Industry Innovation in Action: A Look at Compu-Mail in Grand Island, N.Y.
Perhaps the surest sign of a company’s penchant for innovation is its ability to go on innovating day in and day out as new solutions point to new ways of getting the job done better. This sums up what has been happening for the last 30 years at Compu-Mail Direct Marketing, a Grand Island, N.Y.-based provider of data-driven marketing and business printing services.
Michael L. Vitch, president, says that the company has been doing variable data printing since its early days as a source of data management services for financial institutions, not-for-profits and other customers. His tools of the trade then were line printers for addressing greenbar paper and laser printers for letter work.
“I owned the lasers before I owned an offset press,” Vitch says.
He believes that digital printing has finally caught up with the kind of variable-data printing (VDP) he has been engaged in since 1988. His principal VDP methodology now is production inkjet as delivered by a pair of Xerox Rialto roll-to-sheet inkjet presses and a Canon Océ VarioPrint i300 sheetfed inkjet color press.
These devices have been at work for only a few months, but they are already helping Vitch get closer to his goal of achieving a white paper-in, full-color and VDP-out workflow for at least 80% of what Compu-Mail produces.
Aiding the task is the creative use the company makes of XMPie personalization software, which Vitch has been experimenting with since the days before the technology belonged to Xerox. The software lets Compu-Mail link website traffic to direct mail response so that, for example, a customer who fails to complete a purchase gets a personalized, follow-up postcard offering a discount on the merchandise.
A Compu-Mail e-book called “Achieving Personalization Through Variable Data Print” spells out the advantages of the variable imaging techniques that Vitch and his team never stop trying to take to the next level.
“If it works, we keep going,” he says.