Archive | August, 2010

Perfect Binding or Lay Flat Binding? And what’s all this talk about PUR?

26 Aug

For many years, the term perfect binding referred to only one style of binding. Today, the term has expanded to include the use of specialty adhesives, and a variation of perfect binding called Lay Flat Binding. When requesting binding services, be sure to specify both the type of binding and the adhesive you have in mind for your project.

Put simply, perfect binding is a method of binding that puts all the signatures or pages together into a book block, roughens the binding edge, and uses a flexible adhesive to attach the paper cover to the book block. Paperback novels are one example of perfect bound books. Booklets, telephone directories, and some magazines use perfect binding methods. Compared to other binding methods, perfect binding is quite durable and has a low to medium cost.

Traditional perfect binding methods use a hot-melt adhesive which, while still a great method of binding, can have some limitations in certain usages. A superior type of adhesive called PUR (Polyurethane Reactive) is the strongest, most flexible book binding adhesive available. It offers superior page-pull strength over that of standard hot melt binding adhesives, making PUR ideal for heavy-use applications or projects with heavy ink or coating coverage. Foldouts, mixed stocks and other options are no problem with PUR adhesive binding. PUR is also the ideal adhesive to withstand all temperatures as it undergoes a curing process which means neither heat nor cold will affect the binding quality. Mediascope uses PUR adhesive in almost all of its perfect binding.

Some applications call for the look of perfect binding combined with the ability of a book to lay flat when opened. A variation of traditional perfect binding is called Lay Flat binding The cover is glued only to the sides of the spine so that a perfect bound book can lay flat when open. A strip of gauze is glued to the spine edge of the book block to hold the signatures or pages together.  This allows the book block to “float” over the spine and lay flat when opened. In traditional perfect binding, the cover is actually glued to the spine of the book which means the book will not open as far as a lay flat book.

Here at Mediascope, we offer three styles of perfect binding. For low volumes of book binding, our most cost-effective means of binding is traditional perfect binding using a hot-melt adhesive. For higher volumes, we offer PUR adhesive in both traditional perfect and lay flat binding.

The type of book being produced will most likely drive the decision as to which type of binding is best for your book. Don’t hesitate to call us at 1-888-644-0844 and discuss your specific project with a product specialist to ensure you are getting the right type of binding and adhesive for your book.

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Mediascope, Winner of Prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility

18 Aug

We were recently featured on the front cover of the Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association’s (MFSA) monthly magazine, Postscript. We’re so pleased to receive this recognition that we just had to share it with you!  To see the article at it appeared in the magazine, go to our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Winona-MN/MEDIASCOPE/112253638817965. Thanks for sharing our excitement with us!   

Mediascope, Inc. of Winona, MN, a solutions provider which specializes in bringing marketing, print and bindery, direct mail, and fulfillment offerings to a variety of regional and national customers, was recently named a winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility. This award distinguishes them as one of the top practitioners of workplace flexibility in the nation.   

With fewer than 30 employees, Mediascope is considered a small company by many standards, but it offers huge benefits to employees in terms of flexibility.   

“In addition to regular benefits such as health insurance, a matching retirement program, and paid holidays, as a small, tight-knit organization we are able to offer our employees the added benefits of flexibility in scheduling and providing input towards decisions,” said David Steinquist, owner and CEO of Mediascope.    

The Alfred P. Sloan Award is a prestigious national award. Started nationally in 2003 and in Winona in 2007, this collaborative effort recognizes employers across the country that are successfully using flexibility to meet both business and employee goals. Only 26 communities across the nation were selected to participate in this program in 2010.   

Applications for the award are evaluated in a two-step process that measures an employer’s workplace flexibility programs, policies and culture against national data from Families and Work Institute’s National Study of Employers.   

The first round consists of a survey completed by the employer. Employers that rank in the top 20% when compared to the national norms are selected as finalists. The final round involves a survey given to employees that will validate the employer’s responses to survey questions. The selection of winners is based on a score that combines employer and employee responses.   

Each year, applicants receive the results of their survey which includes a benchmark report of how they compare with other applicants and with nationally representative data for U.S. employers. This provides valuable information to employers to help them know where they stand and how they might improve in the future.   

(l to r) Nick Schmitz, David Steinquist, Patti Reick, and Eric Swan are shown with the 2010 Alfred P. Sloan Award.

 

As the only company to win the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility each of the four years the program has been offered in Winona, the award is particularly meaningful for Mediascope.    

“It is sometimes difficult to assess how our employees view us as an employer,” said Steinquist. “Since this award is largely based on employee responses to survey questions, receiving this award for four consecutive years tells us that our employees are both loyal and appreciative of what we are able to do for them.”   

