Big Prints, Big Benefits
Wide-format ink-jet printers are bringing a lot of new business into in-plants. Find out how you can profit from "supersizing" your prints.
WIDE FORMAT printing can be a tricky business.
On the one hand, you have a terrific opportunity to provide a new service to your customers. But on the other, how many of your customers know the benefits of printing bigger?
To generate enough business to keep a wide-format color ink-jet printer busy you've got to market your capabilities—and that's exactly what in-plants who have bought the devices are doing.
For example, at Eastman Chemical Creative Services, in Kingsport, Tenn., the in-plant has not only produced a promotional brochure, but it has used its video department—also part of Creative Services—to make a six-minute video detailing the department's capabilities. These capabilities include wide-format printing using a Hewlett-Packard DesignJet CP2500.
"But probably the most effective method of marketing posters is word of mouth, and the fact that this group is so well known in the company," reveals Larry Sutherland, manager.
Business Taking Off
Indeed, managers say that once customers see the quality of the posters and banners that they print, business suddenly seems to take off. Sales and marketing departments are usually at the front of the line. They even begin developing projects exclusively for the printer. So in a sense, a wide-format printer creates its own business.
At least that's what happened to Theresa Schrader, supervisor of Reprographic Services at Solar Turbines, a San Diego-based manufacturer of gas turbine engines. Schrader's 16-employee shop has been busy, busy, busy since it bought its Hewlett-Packard 2000 a year ago.
"I remember thinking we wouldn't get much use out of it," reveals Schrader. She soon discovered how wrong her sentiment was.
Word-of-mouth advertising turned out to be the most successful marketing tool. In fact, it has changed the way the sales and marketing department thinks about the in-house print shop.