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PIP Transitions from Toner Devices to the Canon varioPRINT iX Sheetfed Inkjet Press to Extend Service Offerings and Achieve Goals for Revenue Growth

Meet thINK Members from PIP


Chris Cochran, CEO and Shane Parker, President

Chris Cochran, CEO | Shane Parker, President

May 23, 2023 - “We aren’t your average franchise printer—we generate $5M in revenue and have a 30,000 sq. ft. facility with over 30 employees, and we are the fourth-highest revenue producer in the PIP network,” said Shane Parker, PIP President.

The PIP franchise was established in 1978 in Peoria, IL, and quickly grew to nine brick and mortar locations with one central print facility and several delivery trucks. While it was very much “just” a copy center, it was certainly a successful one.

“PIP has been enjoying almost 50 years of success since my dad and grandfather bought the first franchise in 1978,” said Chris Cochran, CEO. But with time came change, and brick and mortar locations were no longer required to capture business, so Shane and Chris streamlined to one central print facility and a satellite office. In addition, they found their customer base was also changing, becoming much more diverse and more sophisticated in their print requirements, requiring them to outsource much of the work.

“Our customer base changed from walk-in clients requesting letterhead to including publishers printing books and magazines, corporate clients needing direct mail campaigns, and healthcare facilities requiring HIPAA certification for medical documents,” Chris said. “We knew if we wanted to grow and become more profitable, we had to step up to inkjet press technology; and of course, Canon Solutions America leads there, so purchasing a Canon inkjet press was a foregone conclusion.” They replaced their toner devices with a Canon varioPRINT iX sheetfed inkjet press.

“When we saw the quality of the Canon varioPRINT iX, we knew it was time for us to transition from our toner devices. The Canon varioPRINT offers us the high quality we need packaged along with many other advantages—there’s just no downside,” said Shane.

Those other advantages, according to Chris and Shane, include high quality work at “phenomenal speed,” increased uptime, and ease of use.

“Not only is the quality spot on, now we can print at 3.5 times the speed, and longer runs are now much more profitable for us. On our toner device, we were competitive for runs up to about 20,000; now, with the Canon varioPRINT iX, the sky’s the limit,” Shane said.

To their delight, they also found the varioPRINT iX much easier to operate than toner devices. “We call the Canon varioPRINT iX our big green button machine. It’s just easy; you can load it and go. Our press operators are thrilled. They are even able to quickly train temps to run the press—we could have never done that with our toner device, which required highly skilled operators,” said Chris. Shane added, “We average about 800 jobs a month; our operators can load in the stock they are going to use and print job after job after job without stopping. Our ability to just run a tremendous amount of work 3.5 times faster than we did before is phenomenal.”

“The reliability of the Canon varioPRINT iX and the uptime is tremendous—it is night and day compared to our previous toner devices. We also have peace of mind knowing that the service network Canon Solutions America has in place and their service guarantee is better than anyone else out there,” Chris said.

PIP teams the varioPRINT iX with a Tec Lighting UV Coater, Standard perfect binder, Duplo booklet maker, and two Duplo creaser 645 as well as mailing equipment. In addition, they automate customer orders and workflow. “PRISMA workflow integrated seamlessly with our current environment. Our Canon varioPRINT iX with automated workflow and full finishing line enables us to offer all things to all customers at the quality and speed we need to be profitable. We are very happy with our decision to purchase the Canon varioPRINT iX,” concluded Chris.

“Being the fourth-highest PIP franchise revenue producer is impressive, and I’m confident we have yet to see just what PIP can do. Especially now, with Chris and Shane’s strategic decision to utilize inkjet to bring profitable jobs back in house and offer an extensive array of print applications to their diverse customer base,” said Francis McMahon, executive vice president, Production Print Solutions, Canon Solutions America, Inc.

Canon Solutions America has led the evolution of print for over a decade, with industry-leading web-fed, sheetfed, and total high-volume inkjet market share in the U.S. reported in 2022.

About thINK

thINK is an independent community of Canon Solutions America inkjet customers, solution partners, and print industry experts, and Canon Solutions America is a proud executive sponsor. Led by some of the most successful inkjet service providers in the country, it provides a forum for members to network, gain knowledge, discuss common challenges, and share best practices. For more information, visit thINKForum.com.

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Canon is a registered trademark of Canon Inc. in the United States and elsewhere. PRISMA and varioPRINT are trademarks or registered trademarks of Canon Production Printing Netherlands B.V. All other referenced product names and marks are trademarks of their respective owners. Views and opinions expressed in this testimonial are based on the actual experiences of each voluntary participant.

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