11 09 2006

You bought a duplicator now what………………

After the trials and tribulations of searching, phones calls and making that commitment. You finally purchased the duplication unit that you feel can help initial new market tools. Well lets review some items you might have overlooked or are prepared for…

1) First range of duplicators involves towers. This can range from 2 to 10 drives per unit depending on budget and assigned needs. The process is little more than daisy chaining units together in one box.

2) Second range involves duplicators with printing ability. This process is Ink Jet. Now the fun starts. Each has a range, # of disc’s and colors available, but now comes the consumable portion of the project you may have under-estimated.

a) Media choice now changes to Ink Jet printable surface (a couple of pennies more). In some cases regular silver or gold coated disc can accept a printable (1) color text. But you’ll have to do some experimenting to discover which disc manufacture can accommodate this.

b) Ink Jet means Ink Jet cartridges – $30+ per. We have yet too figure out why, but when you use other colors, they seem to run out faster than black. And always in the middle of a project. There are no level markers on these cartridges, you will not know until it is empty.

c) If you went the High Road and Thermal got you for better looking graphics, now we’re talking Ribbons still – $30+ per. Again Thermal surfaced media a couple pennies more than Inkjet.

d) But lets not forget the biggest issue everyone over looks until they actually have the unit. Can you really push a button and walk-away to do something else. Sometimes, but not as often as you were lead to believe. Someone will have to monitor this task – man hours. Additional task to some already to busy for this……

e) Service – this is a mechanical product with moving parts – IT WILL FAIL AND GO DOWN.
And in almost all cases, the only service is packing up the unit and sending it back.

3) Higher ended units still fall into the same situations mentioned above.

We started by supplying the consumable items, our customers began to notice the items mentioned. We moved into duplication for this very reason. Because of our growth manufactures began calling to sell their units. The main issue we kept having trouble with SERVICE. Why would we indorse a concept of sending units back, freight on 60lbs is not cheap.

Our customers began asking for a finished product, hence the move. Duplication service has grown in many regions. Similar to print shops, we even have contracts with local print shops to provide disc service. The point of all this – outsourcing. We have gone through the mind-set of everything being done in house. Accumulating costs have caused many to rethink this.

With all the focus on making discs, little attention has been given to the actual text and purpose of the disc. This source is where your digital files should go. Today, everyone is trying to put as much graphics, video and presentations on a web page. Surveys show, particular customer groups do not want to see that many videos or flash presentations when visiting your site. But if they were given an additional tool like a disc, presented with an new product or service and then directed too a web site to gain further information or ultimately PURCHASE said item. It stream lines the process without tying up the internet connection.

Companies can begin seeing the benefits of better utilization of discs by activity on their web site. Direct them to a page which can only be access through the disc, now you have an actual measuring tool to validate its effectiveness.

Good duplication firms do more than just create copies of your disc. They take a moment an review your copy. Add insight, which comes from viewing other projects success. And look beyond the labeling, packaging it comes with. Marketers today still forget this important point. They focus on presentation OUTSIDE the disc. They keep forgetting a disc goes inside a slot that nobody sees. They try to convince you, graphics motivate the person to use the disc. All is good, however the purpose of the disc is to motivate and direct the client along a pre-determined path of spending money.

All the money spent on buying the duplicator, could in most cases been better used on developing a killer presentation. Discs add the feature of multi-media to any “paper” based advertisement. There are no limitation where this can go. Videos can be made with the office digital camera. Lets get away from production process and put more energy into creative discs. The bottom line – disc are the most in-expensive way of delivering a presentation.

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