July 12, 2021 By PrintAction Staff
Brad Ranson is a sales manager at Komcan. Besides Komori, Komcan is the exclusive Canadian distributor for Kuda, Finito and AMS Spectral. The 25-year-old is super excited about the technological changes that are strengthening the printing industry.
How does your company innovate after nearly eight seven years in business?
BR: Komcan is entering its eighth year as the Canadian distributor of printing solutions. However, our roots run deep. Founded in 1923, Komori is nearing its 100th anniversary.
Komcan follows the Komori motto of “Kando – Continuous Improvement”. Anyone who has owned a Komori press can see this. Whether it’s in improvements on the press or customer experiences or a minor tweak, Komcan and Komori strive for perfection.
We continue to innovate by increasing productivity with our new GL/GLX Advance series of machines, and transforming pressroom management through our cloud based, KP-Connect. We are excited about the NS40 B1-size inkjet digital printing solution. It features brand new inkjet technology that will change the landscape of printing for years to come. With the acquisition of MBO, Komori offers end-to-end pressroom solutions, no matter the need.
In such a competitive landscape, how can printers win more sales?
BR: In the competitive landscape we live in, it has to go beyond the actual product. Every press can print a sellable sheet. Someone will be willing to sell for less than you, so we must provide a reason for someone to come back to you. Having the technology and infrastructure to provide a sharp, repeatable and cost-effective sheet will help drive sales.
What is the state of the print industry?
BR: As everything else, it’s been a tough year. Thankfully, a lot of our printers are essential businesses and were able to keep operating safely. Print might not be as strong as the “good old days” I keep hearing about, but that’s why we innovate. With the introduction of production inkjet and nanographic technologies, and innovations in the sheetfed world, the industry is diversifying itself. There is no longer one way to print a piece; printers now have multiple options to complete a job.
What are some of the biggest opportunities in the print industry?
BR: Print is print; it always has been and will always be [there]. A lot of people outside our industry view online or digital products as a competitor to print, but it’s really a compliment. Print has started to innovate using digital technologies. We’re seeing it in the augmented reality applications that are starting to come out. Right now, there’s a big boom in custom packaging. Production inkjet technology has allowed printers to turn around custom packaging quicker than ever while also making it cost-effective for shorter runs.
What attracted you to the industry in the first place? How did you get your start?
BR: As they say, print is in my blood. My grandfather worked on presses, and my dad has been on the sales side of the business all his life. My dad used to bring home lenticular print samples. I think what grabbed my attention first is the fact that print is more than just posters and CD jackets.
When I was 15 years old, I worked a summer feeding a saddle stitcher and stripping skids. Witnessing the stitching of magazines, and understanding the full process from print to finishing, opened my eyes to the work that goes into many of the print products we take for granted. When I was 17, I started working summers with our Komcan service crew on press removals. In university, I took on a parts role with Komcan for two years, and upon graduation started selling in Western Canada.
Why do you think print continues to be relevant in a digital future?
BR: Print will never be irrelevant. As a youngster in this industry, I don’t know a single person who reads e-books. I don’t know anyone who’s ever purchased a digital magazine. I do know people who throw out their coupons, but not even one person who prints off email coupons. The tactile touch, feel, and even smell of holding a physical item in your hands will always have more value than a downloaded file.
What do you think is the most exciting thing about print today?
BR: The technology being released today is super exciting. With inline sheet inspection, auto nonstop feeder, logistics systems for pile transport, there are so many options to increase productivity. Colour, registration and loading of skids can be controlled without manual input from the operator, thus allowing them to focus on the task at hand. In the folder world, MBO now even offers a robotic arm palletizer that removes the need for a second hand on the folder completely.
Ranson’s responses were edited for length. For more Q&A Spotlight interviews, please visit www.printaction.com/profile.
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