When there’s a training session on the American Litho production floor, we’re usually learning from a technology partner who is showing us what a newly acquired system will add to our broad array of print and direct mail capabilities.
But last month, our valued partners at HP, Inc. (Hewlett Packard) asked us to train them – and it was a great experience for all of us.
HP’s request was based on the tremendous growth they’d seen in our digital press output in 2019, a year when we shipped nearly 1 billion mail pieces and won major recognition as ALitho President and Co-Founder Mike Fontana was named to Printing Impressions’ prestigious Hall of Fame.
A group of nearly 20 HP, Inc. sales leaders spent two days with us, observing our new HP PageWide T240 HD press in action – gaining a full view of how press professionals work together in a high-volume, data-driven environment.
Leaders supporting leaders
HP selected American Litho for many reasons, says Russ Williams, senior leader of sales for HP Indigo and Graphic Solutions in North America, who requested the two-day training.
“Of all the companies we do business with in the Midwest and around the country, we went to ALitho because of their commitment to tech and their deep dedication to client needs,” he explains.
“To our knowledge, for a new user, ALitho is running the highest volume of digital impressions in the country,” Williams adds. “It just made sense to learn from the leader.”
American Litho’s cutting-edge data analytics capabilities were a factor too, says Mike Fontana. “The Amerilytics data suite is crucial to making the most of high-speed personalization on our HP presses,” he notes. “We wanted our HP partners to see how this process works from start to finish.”
Of course, we learned a lot too. It’s not every day you get to hang with the thought leaders who helped Coca-Cola succeed with Share a Coke , one of the most successful personalization campaigns ever launched.
The HP team wanted to see more than just our digital and hybrid press area. They asked for a 360-degree view of all production process, including sheet-fed and web operations, bindery, finishing and shipping.
What our HP colleagues said about their experience
After two full days of discussion, hands-on demonstrations and plenty of Q&A going both ways, we surveyed our HP guests to gather their impressions.
“American Litho has great technology and knows how to make the most of it,” said Eric Wilson, PageWide Inkjet Specialist, North Central States Region. “Their facility was nearly surgical-room clean, which was amazing to see.”
Rolando Martinez, HP Category Product and Solutions Manager, said he was impressed with “the way ALitho approaches the challenge of creating customer loyalty through innovation. They leverage all the digital tools HP has to offer.”
Bill DeAngelis, Business Development Manager of HP’s GCP Graphics Solutions Business for North America, has worked with ALitho for nearly two years. “This company is poised to exceed the potential we could see only 24 months ago,” he said.
“It’s mind-blowing to see the tech investment that Mike Fontana and Chris Joyaux have made,” said Paul McCarthy, HP Indigo Manager for Canada, based in Markham, Ontario. “What is unique here are the go-to-market strategies this company can fulfill for their clients, using digital and hybrid technology as the driver.”
Kevin Langstraat, HP Regional Sales Manager, Greater Minneapolis, appreciated the chance to compare digital and offset processes in detail. “It was worth every minute,” added Julie Crosthwaite, HP Solutions Architect, GCP Graphics Solutions Business for North America. “This was a real-world, how-and-why look at HP digital in action.”
Session organizer Russ Williams summed up by saying, “HP works with many huge facilities that produce massive volumes of print on our devices. American Litho stands out because of what they are doing with new digital applications, new business, new orders and conventional-to-digital conversions. They came out of the gate running, which is amazing. If you’re looking to gain market share, retain customers or lower acquisition costs, contact American Litho right now.”
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