Saturday, April 30, 2011

OCE Reports Results for Q1 2011

Océ reports small net loss over Q1 2011

Highlights first quarter (ended 31 March 2011):

Net loss: € - 6 million (2010: € - 87 million)

Normalized operating income: € 5 million (2010: € 15 million)

Total revenues - 1% to € 638 million (2010: € 647 million)

Organically: non-recurring revenues - 5%; recurring revenues - 3%

Cooperation with Canon delivered first joint innovation

Change of financial year, effective 1 January 2011

Comments by Rokus van Iperen, Chairman of the Executive Board:

‘Océ had a challenging first quarter as revenues decreased due to a decline in two market segments. Cutsheet revenues were impacted by weaker printroom sales and portfolio changes. Technical documentation revenues were affected by the ongoing crisis in construction markets. We have addressed these revenue developments by strengthening our support for sales companies and by stringent cost control.

Océ achieved favorable revenue development in two other market segments. In continuous feed printing, Océ boosted its market leadership due to continued revenue growth, benefiting from printer sales of particularly the Océ JetStream series. In display graphics printing, sales grew due to the highly successful Océ Arizona series. In business services, revenue development was stable.’

Here’s the portion of the results report that talks about how OCE’s “WFPS” Division did:

Wide Format Printing Systems (WFPS)

Compared to the first quarter of 2010, WFPS printer sales showed some recovery, mainly driven by increased sales of display graphic systems. Printer sales for construction and engineering purposes were impacted by challenging market circumstances. In the US, Océ expanded its wide format dealer network, benefiting from a change in the competitive environment.

In the quarter, Océ introduced an innovative wide format printer, the Océ ColorWave 600 Poster Printer, built with Océ CrystalPoint imaging technology, targeting the international screen printing markets.

Revenues in WFPS amounted to € 175 million. Organically, revenues declined by – 1%. The share of color increased to 53% (2010: 45%).

Non-recurring revenues amounted to € 64 million. Organically, revenues increased by 4%. Growth was driven by both North America and Europe.

Recurring revenues amounted to € 111 million. Organically, recurring revenues declined by – 4% mainly due to decreasing click volumes on technical documentation systems.

Normalized operating income decreased to € 1 million (2010: € 8 million), reflecting the decline in recurring revenues.

To read the complete Q1 2011 results report, click on this link; doing so should enable you to download the results report file. If it doesn’t work, then visit OCE’s web-site to access the report.

Service Point Solutions' CFI subsidiary achieves significant growth

Below, you will find a “Spanish to English translation” of portion of a Press Release posted on Service Point Solutions’ web-site a few days ago. This Press Release talks about the outstanding growth one of SPS’s subsidiaries achieved.

Sales of the subsidiary Service Point CFI increased by 42% in the first quarter of 2011. April 26, 2011. - In the first quarter 2011 sales of IFC, a leading global provider of printing services to the market sophisticated financial analysis and business banking, reached 3.7 million euros, representing a growth of 42% over the same period last year. The growth in March from the same month of 2010 has exceeded 60%. The growth is a result of new customers obtained especially in the markets of Russia and Hong Kong, and a growing demand for services related to processes of IPOs and operations of M & A primarily in the UK market and other countries of continental Europe.

CFI specializes in sophisticated financial information printing and whose confidentiality is necessary in order to preserve the interests of their clients. The acquisition of IFC, held in 2008, with the aim of significantly strengthening the business of SPS in the financial sector and has been entirely satisfactory. Priority for the next 12-18 months will be to consolidate the New York market, where market potential is extremely important and where significant investments during the first quarter of 2011.

CFI currently employs approximately 100 people, making London the largest center with over 70 employees. IFC has over 120 customers worldwide including many reference entities in investment banking.

OCE Business Services wins award

April 28, 2011 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

Océ Business Services and Client Verizon Wireless Win “Best Use of Outsourcing” Award at the 15th Annual Outsourcing Excellence Awards

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Océ Business Services, a leader in document process management services and technology, today announced that Outsourcing Center has presented Océ and its client Verizon Wireless with the “Best Use of Outsourcing” Award at the 15th Annual Outsourcing Excellence Awards. Awards were presented in nine categories at a black tie dinner held last night at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas. This is the second consecutive year in which Océ Business Services has received an Outsourcing Excellence Award.

