Delivering Value to your Clients: Expand your Offerings with Performance, Image Quality and AutomationSubmitted by Bill Michael
April 23rd, 2013
Written by Chris Irick
Worldwide Marketing Manager, Xerox Corporation
Whether you are a seasoned digital print provider or new to the world of digital print after making the leap from offset lithography – one thing remains constant: your customers of today and tomorrow have choices. To remain competitive and capture their business, you must stay on the cusp of the latest technology and provide customers and prospects with a compelling reason to choose your offerings. What sets your business apart? Is it print quality, outstanding service, a wide gamut of substrate offerings, the fastest turnaround times in town, web-to-print capabilities, or variable data services? What about expanding your business’ offerings by becoming a one-stop service provider to your clients?
In an early 2013 PrintWeek feature, the Staffordshire-based British printer, KJB, shared their experience of this first-hand when they decided that the £1,000 worth of work per month they were outsourcing to local digital printers warranted a conversation of acquiring a digital press of their own. This was completely unchartered waters for KJB, who in their twenty-year history had owned nothing but offset lithographic presses. Commercial Director, Stephen Egerton, described the need to venture into digital offerings as one that would allow the company to “better serve the clients we had and also to expand that list of clients.” KJB began a rigorous search for the right digital press for their business, and found many advantageous offerings with the Xerox DocuColor 8080 Digital Press, including the ability to produce 80 A4 pages per minute at a resolution of 2,400dpi, and auto duplex capabilities at rated speeds on all weights and sizes up to 300gsm.
Quality-driven automation is also a key component of the DocuColor 8080, as its Automated Color Quality Suite helps to streamline automation within your print shop. This is done by delivering excellent color quality that is consistent and repeatable; reducing operator intervention and increasing uptime through auto calibration, advanced profiling and spot color calibration. While KJB initially began by just producing the £1,000 worth of jobs they had previously been outsourcing, the company slowly began moving some of the shorter-run offset jobs onto the DocuColor 8080, opening the company to new growth opportunities. They slowly began to see a steady increase in the usage of their digital press – from three hours a day, to five hours a day – making way to the now daily 10 hours of print runs that have become commonplace – with roughly 300,000 impressions per month. Egerton states that quality has been the key differentiator, as it has “meant existing customers have increased their work with us and have kept coming back. It has also meant we have won work from the customers of print shops with older digital gear, looking for the highest quality possible.”
With the addition of their new Xerox DocuColor 8080, KJB was able to grow their business by expanding their offerings to clients. How do you differentiate your print business? Is it through superior print quality, streamlined automation, or the ability to deliver a wide range of specialty substrates to clients such as polyester, vellum, magnet, NeverTear and vinyl?
Interested more posts related to delivering value to your customers? You may also like:
- How do I Market Better and Offer Marketing Services?
- Productivity and Versatility: Meet the New Xerox J75 and C75 Color Presses
- You Don’t Have to Become a Marketing Services Provider to Offer Marketing Services
- Tough Questions about the PSP-MSP Evolution
- Business Development: Everything you Need to Grow your Digital Printing Business
Visit Xerox.com to see how the Xerox DocuColor 8080 can help you grow your business, reduce costs through automation and expand your offerings – delivering a commanding ROI to your business
February 5th, 2013
Written by Howard Fenton
Senior Technology Consultant
InfoTrends recently published a study entitled “Print Vs. Non-Print: InfoTrends Analyzes the True Cost of Business Communications.” What was most interesting was the conclusion that in many companies the non-print costs are typically higher than the actual print costs. They conclude that this is a common occurrence in companies where older methods are used.
The study focuses on enterprise-based printing but it is just like a concept used by print service providers of calculating the Total Cost of Operation or TCO. TCO is an important metric in calculating the total cost of a specific job and when you try to cost justify certain software investments such as Print MIS or web-to-print solutions.
Why? Because Print MIS systems and web-to-print solutions automate “soft” functions such as estimating, scheduling, tracking, and billing. The tangible or hard costs include printing, finishing, shipping, storing, and fulfillment. The soft or intangible costs include the design, composition, editing, project management, and administration.
