Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Article (an investment person's opinion) about ARC stock

Below is the web-site address of an interesting article (an investment opinion) about ARC. The author of the article refers to ARC as "a cash cow" and is recommending accumulation of ARC's stock.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reprographers aren't the only ones offering document management software and services to A/E firms

Just a couple of comments about a very interesting article I found on

(1) For years, reprographers have been talking about, and, today, most reprographers offer some level of, Internet-based document management services. Take for instance solutions offered by ARC (PlanWell) and ReproMAX (DFS/PDM) and there are quite a number of others.

(2) And, most in the reprographics community well-know that our industry is not the only industry that pursues selling document management services to firms in the A/E/C Industry. You don’t have to be in the reprographics business to offer document management services; software companies develop products that are sold to A/E/C firms or offered to those firms as “software-as-a-service.”

About 18 months ago, I had the opportunity to develop and submit a proposal to provide document management, printing and distribution services to one of the U.S.’s largest Architecture firms for a very large “sports venue” project.

We had already been “short-listed” as the recommended reprographer (our Secret Weapon, Martha, had already positioned that outcome), and, now, we were meeting for the first time with the Senior guy (head of Operations for the Architecture firm) to talk about the content of our proposal. I asked if the A/E/C team would like us to offer document management services as a part of our service offering for the project. And, the response, one I was not expecting, was “nope, we don’t need that.” He went on to say, “we use Newforma” for document management. Newforma, among other things, allows us to keep our drawings and specifications organized and up-to-date. Each time we are ready to print for distribution (phases or finals), we will post the documents on our site and tell you where to go to retrieve them; you will then pull them off of our site, make sure everything is in proper order, then print and distribute. Do not save the jobs in your system, because the drawings and specs will be constantly updated. Every time we are ready for you to print, we will release the most current set(s) to you.”

As soon as I left that meeting, I contacted our CTO and asked him what he knew about Newforma. He said, “well, nothing, but I will quickly look into it to find out what it is so we can talk about it in the proposal you are writing – and not look stupid.”

Newforma is only one of the software products out there that A/E firms are using and talking about.

Okay, back to the interesting article I found on …..

Here’s just the introductory paragraph of that article:

Collaboration, Project Management, and Project Information Management Solutions in A/E/C (Feb 19, 2009)
There can be little doubt that, by now, BIM has become firmly established as a critical technology in the AEC industry. However, BIM deployment by itself is not sufficient to successfully execute and complete building projects while meeting the demands for efficient processes, fast-track design and construction, minimizing waste and construction errors, sustainable design, higher quality buildings, less budget over-runs, and so many others. In particular, with the growing push for IPD (integrated project delivery), BIM cannot deliver on it alone, and it needs to be supplemented with tools for better collaboration, project management, and project information management. This article provides an overview of some of the established and upcoming solutions that belong in this category of applications, as listed in AECbytes VendorHub. They include the server-based Newforma Project Center, the web-based Attolist, and the SharePoint-based Organice.

Here’s the web address of the “complete” article:

Z Corporation to Highlight New 3D Printers and 3D Scanners During Eight-City Tour to Launch Autodesk 2010 Product Family

This information was found on the web-site operated by AECCafe:

BURLINGTON, Mass., April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Z Corporation today announced it is a Gold Sponsor of the Autodesk Imagine 2009 tour, which starts tomorrow and continues in eight cities, including a virtual event, across the United States and Canada. Z Corporation is the exclusive 3D printer partner for the tour.

The Imagine Tour launches Autodesk's 2010 software product line in industries including manufacturing, GIS, engineering, entertainment, and AEC. The tour kicks off tomorrow in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Dates and locations include:

-- Toronto, ON, April 21 -- Minneapolis, MN, April 23 -- Vancouver, BC, May 7 -- Dallas, TX, May 12 -- Anaheim, CA, May 14 -- New York, NY, May 28 -- Calgary, AB, June 2 -- San Jose, CA, June 4

In addition to the eight-city tour, Z Corporation will join Autodesk for a global one-day virtual launch event on Tuesday, May 19. Z Corporation will have a virtual exhibit booth at the event, and will interact live with participants via virtual chat. Individuals interested in attending can register at:

"We have tightly integrated 3D printing capabilities in AutoCAD 2010, enabling our customers to quickly and easily create physical models of their projects," said Guri Stark, Autodesk vice president, AutoCAD and Platform Products. "With the support of Z Corporation, we look forward to introducing our customers to this new feature and the many other enhancements in our 2010 product line on the Imagine tour."

