By Andy Slawetsky – RISO held their semi annual inside sales meeting in Salem Mass April 17 – 19. Held at the historic (and supposedly haunted) Hawethorne Hotel, attendees came from all over the US to learn about new products, programs, services and company updates over the three day period.
Several outside presenters such as Bob Neubauer of In-Plant Graphics, Barbara Richardson from InfoTrends/Keypoint Intelligence (and of course me) were on hand to take the group through a variety of topics, including my What’s Happenin’ in the Industry session that many of you have seen before.
I realized as soon as I walked into the meeting that these guys are truly old school. Everyone was in suits and ties, something that stood out in today’s casual business environment that we’ve become accustomed to. It was nice to see them rocking suits and it added a level of professionalism our industry has lost over the years in my opinion.
RISO has been around for ages. I remember competing against them when I pitched the occasional duplicator back in the early 90s. They were formidable then and they still are, offering a variety of very fast printers that can handle sophisticated or even problematic substrates and applications such as envelopes, VDP, PostScript printing and more.
RISO opened their first offices in Tokyo in 1954 and celebrated their 30th anniversary in the US in 2016. Today, the company is still known for their duplicators and high speed digital inkjet printers. The products are often seen as niche printers for specific applications, but are actually quite suitable for some office printing and even MPS customers. With print speeds up to 160 PPM and an incredibly aggressive color cost per page (less than 2 cents in some cases), these devices seem to fit nicely into just about any portfolio.
Dealers looking for a product line that will truly differentiate them in the market should take a look at RISO. The devices compliment your current line, offer incredible reliability inherent to inkjet technology and very strong margins. They just give you something a little different to talk about than everyone else in the deal and with higher speeds, lower pricing and better profit, everyone wins.
Inkjet technology is here to stay. This ain’t your momma’s old inkjet that shook her desk in her home office 15 years ago. Today, inkjet can be the most expensive high-end print technology there is, with some competitive presses coming with a seven figure price tag. It’s used to print mailers and magazines and newspapers and has become the de facto print technology used in the most complex print environments. Commercial printers know that ink offers a lot of advantages over laser and this technology is moving downstream to light production and the general office, an area RISO has played in for years.
While we (and our customers) have become accustomed to laser printing, inkjet offers some true advantages over laser. First of all, it’s greener. The lack of toxic chemical drum coatings on photoconductors is an obvious advantage of ink over laser. The devices also use a fraction of the amount of energy as there is no fusing process that requires significant use of electricity to fuse the image to the paper, as is the case with laser. The carbon footprint for inkjet products is generally considerably smaller than on laser printers.
The products are also theoretically more reliable than laser, with fewer parts and simply less “stuff” going on in the imaging process; no transfer of the image with positive/negative charging, no fusing (or toxic fusing agents), often a shorter and straighter paper path, etc. Higher speeds, less impact on the environment and incredible margins. What’s not to love?
It was an interesting meeting and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to present to this group. I encourage those of you reading this to check out RISO if you’re looking for something that will show your commitment to bringing advanced and alternative technology to your customers.