What’s going on at Xerox? Manufacturing and a new MFP that customers will want



By Andy Slawetsky – It’s been just over two years since I had the pleasure of visiting Xerox at their Gil Hatch Center for Customer Innovation in Webster NY and it was great to be back to find out. What is happening’ with the Big X.

After seeing their presentation at the recent BTA conference in Coronado, CA and an interview with SVP dealer Mike Pietrunti, I had the chance to tour this historic facility to see new technology and tour their manufacturing facility.

Manufacturing you say? But, hasn’t Xerox gotten rid of all of its manufacturing? False! Xerox manufacturing is still alive and well on their Webster campus! Fred Ramsey and Brian Segnit gave me a tour of the toner packaging facility as well as the iGen repackaging line, both located right next to my house. Who knew?

After a walk through the building in front of the original copier, the Xerox 914, we walked into the factory to see what was behind the curtain of Xerox.

Huge endless boxes of toner lined up in rows, waiting to be shipped to partners, customers and even competitors.

Some of this toner is sent to these giant containers while the rest has to be sent to another building where it is loaded into printer cartridges.

Later in the tour, we stumbled upon the iGen reconditioning line, where they strip those huge digital printing presses down to the frame, then reassemble them by hand into new iGens.

After the installation showcase, we sat down to discuss some of the new technologies that Xerox has developed over the past year.

In case you missed it, last November Xerox very quietly launched the VersaLink C8000W, one of the most innovative A3 MFPs I’ve seen in years. In the past, this would have been the kind of product Xerox would have flown in from around the world to view. But in the era of the great virus, it is only now that it comes to my attention.

This MFP is essentially an ordinary color desktop printer combined with a commercial printing press. At a time when the COVID pandemic has accelerated the shift from A3 console printers to smaller, cheaper (and less profitable) A4 desktop devices, Xerox has given customers a pretty solid reason to reconsider A3.

What is that?

The VersaLink C8000W is a 45 pages per minute color multifunction printer that prints on paper sizes up to 12 “x 18”. With optional Wi-Fi, potentially huge paper capacity, and a host of standard and optional mobile printing solutions, it looks like a typical office color copier / printer, doesn’t it? Wrong.

This printer also offers capabilities that are not typically found on a regular laser printer. Commercial printers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more, for a device that can produce prints that look like some of these. Still, this machine is currently listed on the Xerox website for $ 4,549 with discounts.

Think labels, signage, COVID ground decals, menus, wedding invitations and just about anything else; it can now be brought to the office for small runs with a quick turnaround time and it will look like it will cost a professional printer a fortune. And, it can be done on the device that everyone uses as their everyday copier / printer.

The key is Xerox white toner, the “W” in the C8000W. By printing white underneath, the device can put amazing and stunning images on any colored paper. And that comes from a printer that can be sold by production specialists and geographic representatives.

Xerox has released a product that offers customers something new and different from what they had with their last copier and a reason to buy another A3-size printing device.

In summary

I appreciate the time Brian and Fred spent showing me the facility and guiding me through the presentation, it’s always nice to have an update in person.

While they may have been silent on new product announcements, that doesn’t mean Xerox wasn’t busy. The VersaLink C8000W was the first MFP I’ve seen in a long time that really got me excited. It’s not just that it prints white toner; it is the wide variety of substrates that makes it so flexible.

Personalized wine bottles for vineyards, COVID signage and floor decals for offices, professional-looking disposable menus and more on the regular office printer? Customers should like this device. When was the last time they got a new MFP that did a lot more than the previous one?

It is the type of innovative product that catches the attention of resellers, partners, customers and competitors. To check if you have the opportunity.

SOURCE Industry Analysts Inc.

Xerox is a major sponsor of the BTA National Conference


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