Z Corporation and its reseller partners will feature the company's full line of 3D ZPrinters on the Imagine Tour, including the new ZPrinter(R) 650. ZPrinters create physical models directly from 3D data, just as 2D printers create documents from word processing text. The company will also showcase its line of handheld 3D laser scanners that can scan any object in real time with one continuous scan, including the new ZScanner(R) 700 CX and ZScanner(R) 700 PX.

"We believe the Imagine Tour will provide a perfect venue to demonstrate the significant value of 3D printing to Autodesk's current and future customers," said Kevin Lach, vice president of marketing at Z Corporation. "Autodesk understands the value 3D printing brings to the product development process, and we are proud to be their exclusive partner on the Imagine Tour."

About Z Corporation

Z Corporation makes products that enable users to capture, edit and print 3D data with unprecedented speed, ease, versatility and affordability. These products include the world's fastest high-definition 3D printers -- machines that produce physical 3D models from digital data in multiple colors -- and uniquely portable 3D scanners -- handheld machines that digitize 3D surfaces in real time. Z Corp. technology is enabling a wide range of applications in manufacturing, architecture, civil engineering, reverse engineering, geographic information systems (GIS), medicine and entertainment. For the latest news and information from Z Corp., visit

AutoDesk "bonus pack" enables 3D printing services

There's been a lot of discussion in the reprographics industry, the past 3 years, about A/E customers transitioning from 2D drawing programs to 3D drawing programs (and BIM and Autodesk Revit and such).

I think this information (the following) was released by AutoDesk in January 2009:

AutoDesk “bonus pack” enables 3D-print-job-submission (file processing and job-submit) to service bureaus who offer 3D printing.

For a video about this, enter this link in your browser window…..

……and, then, select the video that’s at the bottom of the screen (where you see the lady sitting by herself)

Some reprographers are offering 3D printing services, but, I suspect that most are still not offering this service. There are quite a number of firms in the U.S. offering 3D printing services who are not reprographers.

Reprographers from 12 U.S. States have not yet visited Reprographics 101; please help

Dear visitor to my blog-site,

So, far, my blog-site has been visited by people from 38 states in the U.S. (This, according to Google Analytics reports.)

But, that also means that my blog-site has not received visitors from 12 states in the U.S.

If you have reprographer-friends in any of these (‘missing”) states, please tell them about my blog-site:

Rhode Island
West Virginia
New Mexico
South Dakota

ARC Tender Offer will allow employee stock-option-holders the opportunity to exchange stock options that are “under water” for options that are not.

What else would you expect from a very smart management team?

Given the tremendous fall-off in ARC’s stock price since 2007, many ARC employees, who were granted options to purchase ARC stock when ARC’s stock prices were much higher than the price-per-share ARC was recently trading at, are holding options that are “under water.” The term “under water” means that the option-to-exercise price-per-share is greater than the current trading price-per-share. In other words, would anyone (in their right mind) really want to purchase stock (via an option or otherwise) at a price that is higher than the stock is worth? Would you want to pay $25 for a stock that’s trading at $5? (If you said, “yes,” then please call me, as I have some GE stock I’d like to unload for “only” $25 per share.)

When stock options are under water – and, even worse, far under water – that isn’t a great incentive for those who hold stock options, especially employees who hold stock options.

So, what Suri did (and, I would imagine, the ARC Board of Directors had to sign-off on this) was to come up with a plan that would allow ARC-employee stock-option holders to exchange their under-water stock options for new stock options that are not under water. Great move – this gives terrific incentive for ARC-employee stock option holders to do everything they can – go at it full-bore so to speak, to improve ARC’s performance, both now and in the future.

