Canon Solutions America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., has announced an ongoing strategic relationship with Royal Printing Co. Inc., a third-generation, family-owned printing company based in Oklahoma City.
Roy Thomas, son of a printing plant superintendent, practically grew up in the business.
In 1961, Roy founded Royal Printing Company. Royal Printing boasts a proud legacy as the state’s premier printer of election ballots. Over the years, the company expanded its operations to become a well-respected commercial printer, regularly providing top-quality service to such long-standing clients as the Oklahoma Allergy & Asthma Clinic and the State Fair of Oklahoma.
Following Roy’s passing in 1999, daughter Kelley became President, with son Phil serving as Vice President. Another son, Max, is in charge of the shipping department, and granddaughter Heather holds the role of Kelley’s right-hand assistant and much like Kelley, she wears many hats. Numerous other family members work part-time for the company, ensuring the business continues to thrive.
Royal Printing’s relationship with Canon Solutions America began in 2011, when the State of Oklahoma changed its ballot requirements to accommodate new voting devices and comply with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Under HAVA, ballot printers must be able to accommodate the exacting requirements of electronic voting machines and produce variable-size, variable-color, and variable data (sequentially numbered and barcoded) ballots.
Recognizing its existing offset equipment was not up to the task, Kelley Thomas feared the new requirements would spell the demise of the family business. Unwilling to sacrifice her father’s legacy, she began searching for a solution and found it in the form of digital printing and Canon Solutions America.
“Of all the vendors we consulted, Canon was the only one that did a thorough analysis of our entire workflow,” said Thomas. “They spent hours on the phone detailing how we were currently doing everything and how it would need to be done to satisfy the Election Board’s new requirements.”
At the suggestion of CSA Sales Representative Frank Tummino, Thomas took a closer look at the Océ ColorStream® 10000 Flex digital color printing system. During a trip to CSA’s corporate headquarters in Boca Raton, both Kelley and Phil Thomas not only had the opportunity to see Royal Printing’s own test files produced on the machine, they were able to determine exactly what finishing equipment would have to be added to ensure the ballots were ready to go as they came off the machine.
Dutifully impressed, Royal Printing replaced three offset presses with one Océ ColorStream 10000 Flex. Almost immediately, the company found itself operating at unprecedented levels of productivity.
“When we were working with offset, we had to pre-cut the paper, print one side of the paper at a time and let it dry overnight, then post-cut it, break it down into stacks, stitch it, shrink wrap it and box it,” said Kelley Thomas. “The Océ ColorStream 10000 Flex eliminates most of those steps, so now all we have to do is print it and ship it the same day.”
Invigorated by its newfound capabilities, Royal Printing set out to further expand its business. The company launched a Facebook page and updated its website, shining the spotlight on its new digital equipment. Customers responded enthusiastically, resulting in an ever-increasing demand for short-run print jobs.
“We started experiencing the kind of immense growth we’d hoped for, but we really didn’t know how quickly it would come about,” said Thomas. “That presented some challenges.”
Thomas instinctively called her friends at CSA. After reviewing a number of Canon digital printing solutions, she and her brother found themselves in agreement with Tummino that the Canon imagePRESS® C6010 was the best fit for Royal Printing’s growing commercial print business.
The move to digital enabled Royal Printing to become a true full-service print shop and expand its operations to encompass a wide array of printing solutions. While election ballots remain the company’s “bread and butter,” Royal Printing now has the ability to respond to customers’ needs for direct mail, brochures, calendars, books, greeting cards, trans-promotional pieces, menus, magazines, and everything in between.
“Canon’s relationship with Royal Printing is the perfect illustration of how we provide counsel and business development support to our customers,” said Francis A. McMahon, Vice President, Marketing, Production Print Solutions division of Canon Solutions America. “By working closely with them and providing invaluable resources such as PressGo!, we help ensure that a print service provider not only has the right equipment to meet today’s demands, but is well-positioned to meet whatever future demands this fast-paced industry sends their way.”
As for Thomas, she couldn’t be more pleased with the ongoing partnership between Royal Printing and CSA. In fact, she can’t imagine working with anyone else.
“Canon has really worked with us and cared about us being successful,” said Thomas. “I don’t know that I would even trust trying someone else when there’s a company that has proven themselves already and had my back when I needed it.”