Gimbel & Associates Blog

Customer Retention Strategies for the Print Businesses

Posted by Roger P. Gimbel, EDP on Jul 8, 2024 11:25:41 AM


Retaining clients is as crucial to the health of your business as acquiring new ones. Perhaps even more so. The best clients, and the ones you can reliably count on to run a successful company, are the ones who keep returning to do business with you.

Acquiring new customers is always a good idea, of course, but client retention should also be a top priority, backed by a management strategy that begins the minute a client signs a purchase order. Your customer retention strategy should be an intrinsic part of your corporate culture, from the CEO on down.

Read More

Topics: news, customer retention, customer experience, ai, CX, artificial intelligence

Your Color Expert Left—What Now?

Posted by Roger P. Gimbel, EDP on Jun 24, 2024 2:01:27 PM


Color consistency is vital to maintaining brand fidelity. With more campaigns being run on multiple devices and substrates, and with customers moving to printing on demand, maintaining color across the board is more challenging than ever.

And yet it’s necessary as color expertise may be one of those competitive advantages that sets your business apart. If your company suddenly looses the color whisperer who helps nurture that advantage, it could be tricky to maintain the status quo. But it’s not impossible. You can still support color consistency, meet customer expectations, and ensure production quality remains high with an effective color workflow system.

Color Workflow

Start by ensuring all your devices are working in peak condition. If color shifts across a particular screen, or on a press sheet, you will need to fix or replace those devices.

Read More

Topics: news, color, G7 certification, color management, color profile, ICC, color expert, color matching

Unlocking Efficiency: Automated Finishing Solutions in the Print Industry

Posted by Roger P. Gimbel, EDP on May 21, 2024 1:31:51 PM


Digitization of the print industry has leaped over the last two decades. The average shop floor today is significantly more automated than it was 20 years ago. All front-end functions, administrative departments, presses, and e-commerce platforms are managed by workflow and MIS systems that share information for higher efficiency and productivity.

The bindery department, often the most labor-intensive area of the shop, had lagged somewhat, with job-ticket information not making it quite as far as the folders, cutters, and gluers. Part of the reason is the multi-faced aspects of bindery. After printing, paper can be die-cut, bound, folded, stamped, jogged, trimmed, or embellished with coatings, foils, and other decorative elements. Over the last few years, though, manufacturers have turned out automated versions of traditional devices, bringing automation to the back of the shop.

Read More

Topics: MIS,, Automation,, Workflow, news, post-press, make ready, bindery, finishing

The Expanding Reach of Print Personalization

Posted by Roger P. Gimbel, EDP on Apr 25, 2024 10:44:25 AM


If one clear trend is dominating marketing, it’s personalization. In fact, personalization is now considered essential for any brand that wants to stand out with consumers and successfully nurture customer relationships. A recent study by Salesforce found that 73% of shoppers expect brands to understand their unique needs and expectations.1

The best way to demonstrate this understanding of individuality among consumers is by creating marketing messages that apply to the recipient and are engaging in their presentation.

Personalized print took a big stride forward with the advent of variable data printing capabilities. At one time, simply adding the customer’s name to printed materials was impressive. Today, marketers are using much more sophisticated approaches than simple text substitution.

Read More

Topics: variable data printing, news, personalizaton, personalized, segmentation, variable data, VDP, embellishments

What to Know About Digitizing Print

Posted by Roger P. Gimbel, EDP on Apr 12, 2024 3:37:04 PM


Here at Gimbel & Associates we concentrate on print–area in which we have a great deal of experience. Conversations with clients often begin with print, which remains a critical component of any organization’s communication strategy. However, content that starts out as print, and was originally designed for print, frequently finds its way into the omni-channel environment in which we all live.

Interest in digital publication is high. The global digital publishing market is exhibiting huge growth with a steady CAGR, indicating a favorable market trend. As they consider a digital publishing strategy, companies are also concerned about complying with accessibility laws. The number of website accessibility lawsuits are increasing, with nearly 2300 suits filed in 20231.

How does one transform print documents into an engaging and compliant digital reading experience and distribute the material to the widest audience? We’re working on that. It’s called Boundless - a new offering available soon from Xerox and administered by Gimbel & Associates.

Read More

Topics: news, pdf, omni-channel, digitized print, Boundless, multi-channel

Future-Proofing Your Print Business: Skills Training

Posted by Roger P. Gimbel, EDP on Mar 21, 2024 11:06:41 AM


It can be tempting to regard skills training and staff upgrading as a cost that must be managed down, rather than an investment that promotes growth and future-proofs your business. 

