When the thINK user group asked me to share my story, I raised my hand right away. In fact, I presented at a session on in-plants last year at the thINK conference. You can watch it here.
I’m in charge of fulfillment at Intersections. We work with financial institutions to provide credit monitoring and data breach solutions. Being an in-plant, our customers are our internal marketing team and the companies we partner with to provide identity theft solutions.
Back in 2009, we bought two Océ JetStream 100s. Those were the early years of inkjet. There wasn’t a thINK community we could tap for help, and there were definitely challenges in those days. We struggled with finding paper developed for inkjet. I believe there were only two at that time, and they were hard to get. Color matching was challenging too, especially with limited paper options. Ink costs were high then too.
Committed to Inkjet
Despite all those issues, we remained committed to inkjet. It was the only solution that would give us the color we needed to satisfy our customers, variable data capabilities, complete control over data integrity, and white paper workflows that allowed us to meet stringent service level agreements. Most of the work we do is transactional, based on the products partners purchase from us. We mail alerts that go out daily with SLAs that are four hours, sometimes just three hours turnaround.
People have asked me would I do it all over again. But looking back, it was actually a pleasant experience. As a partner, Canon came through for us. They provided support we needed at the time. They worked with us through challenges. They learned. We learned. And that process helped create the next generation of machines.
The only thing we probably should have done when we were starting out was added a toner device as backup. But we relied on the inkjet platform and it came through for us. Today we rely on the Océ VarioPrint i-series for virtually everything we print.
The Technology Today
For those implementing inkjet now, educating customers on what is “acceptable color” is still an issue. Though our i-series with pigment ink and more media choices allows us to come very close. The technology has evolved, most of the issues have been resolved, and the ink and equipment costs have come down. For us, whitepaper itself beats everything.
That’s my story. I’d love to hear yours.
Ravinder Birdi is the Director of the Fulfillment center at Intersections Inc., in Chantilly, VA, with responsibilities covering all in-plant print and mail operations. He was brought in to tackle the immediate and long-term goals of the print and mail department, with a focus on production operations across multiple facilities, data capture and managing SLA requirements of various partners.