Océ, a Canon Group Company and an international leader in digital document management, today announced that First Edge Solutions has deployed four Océ VarioPrint Ultra systems along with Océ PRISMAproduction workflow software as part of a strategy for 25 percent growth in 2011.
Headquartered in Milwaukee, WI, First Edge Solutions delivers innovative marketing communication, print and document management services. The company also has facilities in Phoenix, AZ and Atlanta, GA.
Old Printers Were Inefficient, Costly
First Edge needed to replace old printing equipment that had high cost points and. didn’t meet efficiency goals. The company was taking on more work and needed a solution that could grow beyond current run rates. Even with their impressive 10 percent, recession-era annual growth, First Edge felt 25 percent growth was possible with the right equipment. First Edge also wanted to grow margins and was looking for the right technology to help make these changes possible.
Customer Satisfaction Depends on Speed
Speed and quality are huge differentiators in the commercial printing market. First Edge has tight turnaround agreements with many clients. One customer can submit orders as late as 2 PM, and the SLA requires First Edge to print, fulfill and ship that day, even across country.
To meet these extreme deadlines on a daily basis, First Edge has built an extremely accurate, very automated process. “We believe in a ‘lights out’ approach and write our code to eliminate manual process steps. By operating this way, we can guarantee customer satisfaction. This differentiates us because we use brain power and technology to eliminate the competition, and it’s worked. It’s the reason we are growing at 25 percent conservatively in a recession,” said First Edge President and CEO, Robert Kraft.
Print as Part of Supply Chain
“We don’t sell print; we sell communications and supply chain solutions. Print is part of that. It’s about leveraging technology on the front end and Océ on the backend to integrate efficiently,” Kraft said.
Océ PRISMA Streamlines Supply Chain
Océ PRISMA software lets First Edge integrate proprietary automation systems into the supply chain workflow, which goes from content creation to content delivery and all points in between. Océ PRISMA software streamlines processes and helps eliminate bottlenecks in getting work from customers to production.
Taking Downtime Out of Production
In 2010, roughly 80 percent of the work was recurring and could be automated, but the older printers couldn’t handle the workload and data. Mid-production crashes caused downtime in the automated workflow. The Océ systems have eliminated this problem.
First Edge produces a lot of data-intensive variable direct mail. Before, they had to break the large files into smaller ones to keep the older printers from crashing. Now they can put everything through Océ PRISMA workflow in one file for faster, automation with minimal errors.
“We have been surprised with how far we can stretch the printers in terms of durability and the ability to avoid mid-production file crashes,” said Mike Herald, First Edge Solutions Director of Manufacturing. “The Océ technology gives us the confidence and ability to plan and run three heavy shifts and send complex files without fear of a mid-production crash.”
Océ PRISMA Software Enables Nimble Response