Skills training, from keeping up with the latest print software and equipment to mastering design or digital marketing, can be expensive, time consuming, and disruptive to daily operations. Plus, it’s easy to believe that staff will go elsewhere once they upgrade their skills, leaving you in the lurch.

In reality, a skills training program will generate handsome dividends for your company and place you in a much stronger competitive position.

Your employees are your biggest asset. They’re more important than the multi-million dollar presses on your shop floor. It just makes sense to invest in maintaining them, just as you would with that expensive equipment.

Read More

Topics: news, employee retention, skills training, e-learning, employee investment, competitive advantage, knowledge development

Cloud Computing for the Printing Industry

Posted by Roger P. Gimbel, EDP on Mar 6, 2024 12:54:59 PM


Remember when having your head in the clouds wasn’t a flattering comment? Times change. Today, being in the cloud is a good thing and we’re all attempting to stake out a spot up there so we can be more productive down here.

Cloud computing has been around for some time. We’re all familiar with our own personal software programs and operating systems that update automatically. Or with our photos and files being stored somewhere in the ether. But like any structural transformation, cloud computing takes time to fully permeate into businesses and market sectors.

Read More

Topics: news, cloud computing, augmented reality, ai, digitize, digitization, printing industries applications

Data Enhancement for Printers

Posted by Roger P. Gimbel, EDP on Jan 18, 2024 12:54:50 PM


Data enhancement and enrichment is the practice of adding details to data records, enabling marketers to fine-tune outbound marketing campaigns. Options include adding geocode coordinates for mapping, estimated income, gender, age, or home ownership to prospect records. Other enrichment opportunities include appending email addresses or phone numbers and filtering lists to remove unresponsive records. Identifying and eliminating duplicate contact records further improves data.

Transcend the Obvious

"Everyone understands that printers print and mailers mail. Show me something new and different that improves my response rate and makes me want to do business with you."

The marketplace knows what printers and mailers do. Yet most service providers' websites feature a long, lackluster list that includes business cards, envelopes, brochures, forms, binding, folding, and a hundred other products or services every printer offers. Use website real estate and the short attention span of most visitors to focus on customer acquisition. How can you escalate the success rate for your customer's printed materials en route to their prospect's mailbox?

Read More

Topics: direct mail, news, data enhancement, append data, enrich, suppression, duplicates, response rate

Strategies for Staffing – Fewer Workers Calls for Technology

Posted by Roger P. Gimbel, EDP on Dec 28, 2023 10:35:47 AM


The final installment of our three-part labor series focuses on employing automation as a competitive advantage.


In the first part of this series, we analyzed the aging, skilled labor market—the trend of older employees leaving the workforce and strategies for recruiting youthful as well as more mature workers. Next, we delved into how to hold on to staffers already on the payroll.  In Part 3 of three, we analyze automation advancements as part of the solution to printing industry staffing shortages.

With the overall cost of doing business increasing and production volumes decreasing, how can print service providers (PSPs) maintain profit margins and still make money? The ability to print more jobs at faster rates becomes paramount. Automated technologies allow employees to perform critical pre-press, printing, and post-press operations without requiring years of experience as apprentices or junior assistants. For example, achieving precise colors on the press has become a case of science trumping subjectivity, according to Shawn Sundquist, president and CEO of Range Printing, Inc. (Brainerd, MN).

“In some respects, the skilled-labor shortage has forced the issue,” says Sundquist, a third-generation leader at the company his grandfather founded 55 years ago. “There is definitely an older demographic in our pressroom running the presses,” he notes, lamenting that the vast majority of younger workers don’t seem to care much about the intricacies of mechanical inner-workings.

“Young people are used to pressing the ‘easy button,’” Sundquist observes.

Read More

Topics: Automation,, news, printing, labor shortage, employee retention, skilled labor, employee recruitment, printing automation

How to Keep Good Workers :  Strategies for Staffing Part 2

Posted by Roger P. Gimbel, EDP on Nov 14, 2023 1:46:23 PM


In the first part of this series we analyzed the aging, skilled labor market and the trend of older employees leaving the workforce, which can have a detrimental impact on industries, including the printing business, that depend on knowledge and expertise. “That kind of brain drain . . . could put a little more pressure on companies to figure out ways to hang on to older workers,” believes Michael Madowitz, director of macroeconomic policy at Equitable Growth.

