A new Xerox Baltoro HF at PrintPost has opened up a new world of possibilities for the An Post subsidiary
PrintPost, a wholly owned subsidiary of An Post, was established in 1994 to support the An Post Group with the provision of a secure print and fulfilment solution for business customers. Operating from two “mirrored” sites in Dublin and Portlaoise, PrintPost provides customers with an unparalleled hi-tech document management system. From day one, the company has enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Xerox, its key supplier. Last year Print Post purchased a Xerox Baltoro HF inkjet colour printer, an investment that will allow the company to change up its offering to customers, both old and new. Traditionally, PrintPost operated on a mono printing on pre-print format for its transactional mail business. Over the past few years, an evolving market has seen this core business move to single pass printing, removing the need for overprinting shells. “It allows for more flexibility and efficiency so we identified a business need to present our customers with an expanded offering. We also saw it as an opportunity to market ourselves to new business,” said John Brady, Managing Director, PrintPost.
“We embarked on a competitive tender process with Xerox, who came forward with a well thought-out solution that would allow us to meet the needs of our existing customers, while attracting new business. It is important that when we invest, we invest with an eye on the future and that in-field upgrades can further broaden the range of work we produce as our market develops. Essentially, it was a proposal that amounted to a collaboration with us, as opposed to a simple commercial transaction.” The Baltoro HF is a sheetfed inkjet press that boasts Xerox’s own High Fusion inkjet heads and HF inks to print productively onto a wide range of paper stocks. Aimed at the transactional, direct mail and catalogue markets, the Baltoro is a four colour B3 press, with high levels of Automated Intelligence including an inline X-Rite spectrophotometer for tight colour management, a broad range of paper and substrate support down to 52gsm and flexible feeding and finishing options. For added flexibility, it also features an option to cap the cyan, magenta and yellow heads to use it as a monochrome only device. “Ultimately, what won it for us was the combination of the performance outputs that it was providing, the cost of the machine and our ability to choose the appropriate quality and associated cost placed the Xerox Baltoro handsomely ahead of everyone else.”
The new Baltoro has already helped to drive business growth and further improved PrintPost’s competitiveness in the transactional mail market. “It has also allowed us to go to our existing customer base and say, rather than going down this road, here’s a solution that will give you a better return on your spend. We’re finding that several of our existing customers are in the process of migrating to colour print solutions so now, we’re in a position where we can remove their storage and logistics costs and offer them a simple, efficient, costeffective solution.”
John goes on to say: “An Post is diversifying and seeking to find relevance in a new way. That thinking has percolated into the subsidiaries, including PrintPost. We’ll continue to expand our facilities to meet the needs of longstanding and new customers, investing in the latest technology and equipment. With the new Xerox Baltoro, we’ve started that journey; we’re now offering our customers a colour print solution for transactional mail and we’re in a position to include inserts in envelopes, a fulfilment service that our customers have welcomed, particularly since Covid. New investment will allow us to move into other areas.” PrintPost carries out all of An Post’s transactional and personalised mail and internal communications. “We’re also fulfilling An Post’s commercial print requirements and looking at other opportunities to add value to the An Post Group such as design, vinyls and labels. Our aim is to continually add value to An Post and on the back of that, we’ll be in a position to offer these added-value services to our existing customer base.”
For PrintPost, it’s about finding ways of adding value to its existing customer base and growing the business organically on that basis. “Supplementing that growth with new customers is also part of our strategy. Ireland’s print industry has changed substantially; now we can offer our customers a far more comprehensive suite of offerings compared to what we could have offered 10 years ago.”
PrintPost purchased the Baltoro HF from Xerox the same day Leo Varadkar announced the country was shutting down. “ Despite all the limitations and the restrictions at the time, we managed to get it here, get it up and running, conduct online training and have it fully functional in a relatively short period of time. Given we were in the midst of the pandemic at the time, that was a fair achievement!”