For a company to be successful, it has to have its most valuable asset: EMPLOYEES.
In all of manufacturing, 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will become available in the next 10 years with 30-50% of the skilled worker population retiring. With these retirees aging out and manufacturing careers not being of interest to potential younger employees, that could mean an estimated 2 million jobs left unfilled.* This crisis extends to all of manufacturing, including the third largest sector, the printing industry. So, the time is NOW to look for and find the next generation of skilled workers, specifically skilled workers interested in learning about the art of offset printing. But where to find these people? Here are some suggestions:
THINK BEYOND THE SKILL.Talk about printing as the innovative, challenging, exciting industry that it is. Tell potential employees, and the people around them (guidance counselors, teachers, parents), that you're looking for insight and ideas. Let it be known that you are looking for more than just a machine operator; you are looking for a person who can contribute intellectually.
Also, communicate that employees will be trained in a wide variety of areas. This, too, appeals to the younger generation who have grown up with constant stimuli. Teach them digital printing, pre-press, multi-channel distribution, color management, variable data handling, finishing, sales, technical support, automated workflows, and of course, offset press production.
USE THE ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY OF THE PRINTING INDUSTRY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE.Talk about needing ideas and technology savviness to help keep print relevant in a digital world. Attract younger recruits with the language they know, then teach them the legacy skills of offset printing.
BE PRESENT IN YOUR COMMUNITYIt will help you to be aware of who you are, what you do, and most importantly, that you love being a part of it.
EXTEND YOUR "LOCAL" MINDSETYou can reach more potential hires by the inclusion of surrounding communities. It's important to make sure your presence is always represented as modern, challenging, exciting, and oozing with potential.
40% of high school graduates have no plans to continue their education in college** so your positive community presence may just be the key to getting a younger regime to replace the retiring regime
MAKE A CAREER IN PRINTING ENTICING.You're competing against other manufacturing companies for employees, so you need to stand out from everyone.
THINK BEYOND THOSE COMING RIGHT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL OR TRADE SCHOOLS.
*WHITE PAPER PRODUCED BY THE ASSOCIATION FOR PRINT TECHNOLOGIES – PRIMIR RESEARCH UNIT. 2019.
The 2019 survey results are in. Thank you to all who participated! The results help guide us in providing the information you need to help you gain industry knowledge and make the best business decisions for your shop. Here's what the responding printers had to say:
How often do you use the following information resources to increase your business/product knowledge or assist in making purchase decisions?
Of the following trade publications (online or print), which one do you use most often as an information resource?
Of the following five items, rank (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) what drives your buying decision (1 means most important and 5 means least important)?
When printing carbonless forms, what type of printers do you use?
About 7% more respondents run digital – dry toner over offset.
What brand and model type of digital equipment do you use?
Are you considering purchasing a production inkjet press to print carbonless forms in the next 12 months?
Do you print on synthetic substrates?
What markets are you expanding into? This was an open-ended question for which respondents were requested to write their answers. The top four answers were:
What factors are impacting your business?
What type of articles do you like to read?
Other interesting results included:
It is exciting to learn about how our printers want to learn. Thanks again to everyone who participated in the 2019 survey! We appreciate your input. It is vital to our growth as a company and continued service to you.
Glen Rietman is a 37-year veteran of the printing industry. He is responsible for printing medical forms, mailers, brochures, educational flyers and everything else for Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains, Missouri. They are a non-profit medical referral center with over 1200 employees, serving an 8-county area in south central Missouri and north central Arkansas. Printing for all the entities of Ozarks Medical Center has always been a challenge, which Glen loves. His biggest, most unforgettable challenge came in 2017: 90% of the shop was totally destroyed in the floods that hit the Ozarks. The only thing that survived was the cutter and an old folder.
Glen and his print shop prevailed, and now it was better than ever. We spoke with Glen about his shop and where he thinks the printing industry is going.
Explain a little bit about your shop.
I've been here for 37 years and have watched the Medical Center grow. We print a lot… forms, documents, mailers, brochures, educational flyers, banners and anything else to help serve the Medical Facility's needs.