We also suggested ways to recruit younger employees to the print sector. Enlist the help of outsiders, such as industry consultants, to work with state agencies and educational institutions. This strategy can be one smart move for printing companies trying to overcome a negative image of their industry in the minds of young people.

Read More

Topics: news, employee recruiting, employee staffing, employees, staffing, employee retention, perks, remote/hybrid work, employee benefits

Staffing Up Strategies for Printers Part 1

Posted by Roger P. Gimbel, EDP on Oct 17, 2023 10:32:58 AM


Part 1 of this article focuses on ways print service providers can attract a younger workforce by reinventing the medium’s ‘down and dirty,’ inky image. This is a 3 part series.

Hey Boomers and Gen X-ers, our workers are aging. U.S. manufacturers faced a major setback after losing some 1.5 million jobs at the onset of the global pandemic; since then, companies have been struggling to fill job vacancies. In Q1 2023, there were nearly 700,000 open manufacturing jobs, according to consulting firm Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute. The National Association of Manufacturers reports that over 2 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2030.

Print firms are feeling the pain. A good portion of experienced print industry employees are nearing retirement age. Last year, more than one-quarter of the U.S. workforce was 55 years of age or older, up from 14% twenty years earlier. In 2020, for the first time in the history of the United States, individuals 65 years of age and older outnumbered those five years of age and younger, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The U.S. print sector, which today employs over 386,500 Americans, shows negative growth (of -2.6%) again this year, reports research firm IBISWorld, and is down 1.4% overall since 2018.

Read More

Topics: news, employee recruiting, print industry labor, recruiting for the print industry, Gen Z, Millennials, labor shortage, flexible work hours

Beyond Static: How Motion Graphics Can Enhance Print Materials

Posted by Roger P. Gimbel, EDP on Sep 6, 2023 1:30:33 PM


It should come as no surprise that video content is king, providing endless entertainment and learning through lively visuals and animations. But what about print? Should you just concede the attractive and absorbing aspects of video and animation to the digital channels and concentrate on selling flat printed images?

Don't leave any opportunity behind!

Motion graphics aren't appropriate for every project, but helping your clients dive into the realm of motion can be a differentiating factor for your printing business that helps retain current customers and attracts new ones. Motion graphics can transform flat sheets into mesmerizing 3D objects, capturing the reader's attention and even bridging the gap between the tangible and digital worlds for an unforgettable interactive experience.  

Read More

Topics: news, augmented reality, die cutting, interactive print, folding techniques, motion graphics, movable graphics, AR, qr codes

High-Tech Direct Mail

Posted by Roger P. Gimbel, EDP on Aug 7, 2023 4:13:41 PM


Everyone in the printing business knows how direct mail has resurged as an important marketing channel. However, it's not appearing as it did in your grandfather's mailbox! There’s no “spray and pray” anymore.

“In 2022, we saw marketers starting to shift their digital marketing budgets to direct mail solutions,” Meg Ugenti reported last month in Forbes. “This trend will hold steady as the digital marketing landscape continues to be more crowded and less predictable than traditional offline marketing channels.”

In a recent article from Practical Ecommerce, Eric Bandholz explained how Apple’s iOS 14 privacy change has upended advertising on Facebook. “Merchants accustomed to stellar ROI must now accept modest or less-than-modest performance, he reported, citing the intriguing case of Pig of the Month. The Ohio-based direct-to-consumer seller of barbeque quotes company founder Lea Richards: “With post-iOS 14 ads not working, we’re getting back into direct mail. We’ve found good results, up to six-times return.”

Read More

Topics: multi-channel campaigns, direct mail, news, personalizaton, variable data, VDP, omni-channel, direct marketing, xmpie

Online Portals and the Customer Experience

Posted by Roger P. Gimbel, EDP on Jun 9, 2023 12:34:22 PM


In today’s competitive printing industry, customer retention usually comes down to a great customer experience. High quality printing is simply the standard now, not a differentiator, and competing on price is a race to the bottom. Great customer service can be the competitive difference that makes clients want to do business with you and keeps your bottom line growing.


But the definition of great customer service has evolved. Today, the meaning includes a certain degree of self service and 24/7 access—the conveniences that can be found via online portals. Easy to navigate portals with anytime and anywhere access, quick responses, project tracking, proofing, invoicing, inventory tracking, and other services can make your brand stand out with their terrific benefits.

Read More

Topics: news, online portals, personalized experience, 24/7, storage of assets

Subscribe Here!

Recent Posts

Posts by Tag

See all