The Quantum Group story can be told in snapshots of partnerships where two sides come together to create something special—and in some cases, monumental. Take the work we do with a Medicare Advantage provider, which is reliant on having robust reporting in real time.
The data not only helps it make more effective business decisions, but also is vital to its call center teams, which must be able to provide agile support to its customers.
When we started the program with the provider, we devoted a lot of time and thought to automating the tracking and live reporting it required to achieve its goal of constant improvement. The partnership is one we are extremely proud of. When the group started with us in 2021, it had 40 million direct mail pieces. Today, that number has doubled to more than 80 million while reducing production time by 25%.
The opportunity is just one example of the people, places and projects we work with every day in our mission to provide the insight, inspiration and innovation needed to help brands tell their stories. Helping construct engaging, effective and powerful marketing communications initiatives is at the root of who and what we are. A high-quality commercial sheet-fed printer that continues to expand its portfolio, we also remain on the cutting edge of being a marketing service provider that provides the best of all worlds—and makes us a single-source communications partner for the brands who trust us.
We have another major customer in the pharmaceutical market, where the sales structure has been severely altered by the pandemic. Today, pharmaceutical companies are developing more direct relationships with their patients, which means patients have come to rely on these companies for timely, precise messaging about their medications.
"In a continually changing landscape, we have risen to meet and surpass our customers' expectations. We don't run away from change—we embrace it."
The critical nature of these communications cannot be understated. It includes vital information like dosage and side effects—each of which must be accurate and tailored to the patient. And, as new medications are approved by the FDA, new materials must be printed and distributed quickly. I’m proud to say that we now are able to personalize and print on demand every piece of these communications, including the packaging.
More than ever, the market is drastically changing. And as it does, we are listening. That’s why we continue to make the capital investments we have. It is why we have become an essential print communications partner—one our customers can rely on as their SLAs get more aggressive, their volumes grow, and their own markets shift and evolve.
In a continually changing landscape, we have risen to meet and surpass our customers' expectations. We don't run away from change—we embrace it. When I look at how our team responded through the pandemic, a time that was tough for most printers, I stand prouder than ever.
We are more flexible and more strategic because of it, driven by the three questions that define who we are:
- Is it good for the customer?
- Is it good for the company?
- Is it the right thing to do?
Today, Quantum has positioned itself at the intersection of technology and print. As print is constantly evolving, we continue to evolve with it by investing in leading-edge technologies and staying one step ahead of what’s possible. Our customers not only come to us for strategic print solutions and excellent quality, but also for our compliance expertise and ability to get the best results within their budgets. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that our customers think of us as their essential print communications partner.
CHANGING WITH THE CHANGES
How do we do that? How do we stay ahead of the curve and keep our customers and their projects in step with a market that is constantly changing?
It starts by not only keeping a close watch on the industry’s ever-evolving technological revolution, but also on what our customers want and need. More than ever, our customers are prioritizing speed and quality, and to meet those demands, that means we need to focus on efficiency and flexibility.
Our whole team believes that the future of print is digital, so we have been making big investments in advanced digital print technology. My vision is for every single piece to be printed on demand, which offers the option to fully leverage the benefits of personalization.
For example, one of the biggest shifts we have noticed is that our customers increasingly expect print-on-demand fulfillment within 24 hours. While we have been able to accommodate these fast turnarounds up until now, we often have done it by printing some offset pieces and then warehousing them for quick kitting. We are really only doing the variable pieces on demand.
"But perhaps the best part is that in addition to opening up new opportunities for personalization, this technology is helping us realize the future of sustainable print."
But that’s about to change with our latest addition to our line-up of presses. On top of that, we have simply seen huge growth in direct mail in the last few years. In 2022, we will have bypassed more than 200 million pieces. We mailed 30 million pieces in 2019.
As I mentioned, the difference is in the investments our team is making to keep up with what the industry and our customers demand. For example, we recently added to our production fleet a Canon ProStream 1800 and Landa S10P Nanographic Printing Press. We now have what I consider to be a complete digital and offset portfolio.
When it comes to printing high-quality graphics at incredible speed, the ProStream catapulted our capabilities. And the Landa, our latest addition, is our prized possession. The press can handle thicker substrates, which means we are able to offer even more print-on-demand and variable data printing services, including personalized packaging.
For us, the Landa S10P represents a major investment in marketing on demand. Its game-changing features give us the advantage we need to be that essential print communications partner. The B1-format press is capable of handling media up to 41 in./1,050 mm; it can print on any off-the-shelf substrate—coated or uncoated—from 2.4 to 24pt, with no pretreatment required; it operates at speeds up to 6,500 single-sided sheets per hour and 3,250 double-sided sheets per hour; and offers the industry’s broadest color gamut, covering 96% of Pantone colors.
But perhaps the best part is that in addition to opening up new opportunities for personalization, this technology is helping us realize the future of sustainable print. Because the Landa can handle any substrate, we now are able to print on 100% recycled paper—something our customers have been asking for to help them achieve their corporate sustainability goals.
getting all personal
As we head toward even bigger and better opportunities, I’m excited about the possibilities. One of those lies in personalized catalogs. Imagine a catalog that features products you see online, plus related products that may reasonably interest you based on your purchase history.
Now, imagine you are at the consideration stage with these products, and then you receive a perfectly timed catalog. Perhaps it is an interactive catalog that uses augmented reality to help you visualize the products in your home or learn more about the specs. Or maybe it has QR codes that can make adding it to your cart and checking out super simple.
Companies already have the data to make this kind of communication a reality; it is all about figuring out how to use that CRM data effectively in a way that delights customers and moves the needle on conversions. Using the data at your fingertips will continue to be a goldmine. Data is knowledge and knowledge is power. I would love to see more marketers using this knowledge to inform their communications because it gets results.
We know that personalized communications—especially those that take into account the recipient’s past buying behaviors and history with the brand—are effective. That means the more variable data personalization we can offer, the better we can help our clients optimize their marketing budgets and see real ROI on their print spend.
With the Quantum Group as a guide our clients can depend on, the future is ours for the taking..
Cheryl Kahanec is Chief Executive Officer of the Quantum Group in Morton Grove, Illinois. An industry recognized expert in digital technology and solutions, she is a frequent speaker who has been featured and quoted in many leading industry publications. Cheryl has worked with many major companies in the selection and development of products and services for the marketing communications industry, including HP, IBM, Adobe, Landa, Kodak and Xerox.