A ‘print job’ that’s no longer hard work or time consuming
- Greater control of print
- Training for the production team
- Routine maintenance and remote monitoring
- Confidence in the investment
- A strong partnership
Established in 1921, market leaders Mira Showers and Rada Controls were acquired in 2001 by Kohler Co, a giant among American bathroom and kitchen manufacturers. With a wide and ever-expanding product range sold in over 40 countries, Kohler Mira caters for both domestic and commercial shower users.
After years of outsourcing, technical publications manager Mark Smith approached Commercial for advice on machinery for a new in-house print room. Mark issued a formal tender and selected Commercial’s competitively priced solution.
The initial proposition of a single Ricoh 1085 networked multi-function device (MFD), guillotine and booklet maker operating two days a week has expanded over time as more and more printing is brought in-house. Today, two robust Ricoh Aficio MP9000 MFDs operate eight hours a day, four-and-a-half days a week, producing high-volume print runs of A5 black-and-white operation manuals on 90gsm recycled paper. The solution is automated and incorporates folding, stapling and trimming.
Commercial managed the installation of the new system and provided thorough training for Kohler Mira’s print production team. Regular, routine maintenance and proactive remote monitoring give Kohler Mira additional peace of mind about the investment, and total confidence in the equipment. “The machines improve and can handle a greater capacity every time we replace them, which is roughly every five years,” says Mark.
The smaller A6 literature also produced by the department is finished on two smaller Morgana machines, and a colour MFD caters for small-volume colour work, such as data sheets for specific clients.
No compromises on quality
“Before, our external printers required a two-week lead time, and we had to rely on a lot of unpaid overtime,” explains Mark. “Sometimes we were in the office until 10pm trying to meet the deadlines. Now we’ve effectively gained a fortnight. As there are always last-minute tweaks to the publication content, the process is less stressful.”. The print quality, he says, is just as good as before, and the savings speak for themselves. “Since Commercial helped us set up our print room we must have saved at least £250,000 on our printing costs. A Ricoh machine probably pays for itself within a year. Decolourising and bringing in-house three particular manuals has alone saved us £15,000 over a three-year period.”
Quality of partnership based on speed of responsiveness
Based in Cheltenham, Kohler Mira benefits substantially from having a local supplier and technical support team. Help and supplies are always available and just a short drive away. “The Commercial team are personable and our print room operator knows them all by name,” says Mark.
The quality of the partnership is not solely based on speed of response. Mark trusts the company’s experience and knowledge:
“If Commercial were to say ‘Change all your machines next week’, we’d change them. That’s how much we’ve come to rely on them. They also recommended a different make of finishing machine for our smaller A6 booklets. You’d never get such an independent overview from a manufacturer.”