Tony Heinl, President of Repacorp takes time out from EFI Connect to talk to Cary Sherburne about how their company transitioned from analog to digital using Jetrion.
Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com. And I’m here with Tony Heinl who is President of Repacorp. Welcome.
Tony Heinl: Thank you.
Cary Sherburne: So you’re a Jetrion owner?
Tony Heinl: We are a Jetrion owner, yes.
Cary Sherburne: But your history is flexo, so you’ve made some analog to digital transition in your business. Maybe you could talk about what drove you to make that move and what it’s meant to your business?
Tony Heinl: Sure. Now Repacorp’s, we’ve been in the manufacturing side of the business since 1995. And it’s all been in the flexo manufacturing. And, you know, over the years—we sell through the distributor channel. And over the years we’ve not been as competitive as we’d like to be. And more of the short run high-quality four color process printing. And so back in 2007-2008 we really evaluated what equipment was out there. And we looked at the Jetrion equipment, and we looked at the Indigoes of the world. And really what was available. And we decided to go to get into the digital printing with the Jetrion equipment, because, again, we just weren’t competitive in that market.
Cary Sherburne: Yeah.
Tony Heinl: And it was kind of a tough decision at that time, because of really where the economy was.
Cary Sherburne: Yes, very bold.
Tony Heinl: Exactly, but the owner of our company which is also my brother, Rick, he said, “No, we’re going to go with it.” And actually purchased the equipment. And we’re extremely happy that we did. It’s really opened up a lot of doors for us, again, through the distributor channel that we work through. We’ve literally picked up new customers on a daily basis.
Cary Sherburne: Oh that’s terrific.
Tony Heinl: When you consider that you have no plate costs, and we’re using laser die cutters, so. And when you can go to your customer and say, you know, you can, rather than just having a really nice looking logo on your product you could also have a unique shape or design of your label. And it’s really not going to cost you any more money to do that. There’s no tooling re-costs.
Cary Sherburne: Right, and no delay for waiting for dyes.
Tony Heinl: No delay for waiting for dyes. Something that, 4,000 maybe 5,000 four color process labels before with new tooling and everything might cost $2,000 to do it in a relatively short run. And now you can do that exact same thing for maybe $250.
Cary Sherburne: Wow. That’s huge.
Tony Heinl: So offering that through our distributor channel, we’ve been able to pick up a lot of new customers really on a daily basis.
Cary Sherburne: I was listening to some of the keynotes here at Connect and some of the data that they’re sharing in terms of the label and packaging, label market in particular. The penetration rate of digital in the entire market is only about 1%. I was kind of surprised. I thought it would have been a lot higher than that by now.
Tony Heinl: Yeah. You know, we’re surprised too. It’s—I think it’s a lot of label converters. It’s a large step, I mean, there’s a lot of up-front investment that you have to make. And, you know, and once you make that investment then obviously you’ve got to go out and get the customers and marketing. There’s a whole gamut that goes with it. And also internally with the pre-press and your art department, there’s so much that goes into that, that really when we got into it we weren’t aware of some of the changes that we’d have to make internally. And so that learning curve, for us, was several years to get everybody in place and to get the flow of the workflow down, because it really changes the operation when you’re comparing conventional flexographic printing.
Cary Sherburne: Sure, if you’re going to be handling, you know, runs of 250,000-300,000, a few of those jobs a day, right? And now all of a sudden you’re doing 20, 30, 40, 50 100 jobs a day.
Tony Heinl: Exactly. It makes a big difference. And we really had to change our workflow to stream the orders out to production on a really quick basis.
Cary Sherburne: Yeah, that’s terrific. Well what a great story, thank you.
Tony Heinl: Thank you.