By DPS Staff
To keep up with customer demands, marketing service providers must stay on top of the latest trends and technology. GAM Graphics and Marketing understands this, and has evolved its business to stay ahead of the curve.
Established in 1976, it is a second generation, family-owned full service marketing firm based in Sterling, VA. The full-service marketing firm produces print work in house, enabling control and quick turnaround for customers.
The company operates out of its VA facility, and primarily serves the surrounding VA, Washington DC, and MD area. However, they ship nationwide.
Nathaniel Grant is the current president, running the business with his sister, Faith Grant, after purchasing it from their parents nearly 20 years ago. With a core focus on graphic design and print work, they pride themselves on helping customers create their brand and doing everything from design to taking a piece to the post office.
Since its inception, GAM has continued to evolve with the times. Prior to going digital in 2008, the company operated Presstek DI presses.
Today, GAM is mainly a Ricoh shop. Its relationship with the company started in 2008 when his Presstek sales representative moved on to IKON, later purchased by Ricoh. Grant was looking for a way to move the business into the next generation and was introduced to the RICOH Pro C900.
The shop was so impressed with its abilities, they purchased the RICOH Pro C901 when that was launched, and then sold its DI presses and brought in the RICOH Pro C901+.
“Ricoh is the Apple appeal in the copier and print business,” jokes Grant. “I want everything they have.” In all seriousness, he says the business has had great success with its Ricoh equipment.
Grant estimates that GAM is currently 80 percent digital.
In September, the company embarked on a beta relationship with Ricoh for the new RICOH Pro C7110X, which the company introduced at Graph Expo and is expected to be available in December of this year.
In addition to CMYK, the RICOH Pro C7110X offers a fifth color station, which enables users to run either white or clear toner.
The high-speed, production color printers and multifunction devices print at A4 90 pages per minute (ppm) and 80 ppm when utilizing fifth-station colors (RICOH Pro C7110X and RICOH Pro C7100X respectively). The series supports a maximum sheet size of 13×27.2 inches and a maximum monthly volume of 240,000 based on letter sized impressions. Printing at 1,200×4,800 dpi, the series supports paper weights up to 360 gsm in both simplex and duplex modes.
These advanced feature sets have enabled GAM to offer an expanded range of offerings, as well as keep work in house that otherwise would need to be outsourced. Currently, they produce a range of applications on the machine. With the oversized sheets, they are able to accommodate new applications in-house, including three-fold 6-panel brochures.
Grant says the fifth station provides more options. For example, they are able to print on dark color stock, as well as thicker substrates and linen. The clear toner allows for watermarks, security, and spot coating. The white and clear are interchangeable, it takes about 15 minutes to swap.
GAM is a busy shop, running each of their devices every day. The introduction of the RICOH Pro C7110X has been a satisfactory addition, and has kept up with the volume. Grant notes that at press time, they were up to 300,000 clicks.
With the RICOH Pro C7110X, the shop is able to run high-value work, such as variable data print (VDP) applications though the device. “We’ve had no issues with VDP, and we’ve had other brands of copiers that we’ve tried and ran into issues with it. This one hasn’t had any issues.”
Another benefit is its media handling. “We’ve found we can run on linen stock, and the outcome looks like it was done on a traditional press—just like ink on paper.”
Grant also admits to running out of spec stock, which the press handles without a problem. “I’m running over 16 pt stock and it’s handling it,” he says.
The only challenges are those common to beta installations, and the technician was able to fix anything that has come up.
Grant notes that three employees work in the copy center, and occasionally him. All are able to operate the RICOH Pro C7110X. “I haven’t really been operating the copiers for about two years. When I first got back there, I was worried I would have to relearn the RIP, but there was no learning curve at all. The only thing we had to learn was how to design for the white and clear toners,” he notes.
Ricoh enlisted the help of its beta site for marketing the RICOH Pro C7110X at Graph Expo this September. Grant says that they created a six panel, tri-fold brochure that illustrated the device’s capabilities. The brochures were produced on 130-pound extra thick cover stock.
The total run included 600 pieces, which it shipped to Ricoh for display in their booth at the show.
GAM is satisfied with the new capabilities offered by the RICOH Pro C7110X. With the beta scheduled to end shortly, Grant is excited to bring the technology into the shop permanently. dps
Nov2014, DPS Magazine