Monday, October 31, 2011

ReproConnect makes significant headway, in spite of a lackluster reprographics economy!

I’d like you to know that I’m not easily impressed.

But, I’m one to give credit ….. when and where credit is due.

Reprographers are aware that the A/E/C segment of the reprographics market has been slow for several years by now. (Hopefully, 2012 will see a turn for the better.) In spite of that, ReproConnect, which offers Internet-based e-planroom services, has made significant headway with its ReproConnect planroom product. To me, making headway (in other words, growing your business) in a down market is not just impressive, it is astoundingly impressive.

How do I know how ReproConnect is doing?

Earlier today, I posted an article on the blog to inform reprographers, who use OCE Plan Center, that OCE is going to shut-off OCE Plan Center come the first of January, 2012. In that blog post, I mentioned a few alternative e-planrooms, those that came quickly to mind. One of those alternatives mentioned was “ReproConnect.”

After I did that post, I received an e-mail from Joseph Szobody of ReproConnect. Joe shared this (see below) with me about his progress with ReproConnect:

“This year we have had a record number of sign-ups in spite of the bad economy. There are about 160 reprographics companies that have licensed ReproConnect now. Note that these are unique companies - the number of locations is much higher. I believe you'll find that is a whole lot more than even our nearest competitor (if you only count independent reprographers and ignore any chains or other shops owned by a parent company that might mandate a particular planroom).”

“Our growth has been almost entirely over the last 4-5 years - we only had 12 clients back in 2006. It's all due to our extreme focus on simple solutions that directly target sales (the bottom line!), and making sure we support our clients both technically and with sales / execution. Considering we're a very small company, competing with several ‘big boys,’ it is pretty stunning to now be #1 in the nation. We are having fun.” J

I don’t recall ReproConnect being “out there” when I retired from NGI in December 2007, but, evidently, they were, per what Joe said in the e-mail he sent me. Considering the fact that ReproConnect began its business in 2006, managing to get up to 160 licensed reprographics companies is, in my opinion, a stunning achievement, especially considering the fact that the Great Recession began in December 2007, and, for the A/E/C industry (and for the A/E/C segment of the reprographics industry) has yet to turn to the upside.

After reading this post, perhaps ARC will let me know how many ARC locations and non-ARC-owned reprographics companies are using PlanWell, perhaps ReproMax will let me know how many reprographics companies are using DFS, and perhaps RSA will let me know how many reprographics companies are using PlanCommand?

I’d be happy to compile and report the numbers!


  1. I would be interested in knowing if the 160 Reprographic companies using ReproConnect are using this as a vehicle to allow projects to be posted, viewed and ordered on line. Verses operating a full service plan center which harvests projects, addenda, plan holders and bid results etc. As a example of the former the Reprograhics house receives a project from a Architect and then distributes on demand. Where as the latter example must data mine for the purpose off holding the most complete inventory of current projects covering a regional area.
    This requires hundreds of projects and a data entry staff ?

  2. From an email I received, last night, after doing the post about ReproConnect, a blog-visitor comments: "Joseph is great and I have enjoyed working with him. His product – ReproConnect - is “simple” and clean."

  3. @John We do have several clients operating a regional full service planroom, and yes it is a lot of work! The software can help cut down on things like data entry and subscriber management. However there is no question that a lot of leg work is required to track down projects, update addenda, and maintain a full service planroom.

    The majority of our clients are using ReproConnect more traditionally as a sales vehicle for their print business. With this model there is less backend work (compared to a regional planroom), and much more emphasis on the sales side to capture more print business (and download revenue, etc).

  4. We are using ReproConnect and are happy with it as a place to funnel plans into and push them out to users that have a demand them.

    We used to use PlanWell for a number of years and several others before that.

    We ended our license with PlanWell for several reasons:

    1) ARC forced us to pay month fees for private users in our planroom which started around late 2010. This was in addition to our monthly subscription costs we had before. All independent shops were charged, yet ARC owned firms were strongly encouraged to charge for it from what I understand. Whether or not those ARC shops did all the time, I don't know, but I can guess the answer. From what I have learned, PlanWell lost some independent accounts because of this new monthly fee. Some companies were quite upset and it limited their creativity of marketing the planroom.

    2) The ARC rebranding. The ARC PlanWell Suite of products are now called ARC Technologies. Of course, each of the ARC shops are now called ARC (or will be by next April).

    It was different before as it wasn’t so obvious and ARC made great strides trying to keep their branding mostly anonymous. Not anymore. The buck stops here. We also dropped the ishipdocs product for the same reason. Go to the ishipdocs website and read the About Us page.

  5. I have to "second" the compliments to ReproConnect. If we weren't part of the original "12 customers in 2006", we may have been customer #13. Joseph Szobody and his team are very customer focused, provide a great product and a great service. Highly recommended!

  6. We are in Malaysia and using reproconnect since 2008. joseph has been fantastic to help us all the way. reproconnect the way to go folks.

  7. My company was the very first ReproConnect in 2002 at the urging of Larson Danielson Construction to get a planroom like my then nemesis South Bend Drafting which later became ARC. Thankyou to Clifford Wald formerly #1 Kip Dealer in the USA for connecting myself and Joseph.
    Reprographic Arts Inc