Primera Technology hopes to change all that with its LX Series of color label printers that allow businesses to create labels – from mock-up to final copy – quickly and inexpensively in-house.
In addition to manufacturers of everything from Olive Oil and sauce to fine wines, the Primera technology has opened a new door for the food service operator. From selling sauce at the checkout counter of an eatery to creating a specialty brand for the Internet, Primera offers a cost effective entry into brand extension.
“We pride ourselves on our print quality,” says product manager Amber Jeckhort. “A lot of our competitors' printers are based on speed. You need a good-looking label to be eye-catching to the consumer.”
Primera has been in business since 1999 but was actually spun off from Sparko Electronics, which has been in business for over 30 years. Primera is a developer and manufacturer of specialty printing equipment, including the LX-Series Color Label Printers, AP-Series Label Applicators, LP130 Laser Marking System and CX1200 Color Label Press and FX1200 Digital Finishing System.
“We started out in bar coding but evolved to other things and we grew the business from there,” she says. “We have larger press and finishing systems for more flexibility and production than the LX, but the LX is our go-to for labeling for the foodservice industry.”
Jeckhort says foodservice comprises 50% of the company's business. “What also sets us apart is price. We're competitive across the board. We offer full solutions, not only label printers but label applicators. If you have a wine bottle that needs front and back labels, we have an applicator for that. It saves money and time to have that solution in-house.”
When a potential customer comes forward, Primera sends out samples of its labeling to show the quality, she says. “We give customers the option to get label material through us or another manufacturer. We get their logo and do a mock-up. We can also send out generic samples if they just want to see a certain material and how it looks printed, or we can customize their labels. The sample helps them visualize how it's going to look on their bottle or container. Print quality is a large deciding factor when buying a printer. The cost of the label is top of the list for people. We let them get a clear idea what the cost would be with the material, as well. We offer both quality and price. It's a hard combination to beat.”
Jeckhort says the company works hard to ensure that every customer is satisfied, and has had all its questions answered, before buying a printer or applicator. “We want to make sure their containers work with our applicators, that everything's in line and set before they make the purchase. It's a large purchase and we want them satisfied right off the bat.”
The company offers delayed or segmented payment, and there's a warranty for parts, labor, and shipping, if the product needs to come back. “Our customer support is for the life of the machine,” she says. “That's because you might have a new label file you don't know how to set correctly within the software sent with the printer, how to align it, all that kind of thing. We have a person get that answer right away. And we still support machines we made years ago.”
Jeckhort says once a customer buys a printer, Primera can provide the materials and printing process for all labels. “We stock everything so it's a one-stop shop. We have live chat at our Web site, so, if you have a quick question on how to order something, you can get it answered quickly. And you can order everything from our online store. Simply set up an account and customers can easily go on there and order more ink or paper or whatever they need,” she notes.
The LX series is a more entry-level, affordable desktop printer, she says, adding to its appeal. “Why outsource labeling when you can do it in-house cheaper, do mock-ups and sample labels on your own instead of sending them out? People are getting that concept a little more. Why would I want to outsource 2 or 3 labels to see what they look like. Why not do it myself?” Jeckhort says.
Another huge reason people buy label printers from Primera, is that, often with outsourcing, there's a minimum order. “A business might just have a special label for Christmas, for example, and there could be a minimum order of 10 or 20,000 labels at an outside printer. There's no way you need that many,” she says. “You're going to be paying a lot more when you could print out your labels as needed, on demand.”
She notes that the LX and the company's support services really help start-up companies bring products to market that much faster. “The mock-up, the sample labels, to visualize, do we want this or something else? There's a real cost aspect to this. Not having that unneeded inventory.”
Printing your own labels makes a business more efficient, not overstocked with goods they can't use. “Today everyone wants to keep it lean and mean, no overage. If you outsource it, maybe you'll have 1,000 labels you didn't use sitting in a stock room somewhere, taking up space and reminding you every time you go in there about the money you wasted,” she says. The time aspect – it's right there.
“When you print business cards, for example, the turnaround time is often more than you want. This is instant. It's more nimble for a holiday or special product. You can just move right on it. Or customize your label – some people want to put a certain label on a wine or champagne bottle for a wedding. You can figure out how many people are going to be there, and create a specific amount of labels. More and more people are getting into that customized feel. It engages the customer even more.”
Primera distributes its products in more than 222 countries with service and support for North America, Latin America and South America from Plymouth, Minnesota. EMEA customers are serviced and supported from Wiesbaden, Germany through Primera Europe. Primera Asia Pacific, located in Hong Kong, serves customers in Asia Pacific.
The company advertises its products in the usual way, with print and digital methods, but it has also embraced social media, using Facebook and Twitter as a forum, Jeckhort says. “It's like a little blog and it's very nice. We reach many new customers that way. If you want to print labels quickly, easily and professionally, the LX will help you do that.” For more information visit, http://www.primeralabel.com/