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Making an Impact: How Canon Inkjet Technology Empowers Impact to Continue Achieving Market Growth

January 5, 2022 – For Impact, starting out as a standard letter shop in 1983 is a distant memory, as the company has turned into one of the leading total package management companies in the greater Minneapolis area. Providing its customers with a growing list of direct mail and integrated marketing services and solutions, Impact, a Canon Solutions America customer, is paving the way for print service providers by showcasing the growth benefits of investing in powerful inkjet technology. Growing simultaneously with the evolution of inkjet technology, Impact has shifted to emerging technology in the direct mail and marketing communications space, from the varioPRINT i300 and ColorStream 3900 to its latest purchase of the ProStream 1800 and varioPRINT iX-series.

Rick Scherping, EVP Operations; Erik Anderson, EVP Business Development; Scott Williams, Director of Automation & Content Development

From Impact, L to R: Rick Scherping, EVP Operations; Erik Anderson, EVP Business Development; Scott Williams, Director of Automation & Content Development

For nearly 40 years, Impact has been known for its mailing and personalization capabilities. In the last decade specifically, the company noticed a significant shift in demands from its customers to even more personalization, faster turnaround times and increased versioning. Shifting their work around to satisfy their customers resulted in the need to invest in new technology and find a reliable company to partner with to get where it wanted to be. That partner continues to be Canon Solutions America. 

“Canon Solutions America exuded a sense of partnership right off the bat and was one of the most sought-after inkjet solutions companies in the nation, and still is. Their technology and support staff instilled a great sense of confidence in our ultimate decision-making. It just seemed like a no-brainer,” said Pete Studer, president and co-owner, Impact. “The cherry on top was being able to go down to the Customer Innovation Center in Boca Raton, FL. It was very beneficial to be able to run all our applications and see how the presses and workflows operate in real-time. It definitely got us to an even greater comfort level with Canon technology.”

The Canon varioPRINT iX-series in Impact’s facility

The Canon varioPRINT iX-series in Impact’s facility

As a result of its initial installations of the varioPRINT i300 and ColorStream 3900, Impact was able to develop a tight relationship with its clients and establish itself as a more relevant and innovative partner, and took on a lot more requests from their customers than ever before. This implementation also enabled Impact to enter new markets. 

“From a footprint standpoint, the speed and uptime of the ColorStream 3900 and varioPRINT i300 significantly helped our productivity. One of the biggest and earliest indicators of its value was the storage it helped us save. The need for storing output decreased tremendously. Starting now with white paper, rather than thousands and thousands of pre-printed shells with pallets and SKUs for each, saved us an invaluable amount of time. This saved us a great deal of money, labor, warehouse space, and time,” said Studer. “This shift afforded us the ability to run in a much smaller footprint, which then allowed us to expand some of our other operations and think more strategically about our overall operation. Ultimately, we were able to consolidate and produce more in a smaller space. All that has factored into the last six years of strategic decisions we’ve made.”

Another huge shift that helped Impact to expand its capabilities as a result of this implementation was the ability to produce enough mail packages to be the total package management provider for its customers. Looking to leverage this even further and take on even more work, Impact added the ProStream 1800 and the varioPRINT iX-series to its fleet of Canon inkjet technology, helping to magnify its expertise in the direct mail marketing and variable print space. 

“When we took a deep look at our existing customer base and current workflow, investing in the ProStream and varioPRINT iX-series just made sense for a number of reasons. We knew we wanted to lean more into full color and data personalization and utilize the presses for what they can do to their fullest capability. We were already doing some of this work but knew that it would be much better executed on the ProStream and varioPRINT iX-series,” said Erik Anderson, executive vice president of business development and co-owner, Impact. “The personalization element of the ColorStream was something we were very familiar with, but color management and pre-press was still a bit of a hurdle for us. We knew the ProStream was a natural and strategic next step in our journey, and what we were looking for in the varioPRINT iX-series was added versioning, offering our customers an unlimited amount of versioning for their mail pieces.” 

From a productivity and speed perspective, Studer goes on to explain that “instead of one shell, the varioPRINT iX-series can handle five or ten shells, or even more since we do it all digitally with white-paper-in, full-color-out workflows. The added value this provides to marketers is endless. Beyond that, its speed is unmatched. We have runs at Impact that are 10,000 pieces all the way up to 5,000,000 pieces, so the ability to do all of that seamlessly in a timeframe that makes sense is crucial for us to serve the amount of people we do.”

From a business development standpoint, over the last 18 months there has been a great shift in the industry with the demand of unique personalization and flexibility. Another reason for Impact’s investment in the ProStream 1800 specifically was to have the proper technology in place and available to receive additional customer applications, limit substrate restrictions and cut costs when it comes to creative templates.

“We are oftentimes working off strict budgets and price-per-piece, and we produce a lot of similar sized pieces but with various creative files. With the ProStream we will get to take a piece that is 5.5” x 11”, one of our base formats, and stack it with other like pieces,” said Bjorn Anderson, CFO and co-owner, Impact. “We can take the creative that we are breaking out into mail files and distribute it as if it’s one file. So purely from a postage and postal sorting standpoint, we are able to cut costs significantly. The ProStream really was a no-brainer for us in that regard.”

“The ProStream 1800 and varioPRINT iX-series presses are great investments for print providers looking to increase print quality and add more media options to their existing applications, as well as get jobs out the door faster. With quicker turnaround times, companies can grow their print volumes, as well as manage flexibility and profitability of smaller, more diverse jobs,” said Francis McMahon, executive vice president, Production Print Solutions, Canon Solutions America, Inc. "Impact truly is making an impact on the print industry by showcasing how investing in powerful inkjet technology by Canon can help expand market applications and offerings that diversify their portfolio. We are thrilled to hear of Impact’s continued success.”

The views and opinions expressed here are based on the actual experiences of the customer. Testimonials are not claimed to represent typical results, and various factors can impact different customers’ results.

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