Outsourcing Center conducts the annual awards program and is an online community specializing in thought leadership, best practices, and innovation in outsourcing. The Outsourcing Center’s Outsourcing Excellence Awards program recognizes the world’s best outsourcing arrangements. An independent panel of industry judges selects relationships that demonstrate best practices, create and sustain a competitive advantage, provide business transformation, achieve value, and benefit both client and service provider over time.

Océ provides clients with outsourced document process management services that include mail, records, document imaging and managed print services. The “Best Use of Outsourcing” Award acknowledges an outsourcing relationship where both parties successfully use these kinds of outsourcing services as a strategy to deliver measurable business improvements beyond cost reduction. This includes implementing solutions that enable the outsourcing client to access more advanced technical skills as well as to improve time-to-market for new services, enhance operational efficiency and support strategic growth initiatives.

“Successfully executed outsourcing strategies enabled each organization to achieve critical business goals and improve margins,” said Debra Floyd, chief operating officer of Outsourcing Center. ”Innovative new approaches are critical for companies to implement to gain competitive advantages in an increasingly complex global environment. These award- winning partnerships demonstrate models for success in multiple industries.”

Members of the judging panel included executives from the following organizations: Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC; SNR Denton US LLP; BP America Inc.; ONTALA Performance Solutions Ltd.; Darden School of Business, University of Virginia and Everest Group.

IRgA Convention "wrap-up" comments

This post is a brief wrap-up (my “personal take”, if you will) of the IRgA Convention that ended at 4:00 pm on Thursday April 28th.

Not surprisingly, the mood of conventioneers was quite reserved. 2008, 2009 and 2010 were not good years for most reprographers, and, likewise, 2011, for most, has not started out on a good foot. I spoke to a lot of reprographers during the two day convention, and I only found one reprographer who said his/her business grew in 2010 and started out in a good way in 2011. Let me repeat that; only one reprographer said that. Everyone else I posed the question to said that 2010 was either even with or somewhat under 2009 results, and virtually everyone said that 2011 has not been what they expected (or hoped for.)

And, not surprisingly, there was a very poor turnout at this year’s IRgA Convention. The list of attendees (excluding “exhibitor” attendees) filled only about 1 ½ pages. The trade show was small, and even the industry’s largest vendors, OCE and KIP, exhibited only a few pieces of wide-format equipment (OCE exhibited 3, KIP only 1). The IRgA announced that there will not be an IRgA-specific (standalone) trade show next year. (If the IRgA piggybacks another industry’s convention next year, then it is quite possible that reprographics-industry-vendors will rent exhibit booths within a much larger convention’s trade show exhibit area.)

During the IRgA’s annual business meeting session, it was announced that officers and board members have, over the past year, been evaluating “what” the IRgA’s business model should change to, going forward. They said that the business model the IRgA has traditionally employed is not sustainable. This, because vendor support has been reduced substantially and because membership, over the past 5-7 years, has declined drastically. It was reported that there are currently 185 IRgA member companies. Years ago, there were, reportedly, over 600 member companies.

If I were to choose only one word to describe “the mood” of this year’s IRgA Convention, that word would be “glum.” Many of the industry’s member companies (and non-member companies) are, apparently, in “survival mode.”

Bob Roperti will become President of the IRgA on August 1st, 2011. I’ve known Bob for over 25 years (even before he got into the reprographics business), and he is a terrific person. He is truly one of the nicest people you could ever meet. I wish him the best of luck with his run as President. If he needs my assistance, in any way shape for form, all he has to do is ask. When Bob spoke at the annual business meeting today, he asked IRgA attendees (and all IRgA members) for their input, help and support. I urge all reprographers to do that for Bob. Please help Bob this year, as the IRgA implements changes in its structure and operations.

