New printer is a game changer

October 23, 2011
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Andrew Bishop, director of sales for Walker-based Jarob Inc., believes the recent purchase of an Inca Onset S40 UV flatbed digital inkjet printer is key to building the privately held company’s market share over the next five to 10 years. Some of his forecast rests on helping meet the deadlines of harried customers who are already juggling multiple projects of their own.

“The industry has evolved,” said Bishop. “We used to talk about lead-time in terms of weeks; now it’s in terms of days or hours. Everything is so hot and heavy for them (customers). It comes down to the very last minute, even for them. So when someone calls, they’re not only asking for a quote, they’re asking for turnaround time and lead time.”

The recent purchase of the $1 million-plus Inca Onset S40 is the third Inca digital printer Jarob has purchased through the years, said Doug VanPortfleet, CEO and co-owner. But the new one is a game-changer for Jarob, which has been in operation since 1971, because the wide-format UV flatbed inkjet printer delivers high-quality, high-speed output on rigid and flexible materials on a variety of print finishes from satin to gloss, making it a versatile production tool for a wide variety of applications.

“That’s what it takes to move orders fasters,” said VanPortfleet. “If I’m not going to offer it to (customers), someone else will. The S40 has cut my print costs 15 to 20 percent.”

“It offers a lot of flexibility,” said Bishop. “We can print on acrylic, glass, wood, perforated metal, different fabrics, wall coverings and papers.”

And at a lower cost to customers, said VanPortfleet.

“Typically, with any industry, higher quality means higher price. This printer allows us to give our customers a higher quality at a lower price,” he said. “It’s a leap in quality and print speeds far beyond what we currently have and what’s available worldwide. The acceleration of speed and the print quality level we’ve not been able to see on any other digital printer.

“In the past, we talked about six-week lead times; now it’s five to 10 days.”

Jarob’s customer base is primarily in the Midwest and on the West Coast and includes restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, mid-range retailers, banks and Big Ten universities.

Despite predictions to the contrary, Bishop and VanPortfleet say the often-mentioned death knell of printers is premature. But to maintain a healthy bottom line, printers must be malleable in order to meet clients’ expectations.

“When a customer walks in a retail environment, they still want graphics and signs to help them understand and make sure their selection is the right choice,” said Bishop. “There’s still a great need and money being invested in graphics, and one of the reasons we invested in this machine is to acquire more of that market share.

“Our ability to offer high quality at lower prices helps us with our growth cycle in the next to five to 10 years,” said Bishop. “We’re getting this machine to acquire more market share in the retail environment, not only from a service but a technology standpoint.”

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