Konica Minolta Announces Extensive bizhub PRO C6500 Customer Implementation

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Successful New England Direct Marketing Firm, The Ready Group, Implements Seven bizhub PRO C6500Â?s and Drives Measurable Results. Konica Minolta and The Ready Group to Discuss Partnership at 2008 ON DEMAND Conference and Exposition on March 3 in Boston Â?- Konica Minolta Booth #916.

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta), a leading provider of advanced imaging and networking technologies for the desktop to the print shop, today announced that seven of its bizhub PRO™ C6500 production print systems have been successfully implemented at The Ready Group, an interactive direct marketing firm located in Pembroke, MA, which is driving remarkable customer response rates with the help of Konica Minolta’s leading-edge digital printing technology.

Since The Ready Group installed its first bizhub PRO C6500 in February 2007, it has seen productivity and volume of its direct marketing productivity increase to the point where they are now running seven of the bizhub PRO C6500 systems full time, printing more than 100,000 pieces of mail during an 8-hour shift. Working with their strategic partner AmeriMail Corporation, The Ready Group has expanded its digital printing usage from one machine to seven machines in only 12 months. Having previously relied upon HP printers, production was extremely limited. Recently though, by leveraging the award-winning bizhub PRO C6500 systems on a recent 12,000-piece mailing, which included a personalized-URL (p-URL) for New England’s #1 Lexus Dealer, The Ready Group and their client were able to track 133 site visitors based on recipients’ visits to their personalized web landing pages. Of those visitors, 72 respondents completed surveys regarding their potential trade-in, their purchase or lease interest, etc. and as a result of the dialogue between customer and dealer, over 50 vehicles were sold over a 4 day period. Perhaps most impressive, the return on investment (ROI) within only 10 days was 1,000 percent based on the dealer’s total investment for the campaign. The variable data capability was instrumental in capturing the attention of the mail recipients and enticing them to interact with the dealer rather than reading the message and then discarding the piece.

“The quality of our direct marketing products using the bizhub PRO C6500 systems from that of the previous printers had run has increased so significantly that we have quickly begun attracting the interest of major automotive manufacturers, including Volvo Cars of North America,” said Dan Ready, president and founder of The Ready Group. “Not only do the marketing pieces created with the Konica Minolta technology look better, but we have drastically reduced direct mail lead time and exponentially increased the volume of pages we can print in an 8-hour shift. We are excited that the Konica Minolta approach to digital printing meshes with our slogan of ‘Art and Technology Driving Measurable Results.’ ”

The bizhub PRO C6500's paper capacity, flexible finishing options and cost-efficiency are ideal for light- to mid-volume on-demand color production printing. The bizhub PRO C6500 has the ability to duplex print heavy and coated stocks – up to 256 gsm (10 point) through any tray – and 300 gsm (14 point) stock simplex prints through a dedicated paper tray. Finishing options include a perfect binder finishing option which produces up to 600-page perfect bound books; a saddle-stitch booklet maker for up to 200-page trimmed booklets; a multi-folding unit with post-inserter and hole-punch; and a 5,000-sheet stacker unit for increased productivity and lower labor costs.

The Simitri HD® Color Polymerized Toner was developed specifically for the production printing market and was first available on the bizhub PRO C6500. Its small particle size provides smoother halftones and a vast improvement in text reproduction and sharpness. In addition, the small particle size leads to less toner use resulting in cost savings.

“When we launched the bizhub PRO C6500, we were focused on redefining the price/performance curve for color production print systems, and that’s exactly what we were able to do for the Ready Group,“ said Kevin Kern, vice president marketing and product planning, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Inc. “We are excited by the quality, speed and volume that The Ready Group has been able to manage since growing their fleet of the bizhub PRO C6500 systems to seven full-time machines.”

Editor’s Note: Learn more about award-winning bizhub PRO C6500 at the 2008 ON DEMAND Conference and Exposition in Konica Minolta’s booth (#916) from March 3-6, 2008. Konica Minolta will hold a press conference, featuring The Ready Group partnership on March 4, 2008 at 11.00a EST in Room 54 of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Boston, Mass. To reserve your attendance at the press conference and/or to schedule booth tours, call Doreen Maciak at 781.782.5732.

About Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Inc. (http://www.kmbs.konicaminolta.us), a leader in advanced imaging and networking technologies for the desktop to the print shop, brings together unparalleled advances in security, print quality and network integration via its award-winning line of bizhubTM multifunction products (MFPs); bizhub PROTM production printing systems; magicolor® desktop color laser printers and all-in-ones; and pageproTM monochrome desktop laser printers and all-in-ones. Konica Minolta also offers advanced software solutions, wide-format printers, microform digital imaging systems, and scanning systems for specialized applications.

Headquartered in Ramsey, NJ, Konica Minolta delivers expert professional services and client support through an extensive network of direct sales offices, authorized dealers, resellers and distribution partners in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America.

About the Ready Group

The Ready Group (http://www.thereadygroup.com) is a strategic automotive advertising and marketing firm dedicated solely on automotive marketing & advertising for franchised dealers, manufacturers & distributors. “Our team specializes in driving measurable results for more than 500 automotive dealer-clients, and our primary focus is to increase our client's net profitability, with "call-to-action" campaigns that attract "in-the-market" prospects.

“Our team members strategize, create and deploy campaigns that consistently drive quality traffic into showrooms, day after day. Focused solely on the ever-changing, competitive landscape of the retail automotive marketplace, The Ready Group offers our automotive clients access to some of the most effective advertising and marketing campaigns in the industry”.

Konica Minolta Corporate Contact

James Norberto

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.

+1 201.825.4000

Konica Minolta Media Contact

Doreen Maciak

Lois Paul and Partners

+1 781.782.5832

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