Leading Ontario’s Print Revolution

Reprodux
Written by Pauline Müller

Remaining relevant in any industry hinges on fearless – and continuous – evolution. Reprodux Ltd.’s commitment to harnessing change in the printing market has transformed this innovative company from a maker of blueprints into a colour and graphics giant.

Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Reprodux Ltd. provides clients in multiple industries with a large range of premium printing services from eleven branches across the province. Thanks to its colour signage being in high demand, this division is expanding rapidly.

Customers also admire the company’s products because of its decision to use 100 percent solvent-free inks that render its facilities, and its products, human- and earth-friendly. These solvent-free inks are no trade secret. They are made by HP, and have been available since 2008. Latex-based, they are not only good for creating printed matter for use both in- and outdoors, but are the most durable of their kind.

Neither these paints nor the specific cleaning materials required for them pose any toxic threat to humans or the environment. The paints are also non-combustible, nickel-free and have an exceptionally low volatile organic compound (VOC) count. With global concern for the environmental impact of almost everything we do growing daily, Reprodux clients can be assured that, environmentally speaking, their choice can’t be beat.

A lot has happened since the last century said goodbye to the days of offset and screen printing. And even more has happened since HP saw inventor Benny Landa’s first digital colour photocopier and knew that it was the game that had changed.

The changing world of printing
When HP put its money on Landa’s invention in 2000, the world of printing metamorphosed again. As the global printing giant is one of Reprodux’s most trusted suppliers, the company knows that it can rely on HP for the best printing inks, materials, and technology and remain ahead of its competitors.

Reprodux also prides itself on bringing home international trends like soft signage, and printed home décor. Soft signage is branding printed on fabric, making it easy to handle and ship and also a lot cheaper than traditional hard-backed signage.

Reprodux cleverly lessens any effect that the global drop in print volumes may have on its bottom line by continuously introducing such new services and products.

Going 3D
Such a product is 3D laser scanning. The company’s latest iteration of this technology is fast surpassing all predecessors, including X-ray, thermal, and radioactive scanning.

This super-accurate, zero contact light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology offers project owners fast and accurate information on important aspects of building (existing site conditions, clash detection, geospatial data collection, and much more) by accurately recreating three-dimensional images of project and site layouts.

The information is typically applied to projects where prefabrication, historical reconstruction, and other engineering challenges are potential minefields. This allows clients frequently to save generous amounts of time and money in mistakes that weren’t made.

Demand for quality
Thanks to the quality of its work, the company is well known among the greater Ontario region’s architects, engineers, and other construction sector notables.

But Reprodux also serves clients beyond these borders and even abroad. The advent of large format printing has seen its core client base spreading to the hospitality, education and retail sectors in particular.

“[By embracing new technology] we have taken our high level of quality and service into the graphics market to win over clients that are looking for reliable print partners,” says Ashley Norman, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

This appears to be a team with far-reaching vision – a habit of looking clear-eyed to the future. Reprodux views the world as a petri-dish of possibility. In line with its overall business ethos, the company is always on the look-out to introduce new, global innovations that will suit the Canadian market. “We are very engaged with positioning our future offering,” says Kim Long, Chief Executive Officer.

The company also takes every opportunity to collaborate with international greats such as HP to identify revolutionary custom solutions that help set its clients apart from their competitors. This is one of its toughest tasks, as even the most next-generation concepts have to meet the highest standards of reliable performance and quality, and be delivered on-budget and to the timeline. To accomplish this, the teams at Reprodux have to deliver optimum service at all times.

The company’s operations are structured according to its main markets’ needs. Technical print-solutions experts mainly take care of its architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) clients.

As the heart of the company, this core service division speedily furnishes clients with meticulous CAD-generated drawings. This market also benefits hugely from the company’s advanced offerings that harness technology to meet customers’ needs to be up to date and competitive.