How has your print shop evolved through the years?
We started out in 1982 with a small AB Dick table top press and then added a two-color Ryobi press in 2002. In 2017, we received 18-inches of water which destroyed the shop, causing us to start from scratch. We had been talking about going digital for ten years, and the flood finally helped us get there. We also moved locations after the flood which helped with efficiency.
What has been your response to the competitiveness and commoditization of the printing industry? In other words, what do you do to remain competitive?
We're lucky when it comes to competition because we're (in) a medium size town, so there are only two other printing companies in town.
Do you feel the answer above differentiates you from other printers or is there something else you think does? In other words, what makes your print shop unique?
There are a few things that make us unique. As an in-plant print shop, we print a lot of forms, brochures and everything else that we can do, and most requests are urgent. We only print for the Medical Center and with healthcare changing rapidly, we strive to give the fastest and most accurate service.
How do you handle the immediacy/urgency of customers' needs? Do you have a process to assure your customers' needs are met?
Being digital now has helped with the urgency of requests. We use in-house delivery guys to deliver printed material at least twice a day. And if I need to, I hand deliver it myself.
How do you feel, as an industry, we can cultivate the future of printing? How can we cultivate new talent?
We give tours to juniors and seniors from a local high school which piques their interest to come back and learn more. Printing will always be around.
Ozarks Medical Group was chosen as our Featured Print Shop for August because Glen helped us celebrate 65 years of exceptional form by sending in a printed piece. He was randomly selected from all the entries.
You, too, could get a chance to win prizes! Simply participate in our contests! It's that easy. And it's fun!
Happy 65th Anniversary NCR PAPER* Brand – the very first carbonless paper that is STILL the leading brand after all these years. Why? Two reasons:
Why It Owns The #1 Spot in Carbonless Paper
The entire line of NCR PAPER* Brand paper is designed with efficient, problem-free printing in mind. It runs smoothly and cleanly, saving you time and money.
NCR PAPER* Brand Superior is the only carbonless paper you'll ever need, whether you run offset, digital or inkjet printers. It creates convenience and cost savings because you only need one paper and one glue for all forms jobs.
NCR PAPER* Brand Superior Perf is micro-perforated NCR PAPER* Brand Superior. The perf offers a clean, continuous smooth snap with every sheet, which means every form is clean and smooth. Plus, you can produce in-house snap-sets without any special equipment.
NCR PAPER* Brand Xero/Form® II allows you to create multi-part forms on-demand on your own copiers and laser printers. That saves time and increases efficiencies! You can print them only when they're needed and you can do it yourself.
NCR PAPER* Brand Specialties are designed specifically for offset printing. They offer the flexibility to run all types of jobs from heavyweight, lightweight, self-contained, and more. NCR PAPER* Brand Specialties perform!
Join The Party
Help us celebrate 65 years of exceptional form! Submit (send in via mail or send a photo via e-mail) a piece of work you've printed on NCR PAPER* Brand. You'll then be eligible for a chance to be featured in one of our upcoming Team Appvion communications and receive a lunch party for the entire shop!*
HOW TO SUBMIT:
Attn: Team Appvion
825 E. Wisconsin Avenue
Appleton, WI 54915
Email To: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Print shop will be randomly selected from those who have submitted examples of work printed on NCR PAPER* Brand paper. Submissions must be post-marked or e-mailed via June 27, 2019. Winner will be notified by e-mail by July 12, 2019. One submission per print shop.
If you're looking for color that will make an explosive impression for your customers, kaBoom!® Fluorescents will do it with a huge bang! kaBoom! Fluorescents provide rich, uniform color, superb printability and outstanding performance. And they're available in six brilliant, eye-popping colors:
Have a color in mind that's not listed? No problem! Appvion has the capability to create custom colors! Custom sizes and basis weights are also available.
kaBoom! Fluorescents are ideal for all types of business and personal communications, like menus, posters, envelopes, direct mail, brochures, flyers, arts and crafts, and school supplies. With bold and lively color that bursts, off the page, your piece will definitely get noticed.
