29 Feb 2020

Company profile: Pixartprinting's management announces that 'the best is yet to .com'

Pixartprinting fully responsive LFR

Innovation, research and experimentation are the assets that underpin Pixartprinting's business model, while speed, engagement and communication are the key to the success of the leading European B2B Upload & Print company. CEO of Pixartprinting Alessandro Tenderini began his outline of what lies in store for the company in the short and medium term by stating “we have grown by 30% in the past year, and we aim to grow even more in 2016". The aim is to extend the company's reach, both geographically and in terms of the product sectors it serves, offering an ever-expanding range of services that create new needs amongst the firm's users.

The exponential growth at the company reached record highs in 2015: it now has an active customer base of 220,000 (compared to 45,000 in 2013), with over 9,000 print jobs a day managed by 500 members of staff (of which 100 have been recruited in the past year). The company is based on the three pillars of trust, reliability and innovation, and its logistics and manufacturing processes are highly computerised, allowing the firm to offer its appreciative customers a unique combination: ever more competitive prices paired with high quality and excellent customer service.

The coming months promise to be very busy for the company, in line with Pixartprinting's wish to continue to innovate and grow: from its arrival in America to the constant development of the catalogue, holistic marketing, a new fully responsive website, a novel branding project based around video content and the presentation of Pixmas 2015.

Pixartprinting arrives in America

“And the best is yet to .com”. With this forecast the management announced a new and important step in the company's geographical expansion: the launch of Pixartprinting North America, with its logistical and commercial offices in Boston. “This is a new and very exciting challenge for us, because our analysis shows that this market has great potential for the services we offer", Tenderini said. "We are taking this step in collaboration with the Cimpress Group, of which we are part". Cimpress, a global leader in mass customisation, is investing money in a manufacturing network that includes both its own sites and third party suppliers to manage orders placed with the Group's brands, including Pixartprinting North America. This venture into the USA market, supported by a tailored marketing strategy, brings with it the strong Italian flavour that sets Pixartprinting apart: a company with Italy at its heart both in terms of the way the business is run and the creative and innovative way it communicates. The e-shop will have a ".com" domain.

An ever-growing product range

The markets in which the firm operates and the customer base are also growing thanks to new items in the product range. “This year we have launched 38 new products, including brand new items, updates to old models and new uses given to existing ranges. Listening to clients' needs underpins this process, using the tools we have put in place, including our customer care service, Reevoo and market analysis", Federico Gonzalez, Commercial Manager at Pixartprinting explained. "There is a lot of collaboration between the R&D, manufacturing and marketing departments: we work tirelessly not only to offer innovative products but also to fine tune our existing catalogue to keep customers satisfied, and above all to ensure they remain loyal. The aim of all this is to be a benchmark for our users and to provide a service that covers all aspects. We have also introduced a loyalty programme, STARWAY, which rewards our premium clients, and which is proving to be very successful. Our work to develop customer loyalty is also in the interest of our clients, as by dealing with a single partner they can make savings both in terms of money and time”.

The new products include a range of Paper Shopping Bags launched at the beginning of the year and expanded to such an extent that they now have a dedicated sample pack; Wineline, a complete range of wine-related products with packaging that can be customised on all surfaces; and the Fastlane service, a new area of the website that allows clients to buy the firm's bestselling products in pre-configured designs with a single click, at even more affordable prices and with ultra-fast delivery. Not to mention PVC cards for promotional use, Diaries and a larger range of office products, including hardcover and softcover Notebooks and Notepads.

Holistic marketing

One of Pixartprinting's strong points is its holistic marketing strategy, which seeks to provide the right message at the right time, and aims both to acquire new clients and to ensure the loyalty of existing customers, using up- and cross-selling techniques.

