When your geographical location puts you a stone’s throw away from any number of competitors how do you stand out? That was the question asked by Neil Stones, managing director of Fuller Davies. His answer was a KODAK NEXPRESS SX3300 Digital Production Color Press.
Celebrating its 30th year in business next year, the £3.2m turnover operation with 28 employees at its 17,500 sq ft Suffolk site welcomed the new addition in December.
“We operate in an area with a lot of other printers and everyone bought the same kit, worked with the same customers and employed the same staff. It was also very generic,” comments Mr. Stones. “We identified that what differentiated us was the people and our customer service strengths. Price quality and turnaround is part of the mix too.”
“We also focused on environmental aspects of print. In the digital age, print had become a dirty word associated with chemicals and ink. But print has cleaned up its act.” Fuller Davies is FSC and ISO14001 accredited and winners of the Suffolk Carbon Charter Silver Award. According to the World Land Trust it is the producer of the most carbon balanced print jobs in the U.K.
Finding the perfect fit
“So when we look to work with suppliers and customers, we try and find really good fit,” enthuses Mr. Stones. “Part of that is reducing the amount of paper and consumables we use and that is where the KODAK NEXPRESS Press can help. We can save on sheets and make-readies which also reduces energy consumption and time on press.”
While Mr. Stones said the company’s ethos is a key influencer on buying decisions, a vital consideration was quality, “That is the one thing we cannot get away from. Kodak had its printer’s head on when it made the press. The KODAK NEXPRESS Press is a printer’s press. It is 4.5 tonnes of beautifully manufactured machine. No machine has higher register accuracy. There is a proper sidelay for top quality finishing. It also offers so many options - RGB, light black, dimensional and long sheet. The results of the dimensional ink are amazing and I cannot wait for a customer to come up with a really clever design. Also with B1 printing, A4 landscape was impossible but it can be done on the KODAK NEXPRESS Press as it can print 914 x 356 sheets with 904 x 340 imaging format thanks to the Long Sheet feeder. Then the light black makes such a difference to tints and screens. This has been an Achilles heel in the past but this is the best I have seen. The matt roller is another great feature.”
"Better than litho"
He continues, “The KODAK NEXPRESS Press will also give us the speed and capability to take short run faster turnaround work from our litho presses and because it runs the same stock there will be no noticeable difference. When people ask for 50 advanced copies, we know we can deliver it to them.” He adds, “Some people say it is better than litho in some jobs.”
As for the anticipated customer buy-in, he states, “We work 75% with end users and 25% with agencies. We know the 25% will appreciate unique finishes and different possibilities. It is a good customer base that is always looking for creative angles, truly unique short runs at a great cost point. We also have a strong mailing house sector that is now finding its sweet spot. There are lots of things the KODAK NEXPRESS Press could allow us to do there.”
He expands, “Direct mail has had a renaissance in the past two to three years with digital campaigns including a print back-up with mixed and multimedia elements. People do want that printed piece in their hand. The response rates are incredible.”
Another service Fuller Davies is promoting is its web-to-print portal and Mr. Stones expects the KODAK NEXPRESS Press to help support that, “We work with ROI 360 as a software partner to develop the most effective database tailored to specific demographics.”
Mr. Stones concludes, “There is no doubt about it, this digital technology is at its Zenith and that is often a good time to buy.”
Martin Mayo, Cluster Director UK & Nordic Vice President Kodak, EAMER, says, “Fuller Davies’ decision to invest in a KODAK NEXPRESS SX3300 Digital Production Color Press again demonstrates the flexibility of this hugely versatile press. Its ability to readily support litho work as well as the digital demands of web-to-print, plus the creative requirements of agencies, enables it to be all things to very many different people. For Fuller Davies this means comprehensive support for a broadening customer base that will enable it to grow its business in a number of directions.”