Available in rolls or sheets, kaBoom! Fluorescents:
Once the amazing colors of kaBoom! Fluorescents start poppin', your printers won't be stoppin'! To learn more about the entire kaBoom! Colored Papers line, click here.
What does it mean to spring clean? It means greater efficiencies, a safer, friendlier workspace and a bigger bottom line. When tools are organized, they're easier to find. When the shop floor is clear, there are less chances for mishaps. When the printers are maintained, you'll get cleaner, faster runs.
Time is money. And you can save a lot of both by doing a little spring cleaning, and more importantly, maintaining that clean. Here are few tips to keep your shop shiny:
Now. Not later.
After a long day of running jobs, the thought of cleaning the shop can be overwhelming. Alleviate that end-of-day stress by cleaning as you go. Put the inks away. Wash the tools and equipment. Clean up any spills. Stack jobs in an orderly fashion. Do this as each phase of the job is complete. Then at the end of the day, you won't have any big cleaning to do, plus you'll be ready to take on another day as soon as you walk in the next morning.
Put it where it belongs.
Organize your shop space so everything has a home. Tools. Supplies. Timesheets. Maintenance logs. Incoming jobs. Finished jobs. Make that home easily accessible in the right place. Keep chemicals away from the folding area. Keep cleaning supplies near the messy areas. Use concrete floor tape and mark where boxes and skids should go. If you have multiple presses, consider buying common items in bulk. A little extra cost with multiples may very well negate time wasted in searching for things.
Create a lay of the land and strategically place everything you need where it would be best for safety and flow. Don't overlook the efficiency of mobility, either: rolling racks or shelving on casters.
Dirty don't work.
Dirty printers can translate into slower operations and pre-mature break downs. Plus, if a printer is dirty inside, what's going to come out of it will be dirty, too. Nobody can afford to have a press go offline or to redo a job. So, clean your printers frequently, thoroughly and consistently. Also create a maintenance/cleaning schedule and log for all of your equipment and keep it up-to-date.
Pitch and ditch.
Go through your supplies and dispose of anything that is beyond cleaning, damaged, or expired. Get rid of inks, chemicals, or stored substrates that have been sitting around. Throw away brushes. If you haven't used it within the last year, ask yourself if you'll use it within the next year? If not, bon voyage.
Consider donating old equipment to a local high school that has a printing department/school newspaper, too. You'd be doing a really good deed and helping hone the skills of future printers. Plus: tax write-off.
Much like with a maintenance and cleaning schedule, create a schedule for going through supplies and make sure to record each time the pitch and ditch is done.
Keep the clean on.
How you keep your shop on any given day reflects the attitude and integrity of the shop. Let your employees know they can help promote that by simply helping keep the shop clean. Create a culture of cleanliness and order. From day one, preach clean. Let your staff know they are to clean up after themselves and hold them accountable to do so.
It takes a concerted effort, but maintaining a clean, uncluttered workspace at all times will alleviate the need to do major cleanups. Plus, maintaining a clean shop will make your space safer, more efficient and more inviting.
We cover the ventilation registers with dryer sheets - it still lets the air flow, collects some of the dust and gives a nice, pleasant smell.
- Jeffrey, B.
Buy an xpower a-2 air duster to clean out keyboards, inside cpu's and all sorts of machine with sensors that can get dusty.
- Rick, K.
Clean every night , your work area, Sweep Good! get rid of Dust, so it doesn't affect jobs printed!
- Ted, A.
Rub lotion into your hands prior to running the printing press. Lotion clogs your skin pores and makes it EASY to clean your hands later.
- Craig, K.
Rotate all your stock, combine all chemicals, change jobs that where showing on wall for customers can see whazhappening.
- Bruse, P.
We clean our shop each friday including our desk and everyones work area we try very hard to start cleaning at 4:00 sometimes.
- Donna, P.
Keep glass cleaner near the copiers at all times to keep the document glass clean.
