For the last three years, the Minuteman franchise in Bath, U.K., has grown at enviable clips between 25 and 33 percent, fueled by print services on their Xerox Color 1000 Press. So when the firm sought to upgrade a Xerox Color 550 Production Copier Printer that served as both a backup printer and an office copier, they wanted a press that could fulfill the office copier role while sharing more of the growing production print volume.
They got that and more when they chose to invest in a new Xerox Versant 80 Press, which has raised the bar sufficiently on image quality to “come into its own as a second production machine,” said Dave Dixon, sales and marketing director, Minuteman Press. The new press uses Xerox-exclusive Ultra-HD Resolution, which combines 2400 x 2400 dots-per-inch (dpi) imaging with up to 1200 x 1200 x 10-bit RIP rendering to produce images with four times the resolution of industry-standard 8-bit technology.
“We first saw the Versant series at the (Xerox) Premier Partners Congress in Madrid (in 2014),” Dixon explained. “We really liked it—the high-definition resolution, the flatter matte finish rather than the fuser oil kind of look, the quality of what came off the press. The product fit our purpose and was at the right price point, so we figured, ‘We’ll go for it.’” They acquired the Versant 80 Press in March 2015.
For three straight years, this printer has grown at a rapid clip. What's the secret to their success?
But they weren’t done. In November Minuteman upgraded its Color 1000 Press to the Color 1000i—adding a fifth toner station for clear, gold metallic and silver metallic dry inks—along with an inline GBC finisher that provides wire binding and hole punching. A second GBC unit was subsequently acquired for the Versant 80 for finishing consistency and backup.
Each new device has helped the franchise step up to more value-added work involving variable information printing, fulfillment, and one-stop shopping for a full range of conference materials including both design and printing of banners, brochures, folders and other pieces, Dixon said.
The offset-like image quality off the Versant 80 has helped the franchise get more business from creative agencies that prefer the offset-like look, Dixon said. The press also contributes greater media latitude to handle thicker stocks and envelopes. “We do some direct mail, not a lot, but I see it as a growth area, especially because the Versant lets us run envelopes with more confidence.”
Dixon promoted the 1000i’s gold, silver and clear capabilities on social media even before the press was installed, resulting in numerous inquiries. “The silver and gold is extremely popular.” Within the first few weeks of the press’s installation, the Minuteman team had used metallic toner on a number of applications, including business cards, and also was running high-definition Versant prints through the Color 1000i to add clear and metallic effects.
As for the GBC finishers, Dixon said, “They let us say, ‘yes,’ to more jobs. They’ve saved us so much time on large-run reports.” And when perfect binding is required, Dixon works with a fellow Xerox Premier Partner who has those capabilities in-house.
The Versant press, in particular, has impressed him. “The key with the Versant is quality and reliability,” Dixon said. “Ten years ago, I remember seeing a Xerox engineer in here every week. I think we’ve only had an engineer in for the Versant on one occasion. It just keeps going.”
And so does the growth at Minuteman Press of Bath.