OVER a period of 18 months, diverse print and marketing solutions company Senses Direct has installed three Ricoh digital production presses.
Mark Mina, owner of the Sydney-based company, says he researched the market for digital production print and found the Ricoh machines came out on top. He says, “When we compared the Ricoh machine with the competition, we saw a better build machine. The quality of output is superior and quality is paramount.”
The company runs a Ricoh Pro C7110X, a Ricoh Pro C9110, and a Ricoh Pro 8120S black and white press.
He says, “Everyone is talking about the Pro C7110X, which has the ability to run white or clear toner. This allows us to complete more elaborate work for our clients, high-end work, not a large quantity, but the margins are better and the quality is excellent. We can make personalised products like invitations to seminars and weddings; it allows a more targeted approach.

“There is definitely better margin for the work we do on the Pro C7110X. The alternative would be more than one
process, so we save printing it on the Ricoh.” I know people say the Ricoh machines offer good value but I am not averse to paying more for quality. When you see the quality of the output and the reliability of the machines, you know Ricoh machines are far superior. They have helped our business immensely. They are easier to operate with no paper jams and the toners are easy to change.”

An evolving industry SENSES Direct comes from a mailing house background but has diversified its business,
which Mina sees as a necessity. He says, “We don’t pigeon hole ourselves as just a mailing house. We have evolved over time and we have a data bureau and fulfilment capability. We sit between the clients, the
printer, and Australia Post.

A 25 year industry veteran, Mina understands the requirement to offer more than one print service. He says, “I see much more diversity. In this business, you need to be a multi-facet provider. A mailing house should be a multi service provider to the industry. Mina sold his business to Geon a few years ago and subsequently bought it
back after the Geon’s collapse. He says, “In printing, the best businesses tend to be owner-operated, finger on the pulse outfits with a flat structure, rather than a corporate build.

“I think we all know where the industry is going. My thoughts from 20 years ago were personalisation but the issue then was that, although we had digital print, we never had the data management. Now, with the focus on data and personalisation, it is about one to one messaging. In other words, each mail piece should be personalised to the person receiving it. “With the Ricoh equipment and the software available, we can see that vision taking shape. In regards to the volume of mail going out, you don’t have to send as many but you can receive a much higher response from the smaller volume you do send.

“The shotgun approach to marketing must die. The one to one will increase and, with that, digital printing will increase. You only have to look at the statistics that Australia Post issue. Marketing mail is increasing with digital growth.” He sees many factors working in that direction. He says, “Look at the continuing increase in digital quality; the availability of data; a reducing click rate; and a faster digital print speed. These mean that it is
now more attractive to print a run of 2000 personalised products on digital than a run of 10,000 on offset. You get a higher response and you haven’t had to spend as much plus with the postage increasing.

“It is evolution and I suppose we have to adapt to the new technology and to the pressures out there. From that perspective, I see the personalised digital mail piece as the premium product in comparison with email. It is too easy to hit delete on an email.”
The Ricoh technology fits ideally into this scenario. Mina has welcomed the support and approach from the team at Ricoh Australia. He says, “I think the guys at Ricoh are absolutely fantastic. They are extremely talented and knowledgeable about the industry. They are professional in their approach, and their actions during the sale process showed how their product was superior.”