Log In | Become a Member | Contact Us


Market Intelligence for Printing and Publishing

Connect on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Featured:     Print 2017     Production Inkjet Tools & Resources     Industrial Print Analysis     European Coverage     Conversations on Print Podcast

Max Wepasnik of ColorNet Group on lessons learned moving from offset to digital

Published on September 21, 2012

ColorNet Printing & Graphics Owner Max Wepasnik talks to Cary Sherburne about his business and the lessons learned moving from offset to digital.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com, and I’m here with Max Wepasnick, who’s owner of the ColorNet Group here in the nation’s capitol area. Welcome.

Max Wepasnick: Thank you.

Cary Sherburne: And you started out - maybe talk a little bit about your business because you started out as a quick printer some years ago.

Max Wepasnick: We did. Actually, my brother and I started the company. In the late ’80s, we started as a quick printer. He has more of the printing background. I have more of the sales, marketing, admin background. And we started as a quick printer in downtown Silver Spring, which is a suburb of Washington, and grew that into what we would call a quick commercial printer with great offset capability, and more recently we’ve been adding a lot of digital capability to that mix. We have three plants in the area. We run multiple shifts and we’re just going as hard as we can keeping up with the work right now.

Cary Sherburne: And you still have a retail location?

Max Wepasnick: We do. We have a retail location on Rockville Pike. It’s one of the last ones in the area. It’s been around for 30 years. We acquired them about six years ago, and it is amazing how much retail business there still is in this area. We know it’s kind of a dinosaur and it’s going away. But for right now, it’s generating a lot of business for us.

Cary Sherburne: So people are just walking in off the street?

Max Wepasnick: Yeah. Yeah, there are still people that walk in off the street.

Cary Sherburne: Wow, that's great. Well, I was really interested and, you know, that's an interesting migration that you’ve made, you know, kind of starting from, well, duplicators, they aren't really digital but shorter runs and then moving into the bigger stuff and now you’re kind of moved into the digital. What are some of the challenges that you faced, or what are some of the things that you might have done differently if you had it to do over again?

Max Wepasnick: The challenges are deciding to make the investments, because it’s not an inexpensive proposition to make those types of investments, the transition from an offset format to a digital format. And once we got over those and generated the business that we needed to basically cover the expense of that equipment, it’s been a great decision for us.

As to what we would do again differently, I don't know. It worked out pretty well for us.

Cary Sherburne: You’re happy with it, yeah?

Max Wepasnick: Yeah. You know, we put it in and it took us a little while. It took us about a year to get the volume on the digital equipment. But once we did that, it’s just, by ****, I think I said earlier we grew our digital business by 50 percent last year, where offset stayed flat. So it’s really been a great investment for us.

Cary Sherburne: And one of the interesting approaches, because a lot of times people, when they’re trying to make this transition, one of the biggest challenges is the sales force, and you had told me earlier that one of the things you did was decreased your offset capacity to force the issue.

Max Wepasnick: Oh yeah. Yeah, when we put in our digital press, we actually sold some of our offset equipment because we have a very offset-oriented workforce, sales force, and in order to push work to the digital presses, we got rid of some of our offset capacity. And that drove the shorter run work and got some confidence going with the sales force on the capabilities of that equipment.

Cary Sherburne: So, as you’ve built your digital business, have you also added things like web-to-print and MIS?

Max Wepasnick: We have. Actually, last fall, we upgraded our web-to-print capability and we’ve really been pushing that with our clients. It has the typical business card, stationary capability plus very good -

Cary Sherburne: Like a library catalog kind of, yeah.

Max Wepasnick: Yeah, where we can build variable brochures and whatnot and we’ve been very successful with that lately. And we’re having a hard time keeping up with the demand.

Cary Sherburne: That's a good problem to have.

Max Wepasnick: Yeah, so I think it’s a little bit of a pent-up demand because we had the capability before but we recently upgraded, but that's been going great for us.

Cary Sherburne: That's great because web-to-print, I mean, the customer-facing piece is so important today.

Max Wepasnick: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah, that's terrific, thanks.

Email Icon Email         

 

Post a Comment

To post a comment Log In or Become a Member, doing so is simple and free

 

 

Recent Videos

 

Video preview: Interview with Koenig & Bauer CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann on the company's 200th Anniversary

Interview with Koenig & Bauer CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann on the company's 200th Anniversary

Published: September 22, 2017

Cary Sherburne talks to Koenig & Bauer CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann during a press event for their 200th Anniversary Celebration. They discuss the new/old branding and how the company will be moving forward and taking on the next two hundred years.

 

Video preview: PGSF Launches New Campaign to Inform Student about Careers in Graphic Communications

PGSF Launches New Campaign to Inform Student about Careers in Graphic Communications

Published: September 21, 2017

The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF) has launched a new campaign that includes a poster and brochures that show students various career paths in graphic communications. Dr. Joe Webb talks with John Berthelsen, VP of Development about the campaign. Watch to learn more about how you can get involved.

 

Video preview: Quality Tape and Labels Sees Dynamic Growth in Digital Label, Flexible and Shrink Sleeve Printing

Quality Tape and Labels Sees Dynamic Growth in Digital Label, Flexible and Shrink Sleeve Printing

Published: September 20, 2017

Rob Daniels, President of Quality Tape and Labels, joins Senior Editor Cary Sherburne to talk about how a traditional fourth-generation flexo business got into the digital business. With zero digital business 10 years ago, the company now is producing more than 14 million impressions per month on three HP Indigo presses.

 

Video preview: Zwang on Advancements Across Toner and Inkjet Digital Printing

Zwang on Advancements Across Toner and Inkjet Digital Printing

Published: September 19, 2017

David Zwang provides his perspective on digital printing technologies from toner-based machines to production inkjet. The show marked the mainstreaming of expanded color capabilities in toner such as white inks and fluorescent inks. On the production inkjet side there are number of emerging next generation platforms to consider.

 

Video preview: Print 17:

Print 17: "best show in recent years" but "our work is not done"

Published: September 18, 2017

WhatTheyThink sat down with NPES President Thayer Long at the end of Print 17 to talk about what worked with the changes to the Print show and the evolution of graphic communication trade shows in the US.

 

Video preview: Random Automation at Print 17

Random Automation at Print 17

Published: September 15, 2017

On day 3 of Print 17 Frank Romano pitched the most random idea for a show floor tour video. Frank said, "I want to do something that has never been done before." We said sure. Next time, we'll ask more questions.

 

View More Videos

 

Become a Member

Join the thousands of printing executives who are already part of the WhatTheyThink Community.

Copyright © 2017 WhatTheyThink. All Rights Reserved