[From time to time, Oregon’s President, Judd Plattenburg, provides commentary for the Oregon blog about the state of the business, industry, and community affairs.]

The HP Indigo not only revolutionized digital printing, it helped smaller companies compete with the big boys. How can one machine transform an organization? Let me tell you –

In 2012, I received an invitation to Dscoop, as an HP guest and prospective buyer. There, I heard a keynote speech by Alon Bar-Shany, who runs the Indigo division of HP. I always knew there was a mystique to the Indigo printing press, but I didn’t realize how different it was from not only a technical standpoint, but in terms of quality and the community that runs it. It was different from traditional digital presses and Alon gave a talk that, in my mind, separated Indigo owners from the normal print shop.

I was sold. After securing financing, Oregon purchased an Indigo and its accompanying technology from HP in 2014. The purchase was a a big risk for our company, we were purchasing an expensive piece of equipment usually found in larger shops where they have more money to spend, but that’s what it took to play at that level.

It was a risk that I’m happy to report has paid off. Since buying the Indigo, we have been able to offer faster service, better quality and new capabilities that most smaller shops didn’t have. In a mid-sized city where many printing companies were going out of business or merging with larger corporations, Oregon has not only survived – it has thrived.

This didn’t happen organically. We knew we’d have to transform not only the image of who we were to the public but transform ourselves internally as well. We’d have to spend some money to market these new capabilities and our new identity. We hired an employee with a marketing mindset and a creative flair, who helped us establish an identity beyond that of a traditional printer. With the support of HP, we then used print products to tell our own story and define our brand.

Something funny then happened. With the right equipment and people behind us we were able to become the shop we wanted to be. During this 5-year transition, it let us play in a market with much larger printers.   Purchasing an HP Indigo also led to an unintended positive outcome. We already owned – and continue to own — traditional Heidelberg offset presses, meaning that we have a significant financial risk of big equipment failure. The Indigo helps take that cost off our shoulders since, although we pay a maintenance fee, the manufacturer pays for repairs, which makes planning for capital expenditures a lot easier and allows a little more flexibility in our pricing structure.

It’s been an exciting journey for Oregon, for me personally, and for the HP Indigo as our employees have spent the last five years learning the ins and outs of the machine. We have experienced an influx of high-profile customers in Dayton and beyond seeking our digital printing services, and we attribute that to the capabilities of the HP Indigo.

It’s the quality, it’s the dependability and up-time, it’s the white ink – it’s just so many things that are done just a little better than the norm. With the print market starting to stabilize, we feel like we have a pretty good idea of what the next five years might hold — the transition from large volume runs to smaller micro runs, requiring fast response; a more automated work flow, the ability to work with data and personalization; and insights and decisions based on desired customer outcomes.

And this week in Orlando at DSCOOP 2019, that journey continues. With the experience we’ve gained from our transition over the last five years, it’s given us more confidence in making the right decisions to handle the next five years. We head off to Dscoop again seeking knowledge and collaboration as we look to the future of printed communications.