Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And they asked, “will this print envelopes?”

Over the years if I was given a penny for each time a new customer would ask, "will this print envelopes?" I would be a millionaire! The reality is even the few copier manuals that mention that they can print on an envelope like a number 10, you quickly find out that the service department that handles your account doesn't support it. Why not?

I mean come on, most fusing sections of a normal copier run from 160 degrees centigrade to 200 degrees! That is the perfect environment for a new feature called self sealing. That's right you just print your envelopes and they come out sealed for you! Not to mention that they come out very friendly, as they will come out looking like they are waving at you. As most of us in the business know it would be nice to have a real solution for envelopes!

Now there is Riso and offset duplicators which will do multi color envelopes but even a seasoned pressman hates envelopes. Now once you get to full color envelopes you start running out of options.

Sure there are specialty presses for high speed envelopes and you can always print flat and convert but wouldn't it be nice to have a full color digital envelope press? Can you imagine maybe even complex variable images along with your address information? A short run solution with the capability to run all day, and maybe for as little as 2, 10 50 envelopes?

Well there is an answer; let Pirate Mike introduce you to PSI!

Yes PSI has developed a digital envelope press that slightly resembles a copier with an AB Dick Envelope Feeder on the front with a conveyor belt delivery on the back! Print up to 55 #10 envelopes per minute in "one pass" as the website says.

  • Wrinkle Free – High Impact
  • Print color on difficult stocks
  • Cost Efficient
For just pennies you two can print your own envelopes simply and efficiently! Ok am I starting to sound like an info-mercial I will stop! But it is still worthy of noting as this technology has taken so long to come to bear. I remember the first time that I had heard of PSI's new technology, it was from one of my clients a "Sir Speedy" franchise. They had seen this device at the national convention and were asking me if I could sell it. They know that I have a tendency to sell products that are not on the price list – IKON's or anyone else's for that matter. I sadly said "no" I don't think I have ever run into it! Till just a couple weeks ago when my bosses boss sent me a "demo video" of this new great product. It was the PSI envelope press. Ok you will find out that I call everything a "press", so don't get caught up in the minutia. I was ecstatic a new product! I love new products and am always looking for a way to offer something that I won't have 5 other bids for as we all know that copiers, printers, and digital presses are a dime a dozen. The only thing that sets us all apart is the quality of the local staff for a given vendor. Installation, implementation, training and support are what make you or break you in my opinion. The rest is history, customers are becoming very savvy and being taught by professional buyers and consultants on what they need.

It is hard for me to remember the last time I really sat down with a neophyte in the office equipment biz. Mostly I sit down with production managers, general managers, and C level operations and It professionals that can basically give you the part numbers for what they need. Now they may not know why or have been led down a particular path and need a bit of readjusting to their particular workflow or network typology but in general they have a pretty idea of what they want, who they want to buy it from and how much they are willing to pay for it. It is always amazing how still buyers will hold back information thinking that this is benefiting them. Only to find out that they omitted something that was critical for their own success or that was pertinent to the cost structure to make the project a winner. I never feel sorry for those types of buyers, I figure if you don't take advantage of my years of experience and use what has been paid for by my company, "my salary" to answer your questions and gather important data for you then "shame on you!"

Long term I do not know the robustness of these printers, the engine is made my Okidata and the service is completely seperate from whom you will buy this device from. I just was excited to see someone address an age old problem that now I can fix for a "nominal fee." I will let you beat that out of me! They say the monthly duty cycle on one of their engines is 150,000 per month. Now I am a bit skeptical of anyone's "maximum monthly duty cycle" as we all know that is in a white sterile lab for one month before the machine blows up, not for a typical 5 year lease. But at 55 pages per minute that gives us the potential to get 25,080 envelopes in an 8 hour day factoring in 95% uptime that is pretty interesting. Using the company's duty cycle that would average about 7,500 envelopes a day based on a 20 day work month. Not bad for the nemesis of the copier salesman.

We all hate envelopes so it is fitting that now we can make money on them, as at some point in our career a customer has hated us because our machine either wouldn't do envelopes or because it did do envelopes for a while then quit working all together after they glued everything on the inside together. Hurray for another thing to sell to fix a problem that is older than the copier itself.

Happy printing,

Pirate Mike


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