Wednesday, September 21, 2016

No longer doing plan-printing work for your State's DOT? InfoTech and BidExpress may well be the reason why.

The last time we put up a post on Reprographics 101 about InfoTech and BidExpress was on April 4, 2011

Here’s a link to that prior post:

When I visited the web-sites of InfoTech and BidExpress back then, BidExpress had made excellent progress signing up customers.  Now, some 5 ½ years later, it’s quite evident that BidExpress’ growth has been astonishing.  Look at the bold blue type in the Infotech paragraph below.  And, click on the link that shows a list of BidExpress’ customer list.

If you are in the reprographics business and used to do plan-printing work for your State’s DOT, if you aren’t now doing plan-printing work for your State’s DOT, it’s probably because your State’s DOT has implemented BidExpress.

From the “about” InfoTech page:
If you are driving on a highway in North America, there is a good chance that software developed by Info Tech was used to build it. In the U.S., 44 of the 50 state transportation agencies use Info Tech-developed software to manage their road construction projects. We work closely with our partners to develop, implement, maintain, and support automated infrastructure construction management and Internet bidding solutions that satisfy their business needs.”

Bid Express is owned by InfoTech, the company I mentioned above.
Online Plan Sheets Service
“Are you tired of buying lots of plans that you end up not using? Is storing and shipping plans eating into your profits? Get your plans online!
By subscribing to Online Plan Sheets service from the Bid Express service, you gain access to plan sheets from any computer. They can be viewed online, downloaded to your computer, printed in your office to an office printer, or ordered and shipped to you (for an additional fee).”

Link to info about BidExpress’ “Plan Sheet” service:

Link to Case Study that talks about why NJ DOT implemented Bid Express:

This link shows list of DOT (and other) agencies using Bid Express:

For complete information about what Bid Express offers, visit this link:

For complete information about what InfoTech offers, visit this link:

Canon announces new technology set to transform wide format roll-to-roll printing

 Canon has announced its new UVgel printing technology that will soon feature in a new line of roll-to-roll printers.

This unique technology will offer large format print providers an unprecedented combination of productivity, image quality, application range, automation and low cost of operation.

Link to full article on LargeFormatReview:

Stanford Marsh installs five HP PageWide XL 8000 printers at UKHO

Link to article on LargeFormatReview:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Xante now offers a 48” wide Memjet-powered ink-jet printer

Xante targets customers (and printers) who want to print boxes and packaging.

Link to information about Xante’s Excelagraphics 4800:

Blog publisher’s comment:

While reprographers may be printing lesser volumes of A/E/C plans in the future, the box/packaging business is expected to continue to grow.  Especially since more and more consumers are buying products on-line.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Reprographers, a very inexpensive newsletter can save you big bucks; if you aren't a subscriber to the Larry Hunt Newsletters, sign up! (Subscriber Survey Results posted)

Below is a reprint of reader-responses to the Larry Hunt Newsletters’ most recent subscriber survey.  During the time I was active in the reprographic business, I had a subscription to the Larry Hunt Newsletters, and saying that “my subscription saved me money” would be an understatement.  Over the years, the savings we realized on equipment purchases and leases was quite substantial, thanks to the market intelligence provided in the LHN Newsletters.  In fact, the first time I read an LHN Newsletter (and that was many years ago), I saved enough money (on an equipment purchase) to fund a lifetime’s worth of subscriptions! 

If you are a long-time visitor to the Reprographics 101 Blog, you’ve noticed that we do not accept advertising on our Blog.  While this post might sound like an ad for the LHN Newsletters, it isn’t an ad.  It is simply my way of sharing information – with reprographers – information that can help them make better informed buy/lease decisions, more informed equipment selection decisions, and save money.  I can’t imagine why any reprographer would not want to do those things.

This month’s issue of the LHN Wide-Format Newsletter revealed detailed price quote information (including service costs) for an HP PageWide 5000 XL system.  As more and more subscribers share price quotes with LHN, readers will be able to determine if they are getting “best” pricing on HP PW XL systems they are interested in buying (or leasing.)  Do you want to be the sucker that pays more than you have to?