Not all public companies take this sort of action. Some don’t do it because an exchange of this nature causes dilution to outside (non-insider) investors who own ARC stock. But, in ARC’s case, I don’t think the dilution effect will be much, and, besides, if ARC employees who take advantage of this exchange offer push very hard on ARC’s behalf and ARC’s numbers improve, they won’t be the only ones who win; ARC’s outside shareholders will, over time, win as well.

Without question, it can be very demoralizing when you see fellow team members, people you worked side-by-side with for years, terminated from the business because of a recession. The Tender Offer (stock-option exchange offer) will help, at least somewhat, to counter some of the bad news that ARC’s employees have had to deal with. This Tender Offer does show that the ARC management team “has heart.”

Finally, in the Tender Offer document filed with the SEC, ARC set May 21, 2009 as the date the exchange offer will take place (unless revised or amended). I’m wondering about the timing of that event. In April, ARC issued this press release ….. “The news release announcing the first quarter 2009 results will be disseminated on May 7, 2009 after the market close.” Two weeks after ARC releases its Q1 2009 results, the price-per-share will be set for the stock-option exchange offer, based on the price-per-share ARC is then trading at. If ARC’s Q1 2009 results disappoint large shareholders (institutional share holders and mutual funds shareholders), will that drive down the price of ARC stock? If that happens, the option-price-per-share will be set at lower dollar amount than would otherwise be the case if the stock price is driven higher by ARC’s Q1 2009 results. If I were an ARC employee benefiting from the exchange offer, I would want to see my option price-per-share set at a lower amount rather than at a higher amount, of course!

From Idea to Reality, NGI lives on ……

I was in Europe the past couple of weeks, returning home to the U.S. on Saturday night. This morning (Tuesday), I got up early and drove eighteen blocks to my favorite breakfast hangout in St Petersburg, FL. After breakfast, I drove down Central Avenue to the little office I maintain (for my consulting practice) in a high-rise office building in downtown St Pete.

While driving down Central Avenue, I noticed that a new sign, “NGI”, had replaced a “TRS” sign that’s been hanging over a reprographics center in downtown St Pete for probably 20 years, if not longer.

That new sign, the “NGI” sign, brought a big smile to my face.

In 1995, when I was thinking about coming out of retirement after having been out of the reprographics industry for approximately 8 years (we sold our first reprographics company in 1988), I wrote a business plan for a “new-age” reprographics business. After completing the business plan, I sat there thinking, “what name should I give this new business? I don’t want to use “reprographics” in the name, because the new business would be a digital-based enterprise, and I can’t just use the word “imaging” next to a name, because “imaging” could be confused with an MRI center” (you know, the people that do brain scans, bone scans, etc.) So, after haggling back and forth with myself, I came up with the name I liked the best - “National Graphic Imaging – NGI”.

NGI did not become a reality until a few years later. After completing the business plan, I shelved it. I had taken a job as the Director of Business Development for a large-format color enterprise with 8 offices around the U.S. And, after that, I accepted a job as COO of T-Square (based in Miami, FL.)

In late 1997, October actually, I joined a Tampa Bay Florida-based reprographics enterprise (a business that was founded by Nick Korman, Martha Korman and Greg Williams.) At the time I joined the Tampa-based enterprise, it was operating under three different names; Bay Reprographics was the name of the Tampa operating company, Central Reprographics was the name of the Orlando operating company, and Coastal Reprographics was the name of the Jacksonville operating company. Not long after joining this enterprise, I voiced an opinion to my associates that, if we were going to successfully brand the business - make our business instantly recognizable across all of our markets (present and future) – that we needed to transition the business to “one name” instead of using three different names. If my memory serves me accurately, we began the transition to “one name” in 1998 – and the “one name” we selected to use was, yes, you probably guessed it, National Graphic Imaging – NGI. Several years later, we dropped the full name and simplified things, going with just NGI (with the exception that whenever I generated proposals, I continued to use the full name and the initials.)

