The Total Production Value of Adding Digital Print CapabilitiesAlison Campbell
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G2 I.D. Source experiences faster turnaround times, improved quality and a quick ROI through its partnership with Colordyne Technologies and installation of the 3600 Series AQ – Retrofit.
Next Generation Thinking
Founded in 2008, G2 I.D. Source built its brand on forward-thinking, next generation technology and printing. The company focuses on customer needs by being a full-service solutions provider. G2 offers a broad range of services including barcode, thermal and full-color label printing; packaging and A.I.D.C. hardware sales; custom graphics creation; branding; trade show display printing; website design and merchant / POS services.
The Jacksonville, Florida based company consists of a three-building campus that houses three departments – including a full graphics lab, plate creation and narrow and wide format digital printing. G2 distributes to a broad range of markets with its label design and print production services. Its digital production primarily focuses on the pharmaceutical, industrial and food service industries. One of their key services is accurately prototyping labels for new products, labels or packaging. What you see is what you get.
The installation of the Colordyne 3600 Series AQ – Retrofit was G2’s final piece of the puzzle in developing a complete range of high-tech printing services and delivering a superior level of customer service.
Building Short Run Business
Without great digital printing capabilities, G2 was turning away most short run business consisting of 2,000 to 3,000 labels or less. Between art and plate costs it was not profitable for the company to print short run quantities. G2 would run some of the prototypes and very short runs on the 1600 Series C, but as each label’s demand grew, production had to be moved to flexo, where the appearance changed, and plates needed to be purchased.
“We have customers that started with us as prototypes of 1,000 labels, and as their business grows, we’ve grown with them,” says Melisa Mehiel, sales manager, G2. “We knew we needed to be able to meet this demand from our customers to continue to provide them the solutions they need.”
G2 recognized the rising industry demand for prototypes and short runs, and knew to continue their mission of next generation printing they needed to find a way to bring profitable short-run printing in-house. G2 resolved to find a digital press that is quick, affordable and produces consistently high-quality labels.
Finding a Partner to Success
G2 views every customer as a partner, and when looking for a new digital solution, they evaluated companies on the same level. Plus, having two digital benchtops – one of which was a Colordyne 1600 Series C they had been using for five years – prior to looking for a new press, G2 wasn’t new to the digital space.
As Terry Cochran, VP at G2 says, “There’s a lot of nice options in the market for a million plus, and then needing to expand our facility, but we found this option [the 3600 Series AQ – Retrofit] more economical. And just as important, we feel Colordyne has partnered with us and they want us to be successful. Their responsiveness and high level of customer service makes this happen.”
The Colordyne 3600 Series AQ – Retrofit requires no additional space on G2’s work floor as it is mounted on top of an existing flexo press – without the loss of existing press functionality. Additionally, no new air, power, exhaust, or dryers needed to be installed for the retrofit, and G2 can utilize all of the flexo’s current finishing and decorating options in one single pass.
Proactive with Customer Needs
This increase in production speed has allowed G2 to become more proactive with its customer’s labeling needs, and ultimately reduce the number of fire drills it was experiencing.
“We treat people as partners by working as a tool for them,” says Mehiel. “Knowing our customers’ products and SKUs, in combination with the ability to run jobs more quickly, has allowed us to become proactive with our customers’ needs, not reactive. This prevents a lot of the fire drills we use to have, and our customers appreciate that. It helps us grow business and keeps our current clients coming back.”
G2 is continually looking ahead for changes in labeling regulations. G2 prepares clients to update labels and packaging in accordance with new laws, including FDA regulations and ensures labels are compliant prior to printing. With this knowledge and skillset, G2 offers customers reassurance that labels are produced correctly, and is able to make recommendations to clients well in advance of new regulation start dates.
Combining its proactive approach and the capabilities of digital printing, G2 is able to make more efficient label changes for customers, without the high costs of plates.
“We often have one product with multiple countries of origin, which means we rarely set-up and run one copy of a label,” says Cochran. “With flexo printing we would have needed a new plate for each country to meet their guidelines. Digital allows us to chain these jobs back to back for faster production, while easily and affordably printing variable data barcodes, and even color coding every country.”
Faster Turnaround Times
When G2 relied solely on flexo production and digital benchtops, it was not always able to meet the customer response times it desired.
With the retrofit installed, the company now offers quicker turn-around times for its digital production. These speeds mean G2 can more effectively meet the needs of customers who run their inventories in a just-in-time fashion.
“We are a solutions provider and a customer service driven business,” says owner of G2, Dave Frederick. “Most manufacturers need faster turnaround times, often due to the nature of the products, and are demanding higher quality labels. This is the future of label production and the retrofit allows us to meet these demands.”
Additionally, G2 no longer needs to make the choice between telling a top customer they cannot run a job or having to take a financial hit. “With the Colordyne machine’s fast throughput we can just look like rock stars.”
Improved Print Quality Throughout the Sales Cycle
G2 frequently utilized it digital benchtops for proofing prior to printing on the flexo machine. This led to quality and consistency variations throughout the production cycle. The print clients received as a test did not match the prints they received from the flexo production. These variations in print quality often led to customer changes and additional freight costs.
“We now use the Colordyne press for both proofing and final printing because we know it will look the same way every time we run the job,” says Jason Hill, Art Director, G2. “We’ve even ran label changes with customers on the floor. They can’t believe how quickly we can print high-quality labels.”
G2 prides itself on producing the highest quality labels possible for its clients and is experiencing improved photo-quality printing with the Colordyne machine.
“This is something that truly makes us unique,” says Hill. “We have the ability to offer fast proofs, fast turnaround times and high quality labels – all with one press.”
Quick ROI – Evaluating Total Production Costs
Since the installation of the Colordyne 3600 Series AQ – Retrofit G2 added 20 new digital accounts to its business in four months. In addition to these new accounts, G2 has also successfully transferred two flexo accounts to the digital press.
“We took two good flexo accounts to the Colordyne machine and they have been home runs,” says Frederick. “This is because the retrofit is state-of-the-art, offering better quality and reducing costs from wasted inventory.”
G2 measured the total production costs to realize that even with higher ink costs, it would quickly see an ROI with the 3600 Series AQ – Retrofit.
“We aren’t making increased profits on the product itself due to the cost of ink, but we have lowered labor costs and significantly reduced the amount of waste we produce,” says Frederick. “This has allowed us to move jobs to the Colordyne machine without changing the price to our customers. Now we can increase profits by opening up more time on the machine and running more jobs per day.”
Terry says, “As we reach maximum capacity the speed of the retrofit will become even more important. We will be able to chain jobs to match die cutting equipment and experience the full profitability of the retrofit. We can’t do this with a machine running 50 feet-per-minute, we needed a machine like the retrofit running 275 feet-per-minute or faster.”
“G2 I.D. Source has embraced the biggest benefits offered by the Colordyne 3600 Series AQ – Retrofit – reducing labor costs and increasing the volume of labels produced per day,” said Taylor Buckthorpe, director of sales and marketing, Colordyne Technologies. “This forward-thinking model is allowing G2 to see a quick return on its digital investment and, more importantly, improve the quality of service it provides to its customers.”
With Colordyne, G2 makes good labels look GREAT!