The first presentation at this year’s IRgA Convention was titled:

“How BIM and Emerging Technologies Will Change Reprographics Forever”

There were three different presenters, all of whom are Architects (with the exception that one, Steve Jones of McGraw Hill, left the practice of architecture several years ago.) Each presenter gave very interesting, very informative presentations about BIM; what it is, how it is changing the A/E/C Industry, and their opinions as to the challenges reprographers are and will be facing because of BIM. Adoption of BIM (by the A/E/C community) is expected to grow very rapidly over the next 3 to 5 years. A/E/C customers will continue to require reprographics (i.e., printing) services, but not the volumes reprographers have seen in the past. The presenters also provided suggestions for services reprographers may want to consider offering in the future. Those suggestions included: laser scanning services, underground radar services (for locating underground utilities at prospective construction sites), and the rental of BIM “caves.” The IRgA will likely (at least I think the IRgA will) be posting (on its web-site) the presentations given by the 3 panel members, so I encourage my blog-readers to look at those presentations for more information about what’s going on with BIM that will affect the reprographics business. Although I found the presentations to be informative and interesting, the suggestions the panel members gave are, to me, beyond the scope of a typical reprographer’s business. It’s “kinda like” they are suggesting that the future of reprographics is bleak – “find new revenue streams, if you want to remain a viable business.” Simply my own opinion, but, as long as there are A/E/C projects, there will continue to be printing work; it’s just that printing volumes will be less in the future than they were in the past. To me, this will foster continued consolidation in the reprographics industry. (I.E., there will be fewer reprographics firms, 3 – 5 years from now - than there are today.) For those reprographers who do not have the intestinal fortitude to stay the course – to see what’s really going to happen (and I don’t think that anyone can really predict the future of reprographics) – then now is probably a good time to begin figuring out your “exit strategy.” (I would be more than happy to help any reprographer look at exist strategy ideas.)

Ed Crowley, CEO of the Photizo Group presented on MPS (managed-print-services); in particular, the title to Ed’s presentation was:

MPS – Why This Is Key to the Growth of Your Firm”

Photizo Group has three distinct “types” of clients:

· Reprographers and other “print” services providers and imaging equipment dealers who are, or who want to be in the “MPS” business.

· Equipment manufacturers who are already in, or who are not already in, but who want to be in, the MPS business, and who want to further or better understand how to best present their MPS offerings.

· Large “customer” organizations who want to hire MPS vendors to take over their imaging equipment fleets, but who are not sure how to approach the vendor RFI / RFP process; these “customers” solicit Photizo Group’s services to assist them with the process of formulating what their MPS strategy should be.

As to the term “MPS”, I’ve been curious, for at least the past year, as to how “MPS” differs from “FM (or OnSite) Services”, and, so, after the formal part of Ed’s presentation was over and the Q&A session began, I got up to ask a question.

To preface my question, I said………..

“If I convinced an engineering firm with a 150 person office to enter into a four year contract, and, under the terms of our contract we provided: a) 11 laser printers, b) 7 multifunction copier/printer/scanners, c) 2 wide-format plotters, d) software to track output from all devices, e) a staffed central print room with hi-volume production and finishing equipment, f) monthly billing reports that provided “output” and “cost-by-project” (or department) information, g) all consumables and media required for all of the equipment we provided, h) repair and maintenance service for all of the equipment we provided, i) off-site reprographics services (at our production center) for any reprographics work that could not be accomplished efficiently “in-house” at the customer’s office …. “

….. and, then I asked Ed Crowley this question…..

“Would that arrangement be considered an “MPS” deal?”

Not surprisingly, the answer I (finally, after some hesitation) got was, “YES, that would be considered an MPS deal.”

So, I’m no longer confused! An FM deal is pretty much the same thing as an MPS deal.” It really depends on the “scope” of an FM program; what’s included, what’s not, how pervasive and comprehensive your program is. Many, many reprographers have been offering “MPS” for years, even though we did not call our FM’s “MPS” deals.

Those of you who know me know that I am a firm believer in reprographers offering FM (MPS!) services.

The final “session” at the IRgA Convention was an “Open Space Technology” forum. Prior to the beginning of that session, convention attendees were invited to submit questions for the participants to pick apart, debate and discuss. Unfortunately, only one person submitted a question (and, that one person was me and, since I’m retired, I really don’t count as a reprographer). So, the two young people (Tanner Bechtel and Casey Simpson) who hosted the OST session came up with a number of questions, and those questions were placed on the floor inside the “circles of chairs” that were set up for attendees to sit in.

I attended last year’s IRgA OST session, and there were approximately 10-12 different circles, each consisting of around 10 participants, so about 100-120 participants in total took part in last year’s OST session. This year, there was only one circle and about 15 participants in total! The difference between last year’s interest level and this years (lack of) interest level was remarkable. Should we chalk up the very poor participation to “apathy”, or was the lack of participation caused by reprographers deciding to get an early start touring the ISI (sign convention) exhibit hall?