"Unlike traditional marketing, where the aim is to acquire as large a number of clients as possible by prioritising the sales channel, we work to create engagement and retention, concentrating on the clients themselves. With our highly computerised and digital model for managing commercial and marketing activities, the relationship with our users has a similar dynamic to that seen in B2C markets", Andrea Pizzola, Sales & Marketing Director at Pixartprinting noted. "Every year we set ourselves fresh challenges in this area: the aim is to expand the range of markets we sell to and encourage clients who are still operating offline to work online instead”.

To put this engagement policy into practice, Pixartprinting focuses on the digital world with a mixture of strategies, working in harmony, like an orchestra playing in perfect unison.

“Our digital strategy is based on various tools, such as CPC, retargeting, merchandising, display advertising, affiliation, email marketing and social media. We use these channels to promote high quality content and information on the firm's product portfolio", Davide Turatti, Digital Marketing Manager at Pixartprinting explained. "We create topics, themes and subjects linked to our clients' businesses so that they become familiar with Pixartprinting, which in turn identifies their requirements and develops solutions to meet their current and latent needs”.

A lot of attention is focused on social media, which is used as a two-way communication channel, to ensure the company is seen as vibrant, engaged and active. Flexible customer care remains crucial, and it also makes use of these networks to provide timely support, aiming to overcome the physical distance between the company and the client.

Pixartprinting's digital strategy developed in two stages: initially it focused on optimising and reinforcing the brand, but now the focus is on analysing the data collected in order to carry out increasingly sophisticated profiling of its users. The data is then optimised on a single DMP (Data Management Platform), which contains all the information gathered both from Pixartprinting's channels and externally, with the aim of identifying clients and their digital identity and so offering them increasingly relevant products.

A fully-responsive e-shop

As part of its commitment to making its clients' lives easier and aim to cover all platforms and all channels, the Pixartprinting e-shop is now fully responsive. In other words, all functions can be accessed via desktop, tablet and mobile. “We are the first company in the Upload & Print sector to have achieved this milestone, which, for a website as complex as ours, is no mean feat. This is further confirmation of how much we care about our clients, who are not merely seen as consumers, but as people whose needs must be satisfied and, if possible, pre-empted" Pizzola commented. "The investments made to make the site fully responsive should be seen as part of our holistic marketing strategy, which is well-managed and always on the lookout for innovative platforms, so it can provide a punctual and personalised service to the market".

PIXMAS: the campaign for Christmas 2015

Another example of Pixartprinting's desire to explore new commercial strategies is PIXMAS, the series of special offers dedicated entirely to Christmas promotions. The formula that has been adopted is a campaign running from 23 November to 11 December, which allows clients to benefit from one promotion a day. A sort of promotional advent calendar, where the user opens their personal virtual door, with a new offer every 24 hours and a countdown showing how long they have until it expires.

The theme is AN 8-BIT CHRISTMAS: 1990s computer graphics have been given a Christmas makeover, with the generation they once inspired through classic computer games now grown up and amongst Pixartprinting's customer base. The campaign is a metaphor that goes to the very heart of Pixartprinting's ethos: it successfully managed to overcome the challenge of approaching the long-established printing market with a youthful language.

Editor’s Blog: Digital daydreams

derek lfr ed

It’s been an interesting year, says Derek Pearson

This time last year I wasn’t thinking about sophisticated simplicity quite so much as I am these days, but I’ll come back to that. Other things need examining first. First and foremost, joining up with the gentle folk of the Format Media Group has allowed me to spend much more time with Sue, the long-suffering Mrs Pearson, which is a great thing.

Mind you, she has got to put up with having me around the place a lot more and as a result her daily routine is in tatters. But at least she drinks a lot more tea.

And now the frankincense-flavoured fun of Christmas is just around the corner. We have the special episodes of Dr Who and Sherlock to look forward to and the company of family and friends to endure. Anything we fancy doing between now and the day itself will be like diving into a frenzied pool of hungry octopi and Sue even has to make an advanced table booking to have coffee with a mate at the local garden centre.

