October 2004
VISOgraphic grows its business with the help
of Creo workflow and Staccato solutions
A general commercial printer with 33 employees, VISOgraphic, Inc. has been providing high quality, first-class service, and quick turnaround to Chicago-area businesses since 1946. VISOgraphic is a one stop shop for all printing needs, including brochures, direct mailers, catalogs, and magazines, from 500 business cards to two-million piece inserts.

Says John Dahlke, production manager at VISOgraphic, “We've always been Creo users and fans, and we've always liked their equipment in terms of reliability and repeatability. Plus, their service has always been very dependable. We've grown throughout the years with different Creo products, and we've found a pattern of increased production quality and automation, along with increased growth.”

Growing with speed
The reason for this growth? “One of our main differentiators is the dependability we offer our customers. Our Brisque® workflow, combined with other equipment, allows us to automate a lot of our processes, and in turn, earn a reputation as an extremely reliable, extremely fast turnaround shop. People are calling us because they need something done and we're the ones they know will deliver, whether it's next day or same day, that's the key for us.
“Our Creo solution has provided a tremendous increase in productivity. Last year we grew 20 percent. This year we're on track for 50 percent growth. We were a $4.4 million company last year and we're scheduled to hit about $6.6 million this year, and we haven't added anyone in prepress. Our Creo solution paid for itself immediately—we grew so rapidly, and yet we were able to handle the increased capacity with zero effort. There was absolutely no effect on the workflow. I think it was a really quick return on investment.”

A seamless transition to Staccato
Dahlke believes Creo technology has helped in many regards, including quality. “We're now a 100-percent Staccato® shop,” says Dahlke. “We used to have a Dolev® 800 with an inline punch system. When we moved to the Lotem® Quantum, we also retained Creo consulting services, so when we made the transition to Staccato, we just turned the key and started running it. It took one day. We did end up tweaking our curves on the run, but it was pretty seamless. Our pressmen like it better because they're producing a higher-quality job, and they don't really do much that's different from before.”

Continues Dahlke, “Staccato is a great differentiator. It has helped us open doors even though we haven't marketed aggressively We've been growing so rapidly that we had to pull back the reins.”
A true business partnership
Visographic also found working with Creo service to be a positive experience. “Creo consulting services were great on a couple levels. We knew how to work with X curves, and we knew how to work with dot gain, but it was a great to see how Creo people go about running linear plates and measuring them on press, then going back to the curves and getting them where you want it to be. It was an excellent educational experience. We were then able to go back and tweak different tone reproduction curves for different substrates we were printing on and for different presses.”

Dahlke predicts a long relationship with Creo and Creo technology. “I think down the road, we're going to be looking at even more sophisticated workflow systems like Prinergy®. But for now, I think we're doing pretty well.”

VISOgraphic Brisque workflow combined with Lotem 800 Quantum automates most processes.