As to “construction economics”, during the IRgA trade show (when people were walking around the exhibit hall, booth to booth, I asked Steve Jones, who is with McGraw Hill (and who was one of the “BIM” panel presenters), about McGraw Hill’s outlook for construction in 2011. Steve said that McGraw Hill very recently revised its 2011 estimate down to 1% growth and that McGraw Hill, at this point, does not feel that there will be much of a recovery in the construction sector until the latter part of 2012. That is, absolutely, not good news for reprographers. If 2011 proves to be an “even” or “down” year, that will run the string of no-growth or negative-growth years to four. Over the past year and during the convention, I’ve spoken to a whole host of reprographers whose businesses are 40%-50% off “peak.” Let’s all hope that the fortune tellers have it wrong and that reprographers will begin to experience a robust recovery by the middle or latter part of 2011.

I expect that the IRgA will, sometime this summer, communicate additional information regarding the possible restructuring or reorganization of the IRgA. So, visit the IRgA’s web-site for that information.

If anyone has any questions about the IRgA Convention that just ended, feel free to post your question as a comment to this post or send an e-mail directly to me.

Finally, I would like to thank Steve Bova and the IRgA's officers and board members for enabling me to attend the IRgA Convention on a press pass.

Unrelated to this post:

Remember to enter the contest I announced on this blog.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Work on the Caribbean’s Largest Resort Gets Under Way

Article found on Southeast Construction News:

Work on the Caribbean’s Largest Resort Gets Under Way

March 30, 2011

Ground was broken in February on Baha Mar, a 1,000-acre resort-casino at the city of Nassau on New Providence Island. When completed in 2014, it will encompass 3,500 rooms in six hotels and a number of condominium buildings. Grand Hyatt, Rosewood and Morgan hotels will be built simultaneously, along with restaurants and spas. Construction of a water park and golf course will begin in late 2012. Designed by RMJM, the complex also includes a 100,000-sq-ft casino and 200,000-sq-ft convention space. The estimated cost is $3.4 billion.

The Baha Mar resort-casino will be one of the largest construction projects ever undertaken by a Chinese contractor in North America.

The project, developed by Baha Mar Ltd., has encountered setbacks. Harrah’s, an early partner, withdrew in 2008 as a result of the worldwide recession. In 2009, China State Construction Engineering Corp. agreed to buy a small stake in the resort. China State then hired its subsidiary, China Construction America Inc. (CCA), to serve as the general contractor and construction manager. China State was granted a larger amount of work after introducing Baha Mar Ltd. to the Export-Import Bank of China, which became the project’s chief financier.

China State has requested permits for 8,150 foreign workers, presumably mostly Chinese, constituting 71% of the total workforce of 11,500. Overall, Bahamian firms will perform $400 million worth of work on the resort, including the convention center, which is worth between $60 million and $80 million. According to CCA, there will be 800 workers on-site by May or June, and the workforce will peak at 5,000 during late 2012 or early 2013.

The Chinese laborers likely will represent the largest Chinese workforce ever assembled for a project in North America.

Joel’s comment:

So, who’s RMJM?

One of the world’s largest A/E firms. RMJM is based in Scotland (or, if that’s not correct, then somewhere in the U.K.) RMJM participates in high-profile projects all over the world. In 2007, RMJM entered the U.S. market by acquiring the Hillier Group (New Jersey.). In May 2009, Ridgway’s (an ARC division, but, like all other ARC divisions, now known simply as ARC), filed a lawsuit against RMJM to collect $ 788,195 that RMJM owed, but had not yet paid, for reprographics services. That lawsuit was later dismissed (in November 2009), and I suspect that the lawsuit was dismissed because RMJM agreed to pay what was owed.

If you want to read either of those documents (the lawsuit that Ridgway’s filed against RMJM and the dismissal notice), you can access those documents at these links:

Lawsuit – Ridgway’s vs. RMJM

Lawsuit Dismissal Notice

Parsons-AECOM Said To Win PM Role on $11-Billion Emirates' Railway Network

Article found on ……

Parsons-AECOM Said To Win PM Role on $11-Billion Emirates' Railway Network

Publication Date: 4/15/2011

Author: Debra K. Rubin

Description: The Abu Dhabi-based owner of a planned $11-billion railway network across the United Arab Emirates has selected a Parsons Corp.-AECOM joint venture as the project's program manager, say both company sources who did not wish to be named and published reports in the Middle East. The owner, Etihad Rail Co., formerly Union Railway, has declined requests to confirm either the selection or contract award.

