Saturday, December 15, 2012

Oki & Ricoh "My Top Choices for Print Shop in a Box"

The print4pay market, some will say it is one of the hardest accounts to break into and others will say they are the easiest to breakdown the walls and establish long term relationships.

As B2C color improves, along with improved thick stock media ability, there are a few color printers that I'll refer to as a "Print Shop in Box". You might ask what's a print shop in a box, I got this saying from a printer in New Jersey that referred to his color printer as a "Print Shop in a Box" and the term has stuck with me. That printer was referring to the quality of color, the ability to handle many different types of media (envelopes too), and the ruggedness to run 60K, 70K or more worth of prints per month!

When I look at some color laser printers that would fit the mold of the "Print Shop in a Box", the Oki PRO920WT, Oki pro511DW and the Ricoh C831DN have what it takes.  I'm thinking we'll see many additional "niche" type printers as the demand for office printed page declines.

We'll take a brief look at the Oki pro511DW. Imagine this a color A3 LED printer that will print full color labels with variable data from a roll of media (3 inch core) ! I love the concept, have never seen one, but wish I was able to sell some of  these.

Here's a quick run down with specs:

Can operate in continuous of cut sheet modes, continuous web printing at up to 30 feet per minute, cut sheet printing at up to 36 pages per minute in color, HD color printing and Single Pass Color digital technologies, continuous media feed allows for nonstop imaging, variable data printing on variable length media, ability to cut and reload between printing jobs without operator intervention, Automatic cut-on-the-fly command, width flexibility from 8.0" up to 12.9", 2 part consumables for efficient cost of operation, 2 year on-site warranty for lower operating cost, 80-90 pre-qualified media specs can be loaded into the media manager.

Where can you expect to get traction for these devices?  My first thought is the food service business, any company that needs to put labels on packages, cans, bottles, etc.  Local grocery stores that buy in bulk and then repackage foods, CRD, print shop, retail chains and just about every business that may be outsourcing labels.  Need to know more?  Go here 

Next week, I'll go over some of the awesome media capabilities that make the Ricoh SPC831DN another one of my choices for "Print Shop in a Box".For those of you who can't wait I put this blog together a few weeks ago when Ricoh launched the SPC831DN.

 Here's a few tips I put together for marketing to Print Shops:

1. You've got to know your product upside down and inside out! They have no time for someone who lacks product knowledge. You must also know their language.

2. Also be ready to ROI sell them, if it is a new product, be ready to show them how to make more money with your product or how to increase their productivity.

3. Go out and invest in a artist portfolio, one that will hold 12x18 documents and build a library of samples and stocks to show them. Keep this with you at all times and also make sure you get samples of jobs from other printers that were done with your equipment!

4. Memorize your cpc's and the competitors cpc's, already be ready to have an answer for single click billing on 11x17.

5. Cold calling has always worked best for me, the first call is treated as a look see and introduction and that's it. Keep visiting them every few months and you will gain their trust.

6. Treat them like as #1 TOP Priority, some printers have incredible volumes and they need to be treated as #1 when there service call comes in.

7. They are in business to make money and if you can show them a way to make more they will listen. If selling them a new product such as wide format, offer to conduct a marketing blitz for them. Meaning, you take two days a month for the next three months to cold call for them their literature. Make sure you bring them back all of the business cards and you keep copies for your self. Never know what you may stumble across.

Special thanx to Shaja from the Print4Pay Hotel forums for this quote:

Be aware that not all printers have embraced digital printing and you will be competing against press manufacturers. (By my digital printing definition, I am including good high-volume copier/printer systems such as Konica's bizhub 1050 with digital presses such as Kodak's NexPress.) Actually, you are competing against digital presses (ie., NexPress, iGen, Indigo, Xeikon) AND traditional presses designed for short runs (ie., Printmaster). So, in addition to being informed about other copier vendors' products, get informed about the big iron products, too.

Some printers are still VERY skeptical of digital's quality - be able to demonstrate how good digital actually looks and holds up (Art's portfolio suggestion above). And if you can get your hands on some digital press samples to compare against, even better. I have a color sample from a Heidelberg that my Konica bizhub color stacks up very well against.

Some printers are interested in digital's cost benefits but haven't been able to wrap their minds around the technology transition (for example, read up on UV coating). And, some of them have this unconscious mindset that if the technology can't be traced back to Gutenberg, then it's not really printing! So, don't go in with an attitude that you can change their world, because that's not what they want! Respect their past and their industry's traditions.

-=Good Selling=-

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