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Customer Spotlight: ProDocumentSolutions
As a lifelong printer, Paul Mantey’s journey in the print industry began with a strong foundation in graphic communication from Cal Poly. Throughout his career, he has worked in several segments of the industry, including packaging, publishing, and commercial.
Paul joined ProDocumentSolutions in 2021 and, at that time, a significant portion of the company's revenue came from election ballot printing, specializing in vote-by-mail packets and supporting materials for counties primarily in the Western United States, including 28 out of 58 counties in California, as well as counties in Colorado and Nevada. “ProDocumentSolutions (or ‘PRO’ as we call it) was founded almost 45 years ago as a business forms printer. In our early years, we also became experts in security printing, so election ballot printing was a natural evolution,” shared Paul Mantey, President.
In addition to ballot printing for elections they produce vital records, vehicle registrations, and even some forms of foreign currency, as well as secure certifications, university and college transcripts, coupons, and negotiable documents, sensitive official, and prescription forms. They hold SOC 2 certification and have extensive security measures in place at all levels of their operation, from physical premises to data encryption. Adhering to NASPO security standards and protocols, ProDocumentSolutions boasts two dozen patents related to security printing, earning its reputation as a trusted provider in this specialized field.
However, Paul recognized a critical challenge: the cyclical nature of their business. “We needed to solve the ‘odd-year’ problem. Election ballot printing, while lucrative in even-numbered years, experiences significant slowdowns during odd-numbered years,” Paul explained. His goal was to find a way to leverage the company's capabilities to expand beyond election ballot printing.
To do that, he took stock of the company’s strengths. “Because we specialize in work that requires high-level security, encrypted data at rest and in transit, redundancy and contingency plans, and data expertise, we were already doing some of the most complex parts of the print business. We purchased the Canon ProStream web-fed inkjet press in a strategic pivot to diversify our offerings. With the headroom, versatility, and high-quality output our ProStream gives us, the sky is the limit now — we can easily take on casino projects, direct mail campaigns, and other marketing work without missing a beat. Since organic growth in a new market can take years to develop, and since we have the only ProStream on the West Coast, initially we plan to support overflow work from other printers, primarily in the Midwest and East Coast,” Paul shared.
Along with their Canon ProStream ProDocumentSolutions has a Canon VarioStream and two Canon imagePRESSes and utilizes PRISMAproduction to streamline workflows and accelerate production efficiency. “We have nearline finishing with MBO lines with digital perf and score, sheeting, folding, single delivery, stacking, booklet making, and many other finishing options, all barcode driven — in addition to our fleet of traditional finishing options for short runs. The ProStream was an easy choice for us. Not only did it give us significant additional capacity and redundancy for our election work, it opens vertical markets for us that we never could have pursued before.”
ProDocumentSolutions continues to innovate in security printing, having recently developed a security feature called GHOSTmark™. This invisible watermark is being used in elections to enhance ballot security, showcasing the role of inkjet technology in safeguarding critical processes. “The ProStream is what made this security feature possible for us; other inkjet presses revealed the invisible watermark, but the ProStream’s ColorGrip technology protected the invisibility of the watermark feature — just one more reason why the Canon ProStream was the right choice for us.”
“One of the biggest benefits of inkjet that is often overlooked is that inkjet appeals to a younger generation because of the technology — something our industry has desperately needed. Our employees have been given the tools and exciting technology they need to do the job and they love it — their eyes light up and they've really embraced it. Inkjet has created a buzz and excitement among our younger generation,” Paul said.
Paul shares his valuable insights with his peers regarding inkjet technology: "Inkjet is an undeniable game-changer; it is clearly the direction in which the industry is heading. If you're involved in printing, there's an inkjet solution that fits you. Having recently explored the market, I can tell you the technology is exciting, and there are a lot of players in inkjet. I encourage you to look at not only the inkjet technology available, but also the support the manufacturer provides your company. Hands down, Canon Solutions America leads in inkjet technology — but, more than that, their commitment to customer service and the strength of the thINK user community sets them apart. I've yet to encounter another company with a user group quite like thINK. Moreover, I will tell you the conversations I've had with Canon's sales staff reflect a unique dedication. While other salespeople view their role as ending after the sale, Canon believes it's just the beginning of a relationship. We're likely to encounter challenges along the way, but we are confident Canon Solutions America is committed to being there to help us navigate them."
“We are pleased that the Canon ProStream is the perfect fit for ProDocumentSolutions, enabling them to have the redundancy they require for high-security print customers as well as the high-quality output customers demand for other high-end print offerings, along with the full support of Canon Solutions America and the thINK community,” said Francis McMahon, executive vice president, Production Print Solutions, Canon Solutions America, Inc.
thINK is an independent community of Canon Solutions America inkjet customers, solution partners, and print industry experts, and Canon Solutions America is a proud executive sponsor. Led by some of the most successful inkjet service providers in the country, it provides a forum for members to network, gain knowledge, discuss common challenges, and share best practices.