    Stuart Macdonald, managing director of GBC Australia says Neopost will not be changing the management or staff at GBC Australia and it will continue to trade as GBC. “Neopost intend to make further investments in their new Australian business and are keen to expand the print finishing side of the business as aggressively as the mailing side of the business.”

    “The acquisition of GBC Australia gave them access to the print finishing market in the APAC region. Print finishing is a category that Neopost are already familiar with after their recent purchase of several Scandinavian dealers, all of whom sold print finishing products (Denmark, Sweden and Norway).”

    According to Neopost, once GBC Australia has been fully integrated it is expecting the acquisition to bring in additional sales of around €20m (AU$27) in 2011.

    Denis Thiery, CEO of Neopost says through the acquisition of GBC Australia and the setting up of our regional headquarters, “we are taking two important steps in the development of our sales in a fast growing and promising region.

    “Whilst giving us access to new product ranges that complement our existing offer, the acquisition of GBC will also bring to Australian customers an easier access to Neopost innovative solutions and enhanced services in the mailing business.”

    Neopost’s regional headquarters in Singapore will also oversee its existing operations in Japan and India, as well as its network of distributors in other Asia-Pacific countries.

  • Transpromo envelopes to boost DM mail

    Printing digital colour advertising with the postage imprint makes DM and utility mailing more valuable to SMEs.

    New technology from mailing giant Pitney Bowes allows businesses to utilise transpromotional techniques on the front of envelopes they send to customers and clients. The technique enhances what Tony Simonsen, managing director, Pitney Bowes Australia, terms the “openability’ of ordinary mail.

    “It’s an unfortunate term but colour messages on the outside of an envelope do increase the chances of it being opened. This is important for direct marketing and promotional mail,” he said at a Pitney Bowes showcase in Sydney last week.

    Pictured below: Tony Simonsen with operator, Chris Kirby and the Connect+.

    He was referring to the launch of the Connect+ postage meter, the latest development in a long line from the company’s initial invention of the mail-franking machine 90 years ago. Among many other features, the new meter range enables businesses to add colour, images and graphical text to promotional messages and transactional mail items.

    “Pitney Bowes is a communication enabler. We focus on customer communication management, giving businesses the choice of using whatever channel they want – mail, email, messaging – to engage with their customers. It’s all about customer choice,” he said.

    The declining mail stream globally triggered a transformation of Pitney Bowes away from relying on its traditional business. It bought numerous software companies to bolster its electronic abilities in the convergence of communication channels. The mail stream is now only one of a number of communication channels it plays in. It positions itself as a communications solution provider, driving further upstream to enable multiple channels of communication for its customers.

    While the Connect+ print meter is aimed at non-commercial printing enterprises, the company also launched the DP40S, a colour envelope printer suitable for commercial printers. According to Michelle Sheehan, marketing director, the DP40S printer opens up new revenue streams for printing firms seeking to expand into the personalised and promotional mailing area.

    “We look forward to demonstrating the unique capabilities of the DP40S to printing firms that are seeking tailored envelope content printing and the ability to customise promotional mail on behalf of their customers,” she said.

    Pitney Bowes is also a partner with HP in the development of the T-series high-speed inkjet presses, which it markets under the IntelliJet brand. This mail-oriented iteration is aimed at Pitney Bowes’ major mailstream customers. None have been installed yet here or overseas.