Since 1989, MCS and ProList have grown side by side while sharing in each other's success. Today, their relationship spans two decades and several generations of MCS products.
Dave Lokos, President of ProList, recalls the beginning of their long relationship: "Dave Loos (founder of MCS) would come over and sell us software. We were immediately impressed with his knowledge of what we would need in the direct mail business. In fact, MCS has always had the products that small mailers could use to get into the direct mail business. We started with their first MCS Pro 600, an inkjet with a low price point.
ProList was also one of the earliest users of the MCS Array inkjet system. They have been through every generation of products since. "We've always been kind of a test kitchen to MCS," Dave Lewis, ProList's Vice President of Marketing, jokes. "Our two companies have grown together, we moved to Gaithersburg together, and now we share sides of the runway of the local airport," he notes.
ProList has grown into a major player in the Washington DC metropolitan area mailing industry, adding a full mail shop in 1993, web services in the late 1990's along with web-based data management. Also in the late 1990's, the "Dave and Dave team" of Dave Lokos (Founder of ProList) and Dave Lewis co-developed the product Trackmymail.com, an award winning web service eventually spun off and sold to Pitney Bowes in 2008.
Today, ProList continues to use MCS Array inkjet systems, running 10K - 20K pieces per hour. "But for the big runs, we use our two MCS Eagle inkjets, one water-based and one UV. We're running the pants off of them, getting 30K - 40K pieces per hour. We like the MCS Eagle mostly for the profitability of the equipment. But the operators like running it fast, and even argue over who gets to run it. They like the way the head fits, and that it has fewer jams. We just turn it on and let it go!"
Lewis notes all of the benefits of the Eagle inkjets: "The operators say it's fun and challenging to see what it can do. Also, our ink costs are lower on the Eagle. From a sales perspective, we can now work with difficult substrates, and lots of different coatings. We could not have sold membership cards without it, so the Eagle gives us a few more arrows in our quill. It also helps us stay competitive. The fast speed, which is a huge deal for us, lets us sell at a reasonable price and at better margins. The Eagle is running at twice the speed of other devices."
The Eagle UV also handles difficult substrate well. Lewis describes one of their customer applications: "Our customers want to affix plastic numbered cards to their mail pieces, and we used to have to hand feed them. The MCS Eagle is beautiful for our association clients, it runs at full speed even with the plastic cards. And we gain speed by running the pieces sideways," he notes.
Finally, ProList has also acquired a 120 ppm digital black and white press from the MCS digital product line. "It is a wonderful, affordable product. Dave Loos is the smartest guy I know in this industry. He knows everybody and everything. We have found their quality and support to be outstanding," claims Lewis.