Another thing if somebody rattles just one more collection box in my face they’ll need a proctologist’s help to get their loose change back. Ho ho ho!

For the next few weeks the world will steadily lose its senses and launch itself into a celebration of food, drink and last-minute seasonal special offers for things you never even knew you wanted but you buy it anyway because the price is right. A few sad months later the thing sits forlornly on a trestle-table during a drizzle washed car boot sale at one quarter the price. And nobody buys it. Or is that just us?

Simplicity will never make a slave of imagination

It’s not all manic festive preparations though, work must go on a bit longer, and just now, I’m loving the material we’re getting in for Large Format Review. The range of applications in the signage and graphics markets is growing exponentially and the reasons behind all this is because of two things CAD and CAM.

I’m reminded of the film The Blues Brothers when the eponymous group turned up at a gig and stole the show. John Belushi asked the owner’s wife, “So what kind of music do you have here?” And she answered, “We have both kinds, Country and Western.” The perfect answer from a limited mind.

The world of CAD/CAM is more akin to something said to me by a friend of mine at college years ago and never forgotten, “There’s a whole universe of music out there and I have but one life during which to listen to it all.”

In the same way there is a whole universe of potential in the CAD/CAM arena, one that has already been explored by hardy pioneer types for decades now, but one that is becoming simpler, faster and more precise year by year. Will this lead to the dumbing down of production? Not according to the experts. Simplicity will never make a slave of imagination. Time for an analogy.

Chinook

Draughts, or if you’re reading this in Iowa, checkers. Take a checkered board with 64 squares and add 12 white discs for one player plus 12 black discs for another. The plan during the game is for one player to take all their opponent’s pieces. Nothing could be simpler. Children play it and old masters of 90 will happily ponder the possibilities for hours. It has been called both an art-form and a science and for some it is more than a game.

And then Chinook came along. Devised by Professor Jonathan Shaeffer, a Professor of computer science at the University of Alberta, Chinook learned how to always win at draughts against the best human minds in the game. It was a software program and it took until the 1990s to create it. Why? Because there are something like 500 billion billion possible game plans across that 64 square field, and that isn’t a typo, 500 billion billion.

That’s more than Apple makes in a year, in old Italian lire. It’s enough Smarties to rot the teeth of every child on the planet several times over. It’s nearly as big a number as the total amount of Lego Star Wars figures that will be sold after 17th December. It’s that huge.

So what? A big what, that’s what. Because CAD/CAM simplifies the production process it also opens out the possibilities for creativity. When you don’t have to spend so much brain sweat working out how you’re doing something you can focus more on the potential end result. I couldn’t do this job without a word processor, fact, and I write science fiction novels in my spare time.

There’s very little sophistication in a brush and some paint, but take a look at the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci or just about anything by Rembrandt and be amazed. That is what the increasingly sophisticated technology available to graphics professionals has done. It is like handing the simple brush to Rembrandt. Back then the rest was up to him, now it’s up to you.

And finally we watch 3D printing come onto the radar after decades of development and ever increasing precision. Modelling and prototyping of complex shapes at the touch of a button has just become affordable. Where shall it all lead? I can’t wait to find out.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Derek

ArtSystems field engineering team now City and Guilds certified for safety

ArtSystems safety certification LFR

Nottingham-based specialist signage, graphics materials and hardware distributor, ArtSystems continues its policy of investing in staff training where it counts. Its 14-strong field engineering and support team have all recently been awarded the City and Guilds certificate in Electrical Maintenance Skills 2572-01.

This helps to ensure the team understands how to practice the safe and correct handling of electrical systems for both the support and installation of the distributor’s full catalogue of HP Latex printers, Summa Cutters, Colortrac scanners, Stratasys 3D printers and other peripherals.

Technical Services Manager, Armando Carvalho, said, “The four-day City and Guilds 2572-01 programme helps raise awareness about the hazards associated with electrical equipment and machinery. The team is now even more grounded in the principles of electrical safety and systems testing across both single and three-phase supply.