NGI was sold to ARC in mid-December 2007. Several years prior to that, ARC acquired Tampa-based TRS. TRS’ original full name was “Tampa Reprographics Service”. (TRS was founded by Jack Dunn out of Detroit; he also owned Dunn Blue in the Detroit, MI area.) During 2008, ARC merged TRS into NGI; NGI became the surviving ARC operating company in the Tampa Bay Area. About that same time, Orlando Reprographics was also merged into NGI (in Orlando.)

Anyway, to bring this long-winded story to a conclusion, my drive down Central Avenue this morning brought a smile to my face because the NGI name – which I came up with while working on a business plan years before I became a member of a Florida reprographics operation – is now “up in lights” in downtown St Petersburg.

Last week, I was given a heads-up that Greg Williams of NGI was very recently appointed ARC’s Regional President for ARC-Florida operations. That means that Greg, one of NGI’s founders, will be running ARC’s “Florida-statewide” business; that also means that T-Square, the Miami-based enterprise ARC purchased two years ago, and one of the oldest companies in the reprographics industry in the U.S., is now under Greg’s management. It remains to be seen, however, if T-Square’s name will be changed to NGI. But, if T-Square’s name is, now or eventually, changed to NGI, that, of course, will bring another smile to my face.

Friday, April 24, 2009

ABI Index improves in March; nice to finally have some good news for reprographers (BUT!)

This information was obtained from an article on

Finally, some positive news about the AIA's ABI Index!

....NEW YORK (Reuters) - A leading indicator of U.S. nonresidential construction activity jumped in March to its best level since August 2008, an architects' trade group said on Wednesday (April 22, 2009)

The Architecture Billings Index rose more than 8 points to 43.7 last month, marking the second consecutive monthly improvement, according to the American Institute of Architects. The index has not crossed above 50, a level that indicates improving demand, since January 2008.

All four geographic regions tracked by the group remained below 50, as did all four construction subsectors. But a measure of inquiries for projects rose 7 points to 56.6, its third consecutive monthly increase.

"The fact that inquiries for new projects increased is encouraging, but it will likely be a few months before we see an improvement in overall billings," AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker said. "This news should be viewed with cautious optimism."

The AIA's Billings Index, which began in 1995, is considered a measure of construction activity nine to 12 months in the future.

Nonresidential construction includes commercial and industrial facilities like hotels and office buildings, as well as institutions like schools and hospitals.

UNFORTUNATELY, THAT GOOD NEWS IS OFFSET BY BAD NEWS. Google "Southeast Construction News", April 2009 issue, and read about the decline in signed-contracts for Construction Projects in the Southeastern U.S., 2009 vs. 2008. Not a pretty picture / outlook for the current year.

Blog-site activity update

As of March 24th, Google Analytics captured and reported the following activity information about visitors to Reprographics 101, my blog-site:

Reprographics 101 has been visited by 280 “unique” visitors.

Reprographics 101 has been visited by people from 20 different countries.

Reprographics 101 has been visited by people from 37 different states in the U.S.A.

I think the numbers have jumped up (are skewed) considerably simply because I posted an article about OCE’s new PlotWave 300 large-format digital monochrome multifunction system. Apparently, people are using search engines to find information about that new OCE system and, somehow, they are getting my blog address. Given the number of countries reported to me by Google as visitors, I doubt that some of the people who’ve made it to my blog can actually read what’s on the blog (not everyone reads English, you know.)

Bygone Days – a History Lesson about “BLUEPRINTING”

My retired ex-partner, John Scher Zeller (JZ), whose grandfather founded Max Scher Blueprinting around 1922, wrote what you’ll read below in recent e-mail to one of our "younger" ex-associates who is younger than John and I. When John first started in the blueprinting business, his company was still doing ‘real’ blueprinting.

