April 5, 2019 By Stefano Ruccia
Since installing Canada’s first Xerox Iridesse production press in June 2018, PrintPro Digital & Offset Printing has been finding success with its new printing capabilities. Developed to digitally print metallic gold or silver dry ink, CMYK and clear dry ink in a single pass, the new press is expected to help the Winnipeg family-owned and -run company enter new markets, such as packaging. PrintAction spoke with Bhadresh Bhatt about PrintPro’s achievements after installing the Iridesse and the opportunities to come.
PA: Why did PrintPro opt for the Iridesse?
BB: We have been a loyal Xerox customer since we started 30 years ago and believe strongly in investing in new technology. We want [our equipment] to stay current and thought this would be the best opportunity since we are focused on growing the digital short-run aspect of our business. [Since installing the Iridesse], our business has picked up and we have gained new clients. For our existing customers, we have been able to add value and offer different features to them in a cost-effective manner that we were not able to do before, especially utilizing the gold and silver inks. Most of the market is now short-run, on-demand printing and with our new capabilities, we’re able to offer these [services] in a much quicker timeframe and at a competitive price. Our goal is to increase our digital sales by double digits every year. The market demand is there and thanks to the new equipment we have and our partnership with Xerox, I’m sure we are on the right path to achieving these objectives.
PA: How has PrintPro marketed its new capabilities?
BB: Our approach to marketing our new capabilities and equipment has been one of the most exciting opportunities for us, from the sales and production perspectives. We have targeted our existing customers with the help of our production team and supplied them with CMYK + gold or silver samples of their existing print jobs. We provided a few samples printed with their own artwork and our clients called back just astounded with how impressive the digital embellishments look. This has been a great way for us to cement our relationship with them and offer them something unique. We have also had a targeted focus on specific industries which our sales staff is responsible for managing. Finally, we have an open house planned for spring 2019 so that new, existing and potential clients can see [our new press] live in production and [experience] the new capabilities firsthand. We have already invited a few key customers to come and they were surprised with the features of the press.
PA: In this competitive landscape, how can printing companies stay innovative?
BB: When you keep pace with current technology being offered in the market, it helps you reduce your labour costs for more cost-effective production. That’s the way you stay competitive. [The print industry] is a pretty competitive market across Canada as well as North America, especially in Winnipeg. The only way is to stay current with today’s technology and offer new capabilities and printing features at a competitive price. Over the last 30 years, I have seen a lot of [printing companies] fail because [their equipment became outdated over time and] they didn’t keep up with innovative print technology. You either stay with the current technology or perish. That’s the way it is — it’s as simple as that. You have to understand the competitive environment, you have to control your costs, and you have to keep competitive pricing. It’s important to keep your customers happy and also gain new customers. If you don’t invest in new technology, the only way you go is down and out of business.
PA: What kind of growth potential do you see in the toner space?
BB: As mentioned before, our goal is to increase our digital sales by double digits every year. We believe this type of growth is a realistic possibility because the market is there and customer preferences have drastically shifted, favouring more short-run printing. With the addition of our new Xerox as well as numerous digital finishing equipment, I’m positive we are able to achieve that.
PA: Where does digital fit in the future of print?
BB: Digital printing is an area of expected growth within the print industry. We see this growth occurring in digital labels, packaging and short-run or variable printing. Our customer needs are shifting to more on-demand jobs; they want 1,000 or 2,000 specialty prints within one to two business days. While we will always maintain in-house offset printing equipment, digital production is our main business. And it’s not just us — I see this as an industry trend year after year.
This Q&A was originally published in the April 2019 issue of PrintAction, now available online.
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