“Ensuring our team knows what they’re doing when they arrive on site − no matter what they get confronted with – fits in with our philosophy of providing the fullest support to our resellers and their customers.”

He concluded, “We believe our service is second to none and so is our engineering and support team, but we will never rest on our laurels. The City and Guilds certification course has allowed the team to shine a fresh light on our existing procedures and proved a valuable adjunct to the experience and insight we already enjoy.
 
“ArtSystems is also the official HP Warranty provider for all HP Latex printers in the UK and Ireland. We are proud to have earned such glowing industry recognition for our high standards – and we will never set our aim below becoming the best in all we do.”

Antalis launches ICC Profile Centre

Antalis ICC profiles LFR

Antalis UK is making a comprehensive database of ICC profiles for leading visual communications products and digital printing presses available on its www.antalis.co.uk website. Easily accessible through a single sign on, the ICC Profile Centre ensures that customers obtain optimum printing results from the outset avoiding costly trial runs and re-prints. Over a thousand profiles are already available with more being continuously added.

"As the visual communication market continues to grow and Antalis expands its offering in this segment with dynamic brands such as Coala, we need to ensure that we are also delivering the services that will allow our customers to make the most of this business opportunity,” states Mike Collins, sign and display product manager at Antalis UK. “The Antalis ICC Profile Centre guarantees that each LFP print job is perfectly calibrated to deliver high quality colour results from the first print regardless of the substrate or machine used."

Readily available on the Antalis website, the ICC Profile Centre allows customers to choose a specific printer manufacturer, printer model, ink type and set-up as well as the precise substrate to be used for perfect results every time. As the Antalis visual communication portfolio grows, new ICC profiles will be added to the centre for added-value media such as wall papers and easy-apply products.

“We intend to continue working with the very best labs in this field to meet the expectations of our customers and keep pace with market trends,” concludes Mike Collins.

To access the ICC Profile Centre, go to: www.antalis.co.uk

Perfect Colours team trained up on new HP DesignJet CAD range

perfect colours Lee Heywood HP DPA

Five members of the Perfect Colours sales team have attained Master grade at the DesignJet Production Academy, a rigorous training programme devised by HP.

The course ensures that customers receive the best possible service from reseller partners, covering installation, software, technical and graphics applications, and matching product to business need. It primarily covers the new HP DesignJet T-series machines for technical and CAD applications; released yesterday, these include the T730, T830, T930, T1530 and T2530.

Freddie Ashmore, Les Bird, Lee Heywood, Sam McKay and Nick Martin are now amongst the few world-wide to have achieved this grade, with the UK the only country to offer it in the whole EMEA region. Having studied under the supervision of Perfect Colours sales director Jon Telling, the five-strong team took the examination at HP's Bracknell offices.

With a pass-mark of 75 percent, the HP DesignJet Production Academy is composed of four modules, whose technical rigours demand hands-on experience across all elements of the DesignJet series. Graduating with the title of 'Master' means that the five Perfect Colours team members scored more than 85 percent, signifying an exceptional level of technical competence that guarantees Perfect Colours customers the right long-term solution for their business needs.

Having shone during the testing, all were invited to a graduation ceremony in Barcelona last Friday to receive their awards. The five team members, however, were kept in the dark about their results until they arrived at HP's regional headquarters. Freddie Ashmore, sales account manager, explains: "The surprise of finding out on the day made graduating from the HP DesignJet Production Academy even more rewarding than the training itself. Knowing how tough the course is, coming home with the Master grade gave all of us a real sense of achievement.

"The four modules were highly educational and I now feel completely confident in the product range. When a customer is about to invest in the newest printer in their fleet they need to know you are technically competent, as well as understanding their business. Being able to demonstrate that HP has accredited me as a Master in DesignJet equipment will give them peace of mind as they come to a decision.