Contact Information for the Larry Hunt Newsletters:
To subscribe, contact Larry Hunt Publications, P. O. Box 1269, Berryville, VA 22611 - (540) 336-3360, fax - (888) 345-3860, email:, website: Dirck Holscher, editor.

Results of a Subscriber Survey, Part 2 (reprinted with permission from LHN):
Introduction: Readers were asked if they have been able to use information provided by the Larry Hunt newsletters to save money on machines, supplies, service or other items? There were a number of interesting responses to this question. Here are some of them.
Thanks to everyone who completed this survey!
            §  The newsletter has saved me tens of thousands of dollars over the many years I've been a subscriber.
            §  The newsletter and phone calls were invaluable in negotiating our current Canon/Oce 110 and our Xerox J75 machines.
            §  We have been able to negotiate consistently better deals throughout the years due to the knowledge we got from the information in Larry Hunt's (Dirck's) newsletters.
            §  Your newsletter has been an invaluable resource in assessing price, leasing terms and quality of the various machines we've leased over the years.
            §  If vendors know we get the newsletter and have the knowledge about pricing and user reports it eliminates a lot of wasted time getting to the final price.
            §  The newsletter provides me with a starting point for rates.
            §  The newsletter allows me to negotiate a great price when purchasing equipment with the vendor.
            §  Yes, it sets a starting point for negotiation.
            §  Dirck's knowledge of leasing factors and leasing company policies has helped us negotiate better deals.
            §  You helped me with my Xerox J75 purchase three years ago.
            §  Yes, to keep my suppliers honest.
            §  Absolutely. I find by having this tool, we are able to know where to begin the negotiations and know what to expect.
            §  I have shown articles to salesmen when getting copier bids.
            §  We let the sales people know that we are using your service and get better bids from the start. We also use your recommended configuration to avoid unneeded equipment.
            §  Yes, multiple times over many years. We just say “Larry Hunt,” and they become negotiable.
            §  For us it has been more about confirming that we were paying the right price.
            §  Besides the educational value to become a better negotiator the knowledge we have from the newsletter keeps vendors on their toes. We are not part of a large group, but have the clout of a group.
            §  We've used the newsletter info for basically every copier purchase made over the last 20 plus years.
            §  When the time came to decide whether we would buy out the lease on our Ricoh 901 or not, we were able to compare prices which allowed us to get a fair price for the buyout.
            §  Absolutely. I always check the newsletter before purchasing - Larry, and now Dirck, are very helpful.
            §  It helps keep our vendors honest.
            §  We received better prices from Xerox.
            §  Understanding what others have paid has helped me save thousands on both equipment and service.
            §  Yes! A dealer once said he was offering a machine at his cost. When we compared it to the reports, he went back to Canon and got us a much lower price.
            §  Yes, but not as much recently. This may be the result of doing such a great job letting people know what is reasonable.
            §  It helps with negotiating the purchase.
            §  I saved money on click charges. I had no idea what market pricing was until I got the newsletter. Seeing what others were paying helped me negotiate.
            §  Typically I use the information to negotiate a better click rate.
            §  We have had favorable negotiations on every piece of digital-printing equipment we have purchased since 1991 due to the information contained in the newsletters, as well as getting your specific feedback on each proposal.
            §  The newsletter provides me with information I need when negotiating leases etc. – a great place to start!
            §  Yes, there was not a lot of info on our machine, but it did help.
            §  It’s a good starting point when considering a purchase.
            §  Yes, for all the usual reasons.
            §  Have “quoted”, referenced and shown data to vendors.
            §  We typically compare what you post with what we are being offered from vendors.
            §  It provides useful info along with personal replies to specific quotes.
            §  Helpful info on equipment, maintenance and click rates.
            §  You have saved us thousands of dollars on new purchases, and have helped me sleep better at night, knowing that I know enough to receive a better deal.
            §  I always consult Larry Hunt Newsletters before making any decision to lease/purchase a machine.

            §  The newsletters are good to get a benchmark for pricing and services.