Rocky Mountain Printing Uses KODAK NEXPRESS 2100 Customization Features to Launch Greeting Card Business
Press release from the issuing company
ROCHESTER, N.Y., Mar. 21 -- After purchasing a KODAK NEXPRESS 2100 digital production color press last year, Rocky Mountain Printing President Teague Bengtzen was brainstorming business ideas with partner Dave Miller when the subject of greeting cards came up. It was not long before they realized they had a winner, and Card Café was born.
“After we acquired our first KODAK NEXPRESS 2100 press, we started thinking of different applications that could use digital presses in a new business. The idea of greeting cards came up and we literally could not sleep at night because we were coming up with so many new ideas,” Bengtzen said. “The beauty of Card Café for consumers is they can schedule all of their greeting card needs ahead of time so they don’t forget important events. With the NEXPRESS technology, we can personalize the cards with signatures and business logos. We’ve even added the ability to add a gift card, chocolates or popcorn to the order.”
Bengtzen partnered with his father, Gary, to purchase Rocky Mountain Printing 11 years ago. The company has 80 employees and is what Bengtzen calls “a general commercial printer” producing everything from scrapbook papers to network marketing materials. Rocky Mountain installed its first NEXPRESS 2100 press during the spring of 2005 to serve several customers who needed web to print solutions to personalize literature, business cards, flyers and posters. By the fall, Rocky Mountain added a second NEXPRESS 2100 press.
By visiting www.cardcafe.com, consumers and businesses can select from hundreds of greeting card designs for holidays, birthdays, and special events and occasions. They can add personal messages and signatures to the cards, which Card Café then digitally prints on the NEXPRESS 2100 press, inserts into a personalized envelope that carries the customer’s return address, and mails using an actual first class postage stamp. Customers can also choose to have their own photos or artwork used for the cover of the card, which then receives a protective high quality gloss coating.
“I haven’t seen a business yet that could not use this service. You have to keep in mind that almost 100 percent of greeting cards get opened. We have a casino as one of Card Café’s commercial customers, and they use us to notify their best customers about upcoming events and special parties. They can get personalized messages out to the full list of top customers in about 10 minutes. It used to take them several hours to get mailings out,” Bengtzen said, noting that the Card Café program can be used by human resources departments to send employees birthday and anniversary messages, sales departments to send thank you cards for orders, and other personalized business communications.
“The KODAK NEXPRESS 2100 press is all about adding the flexibility and productivity of digital printing to the production floor. The successful launch of Card Café is a prime example of how the technology allows printers to use their creativity to expand their businesses and offer new products to their customers,” said Michael K. Howard, Vice President, Marketing, for Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group’s Digital Printing Solutions business.
The KODAK NEXPRESS 2100 press, with the KODAK NEXPRESS fifth imaging unit solutions and the KODAK NEXGLOSSER glossing unit, enables Card Café to add custom color printing and gloss coating to deliver professional quality greeting cards for customers.
Orders through Card Café start at $2.95 a card, plus postage. “That’s less than the cost of an average store bought greeting card and the consumer doesn’t have to worry about making a trip to the store or a post office,” Bengtzen noted. Larger orders reduce the per card cost, while consumers can add gift cards, chocolates or gourmet popcorn to the order with a simple click of a mouse. Card Café markets gift cards from Starbucks, Toys “R” Us, Olive Garden, Eddie Bauer, Red Lobster, Blockbuster Video and other national retailers.
“Greeting cards are a $7.5 billion industry and we’re hoping to take a large chunk of it. No one else is doing what we do—combining greeting cards, gift cards and gifts in a program that allows consumers to schedule an entire year’s special events,” Bengtzen said. Since launching in September 2005, Card Café has opened more than 2,000 consumer accounts and is serving the commercial needs of about a dozen businesses. The www.cardcafe.com website gets about 1,100 visitors per day. On peak days leading up to the holiday season last year, about 2,000 cards a day were mailed from Card Café. As demand grows, Card Café expects to add a third NEXPRESS press in six to eight months.
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