The company signed off the largest chunk of its reequip, a new Xerox iGen 150, two weeks ago. The new press, which is now running live jobs, is operating alongside the company’s brace of iGen4s.
“The 150 is a great bit of kit. We did look at other machines, but with load balancing it made sense to complement the iGen4s,” said Inc Direct chief executive Noel Warner.
The iGen 150 features Xerox’s Matte Dry Ink (MDI) and the larger 660mm sheet size. Both iGen4s have also been upgraded to run MDI, and one of the machines has also been reconfigured to run the same larger sheet size of the 150.
According to Warner, the company was keen to add the larger sheet size to its second iGen4, but there was no room.
The iGen 150 replaced the firm’s iGen3.
“The iGen3, which we had worked to death, had come to the end of its useful life. So, it was a case of either investing or sticking with two iGen4s. But the volume that’s being driven though the business, predominantly though our ‘web2media’ platform, meant that even two iGen4s running 24-7 wouldn’t be able to keep up,” said Warner.
Warner added that as well as the extra capacity, the larger sheet size of the 150 represented a massive bonus, as it meant that they could get 50% more A5 jobs, which represent a fair portion of their work mix, on each sheet.
“It also means that we can go to market with a 6pp A4, whereas before the maximum was 4pp,” he said.
“MDI is another great asset. We work with a lot of big brands, like Bentley and Estee Lauder, and with the older iGen toner technology we used to get that slight sheen, with MDI you get a flatter colour that emulates litho. I think now we can also go head-to-head with Indigo output.”
This latest spend completes a three-year investment plan at the Enfield-based business, which was PrintWeek’s 2012 Cross-media Company of the Year. As well as upgrading its colour portfolio, the strategy also included the continued development of web2media, the acquisition of a majority shareholding in London-based creative agency Wand and various upgrades to its mono fleet of Xerox engines.
According to Warner, summer DM volumes are holding up well.
“Our approach seems to work; we talk to clients about strategic solutions, how we can help grow their business and engage better with their customers. We don’t offer commodity DM, we focus on adding value though CRM solutions that span all media, whether that be through DM, online social media, etc. That really seems to be working,” he said.
“It sometimes means we take clients out of their traditional DM comfort zone moving them over to one-to-one marketing, but that strategy is pulling like a train.”