As part of L&NW Label Insights, we recently had the luxury of sitting down with LaMourie to discuss the ways in which Domino is preparing its customers to thrive in the digital printing marketplace. Domino has instituted a host of programs and workshops designed to promote a seamless entrance into this trending space.
L&NW: What are the goals of the Digital Solutions Program?
Our mission as a team is to provide our customers with best-in-class training, tools and support so they can be as successful as possible with our technology. It sounds cliche, but our customers’ success is what drives our success as a company and allows us to develop more products to further meet the needs of the marketplace.
L&NW: What inspired the development of this program?
We took a look at the industry and talked with our customers, and it seemed like even though every manufacturer provides some level of training, there were still some missing pieces. With that in mind we looked beyond the machine and thought about the entire process, or “ecosystem,” of digital production. Being successful in digital (and printing generally) requires efficiency, not just on the shop floor but in all of the activities that happen before and after the actual printing and converting.
L&NW: What are some challenges that new digital inkjet press owners will face, and how does Domino provide support?
The learning curve can vary widely depending on a customer’s experience with digital, experience with inkjet, and overall mindset when it comes to integrating new equipment. Some of those things – like mindset – we have somewhat less control over, so we focus on the areas where we have expertise and where we have identified a need based on conversations with the customer.
Digital experience can be helpful, but not all digital technologies function the same, so we encourage customers to leverage their digital experience without making assumptions about what they already know. For example, around 50% of our customer base already had a digital press (excluding tabletop units). Roughly half of those were inkjet, with the other half being toner. That leaves around 50% with no digital experience at all. In theory, these customers should need the most support. For them we offer an Intro to Digital workshop that goes over digital technology, inkjet technology, basic workflow and file prep.
L&NW: When first entering the digital arena, how can converters best go about estimating consumable consumption?
This depends on the technology. Unlike toner devices that operate on a click charge model, our costing model is based on actual usage. So, you are paying for the ink that you use, not for footage or frames. Our DFE calculates a very accurate ink usage estimate for every file that it processes, and estimators do not always have access to the artwork at the estimating stage. This is where our Estimating Workshop can really help customers dial in their consumables usage based not only on jobs they’ve already run on their Domino, but any existing jobs they have in-house that they already have artwork for. From this we can generate ink MSI numbers, identify outliers, and even offer options for reducing ink consumption.
L&NW: What tools does Domino provide to help ensure accuracy and maximize profitability?
Along with the consumables analysis, we have job costing tools that we use internally to help customers cost-justify the press in the pre-sales stage. We often use these as a benchmark against whatever estimating tools a customer already has. Some of our customers have an estimating component within their MIS system but many opt to use simple spreadsheets. Either way, we can do a comparison to look for major discrepancies between our costing model and theirs, and take a deeper dive if things are significantly out of alignment.
L&NW: How does the Digital Solutions Program further emphasize Domino’s role as a partner and not just a manufacturer?
Manufacturing the device is really only half the battle. The rest lies in the support and consultancy functions that make any installation successful. This is where the Digital Solutions Program shines, and that is what separates a true partner from just a manufacturer. We have created workshops to address the topics that we feel are most important.
L&NW: What workshops does Domino offer?
Some of the workshops we offer include:
- Introduction to Digital Printing: If your company is new to digital printing or you are bringing file prep/prepress in-house for the first time, this training workshop is designed to help you increase efficiency, increase uptime and make more money.
- Color Management: Achieving consistent and repeatable color to an industry standard on a new digital press often requires press time that your shop cannot afford to give up. Let us help you increase your uptime by training your team on color management.
- Customer Sales Training: You’ll be provided with the tools to understand how having the Domino digital press will help you sell more, build and expand your client base, and increase your profitability.
- Estimation & Workflow: Understanding the impact of various production costs is critical to building a thriving digital business.