HOA Creative Communications Ltd, specialist print management and design service provider, has broadened its client offering and extended its in-house digital printing capabilities by investing in a Ricoh Pro® C901 digital colour press. Having previously outsourced its printing, the company's investment in Ricoh's digital printing technology marked the first step in bringing production in-house. The inherent flexibility of the Pro® C901 has not only increased efficiency and allowed for cost savings, but has also enabled the company to move into the production of packaging prototypes and samples that have inspired clients to be more creative and fuelled a range of new business opportunities for HOA itself.
Says Henry Otulakowski, Managing Director of HOA: "Over the past 12 months, we have gone from outsourcing one hundred per cent of our print to bringing a lot of our print production in- house. This change in our business model, supported by great Ricoh technology, has allowed us to fully utilise our core strengths while continuing to outsource to specialists where needed. We do a significant amount of work for large, national accounts and our priority is providing an efficient, quality-led service for all of our customers. The installation of the new press has given us much greater control over both the print process and quality of what we are producing, and allows us to guarantee fantastic turnaround times for clients too. We have unique web-to-print service that allows our customers to update their own artwork once we have trained them to use this bespoke software. These new files are then sent directly to the Ricoh press, meaning these jobs can be printed and ready for dispatch, sometimes within just half an hour of the changes being made."
The Ricoh Pro® C901's robust engine construction provides durability and reliability, and it offers wide media versatility and finishing options that have helped to extend the range of jobs HOA is able to accept. HOA also invested in a Fiery E42 controller which offers advanced colour and job management control, and a range of finishing equipment for cutting, creasing and folding.
Continues Mr. Otulakowski: "As our first production press we did a lot of research and looked at a number of options when considering this investment. We are aware that digital printing technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and we wanted to install a press that allows us to bolt on and update elements on the machine with ease, as we grow and adapt our in-house offering to meet customer demand. The modular design of the Ricoh Pro® C901 gives us the total flexibility to supply our customers with what they need as the market grows and their needs change.
"And, we are already seeing evidence how this investment could potentially change our business. At HOA we do a significant amount of R&D work with food packaging clients looking to produce exciting and innovative new designs and with the Ricoh press we are now able to cost effectively create packaging samples, prototypes and mock ups, on-demand. Having a tangible prototype to show customers can help encourage them to be more creative at the design stage because they can see and touch these examples and test them on a practical level too. All this means that moving forward, we will be able to take our packaging offer to customers to a much higher level. In fact, we have some exciting announcements in that space planned for the future, so watch this space!"
Says Gareth Parker, Strategic marketing manager, Ricoh UK: "It's always exciting to see our customers using Ricoh technology to diversify their business by moving into new markets. What's thoroughly satisfying is seeing the broader technology investments HOA has made to become more agile towards their clients. The Ricoh Pro® C901 meets HOA's need for quality, flexibility and speed of service, and its modular design leaves the door open for future enhancements as the needs of their own clients evolve."