Pel Hughes adds Canon’s ProStream web-powered inkjet press to efficiently deliver highly targeted direct mail, books and magazines with stunning graphics quality
Meet the new thINK members of Pel Hughes: Jackie HughesOwner; Brian HughesPresident; Tim Levyvice president
BOCA RATON, Florida., October 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — “Don’t waste it,” Brian Hughes, chairman of Pel Hughes, responded with a laugh when asked about the wise words of wisdom his father Vic left him regarding their family’s printing business. Brian is the third generation to lead Pel Hughes, based in New Orleans, Louisianaand he intends to expand the business, just like his parents did.
“The family business started in 1954 with my grandparents Pel and Alice (pronounced ‘Elise’) Hughes,” Brian explained. “When my parents took over the business in 1969, they grew it from a small commercial printing and mailing house with just three employees to one of the largest full service direct marketing providers in the world. southern Gulf with more than 65 employees today.
This growth has occurred despite many challenges, including flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina. Brian continued, “My dad didn’t tell me how to run the business; he showed me. I worked alongside him for over 20 years and watched him use obstacles as stepping stones to grow the business. We transmit his knowledge to us, and develop the business by adapting it to changing market conditions. »
“A lot of people will tell you that print is dead, but we know print isn’t dead, it’s evolving. Print is a very powerful component of the multi-channel marketing mix and if you’re not using it to highly targeted direct mail campaigns, you miss the mark,” Brian said. “Our customers don’t come to us because they want print or direct mail campaigns, they come to us because they want their communications are timely, relevant, personalized and effective in achieving their customer acquisition and retention goals – and we know how to help them do just that.”
Clients rely on Pel Hughes’ extensive data expertise to help them achieve return on investment (ROI) through highly targeted cross-media marketing campaigns. To do this, Pel Hughes relies on a combination of printing and software technologies as well as data and marketing analysts.
However, they found that their printing technology was holding them back, creating waste and inefficiencies with pre-printed shells, downtime, and labor-intensive processes. As part of their evolutionary strategy, Brian and his uncle Tim Levy, vice president of Pel Hughes, made the decision to buy a Canon ProStream 1800. “While we have evolved our business over the years, we have advanced light years, but not our press technology” , said Tim. “We knew we had to find a better and more efficient way to do what our customers expect of us. Simply put, the ProStream ticked all the boxes.”
“First, there’s the simple efficiency factor,” Tim explained. “The ProStream can print 400,000 beautiful, high quality postcards in the time it takes two of our toner machines to print just 10,000 postcards. There is no doubt that the difference between night and day in speed and quality, not to mention uptime, which was only 70% on our digital toner devices compared to over 90% on ProStream.When you add to that the variable data capabilities that can handle our complex data matrices, the ProStream is a game-changer for our business.After our install in May 2022, we immediately began moving offset jobs that required pre-printed shells, high-quality graphics, and print runs that were too short to run profitably in offset to the ProStream; and, of course, digital toner works as well. We didn’t really have a learning curve. Our work was already there; we just needed a high-quality, high-speed press like the ProStream that could catch up with us and help us move forward into the future. »
“Because of our experience and expertise in data-driven direct mail, adding ProStream was just plug and play for us,” added Brian. “[We could] keep doing what we were already doing, but do it better, more efficiently and with better results.”
Media versatility is also important to Pel Hughes to meet the demands of its customers. The ProStream supports a wide range of media including standard offset coated (gloss, matte, silky, dull), uncoated and inkjet optimized papers from 40gsm to 300gsm. “In other words, we can print from the lightest magazine and book pages all the way to magazine covers, allowing us to use the ProStream for direct mail, books, catalogs and magazines. ability to print on 10-12 dots. Postcard stock was important to us, as our customers’ demand had been trending towards heavier stock for years. We invested in a close-range MBO roller finishing line with dynamic perf/score, slitting, trimming, rolling, folding and gluing for the most efficient finishing workflow in our industry,” explained Tim. “Because the MBO line is modular, we can reconfigure the finishing components in a different sequence, producing a different product as needed. Postcards in cycle 1, letters in cycle 2, self-service mailings in cycle 3. This allows us to finalize the web into a product that best suits the customer and the campaign, rather than forcing them to fit a standard box. Personalized campaigns get better conversion rates, which is the ultimate goal.”
With run lengths too short to run profitably in offset, overall volumes exceeding the throughput levels of their toner devices, and the need for highly variable print jobs, the ProStream helped Pel Hughes close the gap. between offset and toner devices, enabling them to be more efficient in delivering stunning quality and highly targeted campaigns in record time, cost effectively and without waste.
Pel Hughes operates from a 65,000 square foot facility and has 65 employees, many of whom are family members carrying on their family heritage. Jackie Hughesowner of Pel Hughes, said: “I am delighted to see my son [Brian] and brother [Tim] run the business. I know Vic would be proud. I am still actively involved in the business and spend my days in back-to-back meetings, but with the leadership I see [in them]I know I can look forward to playing more tennis matches and spending more time with my grandchildren.”
When asked what recommendations they had for others entering the inkjet market, Brian said, “Choose a like-minded manufacturer. When we started researching what inkjet could do for us, we knew we needed printing technology that could not only meet us where we are, but also be able to scale with us as we grew. critical decision for us, which is why Canon Solutions America quickly emerged as an obvious choice.
“Pel Hughes is a great example of the success a company achieves when it focuses on the success of its customers. I am glad they recognize that we are like-minded in our commitment to customers. We welcome to the Pel Hughes family in ours and look forward to seeing their continued growth,” said Francis McMahonExecutive Vice President, Production Print Solutions, Canon Solutions America, Inc.
Canon Solutions America has led the print evolution for nearly a decade, with industry-leading market share in web, sheetfed and high-volume inkjet in the United States. United in 2021.
thINK is an independent community of Canon Solutions America inkjet customers who receive free membership. thINK is led by a council of Canon inkjet customers and offers tools, training and educational resources designed to accelerate success with inkjet. Canon Solutions America inkjet customers can apply for membership by visiting thINKForum.com.
“We welcome Pel Hughes to thINK and look forward to hearing more about their success with Canon inkjet at the annual thINK Ahead conference,” said Todd RothChairman of the Board of thINK and Vice President of Manufacturing and Distribution, Core Publishing Solutions, a Thomson Reuters business.
About the THINK forum
thINK is an independent community of inkjet customers, solution partners and printing industry experts from Canon Solutions America, and Canon Solutions America is a proud Executive Sponsor. Led by some of the nation’s most successful inkjet service providers, it provides a forum for members to network, gain knowledge, discuss common challenges and share best practices. For more information, visit thinkforum.com.
Canon is a registered trademark of Canon Inc. in United States and elsewhere. ProStream is a registered trademark and trademark of Canon Production Printing Netherlands BV All other product names and brands referenced are trademarks of their respective owners. The views and opinions expressed in this testimonial are based on the real experiences of each willing participant.
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