This innovative Brisbane business has installed a pair of Konica Minolta bizhub Press C8000s to enable trigger colour printing in-house for its database marketing service
There is a growing realisation in the print community that, as one leading print service provider said recently, “Data is more valuable than gold”, and that those who can integrate print and data will be able to offer tangible benefits, and reap decent rewards.
GJI, which has come from the data side of the fence, is a pioneering business, offering its clients a service which enables them to communicate directly with its customers in a highly personalised way, through trigger based marketing communication. In a nutshell, the systems created by GJI enable it to fire off personalised targeted direct mail pieces to its clients’ customers once a trigger has been activated.
And GJI has an impressive client list including many household names such as Foot Locker, Sizzler, Coffee Club, Suncorp, the Brisbane Broncos , Mondial, Flightcentre and Tony Ferguson.
Trigger based marketing communication works when behaviour patterns are detected from data, and those behaviour patterns trigger predetermined communication activities, including printed direct mail.
For example, two weeks after a one of GJI’s retail customers clients returns from holiday the timer trigger activates and a predetermined template is populated according to data mined from that particular customer’s buying habits. The DM welcoming the customer back hope and highlighting various offers designed to pique that particular customer’s interest. And the personalisation may reach dizzying heights: there can be more than 100 pieces of variable data on each DM.
Mark James, director at GJI, says, “We manage the databases on behalf of our clients to enable them to optimise the return on the information they hold. The very personalised communication that we deliver on their behalf to their customers is bringing in significant ROI for them. Response rates for instance may be above 30 per cent, which as we all know is a huge figure.”
One of the key roles of GJI is to closely manage the churn potential of its client’s customers, the software it has developed keeps a close eye on various parameters that would indicate if a customer is looking like they may fall off the wagon.
James says, “Their indicated behaviour and the responses set in place means our customers can be proactive in customer retention, they don’t find out all of a sudden that they have lost a customer and then have to try and win them back, which is obviously costly and difficult if they have signed with someone else, but they can take proactive steps in advance, which is far cheaper for them and much more effective. It is timely, relevant and personalised. Trigger mail may cost them more, but they will receive a far greater return, and so in terms of ROI it works out to be better than standard direct mail by a long way.
Run lengths for jobs at GJI range from one to upwards of 250,000, in both colour and mono. Until this year, the company outsourced all its colour work, however James and his colleagues decided the time was right for the company to produce its own trigger-driven colour print. James says, “It was becoming evident to us that having a complete in-house fulfilment operation was the best way to service our clients cover.”
GJI, which has been in business for the past 12 years, set out to find a solutions supplier that could meet its demanding criteria, James says, “Cleary we needed the highest quality print, but we also needed the highest level of service and support, the nature of our work means that we needed excellent back-up and service support.
The company looked at several solutions before making its decision, for the new two Konica Minolta bizhub Press C8000s, as well as a quartet of Konica Minolta bizhub Press 1200 mono printers. James says, “Credit to Konica Minolta, they came in, worked hard at understanding our requirements and at providing the solution we needed.
“The printers themselves are certainly impressive. They have serious production power and the quality of print is first rate. However more than that, their ability to integrate intelligently with our database, thanks to their powerful rip, and so enabling the rapid production of highly personalised print, is really tremendous. The C8000s are proving to be the ideal output unit for our trigger marketing.”
James adds, “In addition, and of high importance to us, Konica Minolta showed they could provide the kind of supplier partnership we needed, and that has been proved in the short time since the print solution has been up and running, they have been more than supportive.”
The four mono 1200 printers replace a pair of 110ppm presses, more than doubling the mono capacity at GJI. James says, “We have just put a mono job of more than 250,000 on the Konica Minolta 1200s, which went through like a breeze. Our production power is now significant, and we have flexibility.”
