Over the past year, Hudson Printing has added about $20 million in equipment and technology in both the Web Offset and Digital sides of the business. This Q&A with Hudson owner and CEO Paul Hudson, explores more about the strategy behind these investments and what it means to customers.
What new equipment has been added, and – what does it do?
We’ve added equipment to every sector of the business in the last 12 months. In Web Offset we added a Goss M600-high speed web press. This press is valuable because it has more automation capabilities and runs faster than our existing offset equipment. On the digital side, we added two new HP Indigo w7250 digital presses along with a HP Indigo 10000 digital press. In finishing, we added a new Muller-Martini Allegro Perfect Binder, Heidelberg folding equipment, a small Standard Horizon Perfect Binder, two Hunkeler sheeting lines, hardcover bookmaking equipment, and a Harris&Bruno Coater. Lastly, in the prepress department, we updated our Fuji plate-making equipment. Each piece of equipment makes us more efficient and more capable of fulfilling customer orders in every area of the business.
“The future for Hudson Printing is vibrant and promising, which is why we’re continuing to invest heavily.”
– Paul Hudson, Hudson Printing CEO
How does this make Hudson better?
Customer expectations have continued to grow. They need us to get product into the market much faster than in the past. So, in order to meet and exceed their expectations, we have continued to invest in people, processes, and new equipment. We are always working to eliminate waste and shorten production time in order to deliver the highest quality products in the shortest possible time. In addition, this new equipment allows us to expand our capabilities and deliver new types of products. For example, we’ve just started to produce hard cover books. Our customers have been asking for this for a long time and so we are delighted to be delivering these high-value books.
What unique value does this new technology add?
I believe print is playing a different and more valuable role today – in many ways print is becoming more of a luxury product. We understand that print works in conjunction with other media for today’s brands and must deliver a powerful market impression. Print must be more dynamic, more beautiful, and more impactful than ever before. Furthermore, the physical nature of a printed piece is its unique characteristics compared to digital media and, therefore, we do everything we can to enhance the physical essence of printed work. Our goal is to deliver beautiful printed products that create meaningful and emotional experiences for the people who receive them. We create these experiences for customers with beautiful paper, high quality print, textures, and new finishing techniques.
What software investments has Hudson made? Why is this a big deal?
Software at Hudson is a strategic advantage for our business, and delivers behind-the-scenes value to our customers. We’ve made so many improvements to our systems in the last year. We now have both customer-facing ordering portals as well as web storefronts, making it much easier for customers to transact with us. Improved software makes ordering easier and also allows people to upload files, view, and approve proofs at their convenience. In addition, we have added strong variable data production engines for personalized print and high-volume order processing. Lastly, we have been working hard to improve our own internal manufacturing software.
“I firmly believe that we are transforming Hudson Printing from a high-quality printing job shop into a technology company that delivers superior print.”
– Paul Hudson, Hudson Printing CEO
How do people play a role in these new developments?
We have expanded our executive, technical, and manufacturing teams in very significant ways over recent months. These leaders have brought new knowledge and expertise that supplement our 100+ years of experience. We now have internal resources with deep knowledge and experience in e-commerce, lean manufacturing practices, distribution and fulfillment, high-tech infrastructure, and marketing. These members of the company have broadened our already-strong team.