The installation of a Xerox Versant 180 digital press — and the cost savings and efficiencies it provides, has allowed the owners of Martin’s Funerals Randburg more time on providing the compassion that bereaved families need, in their time of grief.
A good printer is an essential tool for a funeral home and choosing a photograph of a loved one for the memorial booklet is not an easy job, and not necessarily the first thing that springs to mind in times of grief. Funerals are emotional, difficult times and no-one wants the picture of their loved one blotchy, or with the colors’ all wrong.
Kobus Herbst, owner of Martin’s Funerals Randburg, says that in the celebration of each unique life, it is important to provide an individual experience. Funeral programs and memorial booklets should therefore be as unique as possible, and Martins Funerals Randburg offers a variety of finishing options to ensure that families get a beautiful, personalized program.
Using the Xerox Versant 180, Martin’s Funerals Randburg prints funeral programs in house on different types of paper stock and with different finishes. Each program is printed to the highest quality standards, and much of the process is automated, leaving Kobus and his wife to spend more time providing the compassion the bereaved need.
“This wasn’t always the case, and the Xerox machine has changed our lives. Our old competitor machine was too small and couldn’t handle the finishing options and different types of stocks. We were doing everything manually and my wife was working through the night,” Herbst says.

Compassion at the heart of the business
“Martin’s Funerals Randburg is dedicated to our clients, and we are always available to all who request our services and treat them with lots of love, empathy and compassion. The extra time the Xerox Versant 180 has gained us has given us the ability to offer even more personal service,” Herbst explains.
Founded in 1989 by Martin and Annalize Piek, with their children, Martilize and Wjm, Martin’s Funerals started with a small office space at the back of Piek’s first business, Penny Shop, to bring in an extra income. Within a few months, Mar†in’s Funerals expanded drastically, causing them to close Penny Shop to cope with the demands of Mar†in’s Funerals.
The company soon relocated to bigger premises in Randfontein and through private funerals and a number of contracts, was able to accumulate enough funds to purchase vehicles and other equipment. They employed more staff, moved into larger premises that covered all their requirements. The business expanded at a rapid pace.
Today, Mar†in’s Funerals consists of a nationwide network of 165 franchises and outlets. Herbst is the co-owner at the Randburg Franchise and 11 other branches.
“We have contracts with various mining groups, burial societies and insurance companies. We want to ensure that each and every person gets a compassionate, personalized service, and we pay attention to every detail. Printing the funeral programs is one of the many things we do to ensure that our clients get an individual and unique service,” says Herbst.

A comprehensive solution
The solution for Martin’s Funerals Randburg was put together by Hentschel Adams from Xerox’s business partner in Sandton, Xerox Document Excellence. Document Excellence is one of Johannesburg’s premier suppliers of document management and office automation products, offering over fifteen years of experience in providing turnkey printing solutions.
The Xerox Versant 180 was installed at the Randburg branch of Martin’s Funerals where the highest volume of programs is printed. Adams also suggested replacement printers for Herbst’s other branches and consequently the Xerox SC2020 was installed at remote branches such as Witbank, Middelburg, and Belfast, replacing existing competitor printers.
These have also saved Martin’s Funerals Randburg time and money, but Herbst says that the Xerox Versant 180 has made the biggest impact on the business. “Downtime with our previous printers was always an issue and caused us to outsource some of our work, costing us more money. We wanted to do everything in-house and automate the process as much as possible to save time and reduce costs. With the Xerox Versant 180, our printing cost is minimal, and the efficiency, flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness it offers have resulted in savings across the board with 99% up time.
“The Xerox Versant 180 was built with dependable high-speed printing in mind, providing an average of up to 80,000 prints per month. It delivers a unique suite of automated workflows, runtime features and production support tools, making it an ideal choice for Martin’s Funerals Randburg,” Adams explains.
“The automatic color calibration and in-machine processes take the guesswork out of producing a perfect output every time. With its automated registration and image quality controls, as well as the convenience and simplicity it offers, using the Xerox Versant 180 is as easy as scanning and copying.”
The printer’s automated image-to-media alignment ensures each page is perfectly registered and aligned, saving time and eliminating waste, and it automated image transfer adjustment ensures excellent print quality on every stock – smooth, textured or unique – by optimizing toner coverage based on media type.
The Versant 180 supports automatic job processing through pre-set queues or virtual printers that assign print parameters to files automatically. Once the queue or virtual printer is set up, all processing is automatic. Combining this feature with Hot Folders means that users can drag a print file to a folder on their desktop and the workflow is automatic all the way to finishing and stacking.
Herbst says that all these features and many others immediately made a difference. “We weren’t actively looking for a new printer, but the minute we started using the Xerox Versant 180, we knew we had made the right choice. I had never really thought about Xerox until I met with Hentschel. He was able to offer us a better solution with value for money that would address all our needs.”
He adds that, because Hentschel was so persistent in approaching him, he didn’t look for any alternatives. “Hentschel ‘cold called’ on an ongoing basis for over a year and when I eventually met him, he not only addressed our needs, he provided excellent service. We are very happy with the relationship, the service, and the printers.”