Aurora sees the light with Ricoh investment
Small family-run commercial printer Aurora Digital Print says Ricoh’s commitment to customer service and after-sales support was a key factor in it deciding to invest in a Ricoh Pro C9100 digital production printer.
The company, based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, is a quality-conscious outfit and has always used HP Indigo technology. The decision to go with the latest Ricoh technology is therefore a major leap for Aurora Digital Print – made easier by its discovery that Ricoh digital presses also deliver outstanding print quality performance.
Craig McCall, Production director at Aurora Digital Print, said: “As a small company, we need a supplier that can show us an affordable upgrade path. We started researching the market and sent a lot of test files to manufacturers. Straight away the Ricoh stood out streets ahead of the others. I was also really impressed with what Ricoh could offer in terms of service and after-sales care. We really want to push the business next year and we need someone to support that.”
Aurora Digital Print has used HP Indigo technology throughout its 10 years in business, and was looking to upgrade from its HP Indigo 3000 press. “I’m an Indigo believer – it’s all I’ve ever known,” Mr McCall continued. “I’ve often had sales people knock on my door trying to sell technology that was nowhere near that quality. The Ricoh turned my head though. It was better than the Indigo in some cases and just as good in most.”
He added that the 130-pages per minute Pro C9100 is almost twice the speed of the old press and that he therefore hoped to see a 50% upturn in productivity following the new installation, which took place at the end of November 2016.
Any concerns that customers would react adversely to news of the switch from HP Indigo to Ricoh have mostly been allayed through showing them the standard of work that the Pro C9100 is capable of. In particular, the reaction of one customer – a local high quality photographer with exacting print quality requirements – has stood out.
“I showed him a calendar of his work printed on the Ricoh and he was incredibly impressed by it. He’s got a very sharp eye and he sees things like halftones, shadows, things that are miles in the background, and he was gobsmacked. That just convinced me even more to go with it. I’m certain we will win more work because of the Ricoh: we’ve got a bigger sheet size and the reliability of knowing that a service engineer will be there next day at the latest. There’s definitely scope for picking up new business too.”
Investing in the Pro C9100 comes at an exciting time for Aurora, as it presses forward with new plans to grow its business. An important aspect of this will be its “Coaster Gift Card” offering, which is being trialled with some major retailers, with a view to being taken on in their stores in 2017. The service, known as Crakel Cards & Gifts, utilises a Mimaki flatbed printer to print a personalised textile coaster, which is paired with a personalised greeting card, to be printed on the Ricoh as work is migrated from the HP Indigo. “We’ve got two or three major retailers looking to list this, which will mean we need more heads, more machinery, bigger premises,” said Mr McCall. “Ricoh is playing a big part in that and the plan will be to invest more in the Ricoh portfolio.”
Tim Carter, Commercial sales director Production Print says “We aspire to help printers reach the highest quality standards and Aurora’s decision to take a Ricoh path is an indication that our message and our technology is starting to break through. The Pro C9100 will be a great fit for the company as it moves into an exciting phase in its development. At Ricoh we’re geared to help our customers through business transformation and we look forward to working with Craig and his team as they pursue new digital printing opportunities.”