Okay, without further adieu, here’s what JZ wrote:

“OK - guys a quick “lesson”. A real blueprint machine did not use ammonia. The diazo process using ammonia to develop image came after the “actual blueprint” machine. The blueprint machine created blue prints – blue background with a white line. The diazo process was the opposite – white background with a blue line or black line. The actual blueprint machine was a wet process – the original was placed on a continuous roll of paper. Once the paper was exposed to the original it went through peroxide, then through potash, then through water rinse, then through a dryer similar to a car wash mechanism and went to a rear roll. Someone would cut the paper off the roll and then hand trim the prints. Specifications were run the same way and hand trimmed to 8.5 x 11.

We (Max Scher Blueprinting) had one customer who insisted on getting actual blueprints until around 1976-7 or thereabouts. We told that customer that it was no longer practical to keep the machine running for just them. They converted with no fuss and we had the job of somehow pulling out a big machine that had been in one spot since 1940 with all kinds of chemical residue stuck to that sucker. It took a while but we got it out. After that, I heard there were only 2 or 3 “real” blueprinting machines left, east of the Mississippi – one in NY and one somewhere in the mid-west.

Diazo (printing), which gets its name from diazominium salt, came after “real” blueprinting. The name of the Ozalid company and the “ozalid” process was formed by taking diazo and reversing it and adding an L to make a “word”.”

BlogAuthor's note: Can you imagine, nowadays, getting a hospital job that has 600 large-format drawings and 2,000 pages of specs for 40 sets and having to run that job using the "real" blueprinting process of bygone days? Wow, that would be a mess and a hassle. John, thank you for the article for the blog.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Architectural Billing Index improves just a bit in February 2009

For reprographers who want to know what's going on in the Architecture business, service-demand-wise, I'm providing a link to the most recent (March 2009) Press Release from the AIA's Economics guys about the February Architectural Billing Index (ABI). The ABI is supposed to reveal trends in demand for Architecture services - and many follow the ABI to forecast future construction activity. Here's the link:

The ABI is updated once monthly.

What goes around comes around …. our Architecture customers are “right-sizing” their businesses as well.

From time to time, I read on-line publications from the Architecture Industry, just to see what’s going on in their world. What’s going on in their world, of course, affects the Reprographics Industry.

If you go to the Architectural Record’s site (see link at end of this post), and then select this article …..

Layoffs Sweep Architecture Profession as Economy Worsens
December 29, 2008

….. at the end of that article you will see a bunch of comment posts; here are some examples of the comment posts (not a pretty picture) …. (There are 8 pages of comment posts; it will take you a while to read all the way through the 8 pages of comment posts on the Architectural Record site)

Anonymous wrote:
SmithGill has laid off 50% of its staff since December 2008. They have been factory style group layoffs that are very inpersonal and offer very little severance. It's too bad that that place eats you up and spits you out much like SOM.
3/7/2009 12:05 PM CST

Anonymous wrote:
I am the success story that young interns dream to be. I was one of the top design talents in my class many years ago. I have 30 years of experience as an architect in top end single family homes. I have been through it all from being a department head over 30 architects in the late 80s, working for myself through much of the 90s, heading architecture for a builder, and most recently heading architecture for an interior design firm in Beverly Hills. We let most of our small staff of interior designers and architects go in the last year. I thought that I was "too big to fail" but in my early 50's find myself out on the street again. This time I didn't it see it coming. It came fast and hard. I know I am good. I know that I love my work when things are right. I don't know if I can recover again.
2/4/2009 5:56 PM CST

Anonymous wrote:
Johnson Fain, in Los Angeles, laid off more than 50% of their architectural staff. They were a firm of roughly 120 a little more than a year ago, now they are a firm about 50.
2/4/2009 2:49 PM CST



A couple of previous posts talked about the contest I'm running and about how to enter the contest.

In order to enter the contest, you must E-MAIL me your guess at ARC's Q1 2009 Sales.

Do not post your guess as a "comment" to a post. That is not an acceptable way of entering the contest.

Do not give me your guess at ARC's stock price. This contest is about guessing ARC's Q1 2009 Sales.


