Guest View: Economic Malaise, Plethora of Vendor Intros Among Highlights From ACCM
* Abacus One, the newest generation of Abacus modeling, is responsible for more than half of all Abacus volume, indicating both wide acceptance and good success in replacing the older generation of models. Abacus seems to have shifted into an even higher gear and was delivering state-of-the-art co-op database solutions from matchbacks with Channelview to Abacus One to a suite of models and analytic approaches for midsized catalogs.
* NextAction opened up the “black box” of modeling and made a strong case that its next generation of modeling has the potential to deliver more responsive and larger universes of profitable names.
* Printers continue to jump on the co-mail bandwagon as a significant opportunity to cut postage costs. Quad/Graphics, Quebecor World, Arandell, Brown Printing and Transcontinental all laid out state-of-the-art co-mail solutions for in-line and off-line co-mailing.
* Don Cooke from Midland Paper shared his assessment of the paper market, projecting that there’s likely to be a $2/cwt increase on either July 1 or Oct. 1.
The recession-like economy is having negative effects on catalogers, Cooke noted, and the printer’s catalog customers are quite nervous about prospects for holiday sales. Imports of coated paper are down more than 30 percent due to the exchange rates in Europe and Canada.
Additionally, exports from North America are up double digits. “These forces,” Cooke said, “will play a roll if the second half of the year tightens. Demand has been severely weakened from the postage and paper increases of the last nine months.”
Right now, Cooke noted, all grades of paper are available, although SCA-plus grades have seen robust conversion from coated paper customers trying to save money.
* CognitiveDATA’s proprietary changes of address solutions were highlighted with its “Cut the Crap” theme at the show. Mailers are turning to PCOA hygiene to cut anywhere from 3 percent to 10 percent of waste from their housefile mailings.