Simian BV had its first Komori Lithrone G840P H-UV installed at its newly build premises in Westbroek, near Groningen in the very northern part of The Netherlands. The successful online print business has continued to grow ever since, now producing well over 1,000 jobs per day. So the need for additional capacity quickly became obvious. And it didn’t take very long for Simian’s CEO Wouter Haan to decide: “It only makes perfect sense to install a second Komori press.”

Haan founded his online print company, called ‘Reclameland’, in 2008. By acquiring two existing print portals – ‘Drukland’ and ‘Flyerzone’ – in 2015, some 100,000 print orders were added to the portfolio overnight. Growth accelerated for the company, now renamed ‘Simian’ to manage all three portals under their own brands and distinct market approach. Haan: “Our unique selling point has always been that we print everything ourselves. And I have every intention of continuing to do so, as this approach brings us and our customers many advantages.”

‘We love to print’
“We are not some online business that ‘happens to be in print, but could just as well be selling something else’ – we actually love to print. I really see no point in becoming an ‘Uber’-like print service provider by outsourcing all print production, because that is not at all what our customers are looking for. They trust us to personally take care of their print. By being a true print production house, we are in complete control of everything we do. This not only enables us to standardize and automate our processes as much as possible, but we can also quickly respond to any questions or special wishes a customer might have. It also allows us to offer fair and sharp pricing, because we don’t have to share any margins with third party producers. This doesn’t mean we are always going to be the cheapest printer on the web – but we will be the best at making our customers happy by keeping our promises and living up to their expectations.”

Wouter Haan, CEO

Fully automated workflow
To be able to meet the increasing demand for short runs and fast turn around, Simian needs highly productive, effective and reliable equipment. Installing a Komori Lithrone G840P H-UV last year proved to be the right answer, combining speed and uptime with a high level of automation that includes plate changes, pre-settings and self-learning capabilities: “This press integrated seamlessly with our fully automated workflow.” As Simian opted for Komori’s H-UV drying technology, curing the ink instantly after printing to allow for the sheets to be finished immediately, production has been speeded up even further: “Our customers can now order up until 6 PM and still have their print items ready and delivered the very next morning.”

Increase production capacity
As Haan already anticipated at the time of installation, the number of print jobs continued to rise and the Komori press was soon running three shifts nonstop, often including the weekends. “We have managed to grow our turnover by 30 per cent over the last six months, now totaling over 20 million Euro for the full year. At this rate, we really now need to increase our production capacity and so we have decided to double up much of our existing equipment.”

Second Komori press
Investing a grand total of 3.5 million Euro, a second CTP installation was added to create more flexibility to quickly respond to changes in the production schedule. Additional large format printers and extra finishing equipment are to speed up the production of an even wider variety of products, allowing for faster delivery to customers. And Haan decided for a second Komori Lithrone G840P H-UV: “We have been very satisfied with our first machine. It has been putting out top quality print right from the very start and has been running with minimal downtime. By equipping our second press with inline camera inspection, we will be able to even further decrease make ready times and waste. But most importantly: we will have the capacity and the flexibility to handle even more jobs and print volume all by ourselves, guaranteeing our customers the best service available.”

Expanded portfolio, improved service
To ensure top-of-mind awareness for its brands, Simian is stepping up its marketing efforts: “By combining commercials on television and radio with sophisticated search engine optimization and smart AdWords campaigns, we use a complex set of tools to make sure we rank high in online search results. People need to be able to find us, always – and we are pretty good at it.”
Growth is set to continue at Simian, says Wouter Haan: “We have been growing our business in Belgium very fast over the last couple of years and we still see a lot of potential there to tap into. The Netherlands offers many opportunities too, in various segments, for both offset and sign. So we will continue to expand our portfolio and further improve our service to customers. For example: our service desk is available until 10 PM, even on Sundays. That level of care and dedication is what really sets us apart in this highly competitive market.”

 

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