Global Banking Player Credit Suisse Chooses Kodak VersamarK VL2000 Printing Systems for Colour Printing
Swiss financial service provider purchases two KODAK Inkjet Printing Systems for complex financial reports and account statements at its Zurich Print Centre.
LUCERNE.- If there is one Swiss city that merits the name of “international finance centre,” then Zurich is it. Credit Suisse whose head office is located in the country’s biggest metropolis has contributed significantly to this impressive reputation. This leading global financial services company operates a Print Centre at its Uetlihof Administration Centre, one of the three largest of its kind in the whole of Switzerland. Two Kodak Versamark VL2000 Printing Systems recently heralded in a new era in the production of complex financial reports, portfolio statements and other documents in full colour for private banking clients.
These new inkjet colour printing systems from Kodak, which are also used to produce “ordinary” daily and account statements, each feature a printing unit for full colour 2-up simplex. The two Kodak Versamark VL2000 models have replaced the three oldest of the bank’s eight existing continuous feed laser printers, which only print in one colour – black.
Efficient and secure – the Credit Suisse Print Centre
As a business critical area, the Print Centre resides in a special security zone together with an IT Centre. The department prints around 200 million A4 pages a year with highly personalized contents, then packs them and prepares them for mailing. 98 percent of the total volume runs on continuous systems that produce from roll to roll or from roll to stack.
All account statements and reports must reflect the values that underlie the excellent worldwide standing of this esteemed Swiss bank: discretion, credibility, and solidity. Particularly in the private banking and asset management sectors, these pillars are complemented by service functions that add value to customer documents, such as dynamically generated, personalized charts and portfolio graphics. The use of colour is a great advantage here. “Last year, our business make-up was such that we were compelled to enter into full-colour printing. We decided to invest in inkjet as a future-oriented technology, aware that in doing so we would be playing a pioneering role in Europe,” recalls Ralph Müggler, responsible for Print Processing & Engineering. “Since we cannot keep the new printing technology busy all of the time just with colour jobs, we were seeking a solution that also allows us to print about 60 percent of its total volume efficiently in black and white.”
Full colour and black and white – without inflating costs
Credit Suisse subjected the systems proposed by four major manufacturers to an in-depth value-benefit analysis. The main criteria were the capital and operating costs on the one hand and quality on the other. According to Ralph Müggler, the quality aspects included the ability to reproduce, and ensure the colour consistency of, pie and bar charts, which are an important part of so-called “Premium Integrated Reporting” for private banking customers. They also covered the resistance of the dried inks when exposed to a certain amount of moisture during folding into envelopes and packaging. “Our analysis showed that one vendor was able to offer a better compromise between quality and costs than its three rivals. That company was Kodak,” says Müggler.
The two Kodak Versamark VL2000 Printing Systems have been integrated in normal production since September 2008. Like all the other printers at the Print Centre, they process AFP data streams. The department’s 50 staff produce in three shifts from 6 a.m. on Monday morning thru to 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. Owing to the data processing processes, which take place overnight in batch mode, the heaviest load on the printing systems in regular daily service occurs between 6 and 10 a.m. “We have to allow an adequate safety margin when it comes to availability and output quality, which is why we don’t even utilize 50 percent of our overall printing capacity,” Ralph Müggler explains. However, there are exceptions to this rule. The printing systems have a chance to demonstrate exactly how reliable and productive they are in continuous operation whenever the quarterly and annual financial statements are due. Each time these peak periods come around, the account and portfolio statements of every single Credit Suisse customer have to be printed in a few days.
Year-end processing 2008: baptism of fire passed with flying colours
The year end processing for 2008 coincided with the debut of the two Kodak Versamark VL2000 Printing Systems, each of which is controlled by a Kodak Versamark CS300 System Controller. The inkjet systems, which were on duty around the clock for seven long days, printed almost five million out of the total 15.4 million pages. “Top marks in the test of fire,” was the general consensus at the Credit Suisse Print Centre.
Ralph Müggler and his colleagues also perceive further potential with regard to full-colour printing. Between 10 and 15 percent of the present volume is accounted for by the production of client documents on behalf of an insurance company. In the not-too-distant future, they are planning to introduce this customer to the advantages created by full colour printing with the VL2000 Printing System for TransPromo activities. As insurance providers periodically bring new products to market, integrating advertising messages into day to day client communications opens up attractive opportunities for efficient marketing of additional services.
In Ralph Müggler’s view, the use of colour simply to print company logos is uneconomical. For this reason, the Print Centre traditionally processes paper pre-printed in traditional offset on a large scale, mostly in the 90 g/sqm weight category. However, ways to leverage latent optimization potentials by exploiting the functionality of the new Kodak Versamark VL2000 Printing Systems and printing on white paper are already being investigated. “Digital full-colour printing can dramatically streamline certain workflows like payment slips. If we were to print these documents on white paper on demand with the customer data stream rather than using complex forms,” says Müggler, “we could achieve quite a saving in terms of turnaround times and costs. Among other things, the two-channel packaging line currently required for post-processing could be reduced to one channel. We would also benefit from a generally more secure document workflow by processing in the stream.”
The manager in charge of the Print Processing & Engineering department is in no doubt that Credit Suisse’s investment in the Kodak Versamark VL2000 Printing Systems marks an important step forward into the future. The next logical move, as he sees it, would be to upgrade the speed of the inkjet colour printing systems from the current 246 fpm (75 mpm). This would allow the number of printing systems to be gradually reduced to a small number of highly flexible and productive units.
KODAK Products are backed by KODAK Service and Support.KODAK Service and Support is made up of more than 3,000 professionals reaching more than 120 countries. It is a leading multi-vendor integrated services provider, delivering consulting, installation, maintenance and support services for the commercial printing, graphic communications, document imaging and data storage industries. KODAK Service and Support professionals are uniquely qualified to provide services that control costs, maximize productivity, and minimize business risk.
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