Joel’s comments:

Wow, an $11 billion project! I’d love to do the printing work on this project, for sure!

I would imagine that some of the printing on this project will be done in the U.S. (maybe?) Back around 1982, our first company did a $200,000 print order for a Saudi project. We did that print order for HDR Architecture’s office in the D.C. market. We shipped a lot of that print order to Saudi Arabia.

I would imagine that ARC has a “leg-up” on any print work that will be done in the U.S. for the $11 billion UAE project, and I say that because ARC recently announced a major deal with AECOM and because one of the members of ARC’s Board of Directors (see below) was formerly Chairman & CEO of Parsons.

James F. McNulty

Director, American Reprographics Company

James F. McNulty was appointed as a director of American Reprographics Company in March 2009. Mr. McNulty is the retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Parsons Corporation, a $3.8 billion international engineering, construction and management services firm based in Pasadena, California. Mr. McNulty held a variety of key engineering and executive roles at Parsons from 1988 forward, driving growth through acquisition, production extension, and geographic expansion. Prior to his experience at Parsons, Mr. McNulty served for 24 years in the U.S. Army, retiring as a Colonel.

Suggestion to the IRgA about developing standards for government procurements of reprographics services

To the Officers and Directors if the IRgA:

How about developing a document that can be used by IRgA members (if not all reprographers) to educate “government purchasing” agents, who prepare ITBs and RFPs for reprographics services, how to “call out” reprographics services? A “standard procedure” (or maybe it should be referred to as a “standard practice”) is what I’m referring to.

· Standard nomenclature that should be used for describing each type of reprographics service.

· Standard unit of measure that should be used for each type of reprographics service.

· Standard method to be used to determine the lowest bid.

Well, that’s for starters; I’m sure the “brain trust” at the IRgA can come up with a complete list of what should be included in this sort of document.

Having a “standard procedure" (or standard "practice", or standard "guidelines", or whatever else you want to call this) would accomplish two important things:

(1) – it would save reprographers a lot of time and effort (and time is money.) Reprographers would not have to waste time dealing with ignorant call-outs, nor would they have to deal with pricing services that are obsolete.

(2) – it would save a lot of time and effort for our government procurement agencies (and time is money.) Can you imagine how much time our government agencies waste on the preparation of ITBs and RFPs for reprographics services? All of us are taxpayers. Do we really want to do nothing to prevent this huge time waste? Especially when our industry can do something about it?

JimVanMeerten enumerates “sell signals” on ARC shares

American Reprographics sell signals

Per post on APRIL 23, 2011 –

Technical factors signal a sell on American Reprographics (ARC) and a deletion from the Barchart Van Meerten Speculative portfolio.

Technical Factors:

1 - 60% Barchart short term technical sell signal

2 - Trend Spotter sell signal

3 - Trading below the 20 and 50 day moving averages

4 - Off 16.57% from its recent high

5 - Relative strength Index 36.36% and falling

Jim Van Meerten is an analyst for Marketocracy Capital Management He shares his knowledge and experience from over 40 years of investing in stocks, mutual funds and ETFs on in his daily blog - Barchart Portfolio Blogs.

Joel’s comments:

I understand #3 and #4, but I don’t have a clue what the others mean. (I’m not that smart.)

I am aware that RW Baird & Co issued, on March 25, 2011, an upgrade on ARC shares to “outperform”.

Here’s the post we did on Repro 101 about RW Baird’s upgrade action:

Mr. VanMeerten and RW Baird have opposite opinions, obviously.

Bid Results - Contra Costa (California) Water District – Reprographics Services

Closing date for bids was March 22, 2011

Vendors who submitted bids:

· Cole

· BPS (an ARC division)


· Copy Rite

Apparently, Cole was the “low bidder”.

I’ve posted a copy of the “bid abstract” at this Internet address (click-on link):

Joel’s comments:

In my opinion, “someone” needs to get some training on how to price line items in government bids.

