Leveraging Environmentally Friendly Printing for Business Growth By Tom Leibrandt January 24, 2007 -- Although Presstek has been delivering environmentally friendly printing solutions for more than ten years, and our customers have benefited from the reduced costs and improved productivity that chemistry-free printing offers, the environmentally friendly aspect of chemistry-free printing has not always been the driving force behind their customers' decisions to do business with them. But the increased discussion of global warming, concern for future generations and accelerated environmental regulatory activity in many locales seems to be changing that trend. Increasingly, as I talk to our customers, the importance of reducing our environmental footprint is taking top billing. I wanted to share a couple of customer stories with you this month that are examples of this encouraging trend. Earth Friendly Printer Adds DI Press A third-generation family-owned business, Murray Print Shop is committed to producing print in an earth-friendly fashion. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the firm recently celebrated its 52nd year in business. As I talk to our customers, the importance of reducing our environmental footprint is taking top billing "My grandfather started the business in 1954," says Tim Alton. "With my nephew running the DI press, we are into our fourth generation of family in the business, and all of us place a significant focus on minimizing the impact of our business on the environment." In 2000, Murray Print Shop was presented with Missouri's Choose Environmental Excellence award based on its environmentally friendly operations and support of environmental organizations for more than a decade. Among other things, according to Alton, "We have been using soy-based inks and recycled papers before it was fashionable to do so. And when we found an increasing demand for four-color printing among our client base, we chose to implement an environmentally-friendly printing process to address that need by installing our first DI press in 2004." Murray Print Shop recently upgraded to the larger format Presstek 52DI. The company's business has more than tripled over the last fifteen years, yet Murray Print Shop now has a smaller dumpster that is emptied only once a week, one-third as often as in 1990. This is the result of recycling and efficient production processes. And waste was reduced even further when the company installed its DI press, which reduced makeready waste by a factor of ten. Although the company's business has more than tripled, its dumpster is emptied a third as often as it was in 1990. This environmental consciousness has won the company business from a wide range of environmental organizations, including the Missouri Botanical Garden, EarthShare of Missouri, Gateway Greening and the Missouri Recycling Association. In addition, over the years Murray Print Shop has been a consistent supporter of environmental organizations and events, having donated tens of thousands of dollars worth of printing services in the last decade and a half. The company is the primary contributor of printed materials for Earth Day in the St. Louis area. With the larger format of the Presstek 52DI press, Alton points out, he can run more work multiple up using a single set of plates. This improved efficiency allows the company to more cost-effectively produce more jobs in a day and to improve its environmental footprint even more. Examples include: * Previously, production of a 9"x12" product required running the front on one set of plates and the back on a second set of plates since it was not possible to run two-up with bleeds with the smaller format. Now Murray Print Shop produces work-and-turn 9"x12" work with half the plates, in a lot less time. * Similarly, the company now runs 6"x9" postcards four-up instead of two-up. For a run of 2,500, the previous process consumed up to two hours, but with the Presstek 52DI, the job is complete in half that time. Nathen Printing Services: Playing the Environmental Card Nathen Printing Services was incorporated in 1985 by partners Hardeep Jouhal and Cameron Anderson and is located in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, a suburb of Vancouver. Now in its second generation of family management, the company has held true to its founding principles of handling virtually all printing requirements but maintaining the values of a family-run printing shop. Nathan Printing Services, which operates out of a modern, 20,000-square-foot plant, prides itself in treating clients as individuals and recognizing their unique needs. A key requirement for its ability to serve those unique customer needs is staying current with the latest technology. The other factor that is important to Jouhal and his team is the environmentally friendly nature of the DirectPress 5634 DI. He says, "Here in British Columbia, we are very conscious about reducing our environmental footprint whenever possible. Our customers like the fact that the DI is chemistry-free and uses waterless inks, and we are doing quite a bit of work using recycled papers. We expect to see that aspect of the DI press continue to attract new customers as well." "Our customers like the fact that the DI is chemistry-free and uses waterless inks, and we are doing quite a bit of work using recycled papers. We expect to see that aspect of the DI press continue to attract new customers as well." Today, Nathen Printing Services is a full-service printing operation with a highly tenured staff of 15, offering prepress services, a full bindery operation, and presses ranging from its DirectPress 5634 DI to two 40" five-color presses with coaters. The company produces a wide range of materials, including books, magazines, posters, high end work and even fine art reproductions. Since installing the press, Jouhal has noticed consistent sales growth for short run work. Not only has he increased throughput from six or seven of these jobs per day versus the previous three or four produced with his previous conventional offset process, but he is doing so much more profitably. "Our customers love the quality and the environmental friendliness," he says, "as well as the more competitive prices we are now able to offer them on short-run work. As soon as people found out we had the DI, we started getting more work because of it." Give John your feedback. 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