Rochester, N.Y. - French point-of-sale advertising and publishing specialist, the Bergame Group, has broadened its portfolio and created new revenue opportunities by entering the print-on-demand market. The company made its move into the lucrative sector after investing in two KODAK NEXPRESS Digital Production Color Presses and the KODAK INSITE Storefront System.
Within the space of 15 years, the Bergame Group has established itself as a major player in the French graphic arts industry. The company has built its reputation on the quality of its offset and screen printing, and specializes in publishing and point-of-sale advertising.
The Bergame Group has premises in Ferrière en Brie and Saint Ouen, and employs 300 people. Its impressive fleet of machines comprises 41 offset units, as well as screen and digital printing equipment. The group first considered digital printing back in 2009, seeing the process as a natural progression for a company of its size: "The turning point came when a long-standing customer asked us to switch its production to digital printing," explains Stéphane Lezzier, Prepress Manager at the Bergame Group.
This customer produced a catalogue comprising 9,000 datasheets printed in sheet-fed offset on 75g POLYART Paper. This posed two major issues: the regular updates made to the datasheets created problems in terms of stock management and responsiveness; while the heavy weight of the catalogues prompted the customer to reduce the tear-proof media to 65g, making them difficult to print in sheet-fed offset.
The versatility of the KODAK NEXPRESS Press
The Bergame Group wanted to support its customer's move into digital, so it began searching for a press capable of meeting its specifications: "The KODAK NEXPRESS Press was the only sheet-fed digital press capable of printing on 65 g/m2 tear-proof substrate," says Lezzier. "In addition to the system's unique ability to handle very specific substrates, we were also attracted by the KODAK INSITE Storefront System, which would allow the customer to make the transition to on-demand digital printing."
In autumn 2009, this option became a reality when the Bergame Group installed two KODAK NEXPRESS Digital Production Color Presses, linked directly to the KODAK INSITE Storefront System's ordering and management platform.
The company-a specialist in the supply of consumables, tools, chemicals and workshop equipment-didn't have to wait long to see the positive results. The benefits of on-demand digital printing were quickly apparent, including no stocks and a 48-hour delivery lead time compared with 10 days for profitable offset quantities: "Unlike the previous production method with manual finishing, assembly now takes place automatically when sheets are output from the KODAK NEXPRESS Presses, resulting in a significant time saving," says Lezzier. "And the customer has managed to reduce the weight of its catalogue by five kilos."
As a result of all these benefits, the customer has increased its print orders by 78% in the year following the installation of the two KODAK NEXPRESS Presses.
The Bergame Group now plans to automate the logistics stage by delivering the catalogue directly to salespeople's homes rather than to the purchasing department.
In addition to developing this close relationship, the Bergame Group is also taking advantage of the two NEXPRESS Presses by expanding into short-run printing. A high-gloss finish can now be applied to add more impact, thanks to the KODAK NEXGLOSSER Glossing Unit, and a protective spot coating is also available: "We're finding that there is real potential for on-demand digital printing for specific substrates," concludes Lezzier. "Our investment in KODAK Technology has certainly paid off-we've strengthened our relationship with one of our key customers, and we're generating new revenue by taking on short-run work."
The Bergame Group also uses Kodak's VLF Platesetting Technology, the KODAK PRINERGY Workflow System and KODAK Plates (chemistry-free and with chemistry).