LexJet Moves up in the Ranks of the Best Companies To Work For In Florida

LexJet Named one of the Best Places to Work

For the fifth year in a row, LexJet has been named one of the Best Companies To Work For In Florida by Florida Trend magazine, moving up from 13th to 10th in the midsized company rankings from last year.

“Our Best Companies coverage this year is simple and direct: We went to the employees of the Best Companies To Work For and asked them to tell us what they like most about working where they work,” says Mark Howard, executive editor. “The responses are illuminating. Some of them highlight innovative perks, benefits and incentives, while others reveal how these top companies communicate effectively with their employees and empower every worker to make decisions. We hope these ideas are instructive for other companies that are looking to create a Best Companies-type workplace.”

The Best Companies To Work For In Florida program was created by Florida Trend and Best Companies Group and is endorsed by the HR Florida State Council.

As you can see in the image accompanying this post, LexJet and veteran customer specialist Jaimie Mask were featured in the opening spread (you can click on the image for a larger version, by the way). The recognition illustrates LexJet’s top priorities, which are to enhance both the customer and the employee experience.

“Great customer service doesn’t happen just because you want it to happen,” says Art Lambert, who founded LexJet with Ron Simkins in 1994. “You absolutely have to focus on making sure each employee is not only happy, but that they have the opportunity to be entrepreneurial, along with the support they need to do so.”

To participate, companies or government entities had to employ at least 15 workers in Florida and have been in operation at least one year. Companies that chose to participate underwent an evaluation of their workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics.

The process also included a survey to measure employee satisfaction. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the registration, survey and analysis and determined the final rankings.

“A happier staff is one that is engaged with the company, its products, and its objectives,” says Florida Trend Publisher Andy Corty. “Those are the type of employees who carry the message out to clients and help the company grow. It’s our pleasure to recognize those great companies and encourage others to join them in building Florida’s competitive advantage.”

For a list of the 100 Best Companies To Work For In Florida, go to www.FloridaTrend.com/BestCompanies.

Survey Says Signs Make a Big Difference

FedEx Office recently released a sign effectiveness study the company conducted with Ketchum Global Research & Analytics and ORC International. The results? On-premise signage is hugely effective in bringing consumers inside and generating sales. The caveat to this result is that a bad sign can have the opposite effect.

Sign effectiveness studyWhile this may seem like common sense, especially to those of us who make their livelihood in the sign and graphics market, why are there so many crummy and crumbling signs out there? The answer is likely that there are businesses along Main Street, suburbia and even Wall Street that haven’t made that connection.

This study is a great step in the direction of getting those reticent prospects on board with the concept. The findings were based on a telephone omnibus survey conducted in March 2012 of 1,000 Americans aged 18 and older.

Some of the findings from the study include:

  • 76 percent of consumers have entered a store simply because the sign caught their interest; 79 percent remembered the business at a later time
  • 63 percent were deterred from entering a store by misspellings on the sign; the absence of signs deterred 58 percent
  • 34 percent said that two signs was the optimum amount for a business to have on or around its storefront; 19 percent said three signs; 83 percent said one to three signs with the rest saying four or more signs
  • 68 percent think a store’s signage is reflective of the quality inside
  • 90 percent are more likely to try out a business if the sign is easily readable
  • 70 percent said the name of the business was the most important element on a sign, followed by type of business (65 percent), logo (40 percent) and tagline (27 percent)

Click here for all the numbers from the What’s Your Sign survey, which also includes information about the effect signs have on women vs. men, and older vs. younger consumers.

Cautious Optimism in the Exhibit Market

Trade show graphics inkjet mediaAccording to a survey published in the latest issue of EXHIBITOR Magazine, exhibit companies and trade show coordinators are cautiously optimistic about 2011 and 2012, meaning that graphics providers should be at least as cautiously optimistic as they are.

When asked if their company would increase, decrease or maintain their trade show budgets in 2011, 26.8 percent said they will increase, 18.4 percent will decrease, 52.1 percent will maintain and 2.6 percent didn’t know either way. Moreover, 18.7 percent of companies surveyed for the magazine’s 2011 Economic Outlook survey said they would increase their graphics budget, 17.6 percent would decrease, 58.2 percent would maintain and 5.5 percent didn’t know.

The strongest margins between a budget increase and decrease in the survey are found in the overall marketing budget: 33.9 percent said they will increase, 11.7 percent will decrease, 49.4 percent will maintain and 5 percent were unsure.

So, at least according to the survey, there are further opportunities outside of providing exhibit graphics that you should explore with your customers and potential customers. With the increasing media fragmentation, more graphics buyers are looking for ways to push their product directly to consumers, either at the point of sale or at some alternative face-to-face venue, such as special events.

If you need any help identifying potential markets and customers, as well as finding the right inkjet media for the application to make a big splash, contact a LexJet account specialist at 800-453-9538.

Survey Confirms Photographers Use Inkjet Printers for More than Photo Prints

Does your photography studio use your inkjet printer for purposes other than printing photos? If so, you’re not alone!

