Independently-owned franchise printing and courier company 3@1 has upgraded its digital printing services in Stellenbosch with a Xerox Color C70 multifunction printer from Altron Bytes Document Solutions (BDS), the largest Xerox distributor in the world.

3@1 is a multi-service print, production and courier franchise, with outlets across the country. Each outlet is owner-operated, servicing their local communities with services tailored to local requirements – including stationery printing, posters, books and corporate apparel, and offering a full-scale courier service in partnership with DHL and other local courier companies, like MDS and Dawn Wing.

Having purchased the Stellenbosch franchise 20 months ago, owner Yolande Overton felt that she needed to take the business to the next level, identifying the Xerox C70 – complete with Xerox’s class-leading Fiery print server – to replace an end-of-life non-Xerox printer that lacked reliability and digital print quality.

“When I bought into the business I inherited a number of printers with long-term contracts, and for the first 16 months it was a challenge to work around their shortcomings,” says Overton. “From the start we were actively looking for better technology to make the business more competitive, both in terms of the services we delivered, and in the quality that customers expect from one-stop digital printing shops like ours.”

With a tender out to market for a new printer contract, Overton was immediately impressed by the solution offered by Altron Bytes Document Solutions.

“The first thing my team wanted was a refresh to new technology, and the Xerox C70 was that and more,” says Overton. “We debated whether or not Fiery was essential, but it would have been difficult to reach the quality targets we set ourselves without it.”

The Xerox Color C70 is an all-in-one versatile printing, scanning and photocopying station that delivers market-leading print quality and speed at an affordable price point. With a high-resolution 2400x2400dpi engine rated at up to 70 pages per minute (colour) and 75 pages per minute (black-and-white), the C70 offers offset-quality output using Xerox Emulsion Aggregation (EA) Low Melt Toner technology on a broad range of printable media.

This performance is supplemented by the Xerox C70 Fiery Print Server, a superfast RIP engine that simplifies and streamlines workflow, produces precise, exact color from all applications, platforms and formats with Fiery ColorWise color management technology, and reduces cost by eliminating unnecessary waste. Moreover, the C70 features licensed Pantone matching for spot colors to the Pantone Matching System, Pantone GOETM and Pantone PLUS. It’s also Fogra Certified for matching offset color presses and IDEAlliance Digital Press Certified to GRACoL specifications.

“The real difference between the Xerox C70 and other similar-priced alternatives is that the C70 is a true graphical press, while others are more akin to mainstream office printers,” says BDS’s Production Press Specialist Bryn Whithair.

“Xerox also has a full range of office-quality printers, but the C70 is the next step up and an essential upgrade for a business like 3@1 that needs to differentiate itself in a crowded and competitive market,” says Whithair. “A big factor in the purchase decision was that 3@1’s competitors all run Xerox graphical presses, so 3@1 can’t be trying to win that business without giving customers the products they’re already used to getting. Now they are in a position to fight for that business on an equal footing, and it won’t be a question of quality but rather price and service.”

Overton agrees: “Quality was top of mind, but we also wanted better reliability. Our previous supplier wasn’t always quick on the draw when it came to responding to service calls, but with Bryn and BDS I know that if I ever need a technician onsite, I won’t have to wait for more than four hours. We’re a 7-day-a-week business, and can’t afford to place a service call late on a Friday and wait until Monday for a machine to be fixed or a part to be sent, as was the case previously. With BDS that will never happen, which means we can consistently deliver on both our quality and turnaround promises to our customers.”

The Xerox C70 has 11 customer replaceable parts – including drums, toners, two black ink cartridges, fuser and waste toner – whereas other printers require a technical callout to replace these parts. This further improves productivity, efficiency and uptime.

“We’re currently running between 10,000 and 12,000 prints per month, and the C70 is spec’d to 30,000, giving us the scalability we were looking for in a next-generation digital printer,” says Overton. “Higher paper capacity also means we can put a whole box of A4 paper – up to 2,500 pages – from bypass through to the four feeder trays. It all adds up to greatly improved efficiency and combined with the quality and service improvements, we’re well equipped to positively grow the business.”