Located 45 minutes outside of San Francisco and 40 from Silicon Valley, A&M Printing sits just outside the heartbeat resonating from one of the country’s most culturally diverse and innovatively paced areas. On one side is a bastion of Fortune 500 icons, and the other, a spate of small-and-medium-sized businesses, including wineries, and real estate and building companies—each looking to market to its customers from all sides of the playbook.
For the past 25-plus years, the Pleasanton, California-commercial printer has operated under the mission statement: “Our customer’s success is our success.” That means A&M gives every project the uncompromising customer service and painstaking attention to detail it deserves via its dedicated in-house graphic design, bindery, and mailing and fulfillment service teams.
Situated in an area known for its commitment to environmentally sound practices, A&M has led by example thanks to its calculated efforts to minimize waste and pollution. The certified G7 Master printer is a leader in green business practices. Some of its “eco-friendly solutions” include soy and/or vegetable-based inks, environmentally friendly fountain solutions and press washes with low VOC, water-based press coatings, recyclable paper, among others.
The services A&M provides and the products it uses to get the jobs done matter. But, as owner Leo Lam examined the jobs coming in and out of the door, he noticed that A&M was only giving its customers half of what they need in some instances. While its customers were getting what they needed in the way of brochures and pamphlets, presentation folders, flyers, coupons, etc., they were going to other vendors for things like signage. Without a large format printer, A&M was not giving its customers its best shot.
“Knowing that our customers come to us first, we realized that we were only servicing half of their needs and giving away the rest,” Lam says. “When you see that, you say, ‘We have them in here, so let’s keep them here.’ We needed something that could get the job done with high quality and in the short turn. Digital was the only way to go.”
Seek and you shall find
The first step in A&M’s mission to right that wrong was to find a digital, wide format press that could offer the quality, efficiency and sustainability need- ed to provide a one-stop-shop for the large format side of its business. After researching what equipment could help reignite their operations, the A&M brain trust turned to long-time vendor partner Fujifilm and the Acuity F to bolster its investment in large format, digital printing.
Able to produce a wide range of print applications from a close view to display print, the capabilities of the Acuity F inkjet printer offer near-photographic image quality, versatility and ease of use. “For us, we were especially sold on the high-flow vacuum” Lam says. “It definitely can handle the tougher materials [corrugated boxes, etc.]—a critical element. The Acuity F also gives us the speed as well as the quality.”
Before adding the Acuity F, the typical run length for a standard 48-inch x 96-inch stock type was two to three hours. But thanks to the Acuity F’s print speeds and high-flow vacuum power, the A&M team can turn the same project around in less than an hour, giving it the capability to take on larger runs. It also enables A&M to fulfill Lam’s ultimate mission—to be a one-stop-shop for its customers.
“The F67 came in just right on time,” Lam says. “Where we are, in the Bay Area, things move at a very fast pace. In today’s digital environment, clients expect a lot when it comes to turn- around time. The quality is a given. What makes us stand out is the quality we offer and our customer service. A lot of things can affect the pricing, but if your customers have to choose reliability and quality, they will always take those over price. Fujifilm has always been one of our stronger vendors. That is what makes us so loyal all these years. There has never been a reason to change.”
In a time when the print industry must work together to service the needs of customers seeking the best solutions in the right moments, Lam says being able to lean on a close ally is important.
“When you do things right it keeps customers around for a long time. You can have the best salespeople in the world, but you have to be able to back up your product. We have always found the support there with Fujifilm. You have to work together in order to be able to succeed.