After a rigorous selection process, the region’s largest printer has chosen Ricoh Australia as its preferred digital print partner, installing six Ricoh Pro C9210 digital production presses and two Ricoh Pro C7210X models.
|"Large decision for us":
“Some of our printing infrastructure was reaching end of life and so it gave us an opportunity to see what alternatives there were in the market,” said IVE Group chief operations officer – data-driven communications, Brent McCulloch.
Prior to signing the new agreement with Ricoh, the IVE Group team last year undertook a detailed, three-step RFP process. The first step involved issuing invitations to tender to seven print vendors before a shortlist of three was selected.
ASX-listed IVE Group initially planned to conduct week-long, high-volume print runs at each of the three vendor’s facilities, however COVID-19 restrictions on travel meant this was unable to proceed.
“As an alternative, we gave the three vendors the opportunity to install their proposed equipment at an IVE production facility for a four-week proof-of-concept test,” McCulloch said. “The POC was to allow IVE to gain first-hand experience with how the equipment and vendors would perform in a simulated production environment.”
This put Ricoh's Pro C9210 (pictured above) in a direct face-off with flagship digital colour printers from two other vendors. Each of the systems ran the same jobs, with output and performance stats presented to senior management for consideration.
The third phase involved vendor capability presentations and final commercial submissions at the end of December.
McCulloch says the rigorous process was necessary because of the critical role that the new equipment would perform within the company’s production facilities.
“Choosing Ricoh was large decision for us at IVE Group, to bring in a new print vendor, the first in many years. We made the change because Ricoh was able to clearly show it was the vendor most capable of meeting the production requirements of Australia's largest commercial printer.”
A range of different Ricoh printers and associated equipment have been selected to meet IVE Group’s print production requirements:
6 x Pro C9210 digital colour production presses each with six paper trays, banner sheet capability and multiple stackers
2 x Pro C7210X digital 5-colour production presses with a full complement of additional colour capability (white, clear, neon yellow, neon pink, gold, silver and invisible red)
Top-of-the line EFI Fiery colour controllers drive each of the Ricoh digital colour presses.
“As part of the testing process, we found that the Ricoh printers gave us great quality and print registration,” McCulloch said. “They were also able to deliver high levels of uptime and were preferred by our operating teams because of their ease of use.”
The new machines have been put to work on a number of different cut-sheet print runs and have also been used for some offset printing replacements.
“Ricoh has enabled us to increase our print efficiency which has lowered our cost base," said McCulloch. "From initial installation to production, everything has gone very smoothly. Once each machine had been delivered to site, it was up and running within a week. The support we have received from Ricoh has been second to none. We look forward to working with them.”
Ricoh Australia MD Yasu Takahashi (right) added: “IVE Group is Australia’s largest diversified marketing and printing company and we are delighted that Ricoh has been selected as a preferred print provider after such a rigorous selection and testing process.
“The unique aspect of having three competitive print engines operating alongside the machines to be replaced provided IVE Group with real insight into the production capabilities of the Pro C9210 and the support offered by Ricoh Australia. It is a testament to the teamwork of our sales, support, service, logistics and operations that we were able to meet a very tight installation schedule.
“We look forward to strengthening our relationship with IVE Group. Through improving our collaboration, we can share expertise and experiences with each other, finding better ways to serve IVE Group and its customers, and incorporate feedback back into product development and the services we offer.”
Founded in 1921, IVE Group offers a range of creative, data-driven services as well as a portfolio of print and production capabilities. The company’s 2000 staff serve clients throughout Australia. IVE recently acquired most of the assets of former competitor Ovato for $16m.