Just as the InfoTrends study found that soft costs can be as significant or more than hard costs in the enterprise, the soft costs for print service providers can also be significant. Tracking jobs, just like estimating, scheduling, customer service, and billing are soft costs. If we just look at the cost of tracking jobs (as they go through the company) we could calculate the cost with this formula.
10 Minutes/Job x 50 Jobs/Day = 500 Minutes x $30/Hr = $250/Day
$250/Day x 19 Work Days/Month = $4,750/Month x 12 = $57,000/Year
One of the misconceptions in our industry is the assumption that a “click cost” is a total cost. While it’s true that click cost often includes the maintenance it does not include the capital investment, the paper, the cost for labor, and the costs for overhead.
Why is TCO important? Because if you understand TCO then you create more accurate estimates and are able to cost justify the advantages of automating the process.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also be interested in:
- Four Web-to-Print Issues You need to Overcome
- When Will Web-to-Print Cross the Chasm
- Is Digital Printing Killing Offset Printing?
- Bolstering the Bread-and-Butter Production Role of Black-and-White Printers
- In-Plant Professionals were In-the-House, Sharing Strategies to take Business to the Next Level
Howard Fenton is a consultant and business advisor at NAPL. Howie advises commercial printers and in-plants on benchmarking performance against industry leaders, increasing productivity through workflow management, adding and integrating new digital services, and adding value through customer research.
January 31st, 2013
Written by Jo Oliphant
Manager, Continuous Feed Europe
When thinking about your business, if you ask yourself the question “how efficient is my business?”, what response would you give? There’s a reasonable chance it falls into one of three (or maybe four) categories…:
- Its XX% efficient, and we’re on a track to drive that to XX% over the coming months by doing X, Y and Z
- I need to ask the Production Manager
- What do you mean by how efficient?
- 100% efficient, as always (this was the 4th one and I have heard it played back to me countless times…)
There’s a relatively simple way of expressing the efficiency of the business, and that’s by looking at the total time available per year and then dividing into it the actual production hours.
If we step down a notch from a complete business and perhaps look at something like a printing press, then we can get a little closer to how this works. The entire years availability is 365 days (leap years excluded) or 8,760 hours. Take a print shop where the shop is open from 7am to 7pm, 5 days per week, or 60 hours. Take that over 52 weeks and we get 3,120 hours of possible availability. If the press was 100% efficient, then the Overall Equipment Efficiency, (OEE) value would be 35.6%.
Most printing presses I know need some time each day for operator maintenance, loading paper, changing plates, submitting new jobs and various other tasks. Occasionally a press will need some down time for maintenance too – so even the 35.6% is optimistic! In fact, one of the biggest impacts to the OEE value is the unexpected catastrophic stop, mostly because it’s just that…unexpected.
If you think about this further, it becomes pretty much impossible to hit 100% efficiency unless you have a machine that never misses a beat, and well, they’re fairly rare because invariably humans are involved and aren’t quite so efficient. That said, it is possible through a variety of techniques to improve the OEE of your business. And while we can’t prevent the unexpected stops from happening, we can begin to anticipate when they might happen and maybe reduce the somewhat large troughs in productivity that can and do occur (and usually at the wrong moment).
Now you’re probably thinking, “is that possible?” So, let’s take a situation that might occur in a print shop; think of a press running, the operator hears an unusual noise coming from the machine and it continues to run without any defects to the prints themselves. The noise isn’t so severe that it sounds like the equipment is in its death throws, meaning the operator is presented with three courses of action:
- Do nothing
- Call for maintenance
- Note where the noise was, when it occurred, what jobs were running at the time and tell the service engineer the next time he visits.
Which one do you think has the least impact on productivity?
Of course it’s the last one, because we don’t want to take the press out of production unless we really have to, however, we do want the service engineer to proactively inspect that area in an attempt to anticipate the failure. It could even be that the engineer knows what is going to fail, but doesn’t actually replace it at this service event while proactively ordering a component to replace at the next visit.
