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Intelligencer--One-stop Initiative

October 1999
To provide customers with one-stop shopping, the decision was made to expand Intelligencer Printing's ink-jet imaging capabilities—a marketing concept whose time had come.

Intelligencer Printing is proud to be known for its "exceptional character and capability." As a major printing business and employer in the mid-Atlantic market, Intell impresses clientele with its circumspect corporate culture, entrepreneurial spirit and team-building philosophy of involving employees at every level.

Chartered in 1794 by a family of Morovian missionaries who emigrated to the Lancaster, PA, area, Intelligencer has been owned by the same family since 1866 and still follows its founders' commitment to continuously expand its technical and physical capabilities while maintaining rigorous quality standards.

Today, this $45 million commercial printer, which employs more than 250 individuals including 15 sales representatives, serves clients from Richmond, VA, to Stanford, CT—with Baltimore, Washington, DC, Philadelphia and metropolitan New York comprising its primary markets. To provide these customers with one-stop shopping, the decision was made to expand Intell's ink-jet imaging capabilities.

"Imaging addresses and marketing messages on print media was introduced at Intell as a marketing concept whose time had come," explains Dean Baker, director of sales. "The investment in this technology was leading edge, not bleeding edge, which is our operating philosophy.

Expense vs. Value
"We examine expense vs. value and incorporate proven technology," he adds. "Intell is constantly moving through new print dimensions, and the imaging of our print products in-house fits in well with our business plan."

Intell currently focuses its imaging capabilities on "making millions of custom-made products," states Baker, and its Videojet SR50B Imaging System ensures that flexibility is maintained. Each print job is different from another and is produced on a variety of presses, depending on the job specifications.

Sample runs of 25,000 to 50,000 pieces are not uncommon. Jobs like these are produced on a sheetfed press and then moved to a web press, following final customer approval, for hundred-thousand or million-piece production runs. The Videojet SR50 moves right along with the job.

"No matter where we need the imaging system—on-line, off-line or in-line, for a 50,000 or 5,000,000 piece run, the Videojet SR integrates with any of our presses both quickly and easily," says Baker.

When Intelligencer Printing decided to incorporate ink-jet imaging into its 100,000-square-foot printing operation, it employed the resources of two outside consultants who were experts in the nuances of postal regulations. All of the major imaging product manufacturers were reviewed, even though both consultants recommended Videojet as the supplier of choice.

Bill Spencer, Intell's bindery superintendent, spearheaded the project following the marketing decision to bring the imaging process inside. He was soon joined by Michael Stief, director of manufacturing, and Baker, forming the core of the purchasing team.

Seeing is Believing
Spencer and Stief traveled to a large printer on Long Island to see the Videojet SR in operation. Stief remembers, "We were astonished to see virtually untrained people running the SR. We were also greatly impressed with its ability to print high resolution art and addresses on glossy coated media—at over 700 feet per minute. Plus, our host told us that the system was efficient and cost-effective, with great turnaround times."

By then, Steve Brody, Intell president; Julie Butler, MIS manager; and Mark Newkirk, customer service manager, had joined the team as well. With all functional areas of the company represented, the decision to purchase the Videojet SR50B was unanimously confirmed.

Prior to its installation in June 1997, Stief recalls, "Our first shift operator, Steve Nemith, went through the operator and technical training courses at Videojet's headquarters in Wood Dale, IL. From the moment it was up and running, the SR has been super reliable. Steve has gone on to train the operator of our second shift, and our third shift operator is presently in training, so we'll soon be running 24 hours a day. We were really surprised, as we had heard that these systems were not user-friendly," he adds. "Our concerns were completely unfounded."

From Sheetfed to Web
The jobs the Videojet SR performs as it moves from sheetfed to web presses include: names, addresses, bar codes, logos, lot numbers and tracking codes. Baker relates: "At first we planned to move the SR from an off-line position to the folder, then the stitcher and finally the web. Because of its outstanding performance, we went directly from off-line to the web with absolutely no difficulties."

Experts at printing and finishing, Intell has become a one-stop shop. And according to Baker, it's now working directly from disk and has in-house mailing capabilities.

"Intell used to outsource over $300K per year in addressing and mailing business. With the Videojet SR, we expect to triple our business immediately in simple jobs and have very exciting projections about our business growth with in-line applications. Actually, we're so confident about our performance, we're adding a Videojet PrintPro ES to grow even faster," he reveals.

While Intell's "conservative, fiscally prudent leaders continuously optimize what is at hand," they also consider themselves "informed voyagers"—adventurers who possess the spirit to try anything and buy whatever they need to satisfy their customers every single day.

That attitude has ensured Intell's notable success, including no employee layoffs since the company was founded, and today defines Intelligencer Printing—an organization known for its "exceptional character and capabilities.".

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