TLMI printTHINK Summit Combines Business and Technical Content
According to Kaihan Krippendorff, an integral part of business success is seeing what the competition doesn’t. Krippendorff, the founder of business consultancy firm Outthinker, served as the opening keynote speaker for the debut TLMI printTHINK Summit.
“Innovative business leaders start with the pieces they have and build something different,” Krippendorff said. “Look for an idea for your business that all of the experts say won’t work. Look for an idea that is inconsistent with what the experts know will work.”
The printTHINK Summit, held from Sept. 5-7 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill., is the evolution of the TLMI Technical Conference, which had been rebranded to include both technical and business management topics. Supplier and converter members attended educational sessions along three tracks – shops & systems, strategy & success and science & sustainability. Within the three tracks, sessions were further divided into five key topic areas – color management, future of operations, inkjet, LED vs. UV and workflow.
One of the first business management topics discussed at the Summit was the need felt across the industry to both attract and retain new members of the workforce. As part of “Attract and Engage the Multi-Generational Production Workforce,” Chuck Smith of NewHire, a small business recruiting software and services company, discussed how the traditional methods of recruiting and hiring may not always be the best approach.
For example, Smith pointed out that research shows that about 75% of job candidates’ resumes contain false information.
“Resumes don’t equal people,” he said.
A new approach to hiring that Smith suggested reverses the model slightly. Instead of receiving an influx of resumes and then narrowing those down into interview candidates, he recommended that companies ask job applicants to answer a series of key questions to help narrow the candidate pool in advance. Then, he said, companies should request resumes.
On the technical side, one popular session was specific to inkjet label production. In a panel called “You Bought Inkjet … Now What?” three converters who have installed various inkjet devices shared their experiences with the technology.
First up, Ryan Reding of WS Packaging, discussed his company’s experience with the Mark Andy Digital Series hybrid inkjet/flexo press. Reding explained that one of the key advantages to the hybrid unit is its ability to print and finish labels in-line, without the need for off-line finishing processes. With these increased production efficiencies, Reding said it is now possible for WS Packaging to achieve up to 50 changeovers in a day.
“Having an in-line solution gets it completed and out the door in one pass,” he said.
Adam Gray, CEO of Sheetlabels.com, explained how adding a Domino N610i inkjet press to his online label business has allowed the company to expand its customer base into large companies. Additionally, he said the inkjet press has given Sheetlabels.com the ability to grow alongside its customers as their label needs expand.
“When we took the leap for the Domino,” Gray said, “it was a commitment to go after larger customers and take our [existing] customers and as they grow, jump them up to the Domino press.”
Steve Middleton of Middleton Printing, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based label printer, discussed his company’s entry into inkjet with an Epson SurePress L-4033AW. Middleton explained that after adding the inkjet press, Middleton Printing’s profitability increased by 15 to 17%. He said that when exploring digital options, it’s important to not go about it tentatively, but to find the ways it can provide unique advantages.
“When exploring digital, make it your friend,” Middleton recommended. “Embrace it and talk to other people.”
The next TLMI event will be the association’s Annual Meeting, scheduled for Oct. 8-11 at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Gainey Ranch Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz.