Questions to Ask When Selecting a Print Partner – Part 2

Author: Jim Hesch, Customer Service

It can be quite daunting, challenging, frightening and overwhelming to pick a print partner when you have never printed before. It is common to have many questions. That is why we have developed a list of questions to ask to help make this process easier for you.  Last month, we shared the first set of questions to ask in part 1. In this blog, we will address additional questions to ask.

You may not choose Nahan, but we would like to help you choose wisely.

(Also, here is a link to our FAQ’s page, which contains some useful information).

Environmental Commitment

Location

Technology / Data / Security

Oooh, technology is the part I like. You guessed it, I am a printing geek. I’d love to tell you about some of our new things at Nahan.Jim Hesch

We love new toys, things that go faster, do better, do more. Our new CLIDE 2.0 was purchased specifically to do the work our customer needed, (plus it is cool).

(CLIDE means custom digital imaging, it is an integrated folding gluing line that can create complicated folds with tip-ons or clean release cards with imaging / ink jet)

New Toys

The quality of our new in-line ink jet on the web press is second to none, our new inserters run at blazing speeds, our new CLIDE line has incredible flexibility for self-mailers with special folds and attachments. Mike, our Warehouse Manager is especially proud of our new Semi truck. We have also invested in two new high-speed Stitchers in the last 3 years and are pursuing automation and efficiencies today as you read this.

Questions to Ask When Selecting a Print Partner

Interested in a sample pack? We would love to send you one!

My name is Jim Hesch, head of customer service, 40 year veteran of print and never done learning…

Nahan’s Fulfillment Department: An Interview with Jenny Chirhart

Author: Melissa Fransen, Marketing Manager

Jenny Chirhart

Meet Jenny. Jenny started with Nahan in 1996. Jenny leads Nahan’s Fulfillment department, which is our newest division at Nahan. This new department continues to be a huge growth area for Nahan. We’ve more than doubled our staff count in this department in less than two years and continue to add an impressive amount of customers and projects. I thought I’d take this special opportunity to introduce Jenny and some of the great things that Nahan’s Fulfillment department is up to these days.

Jenny, first tell me a little about your career path at Nahan.

Jenny: I’ve held a variety of roles at Nahan. I started my career in the mail center as a Helper on the high-speed inserters, then I moved into the Quality Checker role, and from there I was a Laser Operator.  I wanted to learn more about the company so I joined the Customer Service team and worked there for nine years, then held positions in Prep and Purchasing. From there, I became a Lead in our Fulfillment department in May of 2018 and became a Shift Leader in July of 2019.

That is fantastic Jenny! Can you give me an overview of how Nahan’s Fulfillment department started?

Jenny: Nahan’s Fulfillment department was started as a result of a customer asking us to do a UPS mailing for them. It started off with small quantities for the project and has grown into a large volume of quantities each week. We’ve continued to expand this area and we are now doing projects for a wide range of other customers as well. One of the great things about Nahan is that when we have a customer that is looking for us to do any type of mailing project to make things easier on their end, we have an awesome team that comes together to find a solution for them.

What types of projects is our team currently doing?

Jenny: Currently, our team is working on a 3-way match mailing project. Basically, we have a three-panel folder that gets a personalized letter and a personalized card added into the folder. Then, this package will go into a pre-labeled, addressed OSE.

What other types of projects have we done?

Jenny: We’ve done a large variety of assemble, pack and ship projects. Two particular projects stand out. One was a tube mailing project, where we put a personalized letter into the tube, taped the ends, and put an address label and meter strip on to mail it and the other, we put together a Holiday gift package last year with calendars and holiday cards included.

What are you most proud of that the Fulfillment team has accomplished? 

Jenny: I’m very proud of this team with how well they work together and help each other. They know what needs to be done and they have fun doing it.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Jenny: This group of individuals are truly amazing to work with. There is a lot of teamwork. They work very hard together to get the jobs done so we meet the customer’s expectations.

Jenny, this has been great. Thank you for your time!

Interested in learning more about our Fulfillment services? Contact us to learn more.

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

What is Variable Data Printing? A Closer Look.

Author: Jon Legg, Data Processing Department Leader

In today’s data-driven marketing world, utilizing the power of your data can be the difference between a good marketing campaign and a great marketing campaign that produces a fantastic ROI. A question that we often get asked is “What is Variable Data Printing and how does it work?”

What is Variable Data Printing?

Variable Data Printing is using your customer’s data to change text, images, or other content from one piece of mail to the next.  Instead of printing one form 100,000 times you can instead print 100,000 highly individualized pieces.  And when we say highly personalized we are talking about more than just a salutation line that says “Dear John Doe.” 

At Nahan we have done a wide range of projects that utilize variable data printing.  The following four specific examples show what highly personalized could look like to you.

  1. One project had hundreds of mall locations and for each record, we used a field in the data to variably pull the closest mall to the consumer, a logo for that mall, hours of operation, and a mall directory. 
  2. Another project required us to uniquely link over 400,000 photographs so that each record imaged the correct photograph. 
  3. A third project involved providing each recipient with a personalized map that showed their house on a map, the nearest store, and a highlighted route between the two.
  4. Lastly, another project showcased a piece that changed all of its content based on the consumer.  Family of four?  All content showed family-friendly activities and all images changed to photos of families.  Single?  The entire piece changed to show photos of adults with more of a focus on entertainment and nightlife.

Variable data printing can do all of this and more. 

What is Variable Data Printing

As we like to say, “Where there is data, there is opportunity for customization.”

What Files Are Needed For a Variable Data Project?

At Nahan we can accept all types of files and work with you to get more out of your mail list.  Our preferred file format is a CSV file transmitted to our SFTP site.  We are also able to use API integrations to directly link with our customers to provide a more seamless transfer of data; both to Nahan and back to our customers.  This can include return files, reports, and much more.

How is Data Kept Safe?

In today’s digital landscape we can use data for just about anything, which makes that data extremely valuable.  Sadly, the bad guys know that as well and are constantly looking to get their hands on data.  But Nahan takes pride in keeping your data safe.  We are PCI compliant and are equipped to work with HIPAA data. We have lots of hands-on experience with both.  Beyond that our data processing team is literally in a locked room that requires two different forms of authentication just to get in! Given all the efforts that we put into data security, you can rest assured that not only will Nahan keep your data safe, but we will also put it to work for you! 

Working Together on a Strategy

As a company, we are not afraid of pushing the boundaries of what can be done with data.  We are constantly using the newest technology and then working to perfect it.  We also have a data processing team that is equally unafraid of pushing limits and seeing how much we can do with a simple mail list.  Let’s work together and see what we can get your next mailing to do for you! Contact us to learn more.

Author: Jon Legg is a Department Leader at Nahan Printing and started with the company in 2015.  He currently oversees the Data Processing department as well as the PreMedia department.  This means that any files, whether art or data, all come through Jon’s teams.  When he isn’t at work Jon loves spending time with his wife and daughter, traveling (usually to Disney World), and working with our local theater company both on stage and as a Director. 

Nahan Receives Best Of Category Win In Five-State Print Competition

SAINT CLOUD, MN – April 13, 2020 – Nahan Printing, Inc. has received a Best of Category award win in the annual Star Awards, a five-state print competition hosted by Printing Industry Midwest (PIM), the region’s trade association for the printing, communication and graphic arts industry.

Competing against entries from printing and graphic art firms throughout the Midwest, Nahan was proud to receive the award for Best of Category – Web Press Printing (Uncoated Paper), which is the highest honor a printer can receive in this category. The winning entry was a mailer produced for a renowned multi-channel artisan jeweler. Nahan also received two Awards of Recognition in the Brochures and Broadsheet (Large) categories for two Self-Mailer formats for an iconic New York-based luxury brand retailer. In addition to these awards, Nahan also received 12 Certificates of Merit in other various categories.

The Star Awards recognizes those responsible for the creation and production of print communications in the Midwest. The competition promotes excellence in print communications and rewards companies and individuals who produce the best in print media.

“We are very proud of our winning team,” said John Klumb, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

“This was a close competition with a very impressive standard of entries. The judging process was very challenging. Nahan should be proud of the company’s achievement and the excellent work done by employees,” said Steve Bonoff, PIM President.

About Printing Industries Midwest (PIM) and Star Awards

For more information about the Printing Industry Midwest (PIM) and the Star Awards, visit PIM’s website at www.pimw.org or call PIM’s office at 612.400.6200.

About Nahan

Nahan Printing is a Minnesota-based, independent, family-owned, world-class printer committed to providing end-to-end solutions that add value to our clients. Since its inception in 1962, Nahan has specialized in catalog and direct mail printing for industries such as retail, financial services, healthcare, non-profit and hospitality. With a client roster of legendary brands, Nahan prints iconic work that represents the highest level of quality and innovation in the industry. For more information about Nahan, please visit www.Nahan.com.

Nahan Achieves Recertification of G7® Master Qualification

Contact: Melissa Fransen, Marketing Manager

April 6, 2020

St. Cloud, MN – Nahan Printing is proud to announce it has achieved G7® Master Facility Qualification of its integrated color management system for producing printed products once again. This is the 11th year in a row that Nahan has attained this qualification. In addition to Nahan being a G7® Master Qualified Facility, two of Nahan’s employees are G7® Experts.

G7® is an industry-leading set of specifications from Idealliance® for achieving visual similarity across all print processes. It is a global standard widely used to measure the color accuracy on any output device.

“This qualification provides third-party verification that Nahan delivers exceptional color matching and color consistency,” said Tim Castellano, Color Technician, Nahan. “This allows Nahan to manage process control better, reduce make-ready, and improve overall efficiency in all aspects of our workflow. For our customers, this consistency also ensures uncompromising color according to their brand standards.”

Nahan’s Print Quality is Excellent.” Print Production, Online Clothing Retailer

“Nahan continues to be an excellent partner. Their print quality is outstanding, as are the people we work with.” Marketing Manager, Fortune 500 Company

“The G7 process gives the industry the tools and guidelines to more efficiently achieve and maintain that color reproduction. In turn, G7 Master qualified facilities deliver even more consistent color reproduction for their customers,” explains Timothy Baechle, CEO, Idealliance.

Participants in the G7 program pride themselves on color management, process control, and maintaining production efficiency. With the help of certified G7 Experts and Professionals, who are trained in the industry-leading set of specifications for achieving gray balance, G7 Master Qualified Facilities align their print processes to ensure a neutral appearance across multiple devices.

 “Nahan’s qualification is critical to the success of our print buyers and our partners.” Castellano said. “G7 allows our organization to more precisely match a customer’s brand color requirements on a variety of printed products from any technology and application, everything from media and publications to packaging and labels.”

About Nahan

Nahan Printing is a Minnesota-based, independent, family-owned, world-class printer committed to providing end-to-end solutions that add value to our clients. Since its inception in 1962, Nahan has specialized in catalog and direct mail printing for industries such as retail, financial services, non-profit and hospitality. With a client roster of legendary brands, Nahan prints iconic work that represents the highest level of quality and innovation in the industry. For more information about Nahan, please visit http://www.Nahan.com.

About Idealliance®

Idealliance® is dedicated to guiding media production best practices, specifications, and standards, worldwide. To learn more about G7 Master Qualification, please visit http://www.idealliance.org.

Nahan University: Investing in our Employees

Author: Melissa Fransen, Marketing Manager

Since the opening of Nahan University in July of 2019, a lot has been happening with our training programs and our leadership team is proud of how things are progressing. From an employee perspective since launch, several of our 300+ employees have been involved in a training course thus far and the plan for 2020 is that every one of our employees will have a training opportunity. Doug Karls, an employee of Nahan for over 25 years, is leading the Nahan University initiatives.

“We are just getting started and I’m excited about all of the training opportunities that are in store for our employees. Our employees are our number one asset and if there is one thing that I believe in investing in, it’s our people.” Doug Karls, Trainer

Nahan University Goals

Here are the goals that our Leadership team has set for Nahan University:

  • Basic equipment functionality
  • Educate our team on our quality standards
  • Generate a career path for team members
  • Empower our employees
  • Team building
Nahan University Opening

Training Recap

The focus of the training has started with Operator training on Folders and Inserters, as well as Leadership training. Here is a quick overview of the training thus far:

Operator Training:

  • Basic equipment functionality
  • Problem solving skills
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Math aptitude
  • Quality standards

Leadership Training:

  • Communication Skills
  • Servant Leadership
  • Creating Effective and Empowered Teams
  • Coaching and Delegating for Success

“One of the biggest differentiators of Nahan in the industry continues to be our quality. The quality of our print, the quality of our service levels, and the quality of our people.” John Klumb, Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Nahan University – What’s Next

Our team is in the beginning stages of launching Brainer’s LMS (Learning Management Solutions) program. This platform will provide learning opportunities for our employees through module-based training on a variety of topics. Topics include everything from Safety, Team Building and Problem Solving to Web Presentations, Marketing, and Microsoft Office. These training sessions can be customized to the individual and tailored to topics that are applicable to our employees.  The full implementation of Brainer’s LMS program is planned for Q2 of 2020.

“At the end of each day, I ask myself what I learned that day. Each and every day I try to learn something new. My goal is for our employees to learn something new every day as well.” Doug Karls, Trainer

Want to learn more about a career at Nahan or Nahan University? Contact us today.

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Nahan Named As a Printing Industry Best Workplace in the Americas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Melissa Fransen                                                          
Phone: 320-217-7319
Email: melissa.fransen@nahan.com

ST. CLOUD, MN – February 6, 2020 – Nahan Printing, Inc. of St. Cloud, MN has been awarded the Best Workplace designation in the 2020 Best Workplace in the Americas (BWA) awards competition. The BWA awards are awarded to companies that create the best environments for their employees in the printing industry. The BWA awards, presented by Printing Industries of America (PIA), is awarded annually to only those companies meeting rigorous standards in human resources practices.

A panel of printing industry HR professionals evaluated applicants in three categories: Communications & Culture, Employee Resources & Benefits, and Safety & Work Environment.

PIA Best Workplaces

“Nahan Printing is one of the premier companies in the printing industry for employee experiences,” said Adriane Harrison, Vice President of Human Relations at PIA. “This award is a testament to Nahan’s leadership in developing an ‘employer of choice’ culture.”

“Winning a BWA award is an honor. We are on a journey to give our employees an exceptional workplace. There have been a number of initiatives that we have put into place this past year that are making a difference: we have implemented values-based leadership, we have opened Nahan University, and we have empowered our employees to ‘Never Stop Being the Best’ by sharing new ideas and exceeding customer expectations,” said Mike Nahan, CEO.

Michael F. Makin, president and CEO of PIA, agrees. “The Best Workplace in the Americas award winners stand among the most distinguished printing industry leaders by human resources standards. Congratulations to Nahan Printing for its outstanding achievement in human resources excellence.”  

ABOUT WINNER

Nahan Printing is a Minnesota-based, independent, family-owned, world class printer committed to providing end-to-end solutions that add value to our clients. Since its inception in 1962, Nahan has specialized in catalogs and direct mail for industries such as retail, financial services, non-profit and hospitality. With a client roster of legendary brands, Nahan prints iconic work that represents the highest level of quality and innovation in the industry. For more information about Nahan, please visit http://www.nahan.com.

ABOUT THE BEST WORKPLACE IN THE AMERICAS AWARDS

The Best Workplace in the Americas (BWA) awards, presented by Printing Industries of America (PIA), recognizes a company’s commitment to quality and excellence, passion for success, and dedication to providing a safety-focused work environment. For more information about the program, visit: www.printing.org/bwa.

Nahan Provides Print & Mailing Solutions for Many European Brands Marketing to US Customers

Author: Melissa Fransen, Marketing Manager

One of the questions that we frequently get asked is if we provide print and mailing solutions to an International customer base that is interested in mailing to the US Market. The answer is a resounding Yes!

In fact, this continues to be one of Nahan’s specialties and something that we feel truly continues to set us apart in the industry. We have quickly become a printer of choice for retailers and agencies alike in the European market.

Nahan Provides Print & Mailing Solutions for Many European Brands Marketing to US Customers

“If you are a start-up or even an established brand looking to market to a US audience and are looking for a trusted print partner, look no further, our team at Nahan is here to become a seamless extension of your marketing team.  We continue to work with so many great people abroad that have become not only clients but good friends, that really trust our Quality & Service.”

Kelly Marthaler, US & International Catalog/Direct Mail Sales Consultant

Commonly Asked Questions

1. We have formats developed for our UK audience and foreign postal requirements. How do we convert our formats to meet the US postal requirements?

Nahan is highly experienced in working with customers to develop efficient size formats for the US postal stream. Weights and size formats that work in Europe don’t always work here in the US. We specialize in adjusting these sizes or format templates to US formats to help minimize cost and reduce postage rates.  Our focus is really on guiding clients closely through the entire process.

2. What about paper? How does this work?

Our team at Nahan is very familiar with foreign paper spec differences and can help transition to US paper stocks that are of equal or greater paper quality and still be competitively priced.

3. With the time difference, can I expect a quick turnaround on quotes?

At Nahan, you can expect a quote within 24 hours or less. We take a lot of pride in quick-turn quotes and communication. You can come to expect the same timely response from our purchasing and customer service teams even when your office is in a foreign country. 

4. What about mailing schedules? How does this work?

Our postal/logistics team at Nahan works with our customers to develop timely schedules based on in-home dates. We walk through this entire process with each of our foreign clients to ensure there is a clear understanding of what in-homes dates work best with each individual marketing plan and how we can minimize cost as well.

5. What about USPS postal promotions, can I take advantage of these?

Absolutely. Our team at Nahan will guide you through the promotions process to ensure you are getting the most cost-effective rates based on your marketing objectives.

6. What about mailing to other markets, such as Canada?

At Nahan, we utilize the assistance of a third party partner to mail to other foreign markets, such as Canada, and do this quite frequently.  We are close proximity to Canada so this is a very close entry point for us.

7. I’m new to this – how do I even start?

Many of our customers that start out with us don’t have experience in expanding their mailing to the US market. No problem at all! We’ll be very happy to guide you through this process so maximum ROI can be achieved.  We want to take the stress of printing and mailing here in the US out of each foreign marketer’s job. 

Interested in learning more about Nahan’s mailing services? Contact us today! 

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

The Fine Art of Finishing Print

Author: Jim Hesch, Customer Service Leader

Focusing on quality and unique capabilities sets us apart. It’s all in the Presentation.

For the person who, in the end will open your envelope, mailer or book, it is all in the presentation.

Beautiful color, gloss or dull techniques, metallics and foil, or attention grabbing raised gloss UV can certainly grab one’s attention. Using an emboss sculpture die to make a message stand out and look 3D or a tactile coating can enhance a piece, too. A cool fold, pop up, or even an iron cross are tried and true attention grabbers for the end user.

Nahan’s Focus on Finishing

At Nahan, we pride ourselves on the Finishing of our pieces; the presentation, with good quality binding and complicated inserting. Our team is dedicated to make sure the quality of the piece compliments the goal of your recipient, which is ultimately to successfully reach them and get them to open the piece.

“I love working in Finishing, no two days are the same and no two books are the same. It’s the collaboration that makes it fun. I am always learning. Yeah, we are obsessed with going the extra mile.”

– Jim Dombrovski, Finishing Shift Leader

“For those of us who are passionate about Finishing, we get to take a nicely printed sheet and turn it into something cool, and we get to touch it and see it before the customer ever gets to see it.”

– Doug Karls, Trainer

Developing Creative Solutions

We have an incredibly creative team to help you find that eye-catching piece; something unusual or unique and are able to complete affordably. Our capabilities are unique, customizable, and with our creative staff, can be game changers.

In the end, we really like Finishing (first).

Resources

Sappi has a wonderful series of publications that can help you in your creative presentation endeavor.

Check out Bindery Techniques issue #6: https://www.sappi.com/standard-volume-6

Or Issue 4, scoring and folding: https://www.sappi.com/standard-volume-4%E2%80%94scoring-folding

The Neuroscience of Touch: https://www.sappi.com/the-neuroscience-of-touch.

Another fun series in finishing techniques is the Fold Factory, Fold of the Week. Check out their YouTube Videos for inspiration and ideas.

Have Fun, Stay Warm and Tip On…

Our Blogger is Jim Hesch, a manager here at Nahan Printing. Jim has been in the printing trade since 1973 and has a passion for finishing and customer service. 

Is Nahan a Printing or Technology Company?

Author: Pat Nahan, Vice President of National Accounts

As the printing landscape has evolved over the past two decades, we have all seen huge changes in the way we do our jobs.  Long gone are the days of film and even hard proofs in some cases. We have all seen the benefits of other new and exciting technologies that make getting ink, toner or dyes onto your chosen substrate.  All of this is great, but if your printer of choice doesn’t have the IT infrastructure to support your growing needs then are you really seeing the full benefit of what these advancements can do for you?

Digital Workflow

There are many benefits to a digital workflow but the 4 that I feel benefit the customer most are:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Brand Continuity
  3. Speed to Market
  4. Being able to create a truly tailored message to your consumer

Upon entering into the digital printing arena, it became glaringly apparent to us that to take advantage of this new technology we needed to embrace and fully utilize all that these machines could do.  To execute this we had to take a two pronged approach, the first being security. The second focus was being able to adapt to our customer’s unique needs and to mold our processes around those.  Along with this we had to step out of our comfort zone to truly develop technologies that can meet those needs.  

“Looping back to the title now, I feel that we are rapidly becoming a Technology company that is really great at printing.”

– Pat Nahan

Every day we are taking our years of experience with the ‘big iron” of printing and using it to make the new digital presses better.  The amount of technological development and custom programming that we are doing on a daily basis to meet the needs of our customers is constantly expanding.  Processes that were cutting-edge just 5 years ago are rapidly being replaced with new words like, API’s, web interfaces, and custom integrations.  Is your printer ready to help take you to the next level?

Questions to Ask Your Printer

Ask yourself these five questions when you consider partnering with a printer:

  1. What is their programming strength?
  2. Can they do more than just a presort of my data and take advantage of all their digital equipment can do?
  3. What sort of custom integrations have they done before?
  4. Do they have the knowledge to build any sort of return processing or continuity process that I might need?
  5. Are they a printer that thinks they know how to program or a true four color variable expert? 

Contact us today to learn more about Nahan and how we can help with your next project.

Patrick Nahan has over 20 years of print experience and is the Vice President of National Accounts with Nahan. On a daily basis, Patrick shows the “Nahan Difference” to key accounts and has been instrumental in launching Nahan into the forefront of the ever-changing print landscape. When not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys, working on cars, boating and trying to keep up with a hectic youth hockey schedule!    

2019 In Review: An Interview with Nahan COO, Curt Tillotson

Author: Melissa Fransen, Marketing Manager

2019 was another great year for Nahan and I thought it would be a great time to take an opportunity to interview Curt Tillotson, who serves as Nahan’s Chief Operating Officer. Curt started with Nahan in 2011 after many years at a regional grocer and at Best Buy in business development and financial roles . Outside of work, Curt is kept quite busy with his wife and their seven children. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

What are three accomplishments that you are particularly proud of that Nahan achieved in 2019?

Curt: Well, 2019 was an amazing year with many all-time records established.  I can only pick three?  This is not easy but I will give it a shot:

First, we managed to land over 100 new accounts.  We are very appreciative of all of the companies that trust us to print for them.

Second, our new website was launched in 2019 and it looks amazing!  Take a look when you have a chance.

Third, we continue to invest in our business and have purchased industry-leading equipment which allows us to amaze our customers even more

In three words, tell me what you think made Nahan stand out in 2019.

Curt: PEOPLE! PEOPLE! PEOPLE!  We are so proud of our people.  We continue to create opportunities for them and they step up again and again.

What do you like most about working for Nahan?

Curt: I really enjoy working side by side with this amazing team here at Nahan.  We accomplish far more than I could ever ask or imagine.

Nahan won several awards again for the quality of our work through Gold Ink, Sappi, and PIM – something we are very proud of. Tell me from your perspective, what this means to you.

Curt: Plain and simple, we are the best printer in North America.  All of these awards are a testimony to what our customers tell us every day.  We truly never stop being the best.

Nahan opened Nahan University, our employee training center in 2019, which has already benefited many of our employees. Tell me about how things are coming along with the training center.

Curt: As we go into 2020, there will be a lot of training opportunities for all of our employees.  We believe that is the best way to equip our people to win in the marketplace.

Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions you’d like to share?

Curt: Suffice it to say, I will be part of a weight loss team!

You speak quite often about our Nahan Values. Tell me about one of those values and what it means to you.

Curt: Never Stop Being the Best!

This value epitomizes Nahan Printing and our founders and owners.  We are never satisfied with the status quo.  We always want to make things better. It has been said that the slowest a piece of equipment runs is the first day it comes in the building. That is our attitude day in and day out.  And, it is absolutely critical.  Competition is fierce in the print industry.  Our customers have many choices when it comes to printing.  We have to be the best in the business in order to win.

“It has been said that the slowest a piece of equipment runs is the first day it comes in the building.”

– Curt Tillotson, Chief Operating Officer, Nahan Printing

Nahan supported a number of local charitable organizations again in 2019. Tell me about one that stood out to you this year.

Curt: We supported the United Way more than ever in 2019.  I love the work that United Way does day in and day out.  Not only do they help many, many people who are truly in need but they also make sure that our charitable donations are spent wisely.

What are you most excited about as Nahan goes into 2020?

Curt: Winning!  We have made tremendous strides as a company and I look forward to making even greater progress in 2020.  We have great employees who operate as a team.  We have industry leading equipment.  We have a customer base that LOVES our work.

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Top Five Nahan Blogs of 2019

 

Author: Melissa Fransen, Marketing Manager

It’s been another great year for Nahan and we have been thrilled at the performance, likes, and shares of our new blog articles that were added to our revamped website launched in October. Thank you for all of your comments and the great feedback! We appreciate you!

In case you’ve missed it, here were our top five performing blog articles of 2019 so you can check them out:

 

  1. Nahan Differentiators that Drive Results
  2. Three Benefits of Working for a Family-Owned Business
  3. Metallic Inks Add Fun and Interesting Effects
  4. Build a Dynamic Plan for Direct Mail
  5. What is Information Security?

We have a ton of great articles in store for 2020, so be sure to check back to our site for the latest and greatest articles. Plus, we also share these articles on our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages. If you have content that you’d like to see from our team in the future, feel free to contact us anytime and let us know. We are just getting started and 2020 is going to be a fantastic year!

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

 

Winter Paper Conditioning in the Upper Midwest

 

Author: Jim Hesch, Customer Service Leader

I hope you will be joining us for press OK’s this winter! While you may need to bring a warm jacket, I promise you it will be 70 degrees inside our pressroom with plenty of warm and inviting smiles to greet you. Fun fact, 90% of our customers are located outside the state of MN with many traveling from both the East and West Coasts. The average January high temperature is 23 degrees F and the average low is 7 degrees F.  The average snowfall is 12”. This is a perfect scenario to make a snow angel on our front lawn. Minnesota takes great pride in keeping its roadways and airports open and free of snow. We love it here (or we wouldn’t stay).

Paper Transportation

 

In winter in the upper Midwest, paper travels by standard truck or rail.  It is very expensive to ship in heated containers, so paper gets very cold during shipping. Cold paper does not run as well; it dries out, wrinkles, has problems with ink drying and can affect print quality, dot gain, and overall color. For paper to perform well, it needs to be acclimated to press room temperature and moisture levels.

Guidelines

 

Paper Company guidelines vary, however, a good rule of thumb is to allow paper to acclimate to pressroom conditions for at least 24 hours and up to 100 hours. The heavier the paper and the colder the outside temperature, the longer it takes to warm up. At Nahan, we plan for paper to arrive a few days earlier in the winter months to allow for paper to acclimate so it runs at it’s best.

Here is a link to Neenah Paper Conditioning chart:

https://www.neenahpaper.com/resources/printer-resources/paper-conditioning

So the advice we have for you is to dress warm and travel to Minnesota to enjoy our winter wonderland and order paper in early so it can warm up.

Here is a link from Minnesota Public Radio on Minnesota’s beautiful winters.

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2013/01/25/photos-minnesotas-bitterly-cold-brightly-beautiful-winter

About the Author: Jim Hesch is a Department Manager here at Nahan, was born in North Dakota but spent his early years in California. He is now entrenched in the Minnesota culture of shoveling snow, opinions on the meaning of life, and blogging. Come join us!

Photo Credit: Adam Rohde – arohdephoto.com

5 Benefits of Working with a Centrally Located Printer

Author: Matt Deibler, National Sales Representative

 

Print buyers and marketing execution leaders have more variables to consider than ever before. Choosing the right partner is critical and it’s not always an easy decision.  You want to ensure that you identify a printer who has the right mix of capabilities and resources to support the unique needs of your business. You also want to think strategically about where your chosen vendor is positioned geographically. How will this impact the effectiveness of your campaigns? What kinds of advantages or disadvantages does your printer’s location present?

Here are five key benefits that I see in working with a centrally located printer:

 

1) Proximity to Mills

It’s no secret that over the last couple of years, the paper market has become quite volatile. Prices have risen and we have experienced several cycles of tightening supply. Choosing a vendor located near the paper mills is beneficial as it offers greater flexibility. With relationships at the mill level, we are better equipped to service the needs of clients with tight deadlines.  Our location allows us to more effectively locate stock and negotiate on its pricing and delivery.

 

2) Postal Savings

Postage is the single most expensive component of any direct mail campaign, yet it still receives very little attention from many marketing execution leaders. The perception seems to be that postage/distribution is a fixed cost applied equally among all vendors and it is often overlooked during the partner evaluation process. But not all vendors are built the same when it comes to postage and freight and a central location does create distinct advantages. USPS entry discounts (through NDC and SCF sortation) are available to everyone. That being said, it’s not very efficient to drop ship mail from an east coast distribution point to the west coast.  The cost of freight often outweighs the savings on postage. If you are working with national mail files, you will want to ensure that you are aligned with a centrally located printer to handle your mail plan. It’s a huge opportunity to put money back in your budget.

 

3) Speed to Market

In this technology driven age that we live in, speed is everything. If you want higher conversion rates you will need to capitalize on your windows of opportunity as quickly as you can. Speed to market matters. Choosing the right partner to execute on your print and distribute your product in a timely fashion is essential to success in today’s market. Centrally located printers like Nahan have the ability to connect to all points of the country in equal time. So whether your prospect is in FL, CA, WA or NY we can reach them, and we can do so within a time frame that optimizes response.

 

4) In-Home Predictability

Speed is just one element of in-home timing. There are a lot of direct mail vendors who are equipped to push a project through their plant and out into the mail stream quickly, but very few are skilled at targeting and hitting specific, predefined in-home windows. This can make or break a campaign. If you are advertising a dated promotion, sale or offer you are restricted to a defined response period and it’s critical that you make the most of it.  As I mentioned earlier, a central location provides better options with freight and postal and it allows for a more strategic approach with mail planning. If you wish to validate the timing of delivery, most vendors have access to tracking services that can be applied to your campaigns. We use them frequently to gauge our own performance.

 

5) Fulfillment

Fulfillment is a major growth area in our business here at Nahan; it’s a no brainer based upon our location. Whether your need is trigger mail execution, kitting or distribution of inventoried promotional products, it makes sense to align with a centrally located partner. It’s about freight and distribution and that applies to product coming in as well as product going out. Plus, warehouse space is generally more affordable in the Midwest, so it’s a win from all angles.

 

Bio: Matt Deibler is a National Sales Representative based out of Chapel Hill, NC.  He joined Nahan in April of 2018. Matt manages relationships with direct mail clients in all parts of the country.  In his spare time, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife, his two year old son, Malachi and his new baby daughter Reagan.  He is an avid fan of college football and he loves to travel and blog about his life experiences.

Metallic Inks Add Fun and Interesting Effects

Author: Jim Hesch, Customer Service Leader

 

Gold and Silver

Since the earliest of times, Gold and Silver have been coveted for their brilliance, their eye catching sparkle and richness. We wear jewelry to enhance beauty. Our cars shimmer in the sun; we wash them and wax them to a brilliant luster.  The Automobile industry has long known that sparkly paint and shiny chrome attract the second look, the longing for a new vehicle, and how it speaks of being successful. Even black paint has a sparkle built into it.

 

Metallic Inks

If you are looking to catch your target market’s eye, to increase interest in your printed piece or just add some fun, consider adding a metallic spot color.

Depending on how you use the metallic ink, you can add eye catching luster to the image. The Metallic can also be incorporated into the print to add an interesting effect to black halftones or 4CP. Metallic inks can be blended with other colors to create some fun colors (about 280 standard metallic spot colors on top of the standard Silvers and Golds).  Metallic inks have become more affordable, easier to run and the version we use at Nahan is also Low VOC.  Foils can be much more expensive than Metallic inks, making metallic a more affordable substitute.  Here are a couple of helpful links on metallic ink usage from Eckart’s website:

There are several levels of brilliance that can be used in your project, some that rival foil stamping.

 

Tips

Things to remember when using a Metallic:

  • Always request a drawdown of your color
  • Metallic inks are more brilliant on gloss coated paper
  • If using a metallic on the cover or outside of a mailer you should protect the ink with a varnish or coating

Learn more about Nahan and our capabilities by contacting us today.

About the Blogger: Jim Hesch is a Department Leader at Nahan Printing and has been in the printing industry since 1973. He has held the positions of Press Operator, Operations Manager, and Customer Service Leader.  Jim loves visiting his grandchildren, teaching them to play guitar and reminding them that grades are more important than sports.

Nahan Wins Gold at the Annual Gold Ink Awards

SAINT CLOUD, MN – September 6, 2019 –

Nahan Wins Awards

Printing Impressions magazine, producer of the annual Gold Ink Awards, announced that Nahan has received a Gold Award in the Consumer Catalogs, Web category for production of the Neiman Marcus 2018 Christmas Catalog. The Gold Ink awards are considered the industry’s most prestigious print competition. Nahan was also recognized with two Bronze awards and seven Pewter awards in the following categories:

  • Consumer Catalogs, Web
  • Business Catalogs, Web
  • Digital Printing, Brochures & Booklets
  • Dimensional Printing

Gold Ink Selection Process

This year’s Gold Ink Award winners were chosen from nearly 600 entries submitted within 47 different categories, including: Books, Catalogs, Commercial Printing, Digital Printing, Magazines, Packaging, and many more.

Winning pieces were chosen based on print quality, technical difficulty, and overall visual effect. All winners can be found at https://www.piworld.com/extension/gold-ink-awards/

“It is great to be recognized by Printing Impressions for the quality of work we put into every product, each and every day. We are once again, very proud of our team’s commitment and dedication to quality; an asset that continues to set us apart in the industry.” said John Klumb, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

About Nahan

Nahan Printing is a Minnesota-based, independent, family-owned, world class printer committed to providing end-to-end solutions that add value to our clients. Since its inception in 1962, Nahan has specialized in catalog and direct mail printing for industries such as retail, financial services, non-profit and hospitality. With a client roster of legendary brands, Nahan prints iconic work that represents the highest level of quality and innovation in the industry. For more information about Nahan, please visit http://www.Nahan.com.