According to the I.T. Strategies’ 2010 survey of more than 1,200 photographers who own inkjet printers, 62% of the respondents are using their printers for more than photographic output.  

Survey Shows Why Photographers with Inkjet Printers Outsource Some Printing

Although pro-model inkjet printers are extremely versatile and can be used to produce many different types of photographs, promotional materials, and specialty products, about 30% of photographers who own pro-model inkjet printers continue to outsource some of their inkjet printing. This was one of the findings of an in-depth survey that I.T. Strategies conducted in May of 2010. More than 1,100 photographer-survey participants responded to the question: “Do you outsource inkjet printing?”

When asked about the volume of work they outsourced, 58% of respondents indicated they outsourced 10% or less of their total printing. Only 12% said they outsourced more than 50% of their printing work.

I.T. Strategies Survey Shows Pro Photographers Like Having Control over Printing

Professional photographers who have purchased inkjet printers for photographic output like having control over the entire process. That’s one of the findings of an in-depth survey conducted in May 2010 by I.T. Strategies, a digital-printing market research firm that has been surveying photographers since 2005.

According to I.T. Strategies analyst Patti Williams, gaining “control” was by far the most common response to an open-ended question that asked photographers why they had purchased an inkjet printer. Respondents reported they wanted “control over the printing process from capture to final print, control over quality, control over the final product, control over color, control over the schedule, control over workflow, control over size, and control over substrates.”

In an I.T. Strategies Market Pulse report, Williams says that more than 1,000 respondents took the time to explain why they purchased an inkjet printer for photographic output. Although some respondents provided more than one reason, she was able to group the answers into eight major categories. The top three categories were: Control, Quality, and Cost.

Here’s just a sampling of what the photographers who own inkjet printers had to say:

  • I am able to control all aspects of product output at any time, day or night, and do not need to wait for UPS to deliver my prints.
  • I wanted total control of my images, from setting the lights to the final print.
  • I can control my workflow in a more accurate way.
  • I am a control freak and I love fine-art papers. Having my own printer allows me to be controlling of my fine-art output.
  • I don’t want to send it to someone else and hope they print it how I want them to.
  • I love the results, and chemical darkrooms are unhealthy, toxic, and aren’t as much fun. The results now surpass the wet darkroom and I can now do things digitally that I could never do with wet processes.

It does appear that most survey respondents have been in the photography business for awhile. For instance, 78% of the professional photographers who responded to the survey had purchased their first inkjet printer for photographic output between 1988 and 2004 (with 42% purchasing between 2000 and 2004).

Only 23% of the pro photographers who responded to the survey had purchased their first inkjet printer for photographic output from 2005-2009. This may reflect the fact that many newcomers to the photography business are being actively encouraged to send their work out to photo labs so they can focus on learning everything else that goes into starting a photography business.

It’s also important to keep in mind that for some types of professional photography (e.g., stock, commercial, and editorial), the professional photographer has traditionally provided their clients with transparencies or digital files instead of final prints.

Wedding photography is one field in which photography pros traditionally generated a healthy portion of their revenues from prints. However, some newcomers to wedding photography have disrupted that long-standing business model (and given up control over the look of their final images) by simply providing files on disk to their clients or letting their clients order prints directly from an online lab.

So, it doesn’t surprise us at all to learn that fine art was the most popular type of photography printed by the survey respondents, followed by portraits, and nature/landscape photography.

Nor does it surprise us that the 1,226 survey respondents listed 77 other applications of their inkjet printers, including highly specialized niches such as historic reproductions, equine portraits, and funerals/memorials. This simply shows some of the many different ways photographers have discovered to use inkjet printers to expand their businesses and develop new revenues.

In fact, many survey respondents commented that they liked the versatility of inkjet printing technology and its ability to print big and on a variety of substrates. Here are a few other comments worth noting:

  • Large-format prints are becoming a bigger part of my sales.
  • It’s easier to have a printer in house and more profitable.
  • I was more particular about my color quality than wet labs could meet. Also wanted a wider color gamut than wet process.
  • I like having control over the print-production process. At the end of the day, the prints are our product. Fast turnaround is a factor as well. In rare cases, if a client is not quite happy with a print, we can redo it on the spot, rather than asking them to come back.

In her analysis of the survey results, Williams observes that as more photographers developed expertise in inkjet printing, they began to develop new business models that were based on in-house printing. For many photographers, this meant an increase in profits as products were no longer outsourced to a lab: “Inkjet printers meant that bigger images could be printed, and photographers and artists began to develop new types of products they could show and sell  their clients.”

At LexJet, we know this is true because we have helped thousands of professional photographers, advanced amateurs, and artists learn how pro-model inkjet printers can give them greater control over their print quality and develop new products and sources of revenue.

If you would like some one-on-one advice on how to buy, use, and profit from a pro-model inkjet photo printer, please contact a LexJet account specialist at 800-453-9538.

For more information about this I.T. Strategies Market Pulse report and future reports that will be developed from their 2010 Survey of Photographers and Inkjet Printers, visit: www.it-strategies.com