Above: RISO’s Valezus T2100
I am looking forward to our September Production Print issue. From cover to cover, this will address every facet of how successful dealers are employing these high-speed engines employing the latest print technology. Along the way, I expect to learn much more.
In my initial interview with EO Johnson, one of the more successful dealers in the country selling Canon and Ricoh production print products, I learned quite a bit. This was only the first, and I have three more dealers to interview, each with a different manufacturer. Next up is VBS/Edwards Business Machines, who will share their journey with Konica Minolta’s competitive line of production print products. Following that, I have interviews lined up with Ricoh and Xerox dealers.
EO Johnson and RISO
In my interview with EO Johnson, one of the most interesting aspects of what I learned is that along with Canon and Ricoh, it also successfully employs RISO products. After reading that, I needed to learn more.
We doubled back to ask EO Johnson’s Production Print Director Jeff Reuter what role RISO played, especially with Canon and Ricoh already filling up their Eau Claire, Wisconsin showroom. This rather significant climate-controlled building also serves as their demonstration facility and delivers a 95% closing rate. Here is Reuter’s response:
As far as the RISO inkjet goes, we have been a RISO dealer for over 20 years and have been very successful with their products, starting with the original duplicator line all the way up to their current dual engine, high-speed inkjet line.
We have gotten a decent number of placements in the financial and insurance sectors, for statement printing and letters. They are very good running machines for the right applications. We are also making inroads into our education customers for low-cost pleasing color prints. In commercial environments, we have placed them in accounts that do a lot of form printing or carbonless work.
In other words, RISO fills some holes in their EO Johnson Canon and Ricoh repertoire and, along the way, sells products such as their Valezus T2100 (which RISO claims has an average selling price of $250,000). We are now doubling back and adding a dealer to the interview list that sells RISO as their lead production product.
Other Production Print Segments Worth Watching
That is the fun part of the business for me. I continue to enjoy learning about the manufacturers who produce feature-rich products for special applications that dealers are selling, and others can sell.
One of the other areas I have been keeping a watchful eye on is textile printing. Prior to the pandemic Carol, CJ, and I attended an exposition and conference known as ITMA in Barcelona. This world-class showcase encompasses every major manufacturer that produces products that print on textiles.
At ITMA, I interviewed executives from EFI Reggiani, HP, and Konica Minolta. It was quite an education. After what I witnessed, I assumed that Konica Minolta would be introducing its extensive line of textile printers in the United States. Unfortunately, the pandemic put a huge damper on this. We now have very good reason to believe Konica Minolta will introduce their textile line into North America this year. That is only my opinion, and I believe I will be proven correct.
I look forward to exploring and discovering new products employing different print technology. Inkjet is by far the leader in this segment of the print pie. Hard as it is to believe, I have not even scratched the surface.
Labeling and packaging are the segments that offer the greatest unit growth. In terms of total revenue, printing on textiles is anticipated to experience the greatest percentage of growth of all three within this decade. This is based on what I learned from ITMA in 2018.
I have seen enough of the manufacturers in the textile printing business, and they are well on their way to dominating their market segment. At some point, others will follow. I am referring to manufacturers who currently do not provide textile printers, such as Canon, Ricoh, and Kyocera.
Look for our September Production Print issue. You will want to have a hard copy of this one. It will be a work of art. Digital-only subscribers will see it online in mid-September, and hard copies will become available towards the end of the month. If you would like us to set you up for a hard copy, email me at email@example.com.
Be sure and watch the June 16 episode of Fridays with Frank and my interview with Andre D’Urbano, vice president of sales for RISO.
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