On-demand Printing–Directions for Digital Output

The company purchased the Indigo E-Print 1000+ digital offset color press about a year ago, after moving to its current, more spacious location. “We can register back-to-front dead-on on the Indigo,” Wollens comments. The press can also handle 12-pt. cover stock.

“We produced 50 50-page books on the Indigo with laminated covers for a customer that was pitching a cartoon series for TV,” Wollens recalls. “The client sold the show to Disney on the merits of that book.”

Now, Wollens and Weiss are focusing on maximizing digital printing profitability. “The Spontane has been profitable, partly because it’s a ‘no brainer'; you don’t need a press operator,” Wollens explains. “The Indigo is sharp; but, if you’re not running it 16 hours a day, you’re not making money. We’re getting close.”

Wollens is also considering adding a four-up digital press for longer runs (of 500 to 2,000). “We’d like to be a $10 million business in two years,” he comments.

KEN HOFFMANN, president and COO of Valencia, CA-based Delta Direct Access, attributes his digital printing success, in part, to 23 years of conventional offset experience.

In that time, he helped grow Delta Lithograph from a $5 million shop to a $34 million commercial printer, serving as president and CEO after Delta was purchased by Bertelsmann AG.

At Bertelsmann’s request, Hoffmann expanded Delta’s operations to include an on-demand facility in Northern California to print documentation for Silicon Valley inhabitants. “Bertelsmann phased out that plant, but the experience really sparked my interest in digital printing,” Hoffmann recalls.

Divine intervention (an earthquake) and the redirection of Delta Lithograph by its parent convinced Hoffmann to transform his interest into a full-time business. “It was sign up or move on,” Hoffmann reminisces.

He moved on—to create Delta Direct Access with Rick Barrios, a mailing and fulfillment expert. Three years later, Delta Direct is a 30-employee, $4 million turn-key supplier of on-demand printing, mailing and fulfillment solutions.

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