Reprographers, when was the last time you received an order to copy (in black & white) onto vellum?

Reprographers, when was the last time you received an order to copy (IN COLOR) onto vellum? As to this latter line item, I can’t recall ever getting an order to do this.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Construction Spending - vs. - Revenues Generated from printing hard-copy plans and specs

Found on AGC’s web-site: (see “Joel’s comments” at the end of the article)

SIMONSON SAYS: Economists Paint Slightly Brighter Picture for Overall Economy and Construction

April 05, 2011

Economists Lynn Reaser and Ken Simonson presented a partly sunny forecast at the Aon Economic Issues luncheon on Thursday, March 24. But the scene they painted had plenty of clouds, as well.

Reaser, the chief economist of the Fermanian Business and Economic Institute at Point Loma Nazarene University and former Chief Economist for the Bank of America Investment Strategies Group, gave a quick overview of global influences on the U.S. economy. She portrayed the world economy as being very uneven, with rapid growth in developing countries but sluggish growth at best in mature economies. This combination produces a risk of commodity price inflation but weak demand for U.S. exports from developed nations. Adding to global economic uncertainty are the fast-changing situations in Japan and the Middle East and North Africa.

Reaser characterized the U.S. economy as gaining in momentum. She predicted that long-term interest rates would rise above 2008 levels later this year but that banks would make more credit available. She recommended that businesses adjust to uncertainty; think globally; examine pricing; lock in long-term rates; and diversify into niche markets.

Simonson called this a time of change in construction “for better and for worse.” On the positive side, he said activity has begun to improve for warehouse, hospital and apartment construction, with a pickup likely later in 2011 for manufacturing and hotel modernization, expansion and some new projects. But many government contractors have benefited from federal spending on stimulus, military base realignment and Gulf Coast hurricane restoration projects that are slated to end later this year. With the House of Representatives pressing for spending cuts and continuing downturns in state and local budgets, the outlook is quite negative for public construction.

The AGC chief economist also pointed out that construction materials costs have been rising much faster than either consumer prices or finished building prices. That means that owners who hear about inflation in terms of consumer prices are not aware of the cost pressure on contractors, while flat bid prices show that contractors are not willing or able to pass through higher expenses—a vise that could squeeze some firms out of business. Nevertheless, Simonson said he expects the industry to end 2011 with a 3-7 percent increase in construction spending compared with 2010, a 3-8 percent range of materials price increases, and labor cost increases of less than 2.5 percent.

Joel’s comments:

If this economist’s projection proves to be accurate, or close to accurate – a 3 to 7 percent increase in construction spending, 2011 vs. 2010 - then reprographers, I think, might be expecting their sales, 2011 vs. 2010, to pretty much mirror the increase in overall construction spending.

I would urge reprographers to play close attention to what actually happens. If construction spending does increase 3 to 7 percent, but printing revenues from “hard-copy” plans and specs do not mirror that increase, then that should give reprographers evidence that A/E/C customers are not printing as much hard-copy, per project, as they used to print. It could well prove to be that reprographers see a decline in sales in 2011 (from revenues for hard-copy printing) even if overall spending on construction increases in 2011.

For Florida’s unemployed and under-employed A/E/C community, 2011 hasn’t started out on a bright note

According to an article dated April 19, 2011 on ENR Southeast………

Florida Contracts Fall 50% in February

In February, for the second month in a row, the value of Florida’s new construction contracts was 50% below the same period of a year ago, according to the latest information from McGraw-Hill Construction, the publisher of ENR Southeast. The overall total for February was slightly more than $1.3 billion, down from last February’s $2.7 billion.

Again, the nonbuilding and nonresidential sectors experienced the greatest declines. The value of new nonbuilding contracts was $309 million, or 79% behind the year-ago pace of nearly $1.5 billion. Nonresidential contracts fell by 25%, and totaled $352.8 million. The residential sector also declined, by 6%, to tally roughly $674.9 million.

For the year-to-date, the nonbuilding sector is off by 79%, with roughly $509.3 million in new contracts through the first two months. The nonresidential sector is 47% behind last year’s pace, with an estimated $748.6 million in new contracts. Residential is 9% behind 2010’s early pace, with just over $1.3 billion in new contracts so far this year.

Through February, the collective value of Florida contracts is estimated at nearly $2.6 billion, or 51% behind the pace of a year ago.

