By Abigail Hammond
To remain successful, print providers look out for the latest technologies and strategically invest when the timing is right.
Sandy Alexander is an independently owned commercial printer that provides printing solutions, techniques, and technological innovation to its clients. With applications varying from postcards and labels to multi-faceted direct mail campaigns and large format posters, the company offers a creative approach to reaching a client’s target audience. In addition to printed output, they offer advanced integrated marketing solutions to customers, including many Fortune 500 companies.
The company celebrates a long history, providing customers with many years of experience. In 1963, Herb Alexander founded N. Alexander & Sons in New York, NY, which merged with Sandy Printing in 1969. From this union, the company name of Sandy Alexander was solidified. Another merge occurred in 1975 with several other printers including Carnival Press.
In 1983 the company moved to Clifton, NJ, where it purchased its first full web press. It began its foray into digital printing in 2004 and has since grown to encompass a significant portion of the firm’s business.
A management buyout was completed in July of last year and the company is currently lead by Michael Graff, president/CEO.
Innovation Across the Board
The print provider is equipped to solve any graphic communication need all under one roof. Among its services, it offers digital printing; offset printing; a full bindery; fulfillment and kitting; direct marketing, including direct mail, email, and technology driven activities such as landing pages, data acquisition/enrichment, and triggered messaging; retail visual merchandising; consultative services; and database management marketing campaigns.
The company operates production facilities based out of NJ, NY, and FL, and sales offices spread across the country. It services clients on both a national and international level.
Sandy Alexander recently launched a full-service computer-generated imagery (CGI) studio—SALT Studios. Located in NY, the expansion brings them into the realm of high-end retouching and CGI.
In 2012, Sandy Alexander decided to embark on new technology and agreed to sign up as a beta site of the Hewlett-Packard (HP) Indigo 10000 Digital Press.
HP introduced the 29-inch width press to the Indigo portfolio in March of 2012. The press is designed to deliver offset-matching quality with HP’s ElectroInk. The HP Indigo 10000 provides color flexibility with up to seven ink stations and boasts a monthly duty cycle of up to 2.2 million sheets.
Since its initial install of the technology in 2012, the print provider now operates three HP Indigo 10000 presses.
In addition, its offset capabilities include six- and eight-color sheet-fed presses with UV inline coating, six- and eight-color full web presses with inline finishing, as well as inkjetting equipment. The company employs wide format printing products from Durst Image Technology US LLC; wide format finishing from Esko; and a full studio providing creative retouching, CGI, and motion.
The firm also relies on a variety of software solutions including offerings from GMC Software Technology, Objectif Lune, PTI Marketing Technologies, and XMPie. These tools allow the company to provide content management, order processing, automation, reporting, and tracking in one package—all based upon a client’s needs.
The HP Indigo 10000 is a game changer for the shop. Its ability to leverage the larger sheet size in combination with superior quality and data-driven personalization helps the company meet increased demand for oversized formats, which is the result of its success in ongoing loyalty and acquisition campaigns.
“With the competitive marketplace and the success of one-to-one marketing, we had clients who were looking to further differentiate their marketing campaigns,” says Rob Mayerson, GM, Digital Solutions Group, Sandy Alexander.
The new 29-inch sheet size format of the HP Indigo 10000 makes it possible—for the first time—for the company to digitally print and personalize unique direct mail formats, kits, and multiple-page booklets. Many of these applications tend to be oversized. “In a few cases, our agency clients are designing communications specifically for the HP Indigo 10000 digital press, further leading to increased demand and a call for additional capacity,” adds Mayerson.
In combination with the company’s expanded content management offerings, clients easily implement and manage personalized communications with highly targeted messaging in unique formats.
Marketers are noticing the success of these campaigns for themselves, re-evaluating their existing programs, and determining how they can benefit from the new platform. The company is able to focus less time on individual print jobs with conventional specifications in favor of exploring prospects to engineer custom solutions to drive more effective communications.
Its mission is to create an effortless process for customers. Since Sandy Alexander possesses a variety of printing platforms, the company utilizes the technology provides the most effective, efficiently produced piece. Additionally, it has built a portfolio of options that control the creative process from start to finish to ensure total brand consistency across any marketing campaign regardless of a piece’s size, quantity, or substrate.
The firm offers marketing services to its clients because it feels that data-driven marketing programs are a highly effective use of the technology. “The response to this method has been overwhelmingly positive and has grown the already successful business. Most activities employed are related to campaigns, not individual jobs,” says Mayerson.
“Beautiful color and printing is the beginning of the process, which is then combined with marketing solutions driven by database management to provide automated integrated multi-channel marketing campaigns that maximize a client’s return on investment,” he adds.
“For the printed portion of these campaigns, we find ourselves executing automated print and fulfillment on a regular cadence—daily, weekly, or monthly. This allows us to automate, refine the process, and streamline the execution,” he continues. “One of our client’s campaigns is a ‘hand raising’ campaign. It captures customers’ inquiries from a myriad of sources, including the Internet, phone calls, and retail—and provides a customized brochure personalized by image, color, lifestyle, and finances, which is mailed to the customer daily.”
Sandy Alexander is excited for the new direction their clients are leading them. The company envisions strengthening its position as one of the premier graphic communication providers in the country in the coming years. As a result of technical ingenuity, it is poised to continue to build a unique model that offers its broad customer base continued quality and service across a multitude of printing and marketing platforms.
Additionally, the company is positioned to offer increased flexibility, independence, and focus through an expansion in depth of services, digital programs, web/sheet-fed printing, retail visual merchandising, wide and grand format printing, direct mail, creative retouching, and CGI.
Sandy Alexander plans to rapidly integrate various digital offerings and deploy them with the help of marketing automation tools in the future. dps
May2014, DPS Magazine