Virtual Imaging Products1 Apr, 2010 By: Editorial Staff imageSource
Virtual Imaging Products
Virtual Imaging Products (VIP) was established in late '94.
In over ten years Virtual Imaging Products has grown into one of Canada’s
largest and North America’s fastest growing manufacturer and distributor of
proprietarily engineered, high performance compatible imaging supplies. VIP’s
products include color and monochrome toner cartridges. The founders of VIP Dan
Benezra and Josh Mandel, have over 25 years combined experience in the imaging
industry, sales, business development, distribution and finance.
Initially, VIP sourced product from a US manufacturer, and
after several years operating in a traditional Manufacturer and Distributor
fashion, realized that this was not a viable long term option. The market was
changing and economic conditions made it difficult to be able to source
consistent quality and continue to be competitive. It was either take control of
our own destiny or end up a casualty of the market so we decided it was time to
set course for future growth and stable longevity. The Canadian marketplace,
though one tenth the size of the US market, is very competitive with its
concentrated populations and extreme weather conditions. Canada has a very
international mindset; the marketplace is made up of many small, medium and
large scale entrepreneurs, always outsourcing and looking for an edge over the
immediate competition. With quality expectations similar to that of the US
product, scrutiny is intense. The Canadian market is ultra price sensitive and
because the word of quality issues spreads quickly, fear of a badreputation
drives the market.
We began to research ways we could increase efficiencies,
lower costs, maintain high quality standards and deliver value. We studied every
type of business model: distributor/manufacturer from direct importers to
multi-national corporations like NIKE. We found that we could build our own
cartridges any where we wanted and still control the quality. Serendipitously,
Dan ran into a relative, John Cab, living in China, who was involved in QC and
was willing to work with him. An introduction to Tony Kae, an engineer with over
15 years in cartridge manufacturing and remanufacturing, led to manufacturing
offshore at the end of 2005. VIP became a certified ISO-9001 manufacturer in
Virtual Imaging Products currently has 47 employees in
Canada, US and China, for purchasing, production management, quality assurance,
quality control, global logistics, sales and marketing. We sell over 25,000
toner cartridges per month and currently have the capacity to produce 150,000
high performance toner cartridges per month in our three separate factories.
VIP’s testing lab is state of the art, operating a separate QC/QA teams. The
QA team runs the lab, tests raw materials, components and the finished product.
QC and production management team up to make sure that each one of our three
factories manufacture under strict ISO-9001/14001 procedures. This provides 3
sets of critical eyes on and the product at different times during the VIP
ISO-9001-2008 manufacturing process. Our purchasing teams negotiate the best
price for the components our QA team selects directly from the top
manufacturers. Our purchasing team also handles logistics. Field test analysis
has shown that using three separate factories for selected cartridges
manufacturing improves overall performance and reduces defects. One factory
produces most of VIP’s HP compatible, another is for Lexmark, Dell, etc; and the
third factory is dedicated to color. We achieve the quality we desire and it
allows them to run different lines simultaneously. Our Chinese factories are ISO
14001/9000, however our cartridges are custom built to North American
(Canadian/US) standards, under VIP’s ISO9001:2008 certification.
VIP toner cartridges have a product performance rating of
99.2%; this includes color and monochrome. We provide complete nationwide
printer insurance for all printer models including MFP’s whether equipment is
under warranty or not. If the cartridge is deemed to have negatively affected
the performance of the printer VIP will replace and or repair the required
components or replace the printer.
VIP delivers high quality products, unparalleled customer
service at competitive prices. This has allowed VIP to develop a substantial
Canadian market share and an annual growth rate of 25%. Expansion into the US
market was the next logical step. VIP now operates sales offices in Los Angeles
and Toronto, and two 50,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art distribution centers
strategically placed on the East and West Coast of the US/Canadian borders.
Toronto is our primary distribution center; we ship 20-25,000 pieces per month
and opened in Vancouver, DC to accommodate Western US clients and facilitate
Canadian Western Clients where we currently ship 5-8,000 through this hub. VIP
opened our third warehouse in Illinois in March, and will have over 150,000
cartridges in stock between our warehouses. Currently, VIP is looking at a
potential location in the Southwest.
VIP is in the US Market for the long run, and strives to
develop the same cost effective solutions in the US that our large Canadian
customer base enjoys and has been accustomed to receiving over the past 10