What the Heidelberg and Unisource Partnership Means for Printers
We've learned on the consumables side, and are learning on the paper side, what buying decision processes are involved. To a great degree on the consumables side has been all about the supplier relationship. In the past it’s been the old buddy who shows up with the donuts and tickets to the ball game. Breaking through has been a challenge, and you have to do it delicately. But, bit by bit, it works by applying hard facts and figures to determine real performance of products. A printer can then see, for example, that by using this new washup solution, his waste is down 20 percent with little or no cost in making the change. That makes it a no-brainer decision. We have begun testing Unisource papers so we can jointly certify how this paper performs.
PI: How is the combined paper/consumables bundling offering being set up? Will it be volume based, a case-by case situation, etc.?
DUNN: We're really working through that now. We said, number one, let's get product to the printer's doorstep. Then, let's determine through our mutual databases where we have common customers. As we get completely comfortable with the statistical component, the deliverable, we'll then come back and develop some bundled offerings. In all likelihood, though, I don't think there will be that many canned offers. We anticipate that our Printers Advantage program can be extended to provide large scale benefits to small and mid-sized printers.
PI: What would you consider to be the target size print shop for this new offering?
DUNN: I don't know if we've really defined that, but we have a pretty good profile as to the dominance of volume that we get. If we look at our 33,000 customers, about 1,100 represent almost 70 percent of our total business. Some of the overlay that I see with Unisource is that they kind of mirror one another, and that these printers require a lot of paper. That certainly will be one sweet spot, but we also see opportunity through Printers Advantage and other programs focused on the smaller shops.