The Difference Professional Certification Can Make

The UPS Store Center in Carmel, IN, opened its doors in 1989. About five years ago, store owner Gary Rapp decided to augment its printing services. To meet the growing market demand, his company again upgraded its color printing services in 2010. Today, the center has become a leader among The UPS Store franchises in the state of Indiana, offering a full range of small business services from mailboxes, packing, and shipping to design, production printing, and mailing. It is the only center in the state with Fiery Certified Professionals on staff.

The Challenge

“As we grew our color printing business, we needed to ensure that our staff had the appropriate level of skills to deliver against the more stringent customer requirements this type of printing entails,” says Rapp.

Small, medium, and large businesses quickly learned about The UPS Store Center’s print services capabilities. As a result, owner Gary Rapp knew he would need to add supplementary services to meet increasing customer demands. Having added a Xerox digital press about five years ago, and then upgraded capacity with a Konica Minolta digital press in 2010, the company needed to also enhance its staff’s skills to ensure that the center was utilizing its color printing assets to the fullest extent possible.

With an embedded EFI Fiery server in its Xerox color printer and an external Fiery server for its Konica Minolta digital color press, Rapp and his team have become comfortable with a Fiery workflow for their color printing business. “We manage both Fiery digital front ends (DFE) using Fiery Command WorkStation,” says Rapp, “bringing jobs into the workflow, configuring them for production, and printing and finishing them with as much automation as possible. We quickly saw a need to increase our skills to take full advantage of all of the benefits of our Fiery workflow.”

“The Fiery Professional Certification program was both convenient and cost effective. The certification enhances my professional career and increases the value of my knowledge and skills to the business,” says print service manager Adam Marvin. “As a result of the training, I’ve been able to implement significant workflow improvements that increase the shop efficiency and color quality. In addition, we have introduced new variable data services that allow us to broaden our portfolio and provide more options for our customers.”

 

Moving Forward

“We are extremely pleased with the progress we have made in building our production color printing business,” Rapp says. “Today, we can handle long runs of higher quality color printing on our Konica Minolta press, and can use the Xerox DocuColor for shorter runs and walk-in business without disrupting the longer runs. With Fiery Command WorkStation, it is fast and easy to manage the workflow throughout the center from a single interface. In addition, because both are Fiery Driven, we are able to get the best possible color quality out of both presses.”

Rapp also wanted to ensure that he was utilizing his assets as efficiently as possible. This included generating the best quality in the least amount of time with minimal waste.

“Fiery workflow gives you some very high-end options,” Rapp says. “Part of using it efficiently is knowing when you do—and do not—need to use those tools. Once you truly understand what the Fiery DFEs can do, it is much easier to match each job to the various capabilities and streamline the workflow through the center.”

By completing Fiery Professional Certification, the center’s print service manager became an expert in all aspects of Fiery workflow. “We determined that quite a bit could actually be done at the Fiery DFE,” Rapp explains, “rather than having to open files in a graphic design package. For example, we can impose business cards or postcards right in Command WorkStation and make sure that the imposition is as efficient as possible, generating minimal waste and keeping our costs in line.”

 

Proven Results

Rapp’s strategy is paying off from a revenue perspective as well. “Our overall revenues have doubled in the past seven years, and the contribution made by color printing is a significant part of that. Our printing business grew 50 percent in 2012.”

In addition to gaining expertise in color management and Command WorkStation workflow, the center’s print service manager also acquired skills in variable data printing through the Professional Certification course.

“That’s been a big boon to our business,” Rapp states. “Overall, the added capabilities and skills have made us a one-stop shop for most of our customers. Postcards are a great example. Not only can we do the color printing, but we can introduce variable elements in the postcard run, print addresses without the need to have a separate label run and the labor to apply them, and put them right into the mail stream for our customers.”

While the center supports a wide range of small businesses in the area, including pharmaceutical reps, financial institutions, education, realtors, professional and medical offices, and others, one of its more exciting customers is an event planner. “This company plans running events around the country,” Rapp says, “including a significant number of half and full marathons, and we have been able to grow the amount of race printing we do substantially, both because of our increased color printing capacity and our expertise with the system.”

The Fiery workflow not only makes complex jobs easier, it can make jobs that once required offset printing, warehousing, and digital imprinting much less costly to produce.

“We run 2,500 letters for a client four times per year. Previously, we outsourced the printing of the letterhead and stored it until the letter run,” says Rapp. “Now, with our Fiery workflow, we do the letterhead and the letter content in a single pass, eliminating the costs and hassle of inventory management and waste.

“This has created a very happy customer, and I don’t think we could have done it without Fiery Professional Certification and the high-level skills that it brought to our operation.”

 

John Grubb is senior manager, Worldwide Educational Services, for EFI. Contact him at john.grubb@efi.com. For more information about EFI, go to MyPRINTResource.com/10005156.

Loading