Print Express Online, South Africa’s leading online business stationery printer, has taken the next step in its expansion strategy with the purchase of a new Xerox Colour C70 printer from Cape Office and Bytes Document Solutions.
As an online-only printing business, Print Express Online has primarily outsourced its printing and finishing while building a sophisticated online print workflow system that allows users to design and print their own business cards, flyers and other stationery, place and pay for orders, and have them delivered anywhere in the country.
By cutting out the ‘middle man’ and eliminating retail and equipment capital, Print Express Online quickly grew its profile, reach and footprint, and today counts some of South Africa’s largest global brand companies – including Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, ReMax, Harcourts, Ford, Toyota, and many other SA-based global brands – as regular customers.
Founder and owner Eugene Mulder says that while business continues to grow, especially since opening up the web portal to the public, the company reached the point where it needed more control over cost and turnaround time, and other factors such as colour consistency, that could only be achieved by owning and running its own in-house printer.
“We started the business where many other printers started – as print brokers,” says Mulder.
“I had a network of high-end suppliers and the know-how to connect them with corporate customers looking for fast, efficient, consistent and cost-effective printing services. The model has served us well and continues to do so.
“But we reached a point where we couldn’t always guarantee the turnaround of critical jobs due to our suppliers’ backlogs, nor control the rising costs of printing and materials, and so needed to take the next step in our evolution by regaining that control with our equipment.”
Mulder chose the Xerox Colour C70 as the best fit for his business based on current and future needs, specifically the class-leading 2400x2400dpi resolution, 70ppm colour print engine and licensed Pantone and Fogra-certified colour matching. Both flexible and scalable, the Colour C70 allows you to print, copy, scan and fax (optional) – it allows you to send files anywhere. Email lists, store on-board, send to a PC, server, USB or fax. It can even print from virtually any smartphone or tablet.
“Most importantly for us, having the rock-solid reliability of a Xerox printer coupled with more predictable cost-per-print and high print speeds means we can once again guarantee delivery time, in many cases next-day delivery via nationwide courier,” he adds. “And with the backup and support of the top-notch guys at Cape Office we know we have all our bases covered.”
“Because we’ve built the business around our proprietary web design and print engine, the entire process is seamless to the user, whether we’re printing on the Xerox or outsourcing to another Xerox press at one of our suppliers. What they get is the same price and quality guarantee that sets us apart from almost any other business stationery printer in South Africa, certainly regarding speed and convenience.
“Our customers know they’re getting the same high-quality, colour-accurate product for their branches in Brakpan, Ballito or Blouberg.”
Established 34 years ago as the first Xerox reseller in the Cape, Cape Office had expanded to become one of the largest and most respected Xerox partners in South Africa. Cape Office director Stuart Daniels says Print Express Online is unique in an industry where retail printers and copy shops are the norm.
“The online print market is much larger overseas, where the likes of Vistaprint are household names with millions of customers and a stock exchange listing,” says Daniels.
“Print Express Online has bucked the trend in South Africa and successfully replicated the Vistaprint model to become the go-to online service for quick, quality business printing. By having its own printer – likely the first of many as the business continues to grow – the company has added that necessary layer of control that will keep it consistently ahead of the curve in the local print market.”
Mulder agrees: “In January this year Cosmopolitan Magazine called us an ‘online print juggernaut’, so the plan seems to be working,” he quips.
“The next step after this next step is a fully-automated factory full of printing equipment. It’s still a way down the road until we get there, but all the elements are already in place, and the benefits we’ve already gained from investing in our first in-house printer more than justify the strategy.
“If we want to ultimately be known as South Africa’s business card people we need to have the investment in infrastructure to back it up, and the Xerox C70 was and is the best place for us to start.”