It may sound contrary as a marketer for an offset printing press manufacturer to say this, but hey all you printers out there, you need to be using social media! I am not suggesting that we stop the presses—quite the opposite. Social media can actually drive print. Let’s face the facts, folks. Your customers are using social media all the time.
I wanted to offer some perspective to all those who are considering a new press. The entry dialogue is and has been “how fast will it make-ready?” After all, hasn’t the mantra always been to produce print “better, faster, cheaper?” All the focus has been on the machine and the software to improve your profit on these shorter runs and the lower print pricing in the market. I think this is well placed consideration, and as a press guy I would support all that kind of scrutiny, BUT – - -
We do study after study to “justify” or ROI a new press. It is our pleasure to do so; however, what continues to show its big ugly head is your plant efficiency or inefficiency. Here is what “becomes the truth.” So the question is “can you handle the truth?”
Komori participated in the IPMA (In-Plant Printing & Mailing Association) conference last week in Charleston, SC. This is a great group and an anomaly in the printing industry. They come from corporate in-plant shops, educational institutions, government offices and non-profits and cover sectors from manufacturing to insurance companies to churches and healthcare institutions. What they all have in common is their eagerness to learn and their willingness to share information.
What do these sentences have in common?
• If the job is under 20,000 impressions, it should never go on a web press.
• Always allow for at least 5000 waste copies on a web press.
• Web presses are complicated to run.
• Print quality is much lower on a web press as compared to sheetfed.
• The automobile will never replace the horse and buggy for transportation.
What do they have in common? They are all FALSE!
Komori participated in Consolidated Graphics (CGX) Emerge conference last week in Dallas, TX. What is so impressive about this event, other than the fact that it is flawlessly coordinated and first class all the way, is the staggering number of attendees. The nearly 1,000 participants were exposed to seminar content covering topics in print management, marketing, technology and design and got to hear impressive keynote addresses about brand management that got everyone’s creative juices flowing. The event also had its share of fun with a great print awards gala and an outing to the state of the art Dallas Cowboy’s stadium. CGX’s dedication to customer satisfaction is a key contributor to their ongoing success, and was evidenced throughout the event. Increasing customer loyalty is critical in any industry, and judging by the feedback from the CGX customers in attendance, they achieved this goal hands down. Leading by example—a lesson for our entire industry.
Call me biased, but I think Komori employees are some of the best people in the world. When the tsunami struck Japan and again with the devastating tornadoes ripped through the southeastern US, the first thought of many of our employees was “what can we do to help?” While many have already donated generously, we decided we wanted to put some of those great ideas to work on a company wide level.
As an example, our Technical Products Manager, Rodney French, designed the great logo on the t-shirt you see here, which we’re selling for $20 each—all proceeds will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross. About thirty seconds after the email went out, we had our first order—another great display of the generosity of spirit of our fantastic employees. Taking another example from our sales representatives in the field, we also produced the “Komori Kares” bracelet as shown below. We’re selling those for $5 each and all proceeds go to the American Red Cross to help those in the south who are sorely in need of relief.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended my very first ACUP conference. If you’re asking yourself what ACUP is, you are not alone. With Komori’s focus on the in-plant market, we quickly discovered that one organization and conference you cannot miss is the Association of College and University Printers. This year’s session was held in Dallas, Texas with a plant tour of University of North Texas. It was well attended with colleges and universities from around the country and the world.
The quakebook, “2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake” was released today. I immediately downloaded it to my kindle and started reading. The entries range from harrowing to heartwarming and I find I simply have to read more. What strikes me most is the power of social media. In a matter of seconds after the earthquake struck, thousands of tweets and blog entries started appearing. It was instant history.
In the hours and days that followed, these entries served to comfort and communicate to the world the personal experience of people affected by the tragedy. It created community. And then a group of unpaid professional and citizen journalists who met on Twitter decided to create a book to raise money for earthquake and tsunami relief efforts by compiling the tweets and blogs into an e-book.
The entire cost of the download—9.99 on amazon.com–goes to the Japanese Red Cross. It’s powerful stuff—driven by 140 characters.
Komori announced today that press shipments resumed just days after the earthquake and tsunami to locations all around the world. That is great news! It seems that even though Japan continues to quake with nearly daily aftershocks, life—and business—go on. I cannot imagine what that must be like and we continue to hold Japan in our thoughts and prayers as the people get back to life in the “new normal”.
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There has been a significant amount of talk in the marketplace about the radiation levels in products being shipped from Japan. Many people, quite naturally, have had questions regarding the radiation levels of Komori presses and parts shipping from Japan since the disaster.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection organization has standards and inspections in place to check for radiation levels. To quote from their website, “To address radiological and nuclear risks, CBP employs several types of radiation detection equipment in its operations at both air and sea ports, and uses this equipment, along with specific operational protocols to resolve any security or safety risks that are identified with inbound travelers and cargo.” (For more information, visit their website at www.cbp.gov).
The bottom line is that if there were harmful levels of radiation on any product shipped into the United States, from any country, it would be barred from entry. Our plants are also measuring the radiation levels of parts shipped in and of products being shipped out.
We will have more information on that procedure early next week. We hope this alleviates any fears or concerns our customers, or others in the industry may have regarding this issue.