Deadline for entering the contest is May 1, 2009.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

General Growth Properties declares Bankruptcy – Architects & Engineers on the Top 100 Unsecured-Creditors List

It’s that damn “double-whammy” effect.

It’s not only awful that reprographers have experienced (and are continuing to experience) a downturn in business due to the messy economy, but customers of reprographers – A&E firms - are experiencing that downturn as well. In addition to business being down, reprographers are now also facing collections problems, given the fact that their customers – the A&E firms – are having difficulty collecting from some of their clients. That’s the double-whammy effect.

How many times, over your years in the reprographics business, have you heard you’re A&E customers say, “sorry, I can’t pay you until I get paid by my clients”…?

Today, General Growth Properties, one of the largest mall and shopping center developers in the U.S. (if not in the entire world), declared Chapter 11 Bankruptcy today. In the court filing, General Growth was required to reveal its 100 largest “unsecured” creditors. Not surprisingly, there were 12 A&E firms on the top 100 unsecured creditor list. (This is not exactly the type of “top list” that anyone would ever want to be on!)














These aren’t the only A&E firms that were hit by GGP’s bankruptcy. Given the nature of GGP’s development business, it is very likely that countless other A&E firms, in many parts of the U.S., are also owed significant amounts by GGP. In one sense, those firms were lucky – they did not make the “top 100” list!

One final note. Our very first customer showed up in the top 100 list. When my father in-law (Gus) founded (1963) Silver Spring Blueprinting (which later became part of Rowley-Scher Reprographics), his first customer was a firm that then went by the name of Cohen & Haft – Architects and Planners (later known as CHK and, at one time, as CHHKK.) In fact, the senior partner of that firm (Jack) helped my father-in-law establish his blueprinting company; Jack loaned him the money to buy his first diazo machine. Many years later, Jack and his other partners retired, and a new management team took over CHK; John Torti, who is an architect, and Tom Gallas, who is a C.P.A. At that time, the firm adopted a new name, Torti Gallas & Partners. I hope that the $245,000 TG&P has exposed does not negatively impact TG&P’s employees (some of whom I still know, even after all these years) or TG&P’s reprographers. I’m pretty sure that ABC Imaging is the reprographer serving TG&P.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Contest "Entry Deadline" extended!

See immediately prior post.

The entry deadline for submitting your guess at ARC's Q1 2009 revenues has been extended to May 1, 2009.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Comments about ARC’s stock price – and ENTER A CONTEST TO WIN A PRIZE FOR GUESSING ARC’S Q1 2009 SALES

This post is another brief follow-up to previous posts about ARC’s stock price. (ALSO, IF YOU WANT TO ENTER A CONTEST AND WIN A PRIZE WORTH $100, READ THIS ENTIRE POST.)

In one of my previous posts, I suggested that there are at least two ways to make money in the reprographics business: (1) earn money from owning a profitable reprographics company, (2) earn money by owning a piece of another reprographics company (if you buy low and sell for more than you paid for it, of course.) In another previous post, when ARC’s stock price was at $2.68 per share, I said “it does feel like ARC’s stock is definitely undervalued.”

For anyone who bought 20,000 shares of ARC stock (NYSE: ARP) when ARC fell to $2.54 per share, which was only a few weeks ago, those 20,000 shares, at the price per-share ARC closed at on Thursday April 9th, were worth $44,400 more. (Investment $50,800, Value $95,200, Increase in value $44,400.) Of course, only “realized” gains count. For what goes up can come down.

When ARC’s stock price fell to $2.54 per share, that computed a market-cap of $116 million for “all of” ARC. (ARC paid $100 mil for Ridgways alone!)

Now that ARC’s stock price has “rebounded” to $4.76 per share, that computes to a market-cap of just over $217 million.

The “big question”, now, is what will happen to ARC’s price-per-share when ARC releases its Q1 2009 results? Will it go up? Will it go down? Will it stay where it now is?

