We all look for quality in what we buy for our family and homes. We want a consistent level of quality in the goods purchased, quality service for the life of the product, and always at the right price. As a new homeowner, the selection, design and build of our home occupied months of research and what seemed like every day in-depth conversation about the process. After an exciting year, the results turned out great. But recently, a number of friends and family have asked us to recommend someone to install their new curtains, provide landscape services or even to install overhead garage storage racks. They ask if we’re happy and if we feel we “got a good deal” on each of our transactions. Realize, every time we recommend a product or vendor, we’re also staking our own reputation that our preferred provider will do a consistent, quality, cost effective job every time.
When looking at today’s most advanced printing products, there are also high expectations for quality and service and there is an opportunity for today’s tech automation to take out the guess work. Through the use of new technology with more efficient products and processes, you can make your operations more consistent, all still at the right price. This is where G7 Master Printer Qualification Services come into play in the production print industry.
Like most hardware manufacturers and re-sellers, Konica Minolta has relied on our production specialists, seasoned technicians and various third-party subject matter experts to present, setup and train on our production press printing systems. They make magic happen in such areas as color consistency across multiple presses, understanding and working with complex substrates, operating the devices to make the most efficient use of the machines (regarding make-ready time, color correction cycles, press checks, errors and waste) and overall provide the best practices in industry methods and standards.
As a business owner providing printing services to your community, you want to be known as the place with the solid reputation for quality output, great services and cost effective programs. This is how you gain repeat business. This is how you get to watch your business’ top line and profitability grow. Rethinking your print quality footprint versus your competitors means you optimize your potential and leapfrog the competition. Do you employ production specialists, technicians and various third-party subject matter experts? If you do not, Idealliance and Konica Minolta offer G7 Master Qualification Training to franchise and commercial printers.
G7 Master Qualification: Why a best practice?
Konica Minolta recently conducted a demonstration at a medium-sized, owner-operated commercial print customer with G7 Master Qualification for a small group of interested business people investigating the value of G7. As we said to attendees, our entire value proposition is to “align color on multiple presses and printers to G7 standards and specifications, each and every time.” What was the problem we were addressing with G7 practices? Color was not matching when printed on a variety of printing presses for different manufacturers and different technologies like ink-jets, wide-format printers, sheet-feed offset and digital toner.
There are many variables that can cause color to drift or not have a similar visual appearance when printing on devices, and this printer wanted all of its color presses and printers to produce a similar visual appearance across devices. In other words, consistent quality.
In the demo, Konica Minolta showed the final print product in real-time to the group and compared it to the final print product that was produced an entire month after the G7 implementation was completed — validating that the output from each press was visually the same. It was a scientific, objective color analysis proving the color from each device met G7 specs and tolerances. G7 processes took out the guess work.
The crowd went wild – well, actually, they were in awe of the ease of obtaining consistency.
This is what the customer said: “[we] wanted one less thing to think about…we wanted to know that if we took the time calibrated our equipment properly, by the book, it was going to save time and money…simply by knowing that the first sheet came out the way it was supposed to look…”
Why is this a revelation?
Previously, specification accuracy was a matter of the operator’s discretion and ability to match to an acceptable proof. Individuals needed time to conform the production press to the customer’s unique expectation. This was expensive for the business with a lot of material and labor waste trying to match that color.
G7 methodology shows operators the best practices for color management and quality control. It is education in the form of practical application (e.g., standardizing lighting conditions to view color, measuring and monitoring color on a routine basis).
What does this really mean for you?
You can leverage the G7 qualifications of your staff to support business development efforts and to demonstrate your high quality. Consider these benefits of being G7-certified:
- When customers understand the value of G7, they will look for printers that have it. It becomes a buying requirement.
- G7-calibrated printers are efficient – there is less make-ready time and fewer color corrections along the way.
- Your color looks great on anything. You have visually consistent output (whether it’s offset, digital, wide-format or newsprint).
Once trained, your printing business’ G7 Master Qualification makes you stand out. Customers remember your higher level of output standard. You will get new and repeat business because of the confidence G7 Master Status provides. Your staff will be more efficient daily and it will save you production hours each week. You no longer have to be the lowest price in your market as the G7 provides physical proof of added value. In a sentence, you have the “Quality” that your customers want, are willing to come back for and are happy with the rates you present.