Ten (or so) Things You’ll Never Hear the Owner(s) of a Reprographics Company Say

· I love Xerox

· I love OCE’s billing system

· I’m thankful for the Internet and for all of the amazing capabilities it offers our A/E/C customers

· My sales reps always exceed my expectations

· Just like I do, my sales reps work 24/7/365

· I enjoy having competition; our competitors keep us on our feet

· “Honey, I’m coming home early today”

· “Honey, I’ve decided to begin working a 4-day workweek ….. so I can be home more to help you take care of the kids”

· Our healthcare insurance company has announced that it is going to be reducing our premiums

· “Sorry, we were late on your order because, well, no one paid any attention to the order you sent”

· I’m “so glad” that computers and digital printing technology have taken the reprographics business out of the analog dark ages

· As a result of increased costs affecting the reprographics industry, all of the competitors in my market, in one fell swoop, have announced that they are all going to begin charging for pick-up and delivery, begin charging for file conversions, begin charging for e-planrooom services, begin charging for binding prints and all have just implemented an across-the-board 20% increase in their prices, which will also apply to their top tier accounts

· I’m happy that I did not accept ARC’s offer to purchase my company in 2004, 2005, 2006 or 2007. That’s because ARC will be willing to pay me more now (or maybe next year or the year after)

Top 10 Things You’ll Never Hear an Architect Say

Very funny post on a blog authored by an Architect.

“Top 10 Things You’ll Never Hear an Architect Say”

Reprographers, read it, it is guaranteed to make you laugh:

SWAG Estimates for American Reprographics (NYSE: ARC) - Q1 2011

My SWAG estimates for ARC, Q1 2011:

NET SALES - $107.5 million

EPS – ($0.07)


Joel's comments:


Friday, April 22, 2011

Letters and Executive Sales

Very excellent article on

Read it ….. and, most of all, practice it.

It works. I should know. I always did it this way, and it worked better than anything else I ever tried. (I even had great success with “long” letters.)

Here’s an intro to the article I’m suggesting you read:

Letters and Executive Sales

By Tim Askew on April 20th, 2011

Here’s a little dinosaur wisdom: If you want to initiate new business with real corporate decision makers, write a letter. Send it snail mail, just like Grandma.

Yup. That’s my brilliant marketing suggestion for the week.

Here’s a link to the full article:


One of the problems with posting a lot of stuff on a blog is that some of the posts can easily be overlooked.

I mean, after all, how much time can people really devote to reading the nonsense that I post on this blog. The other day, I noticed that, on one particular day, someone, from another country, spent over two hours(!) reading various posts. Did that person have nothing better to do with his/her time? I hope that person did not spend “company time” reading my blog. I’d like to say to that person, “get a life”, there are a lot more interesting things to spend time on than reading articles/posts on “Reprographics 101”.

However, in spite of the fact that I just used the word, “nonsense”, one of my recent posts (on April 18th) was not nonsense – if you win the contest that post talks about, you can “win” something – something every reprographer most assuredly needs – a vacation! – a “get away!” – a “time to reflect on one’s navel!” Given business conditions in the reprographics industry these past three to four years, I can’t imagine any reprographer who would not benefit from a relaxing, exciting visit to Costa Rica!

To access the “CONTEST”, click on this link:

ARC’s AbacusPCR™ Software to be distributed by OCE North America

On March 31st, I posted an article on “Reprographics 101” about ARC’s AbacusPCR™ Software being added to OCE’s arsenal of software solutions. However, shortly after I posted that article, one of my industry friends asked me to remove it. That request probably happened because “the news” was not yet ready for release. I’m an obliging kind of guy, so, as a favor, I deleted that post. I’m only mentioning this because, after I put the post up and then pulled it down, I received several e-mail inquiries which, basically, asked, “Joel, what happened to that post? Where’d it go?”

This afternoon, I found a “Press Release” – about AbacusPCR™ and OCE – on ARC’s web-site, so the news is now official.

When I publish “press releases” on “Reprographics 101”, I normally show the press release and, if I have comments to make about the press release, I post my comments “after” the press release. Today, I’m going to reverse the order – my comments will appear first, then you’ll see the Press Release.

Joel’s comments:

When I visited OCE’s web-site this afternoon, I looked at OCE’s “Partner Programs” page and found this description:

OCE “Partner” Programs…..