The graphics print solutions experts serve advertising agencies, corporates’ in-house marketing departments, the retail and hospitality markets, and more recently, architects, engineers, and construction professionals. This area, in particular, has experienced healthy expansion thanks to new and exciting advances.

New tech
Some new printing technologies include hoarding boards, as well as very large wall graphics. The former are large stretches of branded fabric that allow construction companies to keep restoration and building sites from public view, while advertising their brands. Hoarding boards are also used outside storefronts, and to advertise the sale of large properties and real estate developments.

The two fastest-growing products in this graphics printing range are soft signage and home décor printing, which includes wall art. Both services have shown double-digit growth over the past year.

Soft signage is an up-and-coming substitute for traditional fabric PVC signs that were harder to ship, pricier, and not as easy to handle. To sweeten the deal, soft signage is also kinder to the environment thanks to HP’s latex ink.

In the beginning
The story of Reprodux Ltd. is of an architectural blueprint specialist operating in a basement evolving into a market leader in colour and graphics printing.

The company’s on-trend vision was inherited from its founder, Jack Long, who started the company in 1963, while he initially supported himself by working at night as a typesetter. A friend had told Long about a nearby blueprint business that was doing very well. He liked the idea and went all out to set up his own.

The following year, opportunity arrived, although dressed as disaster, when Long was forced to move to business premises after a competitor reported his basement operation to local authorities.

It was the best thing that could have happened to the fledgling business. Reprodux Ltd. was off to a spectacular start – and Long could celebrate the day law enforcement knocked at his door. He was open to serve.

The company’s open attitude towards technology and the evolution of its markets’ needs was apparent even then, and is what underlies the impressive longevity of Reprodux. It has indeed come a long way since those days of preparing blueprints.

Today, its services include scanning and archiving, document management, large format graphics, vehicle wrapping, as well as installation of its popular hoarding boards and other signage.

The fruits of hard work
“It’s important to embrace and recognize that Reprodux’s longevity comes from the hard work and endless hours spent placing clients’ interest ahead of the owners’,” says Long, who inherited her staunch work ethic from her father.

Thanks to his mentorship, his knack for preempting change by carefully observing market trends was also passed on to this talented woman. She started at the company as a photocopier operator in her teens, working her way up like everyone else.

Long is clear about her approach to this challenging industry. “The key to success for me is innovation. You can’t stand still; my dad never did and I won’t either,” she says. As such, her approach to business is hands-on. It is not unusual to find her picking up orders that come through after hours, over weekends, and during the holidays.

Because this is what business is about for her – being there for those who drive the company’s growth.

All about teamwork
“I have an outstanding team that looks after the operations, but I gain my knowledge, experience, and trust from my staff by being present and taking the time to work alongside them when necessary,” Long adds. Growing up in the company means that this dedicated CEO lives for this business and its people.

When it comes to motivation and delivering on expectations, the Reprodux team leads the way. This is a company that daily shares its vision and strategies with staff. It’s a habit that clears obstacles to advancement and growth through clear communication and collaboration.

Its open-door policy further cements this core value in a team accustomed to sharing in the company’s development and success.

The company’s family atmosphere is in no danger of disappearing, either. While its founder may have retired, John Long’s care and enthusiasm for his creation and its present day team haven’t. He remains a source of support and advice to his daughter, who values his input. With this solid family heritage, its CEO would like to see the business grow to include those of her four children who choose to join its ranks, too.

Shaping the future
Reprodux Ltd. is committed to creating sustainability through technology. With this in mind, the company’s evolution continues to revolve around partnering with industry experts.

At present, its focus is on the back-end security that facilitates front-end archiving and document scanning. It is also updating its online brand image with a fresh website and a range of new services – such as 3D scanning and graphics – that span the breadth of its existing and future markets’ needs.

With its strong focus on technological expansion, Reprodux, Ltd. clearly embodies the vision of business management consultant, educator, and author, Peter Drucker, who said that the best way to predict the future is to create it.

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