(Figures below are per information published on Google Finance):

ARC’s Q4 2007 Total Revenues were $174 mil
ARC’s Q4 2008 Total Revenues were $154 mil
Equates to a drop of 11.5%

ARC’s Q1 2008 Total Revenues were $187 mil
What will ARC’s Q1 2009 Total Revenues be? (see “Contest” immediately below)


Prize: Contest Winner will receive a $100 gift certificate at his/her favorite restaurant. (After the Contest Winner has been determined, I will e-mail the Contest Winner to find out his/her favorite restaurant and I will make arrangements for the gift certificate.)

Contest Entry Deadline: April 21, 2009. (Deadline extended to May 1, 2009)

How to Enter Contest: If you want to participate in this Contest, you must e-mail me (at with your guess at ARC’s Q1 2009 Total Revenues no later than 11:59 pm on April 21, 2009. Only one guess (only one entry) per participant! (Contest Entry Deadline extended to May 1, 2009.)

How Contest Winner Will Be Determined: The person who comes closest to ARC’s actual Q1 2009 Total Revenues, will be the Contest Winner. The Winner will be determined when ARC announces its Q1 2009 Total Revenues.

Eligibility for this Contest: Only persons who are, or who were, actively employed in the reprographics industry (reprographers and vendors included) are eligible for this contest.

Not Eligible for this Contest: Employees of ARC (this includes employees, officers and directors of ARC) are not eligible.

Recommended post on another reprographics-related blog-site

On March 31st, 2009, Tanner Bechtel posted an excellent article on his blog-site.

That article is entitled "Call for the Project CIO".

Do yourself a favor, visit his site and read that post.

Tanner's blog-site is located at this web-address:

After reading Tanner's article, do yourself another favor; for firms you do business with who do not have a Project CIO, figure out how you can position your company to offer Project CIO-like services.

OCE Announces Plotwave 300 System

IRGA Members recently received an e-mail from OCE in which OCE announced that it would be introducing its new Plotwave 300 system at the IRGA Convention in Pittsburgh.

Although I've not yet read the OCE Plotwave 300 brochure (or technical specifications), it looks like this system is OCE's response to the KIP 3000 (now KIP 3100 system) ..... finally!

A black & white only system (which shares the radiant fusing technology found on OCE's other lower-end systems), this is the first OCE system I know of that has a scanner on top of the print engine ...... so, finally, a "single footprint" (space saver) system from OCE.

One cannot help but think that OCE's "logic" behind the development of this "single footprint" system was driven by significant placements of KIP's 3000 series systems (KIP 3000 and KIP 3100), which are also single foot print systems. (Xerox has also had single footprint systems for quite some time by now.)

KIP's success must have seriously eroded OCE's market share of low-end system placements. If the OCE Plotwave 300's operating performance (and speed and other features) stacks up well against KIP's 3000 series and similar models from Xerox, then OCE should be in a position to recapture some of that lost market share, provided, of course, that the OCE Plotwave 300 is competitively priced. OCE has long been known for very reliable wide-format multifunction systems, and I would bet that the Plotwave 300 will likewise be a very reliable performer.

The "funny thing" about this new system ..... at least to me, and I do have a weird sense of humor ...... is that the KIP 3000 system was introduced on the market when the A/E/C business was hot and heavy, when customer offices were packed with people and space for equipment was hard to come by. When times were hot and heavy, a single footprint system was very appealing to firms that could not afford to give up the space required for a double-footprint system. It took OCE a few years to respond with its first single-foot print system; and, now, OCE's new system is coming to market at a time when many (probably the majority of) A/E/C firms have lots of vacant space in their offices.

Blog-site activity update

As of April 9th, my blog-site has been visited by 127 "unique" visitors.

My blog-site has been accessed by visitors from 10 different countries (U.S., Canada and eight countries in Europe.)

My blog-site has been accessed by visitors from 29 states in the U.S.

Please kindly refer my blog-site to your friends and associates in the reprographics community. You never can tell when I’ll finally post something that’s good information.

To those of you who have let friends know about my blog-site, thank you, much appreciated.