“So, here I am with one of my favorite people, Stephen from Avanti. Not Avanti Systems, not Avanti Slingshot, but Avanti. Ask Avanti, #AskAvanti. You are here at the Ricoh booth at the SGIA Expo. What are you doing here? How’s the show been, so far? And, who is this handsome gentleman sitting next to you?” Well, this guy has been demoing. Let’s just say he’s been demoing a lot here. So, here we are at Atlanta and we’re showing off a bunch of Slingshot. It’s been fantastic. We actually tried to get a booth here ourselves, at the show, completely sold out. So, we picked up the phone, called our really good friends at Ricoh and said, ‘You know, SGIA is a perfect fit for us, who are looking for software like this.’ So, we’re all about, as you know, job costing, job tracking and billing, which is easy to do in digital, easy to do in offset, easy. Everything’s a relative term. But, what with the folks that are here, they’re doing large-format, and they’re doing grand format, and they’re doing vehicle wraps, and that’s really, really tough. It’s more than just about printing. So, Jack has been demoing vehicle wraps, as an example, where we’re not only talking about the printing, we’re talking about how we can optimize when we now have ganging in there. We’ve also got the large format functionality that is specific to them, and so it’s just been a great show for us.
“Fantastic. So, let’s backtrack just a little. Avanti is MIS software, correct?” It is.
“And, tell us why, Stephen, you thought this was an area that Avanti needed to get into?” Well, all we’ve been seeing in our traditional customers, we’ve been around since ’84, so we got our start in the offset side. We saw people moving on the digital world, but now, they’re fighting over a smaller pie, so they realized, ‘I got to get into other lines of business.’ What are we saying no to now, and the customers ask, ‘Can you do that?’ No, we can’t do the posters. No, we can’t do the large format. No, we can’t do the grand format. So, they’re getting into that. So, when we built Avanti Slingshot, we built that with that in mind. So, it’s multi-lines of business in the commercial space, letting them be able to use one tool to handle their offset, their digital, their mail, and now, things like vehicle wraps.
“So, is it an add-on service or does it now come bundled with both capabilities? Or both?” No. The capability is completely embedded, but we use things called work types and work templates. So, there’s a work type called large format. There’s a work type for things like vehicle wraps. So, it makes it very easy for them to be able to use that one tool. One tool offset, really sophisticated. Right. I need my make-ready, my wash-up and my plates. We don’t care about any of that in digit al and in grand format, large format. What we care about si understanding, how do we optimize the roll, for example, on a grand format or a flatbed to make sure that we’re taking advantage of the substrate. How we can make sure that we can limit the number of times that we have to change the roll on something, by being able to schedule and optimize for that. So, all those are homeruns for the large format printer.
“Yes. And, I mean, everything you’re saying makes so much sense, and yet, you’ve never really heard about any companies in this space. So, congratulations for thinking that. Jack, let’s talk a little bit about the customers, the prospects, or whatever you would like to call them – that have them coming to speak with you to demo the software. Are these traditional wide-format printers? Are these commercial printers looking to expand their services? What are you feeling about the conversations you’ve been having?” Most of the conversations you see are what we term a high-bred plan. So, yes, they have done services like offset, but now have grown. So, they’ve added large format, grand format, small digital, and they’re working through all of that different workflows. But, we’ve also seen people, all we’re coming here for is because we’re a large format sign, and we want to see what kind of software can help us take something from estimating inboards. And, that’s really what we show them all the way through, as Steve was saying.
“Right. Fantastic. So, how can people get in touch with you guys? I know you just had a very successful user conference. Congratulations on that.” Thank you.
“So, how can people get in touch, and then, give us about your proposition of why, maybe a printer, should look at your software.” Sure. You could always come to www.avantisystems.com and see everything to do with us. We also do webinar, every Thursday, 2:00 eastern time. Come on to that and you get a little 40-minute demo. Typically, it’s Jack that’s doing them online. So, they can just register online, show up and get a little taste of that. And then, we can follow up with them. The value proposition for them is now, we’ve got all these small jobs coming into the shop and we just can’t touch them. Everytime that we touch a job, we start to lose money. So, Avanti Slingshot is all about getting rid of those breakpoints in the workflow. Easy to generate a quote. Because, often in large format, grand format and digital, whoever gives me that quote first is going to get the deal. Right. So, it’s really important about really easy–to-use software that I can get my quotes of. When I win that, it makes it easy to turn into a job that can easily get scheduled and that can easily get billed. That’s the value prop.
“Okay. And, last question. I know we’re in the Ricoh booth, no disrespect, but does your software work with other manufacturers, as well?” Sure. Absolutely. We’re vendor agnostic in terms of being able to handle the reality of the world, which is a multi-vendor world. So, they will have their HP, they will have their flatbeds, they will have their cut sheet, they will have their litho, and this is built to be able to handle all of that.
“Beautiful. I just want to make sure that, you know, if that was the case, that we let everybody know. Any final words, Jack?” We had a great SGIA.
“That’s good. Now, the lights are off. I think they’re basically saying, ‘Get out.’ So, let’s do that.” Adios.
“Have a good trip back to Canada. Canadians, Americans. Cheers.”