Welcome to our Educational Video Series. This is Richard Romano, Contributing Editor to WhatTheyThink.com. Since 1955, Triangle Printers in Skokie, Illinois, has been a successful commercial printer that, like many shops of its kind, has been navigating the transition from offset to digital and from static to more cutting-edge types of print applications. Now Triangle had no problem finding and operating digital printing equipment. The company’s Canon Image Press C7000VP served the company in good stead. But the big challenge came in developing the confidence and enthusiasm of its sales and marketing team to sell those higher-valued services.
So when Triangle was approached by Canon to be a BETA site for the new RevGen Program, the company saw an opportunity to put that one last missing piece into place and has been reaping the rewards ever since. This Educational Video Series will look at how Triangle Printers is on its way to achieving its full potential thanks to Canon’s RevGen Program.
Richard Romano: I’m here with David Saltzman who is the President of Triangle Printers in Skokie, Illinois. Thank you for being here. Now tell us a little bit about the history of the company. It was founded by your father, Harvey, I believe.
David Saltzman: Sure. My dad, Harvey Saltzman, found the company in 1955. He actually started out as a print broker. He started with a $250 investment and after several years he moved into a plant on Clark Street, right near Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs, a family-run business. As things have evolved—obviously, prepress and film and conventional plate-making has been replaced by all digital technology—we’ve changed the focus of our business to still doing traditional printing. But we also do a lot of digital printing on our Canon Image Press, as well as we have two graphic designers in-house with a photography studio and mailing and fulfillment also, all under one roof.
Richard Romano: So now you’re sort of transitioning from offset to digital. How is that working for you guys?
Allison Rickett: Right. We now currently are using our Canon Image Press 7000VP. We’ve had it in place about three years. We’ve been really excited with this piece of equipment in the way that it’s allowed us to approach the market with full services on the digital side. Prior to that we had a different piece of digital equipment, but we really feel once we put the Canon Press in place it upgraded our capabilities and really increased the confidence level of our sales people to go out into the market with digital and it’s a great press. We love the capabilities.
Richard Romano: So what are some of the challenges you had in transitioning from offset to digital printing?
David Saltzman: I’d say probably the biggest challenge has more been in sales in that we do a lot of orders on the Canon but they’re all smaller in nature. So one of the biggest problems compared to conventional is getting all the small digital orders to add up to what we used to have doing conventionally.
Richard Romano: Now tell us a little bit about how you got involved with the RevGen Program. What about it appealed to you and did they approach you or did you approach them?
Allison Rickett: We were very lucky. We were approached by Canon to be a BETA site for it as they were kind of tweaking the final parts of the program to roll it out. And they asked if we wanted to be involved, and we said of course we want to be involved because we knew it was a great opportunity. We had been doing very well with static printing. We had done some variable on the Canon but really mostly static projects and we felt very comfortable and confident. So we really had the chance to work with the RevGen Program to rev up that enthusiasm and confidence here. And they came in and worked with us, sort of evaluated our processes internally, looked at our pricing and helped us with that, looked at production support, and helped us with our workflow processes.
Richard Romano: How long a program is it?
Allison Rickett: The RevGen Program is a 12-week program and there’s several different options. They come in and really kind of look over and assess where you’re at and then proceed along the path to execute whichever program services you’re interested in. For us initially the conversation was to develop a self-promotion piece for our company to promote our variable capabilities. We kind of went off in a slightly different path, ended up producing something like that with sort of a different angle to it, but it was invaluable.
Steve Farber: It’s worked out great and the reason we were chosen is because under our work here in Skokie we offer everything from mailing, design, full fulfillment, and Canon really helped us talk to our sales force, talk to the people that are running the equipment, and talk to our customers and show them how variable data, cross-media can make an impact on their business.
Richard Romano: So how is your approach to talking to your customers, dealing with your customers, changed as a result of participating with the RevGen Program?
Steve Farber: The neat thing with the RevGen Program is I’m walking with my customer with something interesting and something that they’ve never seen before. We have designed the piece with the help of Canon that shows Pearls, it shows QR Codes, variable data printing. And everyone knows this has been around for 10 or 15 years but I can tell you, a lot of our customers have not seen this. They’ve got the wow factor, they’re happy, it gets an ongoing dialogue as opposing to be a normal printer that is just running sheet fed. It really gives us a competitive edge.
Richard Romano: So what’s next for Triangle Printers?
Steve Farber: What’s next for Triangle Printers is taking from what we learned from the RevGen Program, analyzing what customers that we need to approach, and continuing to run the Canon and continuing to run variable data, harnessing cross-media, harnessing QR Codes and PURLs. I’ll be honest with you, you hear it is a longer sell. I do agree with that but it is a worthwhile sell in the long run.
Richard Romano: Now what were some of the tangible benefits that Triangle in particular and other BETA testers in general have experienced as a result of participating in the program?
Frances Cicogna: So in addition to generating more revenue because you’ve identified some of these additional services that you could go out and sell, what we found is the printers that have been involved in the program are actually much more confident about going out and selling these services. And I think that there’s been a fear before that since they didn’t understand it and they weren’t comfortable that their company would be able to produce these additional services, they didn’t want to go out and promote it and now they’re comfortable to do that.
Allison Rickett: Working with Canon now in the RevGen Program is the confidence level that we have as a sales force to really go out and speak confidently as experts in this area of print to our clients so we can open up the doors for them to consider this in their marketing plans.
Richard Romano: So it’s instilling in them a sense of fearlessness about going forth with these projects.
Frances Cicogna: Exactly, exactly. Working with the sales organization so that they know how to go out and promote it to their customers.
Allison Rickett: It was really a terrific opportunity for us and we feel—I feel and I feel I speak for the sales force—that where we are today we wouldn’t be in this position if we had not been through the program.