Coming back to my original question:
“How efficient is your business”? Are you interested in understanding how it might be improved?
We just might have some answers for you…
With Hunkeler Innovationdays fast approaching, Xerox will be helping customers answer these questions and many more. Be sure to subscribe to this blog to stay up-to-date on the latest news, as well as follow the conversation using #XeroxHunkeler on Twitter.
Interested in similar topics? You may want to check out:
November 1st, 2012
Written by Bill Michael
I’m sure by now you’ve heard it all. Whether trying to convince management to invest in digital printing or trying to maintain the attention of your customers – facing the ‘myths’ of digital printing may still be a lingering reality you face today.
Well, we’re here to dispel some of those myths and provide you with information to better engage with your customers and management. If ‘that doesn’t look like offset’, ‘that run length will cost a fortune’, and ‘the paper options are so limited’ are phrases that sound like a broken record – then keep reading!
Today, more than ever, printers are looking for ways to grow their business and better serve their customer base with fast, efficient, and high quality solutions. Digital printing has helped many do just that.
A recent study found that 4 out of 5 printers state that digital has helped them navigate to new profits. Advancements in the technology behind digital printing, workflow solutions, and the web have certainly helped drive this growth. Short runs, VI, high image quality, and the ability to run on countless stocks are just a few of the major selling points for digital. Productivity is what turns those selling points into realized revenue for the printer. The iGen4 EXP Press, for example, was recently found to have an 85% availability, meaning that 85% of its day the machine is producing sellable prints and generating revenue…to the tune of 5,610 sellable prints an hour.
The fast turn-around times, high image quality, ability to cost effectively produce short-runs, and value-added services such as variable data all contribute to creating interest with customers and generating revenue for printers. In fact, that same study found that 60% of recipients said digital services have improved their customer acquisition and retention.
Visit www.xerox.com/digitaltruths2 to learn more about how Xerox and digital printing are helping to dispel the myths that digital is too costly, can’t produce high enough quality, and can’t be profitable. You could also be entered for a chance to win a free truckload of Xerox Digital Color Xpressions paper.
Do you face any of the digital ‘myths’ with your customers today? What is the ‘myth’ that you spend the most time debunking?
Interested in similar topics to Digital Printing and its place in today’s market? You may want to check out:
October 25th, 2012
Written by Liam Cummings
Marketing Manager, Paper and Value Add Media
The influence of technology on everything we do today is intended to make things simpler and more efficient, eliminating duplicate activities whenever possible. Think of Siri, or a printer that learns your operating hours and adjusts its power cycle accordingly as examples of modern efficiencies. On the paper side of the world this intent was utilized some time back with the use of carbon paper, which was a sheet of paper that essentially had a side coated in ink. This sheet was inserted between sheets of plain paper placed with the ink side down to transfer impressions that were made on the top sheet to the following layers of carbon paper and plain paper. If you signed on the signature line on the top sheet of a contract it carried down the layers to the signature line of the oriented copies below. As a child getting a discarded sheet of carbon paper was fascinating to experiment with. For whatever reason it was more fun to write on the back of the carbon paper to transfer the impression than it was to write directly on the paper.
Carbon-less paper began to evolve sometime after, using the same principle of pressure on the top sheet to transfer the impression but instead of carbon paper it incorporated chemicals encapsulated within the sheet. Thus it is carbon-less paper. The same applications that suited carbon paper are all of that and more today with carbonless paper in conjunction with digital print technology. Multiple industries incorporate these sheets from government to finance to education and pharmaceuticals. Today you can create multi-part business forms on demand from your printer, eliminating the need for high set up costs or inventories that would have been experienced in the past.