* Enabling exceptional integrated technology solutions

* Extending the reach of the Océ sales organization

A key to developing and efficiently delivering the industry's best document solutions to the people who need them is – partnerships. The strength of these partnerships enables us to provide the industry's most comprehensive end-to-end document solutions and make them accessible to customers who need them through the most convenient channels. Find out more about Océ partnerships:

If you clicked on the above link, then you would have seen that OCE already offers, through its “partner programs”, print-cost-recovery software from:

* Technesis

* SepiaLine

* Control Systems

My guess is that OCE now needs to update its “partner programs” page to also list ARC’s AbacusPCR cost-recovery-software solution. It’s not yet there, but I suspect that OCE’s “web-meisters” will “get to it” at some point in the near future.

And, that brings me to the last point I want to make – this point being related to “cost-recovery-software”, in general. I’ve always found it quite amusing that equipment-solutions-providers, such as OCE (and many others), have not, for some strange reason, developed their own cost-tracking, cost-recovery software. (Or, at the very least, they could have purchased a company that offers that type of software.) (And, no, OCE’s “account center” did not do the trick.) Do they not recognize that many, many different types of businesses (A/E/C and non-A/E/C as well) want to, or would like to, “track” output for either, or both, “cost-accounting” or “cost-recovery” purposes? What I’m talking about is a “cost-recovery” software (and hardware) “solution” that would track and account for wide-format output and small-format output. For example, if I were a member of OCE’s “corporate” sales team (the team focused on selling to large, multi-faceted companies), would it not be a benefit to my sales presentation to be able to say to the technology-acquisitions guy/gal I’m selling to, “hey, I can not only provide you every bit of small-format and wide-format equipment your company needs, I can also provide you a very comprehensive solution for tracking, and accounting for, all output, regardless of whether output is produced “from hard-copy” or directly from digital files and regardless of whether output is produced on our wide-format equipment or on our small-format equipment. We’ve got a ‘total” solution.’ Well, that’s essentially what OCE’s OBS sales team members can say (and, I would imagine, they do say that), but, in the past, I never heard an OCE wide-format sales team member say that, nor did I see any OCE wide-format sales proposals (to OCE direct customers/prospects) say that. (Note; it was not out of the ordinary for customers to give us copies of the sales proposals they received from OCE’s wide-format sales team members.)

Okay, without further adieu, here’s most of the Press Release; if you want to read the full press release, which incudes information “about ARC” and information “about OCE” and “about Canon”, then go to and access the press release.

“ARC’s AbacusPCR™ Software to be distributed by OCE North America”

Walnut Creek, CA, April 21, 2011….

ARC (NYSE: ARC), the nation's leading provider of reprographics services and technology, today announced that the U.S. Wide Format Printing Systems division of Oce, a Canon Group Company and an international leader in digital document management and printing for professionals, has added AbacusPCR, ARC's print cost recovery software, to its portfolio for tracking and capturing print costs within an office environment.

"We're pleased that Oce has chosen AbacusPCR to add value to their printing and imaging offerings," said Rahul Roy, Chief Technology Officer of ARC. "Oce has always developed their solutions to enhance document management and production, and by adding print tracking and reimbursable cost analysis with Abacus, we're sure that customers in any business environment will be quick to recognize its value as a significant business process improvement tool."

"With the large amount of decentralized printing now done in AE firms and the need to accurately track and recover costs, Abacus is a great addition to our product portfolio," said Bob Honn, Director of Marketing Services, Wide Format Printing Systems division of Oce North America. "The functionality of AbacusPCR will enable our customers to not only track Oce devices but also all non-Oce narrow and wide format devices."

Used for keeping track of printing costs and reimbursable print jobs, AbacusPCR software is easily configured to fit into any office environment. From rules-based printing and workstation billing pop-ups, to broad administration tools and its characteristic easy-to-use interface, printing activity can be tracked closely, analyzed for better equipment fleet management and cost controls, or used to capture reimbursable print jobs for a variety of industries.

AbacusPCR was recently upgraded to include print retrieval functions, rules-based printing, color and black & white recognition, phone call tracking, and greater third-party product integration. For a complete list of the features and capabilities of AbacusPCR, visit

For business-related inquiries please contact Niro Perera at 925-658-0217 or via email at