David vs. Goliath
For more than 10 years, Dupli-Systems has offered FTP (file transfer protocol) services, and has been soft proofing via PDF files for almost the same length of time. The company has installed Kodak’s Prinergy system, which is beneficial for imaging different kinds of files, along with serving multiple users.
In addition, Griffith mentioned the company has taken its electronic prepress manager, Russ Rupple, and positioned him in the customer service office. This strategy, in turn, enables Rupple to collaborate with the inside sales group and distributors’ customers, as well. “This move has helped so many distributors show strength in solving customer file issues by connecting their customer to Russ. The jobs move along much quicker and the solutions are hardly ever waiting for a distributor salesperson to interpret the issue and relay information correctly—the first time—to their client and back to our plant,” he said.
Digital media, however, isn’t the only type of digital influencing the market. Digital printing has become a worthy opponent of traditional offset lithography methods. Griffith acknowledged the impact such technology has made on the way many suppliers conduct business.
“NAPL [also] stated last year that 25 percent of commercial printers have left the marketplace in less than five years, and they expect the same amount to be gone [within the next five years],” he noted. “The factors having caused this are not just commercial printing projects being diverted to digital print solutions, but the capital it takes to continually upgrade a facility in an economy where prices are being driven down has hurt many printers.”
Dupli-Systems continues to invest in new equipment to remain successful in the short-run segment. The company recently purchased a new pair of Epson 9000 contract proof printers. In addition, a second Duplo collator/saddlebinder—able to support commercial, cut-sheet and digital—was installed at the plant. This particular machine allows for quick set up and easy operator training, and it’s capable of flat collate for perfect binding as well as saddlestiching. Griffith added, “We are [also] operating a black-and-white digital machine, and will be adding a color unit very shortly.”
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