Supply Chain Management
With the new version of its ProofBook, EyeC says printers and customers can inspect multi-page documents with greater speed and precision, saying inspections are performed five times faster than with the previous model.
Hemlock Printers Ltd. has installed VeraCore technology to manage its fulfillment operations, which is becoming an increasingly important revenue stream for company, which offers a range of services like offset and digital printing, online solutions, prepress, digital photography, bindery, mailing and warehousing.

From its warehouse in Burnaby, British Columbia, Hemlock manages a range of fulfillment programs for clients built around both print and non-print collateral materials. Hemlock also manages magazine subscription fulfillment programs for several of its publishing clients. As such, the printing company focused on installing a fulfillment system for managing warehouse operations and inventory accuracy.

The VeraCore Warehouse Management System includes both barcode technology and rules-based processing for increasing fulfillment throughput. “Fulfillment is definitely a growth area for us, so investing in this technology made sense,” said Richard Kouwenhoven, President, Hemlock. “VeraCore provides our team with the tools to run a highly efficient warehouse operation which meets the expanding needs of our customers.”

The VeraCore Fulfillment Solution has been integrated with several of the systems in use at Hemlock, including ecommerce, Web-to-print and shipping. VeraCore explains its API will also enable Hemlock’s development team to build its own integrations as needed.

Ron Davis, VP and Chief Economist with Printing Industries of America, has released a financial report, called Competing for Print's Thriving Future, that focuses on the long-term future of print and print markets. According to the PIA, the report identifies what it defines as “Print logistics” as the only clear positive direction for a printing company’s market longevity and viability.

The US$99 report breaks down print products and services into three different categories: 1. Print intended to communicate factual information (like magazines, newspapers and books); 2. Print providing product logistics to manufactured products (like packaging, labels, and wrappers); and 3. Print intended to promote or sell products or services (like catalogues, direct mail and brochures).

Of the three functions, the PIA states that only “Print logistics” is not subject to competition and substitution by digital media. Conversely, the “Print inform or communicate” categories are subject to the highest risk of substitution from digital media, while “Print marketing” is somewhere in the middle.

“The key conclusion from this analysis is that there can be a very positive future for print and printers. Today’s printers that are aware of the emerging industry environment and crucial business strategies and tactics have a very bright future,” stated Ron Davis. “Even if a pessimistic scenario were to unfold, on a per-plant basis, the surviving firms would still experience sales growth in two of the three major functional categories.

“The graphic communications industry is facing very serious challenges at this time, but that doesn’t mean there isn't a lot of life and opportunity in our future. Printers can create their own positive future by understanding and taking advantage of the emerging changes.”

More on the report can be found on PIA’s website

The Toronto Star has reported it has reached an agreement with the union representing its editorial employees to reduce its staff by 35 instead of outsourcing page production.

In November last year, The Star proposed a reduction of 70 full-time jobs which would've also seen the company outsource some of its page production to a subsidiary of The Canadian Press. The savings would have been $4 million annually.

The new agreement would see page production remain at The Star, but 35 jobs will still be cut from editorial. The editorial department of the paper is comprised of 380 people out of a total 1,300 people at the newspaper in total.

"Regretfully, this alternative to contracting out will still result in a number of layoffs in the newsroom, with details on specific numbers to be communicated as soon as possible," said Publisher John Cruickshank in a statement to the staff.

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