Cober Printing adds an HP SmartStream Director

Monday, January 25, 2010

Palo Alto, Calif. – HP today announced that Cober Printing Limited has added an HP SmartStream Director workflow solution, helping the company expand its business with financial services customers.

The family-owned print service provider (PSP), based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, has grown its digital printing business by up to 30 percent per year using HP Indigo 3050, 5500 and 7000 model presses. Last year, Cober Printing won significant new business based on HP's streamlined workflows and HP Indigo presses' consistent, offset-quality variable-data imaging.

"PSPs like Cober Printing recognize that now is the time to make progressive investments to grow their businesses," said Jan Riecher, vice president and general manager, Graphics Solutions Business – Americas, HP. "The combination of HP Indigo high-quality digital printing and HP SmartStream Director's productive end-to-end workflow allows PSPs to maintain profitable growth by providing more value to their customers."

Cober proves its value with top-quality solutions

Cober Printing's investment in HP digital printing solutions helped attract a new financial services customer that had closed its own internal printing operation. Using HP Indigo presses and workflow solutions from HP and partner firms, Cober established a web-to-print portal where the financial services firm's 4,500 advisors can order personalized marketing collateral, including stationery, business cards and brochures.

With this solution in place, Cober Printing fulfills approximately 90 web-to-print requests a day from the financial services representatives. The average run length per document is 400 copies, with each document ordered through the system ranging from 10 to 1,000 pages in length.

The firm's digital printing solutions also helped Cober Printing win a contract with another financial services firm for the production of personalized retirement and savings plans kits.

While Cober Printing has invested to develop web-to-print offerings for larger clients in the past, the installation of the HP SmartStream Director workflow solution streamlines the process to the point where the company can offer robust web-to-print solutions to its smaller customers.

JDF automation driving a new vision for print

Cober Printing executives appreciate HP's continued innovation in solutions that help PSPs grow, especially in workflow. In 2007, HP introduced a new level of Job Definition Format (JDF) compatibility on the print server used to drive Cober's HP Indigo press 5500, which helped the firm automate many of the set-up, tracking and management aspects of the print production process.

The subsequent launch of more-robust workflow tools, including the HP SmartStream Director web-to-fulfillment solution, enabled the firm to efficiently manage larger color variable-data print contracts once it migrated to a faster, more productive digital color production press, the HP Indigo 7000, in 2009.

"Our HP solutions have moved the digital side of our business into exactly what we hoped it would be: an operation that delivers on a higher level with JDF workflows and variable-data print," said Erwin Driever, vice president of technology, Cober Printing Ltd. "With the automation we now have through HP, we can process orders for a variety of customers without physically touching a job before it goes to finishing.

"We are also getting new business with HP SmartStream Director that we would not have won in the past," Driever added. "It gives us a competitive advantage by helping solidify our status as a strong partner, so there is more customer loyalty and we can offer printing with unique value, not just a commodity."

A leading-edge workflow solution for profitable growth

HP SmartStream Director helps small to large PSPs grow revenues and reduce costs with simplified, end-to-end workflow automation, from job creation through fulfillment. Based on industry standards such as the Job Definition Format, HP SmartStream Director uses a framework built on the Press-sense iWay version 5.0 platform.

HP SmartStream Director also includes HP-developed components such as HP SmartStream Designer 4 for Adobe InDesign CS4, which provides variable-data design and impositioning solutions that can be integrated with print buyers' desktop publishing operations.

PSPs can use HP SmartStream Director to achieve streamlined ordering on a full range of print products, including collateral-on-demand, books-on-demand, versioned publications and personalized direct mailers. Plus, HP SmartStream Director's customization tools enable storefront branding, e-commerce and enhanced production queue management. 

Cober Printing's HP solutions were all purchased using flexible, vendor-direct financing from HP Financial Services, HP's leasing and life cycle asset management services subsidiary.