Konica Minolta bizhub Press C8000
Can one machine combine offset quality with digital affordability? Konica Minolta says the new bizhub Press C8000 can do that and more. And Konica Minolta says it is receiving external validation. For instance decision the bizhub Press C8000 was shown at the recent On Demand Conference and Exposition in the US where it won the Best of Show in the Colour Digital Printing Equipment Category.
According to Konica Minolta, the bizhub Press C8000 features superior colour accuracy and management, enhanced media handling and productivity. The new press incorporates a range of new technologies designed to speed up output, improve colour quality and increase productivity. The company is promoting it as a next-generation digital press whose output compares with offset prints. It says it delivers consistent colour, from the first sheet to the 10,000th sheet, and it offers support for a broad range of media, including heavy stock, oversized and coated papers.
Konica Minolta describes its bizhub Press C8000 as a breakthrough digital press and its advent signifies the emergence of Konica Minolta into the heavy digital production arena. According to Konica Minolta, the new Press brand will be associated with products that are designed to meet the stringent requirements of the commercial offset and high volume digital environments.
The brand will focus on image quality, durability, flexibility and volume capability. According to the company, it’s not just about high volume, but the high value that quality, media flexibility and productivity bring to a business.
The company says the high image quality and definition that is close to offset printing quality comes with a data processing output of 1200dpi× 8-bit depth resolution offering print at 1200dpi x 1200dpi resolution. Another innovation is the Simitri HD toner that provides natural lustrous-looking images, which it says is once again on par with offset printers.
Konica Minolta says its Sead II technology and a highly accurate laser beam position increases reliability and durability. The new, third-generation Simitri HD+ polymerised toner increases productivity with heavy paper stocks and says Konica Minolta improves the image quality even further, with low temperature fixing.
Konica Minolta describes the Simitri HD as a bio-mass toner because it contains 10 per cent plant based components, and adds that it is the only bio-mass polymerised toner in the industry.
On top of these advances, the company has incorporated a newly designed eight-beam laser unit into the bizhub Press C8000 to enhance image quality and longevity. The unit is housed in a die-casted casing for increased durability.
The press’s Image Density Control sensor provides for real-time colour density adjustment.
The colour density control has a newly developed paper density sensor consistently controls image for a variety of paper types.
For a long time, digital production units have suffered a reputation of delivering inferior registration but this has changed markedly in recent years and Konica Minolta has worked hard at developing a registration sensor for the bizhub Press C8000 that identifies and corrects skewed pages, for fewer misprints and less waste.
The C8000 handles up to 350gsm paper stock handling. Its technicians have placed an air suction belt feeder in the press to provide reliable paper feeding and assist in handling a wider variety of media. The company says that its hybrid decurling mechanism significantly reduces paper curling and improves print run reliability. On top of that, it has developed a new advanced humidification system designed to deal effectively with the most challenging stocks.
The bizhub Press C8000’s automatic duplex feature allows for printing on paper up to 300gsm. It can handle 4800 full colour pages per hour: a workhorse with a monthly duty cycle of 500,000 pages.
At the front end, up to 40 system configurations allow users to customise the C8000 to suit the application and environment. Three print controllers from Fiery, Creo and Konica Minolta provide print control and colour management capabilities to handle colour print jobs.
Konica Minolta has Orum (operator replaceable unit management) for the bizhub Press C8000. This programme allows the operator to make routine maintenances on the C8000, for significantly reduced downtime.
An image preview kit provides on-board document preview/review for Konica Minolta Print Controller to make it easier to perform post-rip editing and manipulation of document files. The on board 15 inch touch screen allows operators to preview documents as thumbnail images before printing, and uses simple graphic icons to highlight paper tray and output tray for easy set-up.
The Press C8000’s range of inline finishing options includes hole punching, folding, stapling, saddle stitching and perfect binding in a single system.
The arrival of the bizhub Press C8000 demonstrates the progress that Konica Minolta has made since it moved into production print. Five years ago it was a company with no colour products, today they are making big waves in print, and are now of course backed by offset giant Heidelberg, which is marketing the Konica Minolta printers as part of an integrated solution with offset.