Starnet Retools to Meet Increased Demand for Short-to-Medium Run Printing Exclusive, Online Tool Delivers Print-on-Demand Turnaround Capability

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Over the past year, Starnet Media Group has upgraded virtually all of their print production equipment to meet current demand, as well as expanded their capabilities to meet future expectations in short-to-medium run print production. New equipment from Heidelberg, HP-Indigo and Delphax Technologies produce up-to-date marketing materials, books, and promotional materials that are no longer outdated before the print run is used up.

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Over the past year, Starnet Media Group has upgraded virtually all of their print production equipment to meet current demand, as well as expanded their capabilities to meet future expectations in short-to-medium run print production. New equipment from Heidelberg, HP-Indigo and Delphax Technologies produce up-to-date marketing materials, books, and promotional materials that are no longer outdated before the print run is used up.

On the commercial printing side, Starnet has seen an increase in demand for full-color short to medium print run lengths, along with an increased requirement for heavy ink coverage. Jeff DiPaola, President and CEO of Starnet Media Group, explains, “We have seen a steady shift from our customers needing long runs to greater demands for short-to-medium run lengths of their color brochures or direct mail pieces. Customers are finding that keeping their literature more current and relevant to a dynamic marketplace helps them attain better results.”

“To accommodate this as well as the quick turnaround expectations,” DiPaola continues, “we have installed a 6-color 40” Heidelberg Speedmaster CD with coater, a 5-color 20” Heidelberg Printmaster, Heidelberg Polar Cutters, and a Duplo saddle stitcher over the past year. Along with the folding and finishing equipment already at Starnet, we are now positioned to meet and exceed our customer’s quality and turnaround time expectations.”

Starnet has also upgraded and expanded their digital printing capabilities. Having experience with Indigo Digital printing since 1998, they have now moved on to their fourth generation press – the new HP Indigo Press 5000. Starnet has remained a loyal Indigo customer as the quality of the printing is often indiscernible from conventional offset printing, as opposed to the often garish color and the Braille feel of dry toner-based printers. Backed by the commercial finishing equipment at Starnet, the HP-Indigo press continues to be a valuable tool for short run, quick turnaround printing, with the capability to handle variable text and image data.

Having printed short run black and white as well as color books for their commercial customers, Jeff DiPaola and his partners saw another opportunity and installed a Delphax CR1300 digital web press together with perfect binding for short-run book manufacturing. Using Electron Beam Imaging (EBI) the Delphax press produces high quality text books in collated blocks which are ready to be bound. The covers are printed on the HP-Indigo digital offset press and laminated in house. The books are then perfect-bound with a hinge score in their onsite bindery department, providing publishers and authors with a high quality product.

To solve the dilemma of repeat ordering when print runs are shorter, Starnet has adopted a unique online suite of reordering tool for their customer base. “Now our customers and their representatives – sales reps, distributors, dealers, department managers, etc., can go onto a personal, branded and secure website and personalize or version a printed piece live online, download a .PDF file proof and then requisition or order the job depending on their permission level,” says Alex Blackwell, who has been heading up the online work. “We’ve made it exceedingly easy to use and the only cost beyond the printing is an often nominal initial set-up charge.”

Having partnered with several technology providers over the past seven years, each time hitting a major stumbling block with either the technology or the business model, Starnet experimented with different approaches until they found a completely workable solution. “We now have a suite of tools in place that enables our customers to version a sell sheet, brochure, invitation, business card, report or virtually any other print document. They may then download a proof for approval, and then place their order. Each transaction can save them hundreds of dollars in administrative costs at their end alone,” Alex continues, “and we can also provide pick and pack services with this system or have a high resolution PDF file as the ‘deliverable’.” The customer only orders what they actually require, and only when they need it. Their customer in turn thus gets the most up-to-date information, and is more likely to react favorably. Starnet provides their customers with the means by which to accomplish this quickly, easily, and within budget. “We’ve thought it through comprehensively with our customers’ expectations and end applications in mind,” concludes Alex, “and that’s why they like it so much.”

One major corporate customer using the system has stated: “Using Starnet’s online tools has empowered our sales people to provide their retail customers with personalized collateral material on demand. This is something our customers have been asking for and by providing it, our relationship with them has strengthened”

A medical marketing agency uses the system to version pre-printed meeting invitations, view and approve the result, upload the associated mailing list, and order sales rep handout packages. “We don’t know how we managed to accomplish these complicated programs in the past. This has been a tremendous help.” They said.

If you are interested in further information about Starnet’s capabilities, or would like to arrange a site visit or a personal interview with Jeff DiPaola, please email or call Alex Blackwell at 201-760-2600.

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Alex Blackwell
STARNET
201-760-2600
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