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RISO President Discusses the Rise of Color

4 Oct, 2005 By: Aaron Shea imageSource

RISO President Discusses the Rise of Color

The power of the color printed
page is becoming more apparent in the business world. For instance, research by
Infotrends/CAP Ventures found that full color variable documents enhanced
companies’ results by generating 34 percent faster response rates, creating a 48
percent increase in repeat orders, and increasing overall revenues by 32

“Currently, the market for digital color is generating over 39 billion pages in
the U.S.,” said Charlie Corr, a group director at InfoTrends/CAP Ventures, in a
report released this year. “We believe significant opportunities exist for
digital color printing as it enters the next phase of adoption.”

Manufacturers such as RISO, Inc. are recognizing this growing trend. In 2004,
RISO, which has approximately 400 dealers and distributors throughout North
America, South America and the Caribbean, released what it has dubbed as the
world’s fastest full color inkjet printer—the HC5000.

“Our strategy has been and will continue to be focused on helping our customers
add impact to their applications by adding color,” said Daniel Weil, president
and CEO of RISO, Inc. “The growth area here is the conversion of black and white
to color driven by the high speed (105 pages per minute) and low cost ($.03 per
page) of the HC5000.”

As an industry veteran, Weil has a strong grasp of the direction the printer
business is heading. Prior to becoming chief at RISO, Inc. in 1995, the native
of England spent 16 years with Gestetner Holdings PLC. During his tenure with
Gestetner, he worked throughout the world in a variety of positions, including
sales, training, product management, marketing, and international

Ultimately, Weil became responsible for worldwide business development and
strategy and undertook in excess of 70 acquisitions or divestitures for
Gestetner around the world. He was also a director of several companies in the
United Kingdom, Asia and the United States.

Weil took some time with imageSource to discuss his thoughts on the color
printer market.

imageSource: Where do you expect the color market to be in the next 2-3

The color market has experienced significant growth for the past few
years and this trend will continue to accelerate. The key factors to the growth
of the full color market are twofold: end user expectations for full color are
becoming the standard for print, and monochrome applications have migrated to
full color.

The dealer community will need to provide their customers with technology that
will help drive the migration to full color in order to secure their current

IS: Do you see a time when the color market will exceed the black and
white laser market?

DW: Color may not overtake black and white in the near future, but with
more copies migrating to full color black and white will become less attractive
for many applications. RISO believes that over 50 percent of print volumes will
move from black and white to full color in the next five years.

IS: How important is it for dealers to push the importance of color to
their customers?

DW: Dealers must stop with the push theory and start with the opportunity
theory. The opportunity theory focuses on business growth, productivity
improvements, and business opportunities.

Full color can help increase key business areas like response rate, repeat
business and reader retention. These areas are not just about color, they are
about opportunities in business. The dealer must help show their customers’ how
adding color can find new opportunities for leads and sales.

Full color is rapidly becoming the standard in communication. Without color,
charts, graphs, illustrations, and pictures lose their communication value to
the audience. Everywhere we go, there is color. From computer screens to cell
phones, and TV to video games, our world is color. When was the last time you
saw a black and white TV?

Dealers should focus on the opportunities that color can provide their customers
and encourage them to take the lead on color from the world around them.

IS: Is there a specific way salespeople should present the idea of color
to customers?

DW: There really is no secret to selling color. In fact, from the RISO
perspective, a sales rep is not selling color technology, they are selling the
concept of using full color instead of black and white.

The impact of full color on documents is what must be sold first, then move on
to a review of applications that can be enhanced by color, and then to the
technology specifics.

IS: What are the market trends that you are seeing as far as color?

DW: The market trends are following expectations of the customer. The
growth is not in the existing full color area, but in the migration of black and
white to full color. There are two major factors that contribute to this
growth—speed and economy.

A recent study showed 24 percent of black and white jobs would be printed in
full color if the cost was $.03 per copy. The HC5000 offers this cost and a
production speed of 105 prints per minute.

IS: How much emphasis has RISO put on color?

DW: RISO is totally committed to helping the customer add value to their
communications through the conversion of black and white to color. RISO, Inc.
launched into the full color market in October of 2004 with the HC5000. But RISO
has always focused on color since the first printer-duplicator generation.

IS: Do you see your dealers warming up to it?

DW: The RISO dealer network is warming up to the HC5000 and our momentum
is building. Like most new products, there are many dealers that get excited
about a new story to tell to their customers. Many of our dealers understand
that this opportunity is one that comes around once in a generation and billions
of prints will be converted to color and there is a definitive first mover
advantage with the HC5000.

IS: What are your top color products?

DW: RISO has known color for many years. The traditional
printer-duplicator products have been printing spot color applications for many
years. The speeds of our core products are as high as 150 prints per minute and
allow a user to print up to two colors in one pass. We have recently taken our
20 years of experience in to the full market place with the launch of the

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