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Master Print partners for growth

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Master Print, based in Florida on the West Rand, recently installed a Xerox Versant 80 digital colour production press to replace an ageing Xerox 700 press.
Ordered from Xerox Business Partner XBC-IT, the Versant 80 was the third successive Xerox press installed by the company since it first added digital printing in 2008.
According to Shaun Bailey, a partner in the business, the decision in favour of the Xerox Versant 80 was made very easily. “Our longstanding relationship with Xerox meant that we did not even consider another vendor. The choice of a concessionaire was an important element though and working with XBC-IT has proven to be a very positive and beneficial experience.”
Master Print was founded in 1986 by Paul Pursey and Shaun’s father Brian Bailey with financial assistance from the Small Business Development Corporation. Starting out as a small general printer, growth came from the instilling of the core values of quality, commitment to the customer, integrity and honesty. This growth saw the number of presses and units increase over the years. Having started out with a small single-colour press, it was not too long before the company installed its first four-colour press.
Those values have also been responsible for the high levels of staff retention which has seen many employees working for the company for more than 20 years. In fact, the very first employee still works for the company after more than 30 years. The company currently employs 17 permanent staff members.
Each stage of progress has seen further developments in terms of technological capabilities at the company. In 2007 Master Print made its first foray into the world of digital printing. Shaun comments: “When digital reared its head we were almost driven to adopt this technology for fear of being left behind if we did not. It has proven to be a major benefit to the company giving us the ability to handle a wider range of work and opening us up to new clients and opportunities.”
He adds: “Our first experience with the concessionaire we originally dealt with was not ideal, but Anthony Oeschger at Bytes Document Solutions was an absolute star with the service that he gave us. He helped us throughout the early process and then assisted us with the first upgrade we did after five years. Now we have just upgraded again, this time to the Versant 80. It has been a very successful Xerox story as far as we are concerned.”
The Versant 80 replaces the Xerox 700. The decision to upgrade to the newer technology was based on the need to increase print capacity for colour printing, as well as for the improved colour print capabilities which the Versant 80 offered.
“The Versant 80 represents a big improvement from what we had. It can handle a wider range of substrates and heavier weights and the fact that it can print onto a longer sheet,” Bailey adds. “Also, the quality is a lot sharper. With the increasing demands for shorter runs and maintaining our high standards in print and customer service, the Xerox Versant was, without question, the route to go.”
When the partners began considering the upgrade they were introduced to James Carruthers at Xerox Business Partner XBC-IT. Bailey says: “It is actually a very small world, because James had actually worked here earlier in his career. This was great for us because there was instant familiarity and comfort.
“Not only that, but on James’ recommendation we delayed our initial decision to invest in the new solution until such time as it was more financially feasible for us. This proved that he had our best interests at heart rather than just chasing the sale.”
While the experience with its older machines had firmly set the decision in favour of Xerox, the option of which device to select was equally as easy to make.
“Based on the advice of Barry Hasleham from BDS and James we had a demonstration of the Versant 80 and we were immediately convinced,” Bailey says. “The Versant was installed in February of this year and we have never looked back. We have also achieved considerable increases in throughput. This is due to a few factors including lower click charges on the Versant, which has brought down the threshold for the cross over between litho and digital. It has made us more competitive.”
Print quality is another factor which has validated the decision in favour of the Versant. “The improvement in quality from the old 2400 x 2400 x 1dpi printing of the 700 to the 2400 x 2400 x 10dpi of the Versant 80 is noticeable even to the untrained eye. Our clients have also been more than satisfied. Combined with the faster printing and quicker turnaround times, the Versant has made a very real difference.”
The Versant fitted very quickly into the production process at Master Print. Not only is it easy to operate but it also connected to the existing inline finishing system which was used with the 700. The modular connection meant that the learning curve was limited to the new print engine.
“Although training was provided, the operation of the Versant is fairly simple and similar to the 700,” Bailey says. “There are obviously some differences in the operating software, with this being a newer press, but it was relatively easy to learn.”
The quality of printing achieved on the Versant provides an additional benefit to Master Print. Not only does it allow short run work to be handled digitally thereby freeing the litho production for the longer run work, it also allows for accurate proofs and pre-runs to be handled with the ability to accurately match the colour from digital to litho.