A new horizon for print and communications service providers
Print and communications service providers specializing in direct mail and transactional applications have come a long way in the past decade. To keep pace with our digital world, they have continually evolved their services to meet demands for shorter runs, upselling and personalization. With the introduction and advancements of inkjet, these printers are now able to offer single-pass printing, paving the way for higher margins, lower inventory, and shorter lead times. shorter execution. Let’s take a closer look at the evolution of this market and how Canon’s ColorStream web-fed inkjet technology enables print and communications service providers to improve their product offerings and increase their margins. beneficiaries.
Today’s consumer is demanding. Surrounded by ever-active digital devices and bombarded with constant alerts, offers and messages, they expect instant interactions with brands. Just as other forms of marketing have become more personalized and sophisticated, even the simple invoice or bank statement should contain a personalized element that goes beyond name and address.
While it’s true to say that transactional and direct mail may have more impact than their electronic alternatives, blind bulk mailings to unsegmented audiences won’t give marketers the ROI they are looking for. To get maximum impact from print campaigns, personalization and precise targeting are needed. And with 72% of consumers saying they only interact with personalized messages, it is clear that it is a key driver for the market.
So how does this affect the print landscape? Historically, print and communications service providers (PSPs) have relied on two processes to deliver custom applications. First, static color content was printed on offset presses to create ‘offset shells’, a printed item that includes all content except variable data, before replaying it through a digital toner press. to add the custom item. In many cases, however, PSPs and mail houses had only implemented offset technology, so the “offset shells” then had to be shipped to a data specialist to digitally print the variable data.
For many years, this two-step printing process was the most efficient way to deliver custom applications, but this approach had drawbacks for all involved. It was on these frustrations that the demand for a “white paper solution” was built to eliminate warehousing costs and waste, reduce turnaround times and enable personalized printing in one pass.
To meet this market demand, Canon launched its color inkjet rotary press series in 2011, the ColorStream 3000. Capable of printing both volume requirements in monochrome and color, the ColorStream series enables print and communications service providers to print a wide range of applications. From direct mail and customer communications to books, magazines and catalogs, PSPs can expand their application possibilities and add value for their customers.
Offering vibrant colors with extended digital print length flexibility and giving PSPs the ability to use variable applications in monochrome only or color, this technology has been recognized as an alternative to the obsolete two-step process. Very responsive printing technique, it allows brands to reach their target customers more quickly and hit the hot iron. Take the example of cart abandonment. If a customer purchases online but doesn’t actually complete the transaction, brands can send a profitable direct mail within 24 hours to engage and push the consumer to the end of the customer journey and convert their actions into a purchase. This strategy has been shown to be more effective in helping customers complete their purchase compared to the same email tactic. .
Take the next step in personalization with inkjet technology
One of Canon’s customers, InfoIMAGE, Inc., is truly reaping the benefits of ColorStream. Today one of the industry’s leading full-service courier houses producing direct and transactional mail, Brisbane, California-based InfoIMAGE, Inc. has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception. in 1984.
The main advantage of inkjet for InfoIMAGE, Inc. is the ability to be a one stop shop for customers, as well as efficient printing of personalized transaction documents, direct mail and paper packaging in a single pass. While historically, as a data specialist with a fleet of sheet-fed digital toner presses, InfoIMAGE, Inc. received the pre-printed offset shells and performed the digital overprint, they can now print the entire application from start to finish. at the end. The investment in a ColorStream 6900 in 2018 enabled the company to migrate from digital toner sheet devices to inkjet, improving productivity and expanding its product offering. This investment also allowed InfoIMAGE, Inc. to offset the additional costs associated with inserter upgrades. As print jobs were available in larger volumes with near perfect accuracy, they were able to continue using older insert material for three more years than expected.
The ColorStream was originally installed at InfoIMAGE, Inc. to migrate transactional monochrome work from sheet-fed toner to inkjet for applications that needed to be produced quickly. InfoIMAGE, Inc. has saved a significant amount of time over toner production.
“With the advent of inkjet and the adoption of this technology, we hope to be a one-stop-shop for our customers,” said Christina Esparza, vice president of operations, InfoIMAGE, Inc. “We had the ColorStream 6900 for a few years now and it’s a wonderful piece of equipment for us. It replaced quite a few old toner-based devices. The web-powered device worked really well for our operation. “
New possibilities with inkjet technology
For a number of reasons, inkjet technology is uniquely suited to help print service providers tailor their offering to meet the demands of today’s print buyers. By allowing them to take on jobs that were previously out of reach, inkjet opens up a multitude of new creative opportunities. And with many industry projections indicating that inkjet is the printing technology of the future – delivering reliable, high quality at faster speeds – it’s up to us as the experts. of printing, to demonstrate its value to customers and to highlight any opportunities that present themselves. available with print.