Buy small organizational drawers to keep office supplies from cluttering up your work space.
- Kelly, T.
Tidy up your messy, cluttered, etc. workplace everyday before leaving so that when you return in the morning, you have a clean, organized workspace to begin your day.
- Sandra, C.
I use soft scrubs & wipe things down once a week.
- Joey, W.
Along with putting things where they belong and back where you got them from – label shelves and areas on what belongs there so other things don't end up in those areas and saves time on searching for things.
- Marie (Macy), W.
My cleaning tip is after you are done doing something, tidy up around your work area, this way it'll save time at the end of your shift. It will also make you feel better in your work space.
- Donelle, B.
When hanging out your chemicals in the plate maker or film/plate processor put down the box lids from your cartons of paper to catch any drops that accidentally splash/spill.
- Joey, W.
Mixture of water and vinegar in a spray bottle helps with no streaks on the windows.
You can contact your local waste management service to provide you with free pails to recycle paper. They will then pick it up.
BILL'S RULE OF TEN - Before you begin today's work, put away or return at least 10 of the things that you used the previous day.
- Ed, S.
Throw away worn out padding brushes.
Use a household type cleaner such as Lime-Away for removing hard water calcium or scale build up on printing press.
Use old cleaned out yogurt containers for storing left over mixed ink (label and store lid tight).
- Karen, A.
If you drop it pick it up, If you spill it wipe it up.
- Karen, J.
In a world where demands are high and excellence is a must, it's good to know someone's on your side. Appvion Super Papers! Nothing stands in the way of these papers. They'll run fast and they'll run long. And most of all, they'll make YOU look like the hero!
Appvion Super Papers are capable of optimizing today's printing technology and are on a continuous quest to outrun, outperform and outlast all other papers. And they come through with super runnability, trouble-free finishing and an intense impression. Plus, Appvion Super Papers are always stocked and ready to go, and they have a 100% guarantee that they'll be downright super!
SUPER PAPER 1 — NCR PAPER* BRAND SUPERIOR
Runs faster than a speeding bullet and guarantees an intense impression every time!
NCR PAPER* Brand Superior is so good and so effective, it even has "super" in its name. It runs fast! It runs smooth! It runs problem-free. And it has reliable edge padding. With NCR PAPER* Brand Superior, printers can be assured a clean, consistent hero from start to finish.Super qualities include:
SUPER PAPER 2 — KABOOM!® COLORED PAPERS
Explodes with a kablammy! of rich, uniform color and a superb printability!
These dynamic super papers pow! zams and zap! away all the other colored papers out there! Not only are their colors electrifying, but they are also specifically designed to perform on offset, multifunction and desktop printers including laser and inkjet. Both kaboom! Colored Papers and their side kick kaboom! Fluorescents put the kapowza! in colored paper!
SUPER PAPER 3 — TRIUMPH™ DIGITAL MEDIA
Tackles the broadest range of digital printing platforms to defeat even the most challenging applications!
Goodbye lamination! Hello super paper Triumph™ Digital Media! These digital substrates are versatile, high-performing heros. They're specifically engineered to run smoothly and are a cost-effective solution for all types of applications.* They will deliver unmatched quality and economically defeat lamination every time.Triumph™ Digital Media saves the day with:
The Triumph™ Digital Media line includes four flexible yet durable super friends. No matter the application, this super Triumph Digital team has extraordinary powers in printability, runnability, flexibility, and tear and moisture resistance.Triumph™ Premium Polyester
*Each customer and/or end user should determine the suitability of any Triumph™ Digital Media product for their particular application and equipment. Appvion Operations, Inc. recommends testing the product on your particular equipment.
Appvion Super Papers will always help you save the day. And they're always available, so call on them anytime!
Just like other things that never die – rocks, wisdom, hope, taxes, and zombies – good printing practices live on and on. Whether you're an old dog or a new pup in the printing industry, there's no need to learn any new tricks. Simply look to the tried and true methods that have always worked to help you ring in the new year with new successes!
5 tactics to help take your new year to new heights!