"The experience was very rewarding and I recommend that any sales person looks into this kind of training to boost their knowledge and give them the edge. Perfect Colours always jumps on those opportunities, so for all of us on the team, it's fulfilling to keep learning and honing our skills."

Jon Telling, sales director, confirms that education is central to ensuring competence across the business. "We all know that business owners are bored of the Dutch auction approach to sales, so training like the HP DesignJet Production Academy offer sales people a credible way to differentiate themselves," he adds. "This is a fantastic achievement for the Perfect Colours sales team and we're committed to this kind of opportunity, as well as to our customers."

 

Roland DG Academy launches new training courses and website

roland academy 2015l

Roland DG has announced the addition of a number of brand new Roland DG Academy courses as part of its commitment to continue to improve on customer knowledge and involvement with the brand.

The Roland DG Academy is an industry recognised training facility available to businesses and individuals working within the heart of the print industry and was created by Roland DG to inspire loyal, long-last relationships with both potential and existing customers.

The latest expansion of the Roland Academy has seen two new training courses and two of the popular Better Business Boot Camps introduced to its programme. The new training course additions have been designed following a growing need from the industry for small format flatbed UV technology and design software knowledge respectively. The VersaUV LEF range of printers have been a huge success and the Academy has noted this growth with the new course designed specifically for these extremely diverse machines. To help users get the most out of their design software and speed up art working processes, the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite course is a great way for individuals looking to maximise the potential of their businesses with the design capabilities to match

In addition to these two new courses, The Roland DG Academy has also built on its popular Better Business Boot Camps series, which offer short and informal sessions for Roland DG users looking for new avenues to expand and build their businesses. These Boot Camp sessions provide individuals with everything they need to know about a specific product, market or application and how this may benefit their own progression and development.

The new Lightbar Better Business Boot Camp provides attendees with expert advice on the latest solvent-UV ink technology available for Roland DG printers to demonstrate just how easy it is to produce instantly usable and durable prints.

Lightbar Creative Centre

 

The second new Better Business Boot Camp is called ‘Material Matters’ and is designed to help businesses maximise their profit margins by understanding how important it is to choose the right materials to use with their machines. Often in the graphics industry it is hard to find all of the information that you will need to make the right choices when it comes to materials. This session is a perfect way for digital printers to gain invaluable information from an industry specialist in a fun and relaxed environment.

Roland DG understands the importance of investing in knowledge to grow a business, which is why they have revisited its Academy courses pricing structure and made huge reductions on a number of its popular courses.

All one-day Roland DG Academy courses have now been reduced to just £125 and customers who purchase a VersaSTUDIO BN-20 will now receive a course totally free. The most popular two day vehicle wrapping course in the country has been reduced to just £250 making it a must for anybody interested in this lucrative application. To see the entire great price reductions please visit the website: http://www.rolanddg.co.uk/support/academy/ 

Offered at two central UK locations – Bristol and Walsall – the Roland DG Academy presents attendees with an engaging learning environment equipped with modern training technologies and the latest Roland DG technology.

Joe Wigzell, Academy and Creative Centre Manager at Roland DG UK said; “The Roland Training Academy has been providing ideas to further business development and insights into the advanced capabilities of our products for many years. We are proud to cater to all skill levels and support new and familiar clients by aiming to provide inspiration and versatility through our technology.”

To coincide with the introduction of the four new Roland DG Academy courses, the Roland DG Academy website has also undergone a revamp to ensure it provides an efficient and simple service for users. The new website has a brand new online booking system which is clear and precise, making booking a course with the Academy quicker and easier than ever before.

Roland DG is committed to providing a comprehensive, long-lasting service to all users in a bid to inspire and educate them on its machines and products post-purchase. As the Roland Academy continues its expansion, the UK’s leading manufacturer of wide-format printers and integrated printer/cutters hope this will enable its clients with the skills and knowledge needed to continue growing their business and increasing profit margins.