Watt Printers Mail Marketing Embraces KODAK Digital Printing Solutions and Workflow to Deliver Customer Value

For more than 120 years, Watt Printers Mail Marketing in Cleveland has been serving northeast Ohio with a full suite of printing and fulfillment services. Over the years, the company has grown to a 72,000-square-foot state-of-the-art production facility, kept up with changing offset and digital technology, and continues to be on the leading edge of innovative services.

With its latest upgrade from a KODAK NEXPRESS 2500 Digital Production Color Press to the newKODAK NEXPRESS SX3900 Digital Production Color Press and the addition of a KODAK DIGIMASTER HD150 Digital Production System, the firm is well positioned for the exciting growth opportunities ahead. A Kodak customer since the ’80s, Watt Printers also upgraded its KODAK PRINERGY Workflow and continues to rely exclusively on KODAK Plates for its offset printing requirements.

“The NEXPRESS SX3900 Press gives us a number of unique capabilities that help us stand out from the competition,” noted Mike Nakonek, VP of Operations for Watt Printers. “We were already using theKODAK NEXPRESS Fifth Imaging Unit Solutions for enhanced features such as dimensional printing, red fluorescing, coating, and spot glossing, but now we are able to take advantage of the new HD toners, gold printing effects, and the long-sheet option to expand our services and applications. The improvement in quality with the new toners was one of the driving forces in our decision. And our clients have taken notice.”

Sam Forgione, Watt Printers’ Marketing and Advertising Director, added, “Everyone knows that commercial print can be a commodity market where clients buy on price. They don’t always take the time to understand the major impact delivered by outstanding quality and unique printing effects. But the NEXPRESS Press and some of the unique things it can do has already opened doors for us and helped us capture new business we have been chasing.”

The NEXPRESS SX Digital Production Color Platform is designed to drive more jobs per shift and more profit per page by consistently and reliably producing market-leading image quality from job to job and day to day. The new long-sheet option is helping Watt Printers expand both application flexibility and efficiency. With a 36” (914 mm) sheet length—the longest sheet currently available among leaders in the digital color cut-sheet market—operators are able to maximize output and reduce waste.

Recently, Watt Printers, a service partner to the Cleveland Cavaliers, leveraged the unique capabilities of the new gold dry ink to produce a number of exciting projects. “The timing was perfect with the installation,” added Nakonek. “We worked with their design team to implement the gold features, and also added a level of personalization. It was extremely successful.”

Another key feature of the NEXPRESS Press helping Nakonek and his team capture new revenue is the red fluorescing ink. “We have done several projects recently where we use the red fluorescing ink to embed a discount offer that requires the recipient to visit the store to reveal the amount of the offer. In each case, the cost of the campaign was minimal compared to the results. Ultimately, it’s about driving traffic and generating a strong ROI. We are able to do both with the NEXPRESS Press.”

The KODAK DIGIMASTER HD150 Digital Production System was installed in December and gives Watt Printers  600x600 dpi resolution, LED imaging technology, new H1 toner, and Kodak’s small particle developer technology for richer blacks, razor-sharp lines, and super-fine detail. Designed to run up to five million pages per month, the HD150 System features a standard configuration of three paper supply drawers (4,000 sheets) and a broad range of media support for everything from basic documents to sophisticated jobs with complex finishing requirements.

“The DIGIMASTER System is helping us bring back work that we had been farming out,” explained Forgione. “We now keep that revenue here and can more closely control the quality and turnaround time. Most of our applications are in imprinting litho masters with variable data for direct mail, and the DIGIMASTER System is perfect for that. At the end of the day, the KODAK Solutions we have in place—and the PRINERGY Workflow that drives all of those solutions—are giving us the ability to do more for our clients and do it more efficiently.

“We find that our volume of work grows once the word spreads within a customer,” he continued. “Someone sees what we’ve done, sees the unique effects we are able to achieve with the NEXPRESS Press, and they start asking for more information. Digital technology lets them get more bang for their buck, and for the smaller quantities we encounter in our markets, clients are usually willing to spend a little more for the higher response rates these features enable. It’s a win-win for us and our clients.”

“Today’s most successful printers are embracing technology to stand out from the competition and develop strong partnerships with their clients,” said Kodak’s John O’Grady, Managing Director, U.S. & Canada Region and Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. “Watt Printers is a great example of a firm that has thrived for more than a century and understands how innovative technology can drive growth.”

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