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Allegra Design Print Mail of Tampa A Successful Move to Digital
“The digital press allows us to
Allegra Design Print Mail of Tampa is a locally-owned company that specializes in graphic
design, printing, digital, and mailing services. Having been part of the Allegra network
for almost a decade, Allegra Tampa is proud of its numerous printing awards and environ-
mentally friendly business practices. In-house services include four color process printing,
graphic design, E-commerce, marketing services, mailing and fulfillment, promotional
products, digital color printing, and large format poster printing.
Adhering to a service-first philosophy and a commitment to offering an advanced production facility to help manage the complexities of today’s fast-paced printing world, the company made the decision early in its franchise history to move much of its business away from offset to digital. However, Allegra Tampa found it to be a slow transition due to the fact that the initial digital color printers on the market were not able to produce the quality the company was seeking. So many applications the staff intended to print digitally ended up being printed on the offset presses. Then the president of Allegra Tampa, was introduced to the RICOH Pro C901 Graphic Arts Edition.
CHALLENGE“Being a small commercial printer, our largest format size is 13”x19”. We generally are considered more of a short run operation, with print runs less than 10,000 sheets,” said the president. “The primary reason we decided to go digital was because we knew our cost of goods would be significantly less if we could run the job digital instead of offset. Training and labor were also a factor. It was difficult to find quality press operators with the experience we required. Both factors drove us to put our focus on going digital as quickly as we could.”
But in reality, the transition was not a quick one. Many of the digital presses the company could afford at that time weren’t able to deliver the speed or quality Allegra Tampa could offer its customers by printing offset. Over time, the digital presses got progressively better when it came to quality, but it was a slow process.
RESULTSThe president is pleased with several of the benefits the RICOH Pro C901 Graphic Arts Edition has brought to his business. First, he reports the front-to-back registration is excellent, which was always an issue with the previous digital printers the company owned. He notes a substan-
Throughout this time, customer expectations were
tial cost savings is connected to not having to spend time
changing as well. Press counts were being reduced
lining up images from front to back. The capability of the
significantly, with customers ordering less quantity than
Pro C901 to handle numerous stocks has also been a huge
in the past. Additionally, the downturn in the economy
benefit, eliminating yet another limitation he experienced
was quickly changing the landscape. Customers that
would stock up on certain items ceased to do that and
“We can now run anything from a 24-lb paper to a 14-pt
started ordering less at a time, albeit more often.
cover stock and the machine can handle it without jam-
“We were seeing a change across the board,” said the
ming,” said the president. “That’s an additional time and
president. “I can’t think of one of my 25 top customers
cost savings we enjoy with this machine. We run anything
who didn’t make this move to a more conservative,
from just a regular 8.5” x 11” flyer to a full-color 40-page
newsletter on the RICOH Pro C901.”The president has seen his customers experience cost sav-
ings as well. “We have one particular customer that we do
When the RICOH Pro C901 was introduced using Ricoh’s
4” x 6” postcards for on a regular basis. With the RICOH
PXP™ chemical toners and oil-less technology, the presi-
Pro C901 we can get two more cards on the sheet than
dent knew this machine was the answer to his quest for
when we run them on offset, so right off the bat their cost
near-offset quality print performance.
savings go up. Additionally, these cards have heavy solids
“The RICOH Pro C901 was the answer we had been
and the RICOH Pro C901 can handle this type of cover-
searching for all these years,” said the president. “The
age top to bottom,” said the president. “So if you ask me
RICOH Pro C901 is as close to offset quality as you can
about our ROI with this machine I can tell that right away
get with a digital press. It just doesn’t have that sheen you
I am not paying $22.00 an hour for a press operator to set
find with so many other digital machines out there that are
up the job, I am not wasting paper, or using plates, or ink.
oil-based. We have customers who don’t want that sheen.
And I can get the job up and running in two minutes. All
They want the offset look. What really excites us is that
of these factors figure into the return on my investment.”
when we show them the quality coming off this digital
Additionally, the president is happy that his staff is less
press they get this deer-in-the-headlights look and say
frustrated as they no longer struggle with issues like front-
‘Wow — This is great.’ And when they realize their costs
to-back registration or getting the color accurate. Their
are going to go down dramatically, they are even happier.”
RICOH C901 Graphic Arts edition is equipped with a Fiery
The RICOH Pro C901 Graphic Arts Edition offers Allegra
RIP that makes color corrections easy.
Tampa advanced technology that makes it possible to
Going forward Allegra Tampa is ready to produce as much
achieve high-quality imaging on a wide range of media
as possible using the RICOH Pro C901 with the confidence
with maximum output speed. It operates at a speed of
the staff can work with a product they trust, and the
90-pages-per-minute and is designed to meet the de-
company can deliver what customers have come to expect
manding requirements of today’s graphic arts professional
from Allegra Tampa. “I told my staff that finally the time
as more and more applications migrate from offset to
is truly right to seriously start pushing digital because now
digital. Equipped with Trained Customer Replaceable Units
we have the digital press in place that allows us to really
(TCRUs) that maximize uptime with the ability to replace
satisfy our customers by giving them the turnaround time
key components when most convenient, it is an advanced
they need and quality they are looking to achieve.”
production system that comes with long-lasting consum-ables and toner bottles that can be replaced while the system is in operation to further enhance productivity.
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