Second digital for trade printer

Cheque-Mates has installed a second digital production printer to keep up with increasing demand for its trade-only digital print.

The new Fuji Xerox Color 800 Press comes online a year after it beefed up its digital offering, and chief executive Rodney Frost says the operation has tripled since then, with the whole company’s sales up 20 per cent.

[Related: More printers installing new kit]

Frost says printers are coming to Cheque-Mates because instead of building a web-to-print site for them, the company will integrate with a printer’s own system.

“If you use your trade supplier’s website to sell your print it is a risk because they own the intellectual property for it, so we just plug into the back end of their system,” he says.

“It is more work for us but it allows us to offer lower prices as we are not holding any of the savings back. With an average order value of less than $200 you want it to be as smooth for printers as possible.”

The Lamson Paragon subsidiary is traditionally a mail services provider, including envelope printing and personalisation, but with mail costs going up Frost knew he had to diversify.

“With what is happening at Australia Post it was important to be in this market, so we bought the first Color 800 a year ago in a major upgrade,” he says.

“The second 800 has laid the foundation for solid growth with our capacity now significantly increased to meet our partners’ needs.

“It increases our flexibility and ability to run high quality work across the two machines with unparalleled colour consistency – perfect for large colour variable mail campaigns.”

Frost says Cheque-Mates is particularly excited about the new machine’s clear toner, allowing it to spot varnish with ‘offset like results’.

“Clear toner is nothing new but I don’t think anyone is really pushing it in the trade market. It means every printer can access high-end solutions and say yes to everything,” he says.

Frost says the Color 800 will also slash turnaround times, with 95 per cent of jobs dispatched the same day if they are ordered before 10am, with the rest next day..

“Our recent ‘lights out’ automation and integration into one of our channel partners systems has delivered previously unprecedented colour volumes, printing, finishing, packing and distributing up to 150 individual jobs a day,” he says.

“The vast majority of these jobs are sent out in less than 48 hours so having the robust technology in place to meet the new demands was very important to Cheque-Mates and our ability to deliver to our partners’ requirements.”

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