Xerox Carbonless Paper has been specifically designed for use in copiers and laser printers from high speed to desktop, from black and white to color, and is guaranteed to run trouble free. The introduction of EA (Emulsion Aggregate) toners (dry ink technology) have required modifications to enable a robust and compatible product in the carbonless lines to be useful across all lines. And Xerox Premium Digital Carbonless is just that. Now is a good time to see for yourself during our Carbonless Bonus Bucks campaign. So as changes progress necessitating other changes to keep current the need to replicate unique identifiable impressions will also continue to develop. How ironic it is that carbon copy forms have evolved into carbonless forms on a copier. How far into technology will this evolve?
May 3rd, 2012
Written By Donna Brick
Marketing Manager, Workflow and Solutions
Over 900 million results when you Google “automatic”. Wow. Automatic transmission, sprinkler system, bill-pay, doors, photo sorter, payroll deductions, vacuum, lawn mower, chicken coop door openers … even an automatic mini donut factory for your home. Wow. I could go on. To say that automation is abundant and evident everywhere we turn is an understatement. But the fact that it is so prevalent in our daily lives means we can easily take it for granted. Or overlook a new way that automation can save time and money….like… finishing of booklets for example. And what a great example that is… given that it is Drupa season and all…
Commercial Printers continue to look for improved operational efficiencies (that’s probably another understatement). There is a need to offset increased costs and downward pricing pressures, often while expanding business with new sales channels and digital sales growth. Compounding this is the growing need to deliver hundreds of jobs daily with ultra low quantities. More often than not, jobs require manual setup of the finisher which means more time to complete each job – more cost, and slower time to delivery.
With an automated start-to-finish workflow, you can effectively automate file submission,
file preparation, file routing and finishing throughout your print operation. Xerox has demonstrated this repeatedly – perhaps you have seen or enjoyed the benefits of the Automatic In-line Finishing Solution. We’re proud to say we’ve taken it a step further … to include automation of off-line booklet finishers as well as in-line. This can mean better utilization of your finishing assets – less errors – less steps in the process – less cost – more jobs out the door – and more revenue. Not to mention more time to enjoy all of the output from your new automatic mini donut factory.
It’s automatic. The Xerox IntegratedPLUS Finishing Solution for Booklets. If you’re at drupa, please visit me in Hall 8B to discuss this exciting solution. Or you can learn more online at http://www.xerox.com/
May 3rd, 2012
Written By Tod Viniski
Worldwide Marketing Manager, Workflow and Solutions
At the heart of the Xerox stand at drupa, you will find four workflow hubs showcasing our most robust collection of software demonstrations in years. These workflow hubs and associated solutions each focus on a major customer theme; grow your business, reduce your cost, produce more jobs, and delight your customers.
Within this customer focus, there are three major workflow themes this year at the show; Automation, Open Solutions, and the Cloud. I would like to focus this blog post on the solutions that support Xerox’s direction toward open platforms and industry standards. This strategic direction for Xerox not only includes, but emphasizes, the vast array of solutions our Xerox Business Innovation Partners bring to the market.
So what can you expect to see at drupa that showcases our open technology approach?
We have an area discussing Freedom to Print, a solution that enables document workflows across both Xerox and non-Xerox print devices. The next generation of Xerox Mobile Print powered by the Cloud will demonstrate mobile printing from an array or smart devices and tablets.
The industry standard for integration and information exchange in a print environment is JDF/JMF. There will be multiple demonstrations utilizing this technology including products from Xerox such as FreeFlow Print Server, FreeFlow Process Manager, FreeFlow Output Manager, FreeFlow Connect, and FreeFlow Web Services. Our partners will also highlight JDF/JMF integration with solutions from Avanti, Ultimate, GMC, Solimar, Bourg, and Horizon to name just a few.
Finally, our suite of variable information tools will demonstrate multiple open solution technologies including PDF/VT and the ability to also submit jobs to both Xerox and non-Xerox devices.
So whether it’s support for multiple display devices, or support for JDF/JMF, or support for printing to both Xerox and non-Xerox devices, you can expect a full array of solutions from Xerox and our partners that allow you to easily deploy new solutions or integrate with your existing workflows via our open solutions approach.
I will be at the show so please stop by and let’s talk about your workflow.