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Kodak turns to Graphic Innovators to help drive hybrid inkjet printing

In a press release announcing the deal, Graphic Innovators VP/General Manager Paul Minasian said. "The beauty of the Prosper S-Series System is that it's a scalable solution that allows printers with offset equipment to enter the digital arena. "We view this as a 'win-win-win' for our customers, for Kodak, and for Graphic Innovators."

Kodak turns to Graphic Innovators to help drive hybrid inkjet printing

By David Ward, San Diego Thursday, 15 March 2012

Kodak has signed a partnership deal that makes Chicago-area printing equipment reseller Graphic Innovators an authorized sales agent for Prosper printheads to complement its direct sales force.

"It's an agreement with Graphic Innovators where basically they will act as a sales agent and get paid a sales commission for leads among their customers and their base," explained Jerry Miller, Kodak's Americas regional general manager, Digital Printing Solutions.

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"They're one of the largest sellers of refurbished web and sheetfed presses in the world and a lot of their customers are looking at how we make those presses digital. So they're bringing us exposure to their world and their customers and we're giving them some compensation for that. They have a good presence in packaging and they have a lot of newspaper customers, so I feel it will complementary."

Miller added that Graphic Innovators is particularly strong in Latin America, where they have a much greater presence than Kodak. "We've done sales agents type of things with companies like Xpedx," he explained. "Everyone is looking at how to serve the customers in the most efficient manner and over the long term we feel that will be a blend of both direct and partnerships."

Miller said Kodak will have 100% of the service contracts for any sales through this partnership, noting, "Many of the hybrid digital heads, you can pop them out and send them in to be refurbished so it's green and doesn't require a lot of service - so most of the aftermarket will be ink."

Miller said the hybrid press category is surging for Kodak's Digital Printing Solutions, adding the company has more than 400 of the Prosper heads installed worldwide. "It is a very significant growth area for us," he continued. "In part because of the ability of hybrid presses to do some variable data printing far more cost effectively than full digital presses.

"If somebody was printing a full web sheet and they only need 8 inches of that for variable, the higher digital ink cost will only apply to a portion of that, the 8 inches out of 40in. So that piece that has variable might only have a 10-15% cost increase versus running it as a standard piece. Full color variable using hybrid printing - which we'll be able to do at speeds of up 2,000 feet per minute - will make this be one of the highest growth areas in this space."