As long as customers’ needs are met, Mediascope employees are given the opportunity to provide input towards work schedules. As a result, first shift production workers have chosen to work four nine-hour shifts and one four-hour shift each week while second shift has elected to work four 10-hour shifts. Employees have also agreed on break schedules to fit the needs of personal lifestyles.   

Office employees also have flexibility with their schedules as long as they ensure each area of specialty is covered at all times. Schedules for lunch and break periods are worked out between employees on a day-by-day basis.   

Stacy Zanzig, Mediascope’s Mail Services Specialist, said, “As an employee of Mediascope, I value the flexibility the company offers to me. I am able, within reason, to adjust my schedule based on workload and personal life. This allows me to be active in our community with volunteer organizations and gives me the opportunity to be a well-rounded person. As a result, this makes me a better employee because I am more willing to give 110% because I know I will get that in return when I have an outside commitment. The value that Mediascope places on a work/life balance is a tremendous benefit that you cannot put a price tag on.”   

One example of a valuable benefit Mediascope offers its employees is Paid Time Off (PTO). Rather than offering paid sick leave days (which would mean fewer paid vacation days each year), the company lumps the two benefits together into PTO which allows the employees to choose whether to use the time as sick leave or for other personal requests such as vacation or appointments.  Also, when the production schedule allows, employees are given the opportunity to take unpaid time off at their request. This is a popular choice for many people during the summer months or in the event of a family emergency.   

“I am a single parent of four children. When I started working at Mediascope in March of 2000, I had many non-work related situations to deal with since my children ranged in age from 3rd to 11th grades. It was made clear to me when I started that my employers were interested in the well-being of my family, as well as in my work. One of my first summers here, I asked if I could leave at noon so that I could spend more time with my children. The answer, without any hesitation, was ‘yes.’   I think one of the most meaningful things that happened to me here is my employer’s desire to place me in a position which suited my strengths. I have done many types of jobs here but when we found the right fit, I was placed in it and in a position of leadership. Mediascope still allows me last-minute requests to leave or shift my hours. I have never received a ‘no.’ My employers are also interested in what I think; they let me contribute more than just my hours. I can say with complete honesty that I love my job and want to give more whenever I can,” said Cathy Afman, the Fulfillment area lead co-worker.   

 “The award has helped our employees see the benefit of flexibility,” offered Steinquist. “In addition, we’ve seen an increase in the employees’ willingness to give us flexibility in return at times we need it, such as when a piece of equipment goes down and is waiting for repairs.”   

Mediascope began almost 12 years ago by serving customers in the areas of fulfillment and direct mail services. Since then, it has added a full range of customizable business solutions including digital print, social marketing, e-store design and hosting, email programs, and virtual office capabilities, along with other options also designed to help businesses compete in today’s world.

Looking to Increase Your Customer Base?

12 Aug

Would you like to add to your current list of clients? Perhaps you have expanded into a new market and would like to do a mailing in order to reach some additional people?

Whatever your reasons for wanting to expand your marketing outreach, Mediascope can help! We have access to many types of mailing lists which can help you reach new customers. We have lists available on a variety of demographics to suit your needs.

Lists come in two main types – Consumer and Resident.

Consumer files are typically less expensive because they saturate an area, but you do not get a customer name to go along with the address. A mailing to these clients would normally be addressed “To Our Friends At.”

Resident files are a bit more expensive, but allow for a wide variety of options in order to narrow the field to the exact type of customer that would fit your demographics. For example, we could search for homeowners with an income over $100,000 within 50 miles of your city.

The possibilities are endless! Selecting specific demographics will affect pricing, but the options allow you to narrow the search to the type of customer that would best fit your needs. Another factor which will affect pricing is whether you choose a list for a one-time use, or for multiple uses over a specified period of time.

And don’t forget, in addition to providing mailing lists, we can also help you design, print, and mail your piece!

Right on Target at Mediascope!

4 Aug

If you look closely at our logo, you will see a bulls-eye behind the word Mediascope. You will also see our slogan is “Right on Target.”

What does “Right on Target” mean to you? To us at Mediascope, it means we aim to hit the bulls-eye with everything we do. We’re shooting for a perfect score every time.

Our slogan also means achieving excellence. Our goal is to provide winning solutions, top-level service, and quality finished products for you and your business. Take a look at our website at http://www.mediascopeinc.com  to see the services and solutions we provide.

There’s an old saying that claims if you are aiming for nothing, you will hit it every time. We set our sights higher than that. We aim to be the best.