PRX projects 50% growth after Mark Andy installation

PrintAction Staff
August 15, 2018
By PrintAction Staff
 L to R: Kristina Sauve, Office & Production Manager; Debbie Gilbert, President; and Andrew Stewart, Press Operator at PRX Print.
L to R: Kristina Sauve, Office & Production Manager; Debbie Gilbert, President; and Andrew Stewart, Press Operator at PRX Print.
Full-service label manufacturer and print agency PRX Print projects 50 percent growth after its recent Mark Andy Digital One installation.

Founded in 2010, the Mississauga, Ont., company provides full-service packaging solutions to customers across a range of industries, offering clients “one-stop packaging shopping” for printed labels, forms, boxes and shrink sleeves. Additionally, it provides marketing agency-type services such as graphic design, packaging consulting and support services for tradeshow and product rollout programs to support branding strategies.

Due to increasing demands, printed labels became a larger part of the PRX Print product mix and the company was experiencing strong demand for cost-effective, short-run digital labels with fast turnaround times. Trends toward just-in-time ordering, small-quantity, multiple-version printing, coupled with often-changing label regulations and the need to contain costs, were key factors in driving this growth, PRX Print estimates.

As a brokerage, PRX Print had limited control over the production process and timelines, illuminating an opportunity to leverage these trends with the ability to offer fast label printing turnaround times. In a move to  maximize profitability and increase customer satisfaction, Debbie Gilbert, owner of PRX Print, began the search in early 2017 for an in-house label printing solution.

“We recognized a need for fast turnaround times and high-quality finished products, and we decided to gain control over this aspect of our business,” she says.

Gilbert researched a variety of digital label printing technologies and product offerings, and her search led her to the recently launched Mark Andy Digital One hybrid label press. She says key features that drew her to the Digital One are the “pay as you go” no-click-charge structure, an eco-friendly footprint with minimal waste, the toner-based technology and all-in-one (printing and die-cutting) functionality. In contrast to inkjet digital presses, the Digital One’s dry toner technology fuses ink right into the label substrate, designed to ensure maximum print adhesion and durability.

Additionally, the hybrid feature means the Digital One has a flexo print station that can be used for embellishments such as cold foil, spot colours, varnishes and laminations. Finally, the flexibility of the Digital One to print small-run, multiple-version high-quality labels with inline die-cutting is well-aligned with PRX Print’s core goal to penetrate that market opportunity.

When the Digital One was delivered, Gilbert and her team received training at their Mississauga facility. One week later, they received an urgent request from a long-time customers in the fresh produce industry.

“A couple of days after training, one of our customers called us in a panic. He had a truckload of fresh blueberries that had arrived in clamshells without labels. If he didn’t get them labelled within 24 hours, they’d go to waste. Had we been still just a broker, we wouldn’t have been able to help him,” Gilbert says. “Our in-house graphic designer came up with a design based on a photo the customer provided, and it was approved and printed within hours and the entire order was delivered the following morning. That was the first job for our Digital One.”

Since the blueberry success story, PRX Print has been supporting its clients with same-day printed samples for new product launches, small batch labels for colour testing and provide same- or next-day custom label design and printing on an ongoing basis with the entry-level digital hybrid machine.

PRX Print says it has been experiencing aggressive growth in sales and profits prior to acquiring the Digital One, growing by over 45 percent in 2016 and over 25 percent in 2017. In 2018, Gilbert projects the company’s growth at more than 50 percent over 2017, primarily due to the new in-house printing capabilities and customer responsiveness.

Gilbert says she already has her eye on additional opportunities to expand the label manufacturing side of her company. PRX Print plans to tap into the Digital One’s label embellishment features such as decorative cold foils and spot varnishes, and she sees advanced, inline decoration as an avenue for revenue growth, with the potential addition of a new production-level digital asset in 2019.

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