Me & my: Vpress CoreprintPro

Simon Eccles
Monday, February 9, 2015

The installation of web-to-print proofing and ordering almost two years ago has helped Gpex to service existing clients and also to win a major new one, which it won’t name but refers to as a “national retailer”.

Sited close to the M25 and M40 junction in Gerrards Cross to the west of London, Gpex is a long established print services provider, set up in 1962 as Greenford Printing, which is still its registered name even though it moved to Gerrards Cross some 30 years ago. The trading name was changed to Gpex four years ago, with the ‘ex’ denoting extra services. 

Today the company works in five main markets: litho, digital, large-format, mailing and fulfilment, plus promotional merchandise. The large-format work includes display graphics, signage and vehicle wraps and is performing particularly well, says managing director Simon Glover: “We’re looking to expand large-format this year, as it’s a growing market for us.

The business’s printing equipment is a mix of Heidelberg offset presses ( two five-colour machines, a Speedmaster 74 and a Speedmaster 52, and a mono GTO 46) and digital kit from Canon (imagePress C6010 digital colour press and a DP120 digital mono press) and HP (all large-format inkjets: an FB700 flatbed and Latex 260 and 360 roll-fed printers). There’s also a full range of finishing kit including cutters, folders, stitchers, mailing machines and an envelope addresser. A Kodak Prinergy workflow drives a Magnus Quantum 400 platesetter and Enfocus Pitstop is used for pre-flighting. 

The web-to-print system is CoreprintPro, from UK developer Vpress, installed in April 2013. “We invested in the software to keep up with the demand to order online,” Glover says. “We previously had another system that wasn’t as flexible and we wanted to provide an easy-to-use online ordering system for our clients. It was trialled extensively to make sure each eventuality was covered – within reason – before we supplied it to our clients.”

CoreprintPro is a cloud-based system, hosted by Vpress and accessed via web browsers. It enables users to set up their own templates and to bolt on modules, such as the Web Services platform to allow further customisation. Other optional modules include ‘request for quotation’ (RFQ), digital asset management, variable data printing and cross-media support. 

Glover adds that other web-to-print systems from RedTie and Tharstern Online were also considered, but that the Vpress system stood out as the most suitable option. “This system represented simplicity and stability, it’s able to be flexible in its development, which means we have room for constant improvement,” he says. 

Glover reports that the installation process was “quick and painless,” and “the support is great and any problems are dealt with extremely swiftly.” Creating new templates and moving existing customers from the old system onto CoreprintPro took a couple of months. 

Client control

CoreprintPro is only used with established customers: there’s no public storefront as such. Although the Gpex website home page (www.gpex.co.uk) has a button labelled ‘Order print online’, this is actually a basic request for quotation form. It isn’t linked into CoreprintPro, and enquiries are taken over by the MIS and passed on to the sales team.

“We set up regular clients using the system with their own logins, and products and however we want them to be using it,” says Glover. “Then when they order anything, it’s completely seamless. Anything coming in through Coreprint pops up in a job bag, in the correct folder for each department.

“As the peripherals are set on each item, for each client and the system is linked to the back-office set-up, the transition from proof to print is seamless for each project and client. It does work extremely well and has saved us time and money after the initial outlay.”

For repeat orders or where there is already a template, the process is largely automatic, all the way to the press. “The job just goes through and comes out and we invoice it,” Glover says. “We’ve got it to be very slick. Day-to-day the system processes proofs and then if approved, bespoke print orders go through to our back-office system.” 

The back-office system is based on a Tungsten MIS from 2B Creative Solutions, with custom developments added for Gpex. “The development work has been done by Vpress in conjunction with our MIS people,” Glover explains. “Vpress can make the solution bespoke rather than straight out of the box.” 

Another customisation option purchased by Gpex is the Vpress Coreprint Web Services option. “We can create any look and feel for a website or online solution and link it into the Vpress system,” Glover says. Web Services enables Gpex to use the Coreprint API (Application Programming Interface) to create its own web-to-print solutions. “In real terms, this means that a client can create a web-to-print solution that is completely bespoke to them and their client base,” says Vpress marketing and key account manager Emma Mortiboy. 

The initial outlay for CoreprintPro is around £7,500. This gives you unlimited storefronts and the capability for users to create and manage templates and sites themselves. 

The purchase price also includes a free day’s training and eight hours of telephone support. Users can also buy the standard Coreprint managed system for a one-off fee of £750 for one storefront (called a catalogue), including the set-up of a straightforward template (such as a business card). Extra sites and templates can be purchased as the user needs them.

Finally there’s a pay-as-you-go option, with no licence fees.

Tweaks necessary

Although he’s happy with how it works, Glover’s message to other people considering CoreprintPro is that it doesn’t do absolutely everything out of the box. “We’ve had to spend money on development to get the system to do certain things that are a requirement from particular clients,” he says. “However, we constantly update and change services we offer as the industry is ever-changing.

“On a positive note the integration into our back-office system means the human interaction is reduced therefore reducing the margin for error. There’s no real problem with the software that development hasn’t solved.”

Even more positive, the ability to offer web-to-print was a big factor in bringing in new business, he says. “It’s enabled us to secure a new client that would not have been achievable with the old system in place, so in that respect it’s certainly provided an increase in turnover. With the new developments it means we can offer better and more diverse services that otherwise wouldn’t be available. Yes, we would definitely purchase the same system again and recommend it.” 


SPECIFICATIONS

Platform Cloud based web-to-print solution, hosted by Vpress and accessed via web browsers

Set-up Modular package that enables users to create their own templates

Modules Include Web Services, RFQ, digital asset management, variable data printing and cross-media support

Price CoreprintPro costs £7,500 for the basic package, which includes unlimited storefronts, the capability for users to create and manage templates and sites themselves. It also includes a day’s training and eight hours of telephone support

Contact Vpress 01242 246970 www.vpress.co.uk


COMPANY PROFILE 

“Print is our heritage and we have built our company steadily since 1962, says Gpex managing director Simon Glover. “With a turnover of £3.3m and 27 staff currently, print still represents our core service, but, as we expand our activities to support our clients we include more services and grow our company further.”

Growth certainly happened last year, with turnover up 18% over 2013. 

The company has had ISO 14001 accreditation since 2003. This means it has been actively working to reduce emissions, which have had the useful benefit of also reducing overheads. 

Environmental issues are taken very seriously: by 2007 the company was carbon neutral. The digital presses have a lower power requirement when compared with the heavy metal litho units, and low alcohol dampening, vegetable oil-based inks and biodegradable washes are used in the offset presses. 

Why it was bought...

The company wanted to keep up with the demand for online ordering and replace an earlier web-to-print system with a more flexible product that would be easier for clients to use. 

How it has performed...

Very well, after some additional in-house development work. “Coreprint has helped us achieve our goal of providing our clients with a flexible and bespoke online solution which is reliable and constantly updated,” says Glover. “It’s definitely won us new business and retains the clients as well.”

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