Winchester Printers: Old School, New Profit Tricks

There is a distinct Heidelberg flavor in Winchester’s pressroom, which includes various sheetfed offset press models and formats.

A new EFI Rastek H652 wide-format UV inkjet printer is expected to fulfill the demand for more large-format signage.

Also, touching down in about a month is a refurbished (2000-era) four-color, 40˝ Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 102 sheetfed press. It is a first of sorts for Winchester Printers: a full-size, four-color press. The shop had boasted a two-color, 40˝ and a number of half-sized Speedmasters.

So, while the company has changed with the times—and what 120-year-old firm could survive without adapting—there is still an allegiance to sheetfed offset because, as Chris Hottle will attest, it still pays grandfather’s rent. Saddlestitched books lead the way in terms of dollar volume at Winchester, followed by brochures and mailers. Pocket folders are popular among clients, and much of what the company prints is marketing materials that end up in the mailstream. To a lesser extent, Winchester still fires up its two-color Heidelberg Printmaster 46 half-size presses to churn out envelopes and letterhead.

No No-Trade Clause

Winchester Printers serves a number of verticals, including health care, higher education and home improvement. A significant amount of work is provided to mailing houses, as well; while Hottle does not fancy his company a trade printer, these types of relationships seem to be an avenue toward growth.

The growth path can also be echoed for the Linoprint C901, which was package ordered with a scanner, an in-line saddlestitcher and the Prinect Color Toolbox; along with Prinect workflow upgrades Prepress Manager, Signa Station, MetaDimension and MetaShooter. “The upgrades give us more automation throughout the shop. We no longer have to go through multiple programs to preflight jobs, or to check color or fonts,” Hottle remarks.

The need for the Linoprint C901 press was simple. Winchester had been operating on another digital platform for four years, and found the click charges and service contracts to be eroding profitability. And, while Winchester gave up some esoteric capabilities in the switch, the move seems to be more in line with what the printer wants to accomplish.

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