Digital print advances company from commodity printer to marketing partner
HP today announced that Phoenix-based R and R Images installed an HP Indigo 7600 Digital Press to address increased demand for marketing collateral and high-quality photo products.
As a result of this growing demand, which has driven more than 70 percent revenue growth for the company in the past two years, R and R also ordered a second HP Indigo 7600 to further boost its production capabilities.
"We need more capacity and the HP Indigo 7600 delivers with efficiency, giving us a 25 percent cost savings and superior margins," explains Rod Key, founder and chief executive officer, R and R Images. "That's why we decided to order another press. Anyone in our position would be crazy not to consider it."
Forging a new business model
Like many print service providers, R and R faced financial challenges in 2008, forcing the company to reexamine its established business model. The long-time HP Indigo customer turned to HP for help finding a solution.
"The 2008 economy really forced us to look hard at our company, and I didn't realize how inefficient we were at the time." said Key. "But HP took the time to truly understand our business and costs. They showed us tools we had not thought about, such as SmartStream Production Analyzer, and now we're getting much better margins. Honestly, they've helped us manage our business and expenses to be more profitable."
HP SmartStream Production Analyzer is a tool for automatically monitoring and evaluating multi-press production environments using real time and historical production data. R and R relies on it to improve production floor efficiency, tracking metrics such as utilization, volumes, speeds and press statuses.
Now business is booming again for the company, with revenue on pace to double this year. The next logical step for Key was installing the HP Indigo 7600 Digital Presses to keep up with increasing page volumes and further improve production efficiency.
High performance, high throughput
The HP Indigo 7600 Digital Press is the fastest 13 x 19 inch format digital sheetfed press in the market, producing 120 four-color pages per minute or up to 160 pages per minute in Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM). With a duty cycle of four million color pages a month, the press significantly increases production speed and capacity, enabling R and R to deliver customer jobs faster and at lower cost.
The press supports new special effects including textured and raised print, enabling the company to expand into high-value applications with dimensional marketing collateral and photo products. R and R also relies on established HP Indigo benefits such as offset-matching print quality, HP Indigo ElectroInk White and the industry's widest media range.
"We know the creative audience wants these effects, and now we can produce them directly on the press for our customers," said Key. "Embossing, raised text, white ink – all the bells and whistles get them in the door so we can establish a relationship with them."
A HP SmartStream Production Pro Print Server was configured specifically to meet R and R's demanding production requirements and installed with the new press. Its scalable, module architecture will accommodate the company's second HP Indigo 7600 and beyond with a single point of control.
Successful cross-media campaign
A recent example of R and R using HP Indigo printing to grow its business is a personalized, cross-media marketing campaign created for Scottsdale-based Notre Dame Preparatory High School. The school initially wanted a simple post card invitation for parents of local eighth grade students to attend an information session. Instead of a single, static invitation, R and R proposed a fully integrated, variable-data campaign created using tools in the HP SmartStream portfolio, including HP SmartStream Designer and solutions from HP SmartStream partners MindFire and DirectSmile.
The project featured:
- Printed invitations customized with variable imagery targeted at individual parents and students
- Personalized URLs for each recipient, pointing to a registration page capturing important preference and contact information
- A dashboard to view progress driven by the printed invitation, including inquiries, website visits, registrations and financial aid form downloads
- Follow-up mailers using variable data from the registration page to thank parents for participating
- An email campaign as the admissions deadline approached using data collected earlier in the campaign
Results from the cross-media campaign exceeded expectations for everyone involved. Initial invitations achieved a nearly 15 percent response rate, far above the typical results for a static campaign. Additional information gathered from the personalized online registration forms made follow-up communications more relevant to parents based on what mattered most to them. In the end, the school achieved a 25 percent increase in applications and 8 percent increase in enrollment over the previous year, which the school attributed to partnering with R and R on this project.
"We started the campaign as the school's printer, and ended as its partner," said Key. "HP Indigo technology played a primary role in bringing it to life, and our new Indigo 7600 presses make it possible to deliver more campaigns like these on tight deadlines, achieving the results our customers demand."
Additional information about HP Indigo Digital Presses and other HP graphic arts solutions is available at http://www.hp.com/go/gsb. Follow HP on Twitter @HPGraphicArts.