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Apple Colour buys Business Manager and comprehensive digital package


Apple Colour will “re-engage” with clients on an even closer basis as it evolves its Prinect Business Manager package and it will equip it to provide a faster and more automated service with more accurate costing and estimating. That, combined with a very advanced digital printing and finishing investment, positions Apple Colour for an expansion of its market in the coming year.

“There are two reasons for the investment in Business Manager. From an internal perspective, it is more inclusive and ties together everything from client contact to production to accounts (including Sage) in one system. It gives a massive time improvement and simplifies the administration of about 300 invoices a month. It is much more automated and smarter.

“But the game changer is the portal which links in users and will bring us closer to our customers. Basic job information can be input and an accurate cost calculated immediately. By using the Portal our Account Managers will sit with clients, quote and order online, supply artwork and know that the job was started within minutes. With more bespoke work it will ensure we accurately specify and cost the job from the start.”

Joint managing directors Murray Thomson and Mark Bracey visited Cerm in Belgium, the software company that Heidelberg bought and which evolved the Business Manager MIS product. They also visited one of its Belgian customers Graphius which has run Business Manager for some time and that impressed them and determined how they would schedule the installation.

Between now and Christmas an implementation plan will be agreed with Heidelberg. In the new year work will begin on implementing the estimating, job bags and invoicing. From May to July additional services such as remote data collection, scheduling and client portal services will be added.

Meantime Heidelberg is due to deliver a Versafire CV digital press to replace a Linoprint 901 this week.

“We have been very happy with the digital quality we had with the Linoprint but size was the issue. The new 700mm banner feeder will allow us to produce A4 landscape work and there was a risk that if we didn’t have that our competitors might win work from us. At Drupa we saw the machine and its ability to have a fifth colour – white, clear or neon – and that gives us something new to offer clients,” says Mr Thomson.

By adopting the Prinect Digital Front End, the company can link its digital operation into the workflow. Eventually, using real time data, Apple Colour will be able to be quite specific about the costs of running each job litho or digital.

Alongside the press, Apple has bought a battery of products from Morgana to give it a very advanced digital finishing department which will mark the company out from its competitors. It not only has the booklet maker but also a laminating and foiling machine which will allow it to offer silver and gold foil blocking and a PUR binder.

“We believe this investment will extend our market and we will be issuing samples to our existing and potential customers. Very few printers will have this level of digital equipment,” says Mr Thomson.

For further information please contact:

Diana Thompson, Plus Point PR Ltd, on 01494-817178 or 07802-898313
Paul Chamberlain, Heidelberg UK, on 07919-691073 (Prinect Business Manager)
Chris Matthews, Heidelberg UK, on 07827-937069 (digital products)
Murray Thompson, Apple Colour, on 0117-972 8900

Contact Heidelberg Great Britain

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