Posted in Case Studies on June 16th, 2015

Understanding clients’ needs

At a very conservative estimate, mj digital’s Colortrac 36″ wide-format color scanner* has handled 24 miles of documents since it was installed in 1997. That must be some sort of record for a scanner! mj digital is part of mj impressions, which provides high quality creative design, print and copying for a wide range of prestige clients, including financial institutions, architects, construction companies, government departments, and petrochemical companies, from the company’s offices in the City, West End and Clerkenwell. For over seven years, mj impressions has succeeded by providing unprecedented levels of service, attention to detail and stringent quality control, backed by a thorough understanding of its clients’ business needs. mj digital provides wide format scanning, output and copying and is responsible for the operation of the Colortrac scanner that has served them so well over so many years.

Speed with quality

Mark Robertson, joint founder and Director of mj impressions, believes the company is successful because, “… we design, we produce, we deliver. Our clients are quite demanding and we can work with any format that people give us. We provide speed with quality.” He adds, “We never know what is coming in each day. People need things doing to very short timescales, two hours or less, and we have to be able to respond in time, with high quality. That is why we have invested in the best of high technology, like the Colortrac scanner, for example.” Mark continues, “We get lots of architectural drawings in color, perhaps as simple as monochrome A1 plans just marked up in color. Clients want quality color copies, quickly, so we have a copying system that takes it straight from the Colortrac to one of four HP 5000 inkjets. We also have our own design studio, so that if a client wants a large poster design modifying, for example, we can scan the original and rebuild on top of that.”

A year’s lead

What prompted mj digital to acquire a scanner in the first place? Initially, the company was considering a combined scanner/printer, in effect an A1 photocopier, to handle clients’ wide format work. However, they found their first potential supplier less than responsive at the demonstration.

Mark Robertson takes up the story, “So the following day, I went to an exhibition and saw a Colortrac scanner linked directly to an Encad printer. I could see this would give us the opportunity to go beyond A1, right up to A0.” That was six years and more than 24 miles of documents ago.

Mark continues, “The Colortrac gave us a lead of a year over our competitors. Initially, we were scanning lots of oil logs for oil companies. For some clients we just scanned to file, whilst for others we produced color copies. That really worked well for us, because at that time, others could only produce work taped together from smaller format output. Not very professional.” He adds, “Another project involved scanning hand colored drawings for an architect working for a company with a head office in Australia. We scanned his drawings, saving them to quite small files. The architect would post them to his web site so his client could see the results the next day, half way round the globe. The client could see the job as it progressed, seeing the latest drawings. We couldn’t have done it without the Colortrac scanner.”

Excellent reliability

Luke Storey has been operating the Colortrac scanner for a number of years. He says, “At present, we use the system mainly for scanning hard copy architectural plans. On average we scan about 200 A1 plans a week, with peaks of over 50 in a day. But we also use it for doing high resolution scans in-house. We have found the quality to be really very good. It is versatile enough to be used as a repro scanner.” Reliability has been excellent. Luke notes, “I’ve used it as long as I’ve been here, that’s nearly three years. It has never broken down, never had to be taken away and I have never had to call an engineer to it.” It has been genuinely easy to use, too. He adds, “Just insert the drawing: everything else is controlled from the program. Just tell it to scan, that’s all.”

No creases, no tears, no problem

The Colortrac has had a positive impact on mj digitals’ business. Luke says, “I used to work for another company that did similar work. We had to turn down a lot of work just because we did not have an A0 scanner.” Luke cites one high-profile architect client that they would have lost without the Colortrac. He says, “A lot of their final presentation work is done on very fine tracing paper, tissue paper almost. It makes everything look so much better. Everything is drawn by hand, colored by hand, too. There is no computer rendering. Yet this delicate paper goes through the Colortrac, no creases, no tears, no problem.”

Colortrac again, without hesitation

The Colortrac is now a key part of the operation. It is in intensive use all day, every day and the company is happy that it has had a real return on the investment. Mark Robertson comments, “If we had not bought the Colortrac, we would have probably spent more on a machine that would have been out of date within a year. We’d have bought the alternative, basically a glorified photocopier. People who bought those have had to move over to scanner based solutions to keep up with us.” Based on his experience, would Mark Robertson buy Colortrac again? He answers, “Yes. We’ve had our return in investment several times over. So if we needed a replacement, we would buy another one. And when we need to equip our other offices, we would choose Colortrac again, without hesitation.”

*For all current models see our Large Format Scanner Overview.