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Hodge 1

Hodge

First Roland EJ-640 user benefits from 40% cost-savings

Advertising printer Hodge in the German city of Schleswig can't complain about its work. The combination of superior customer service and high quality and reliability attracts customers from all over Europe to the company. The machines here run six days per week, often 24 hours per day. It was high time for some efficiency improvements. At Drupa, Hodge owner Michael Marquardt bought a Roland EJ-640 and ended up being the proud owner of one of the first such machines in Europe.

Large ink cartridge

“We have to ensure rapid, high-quality production,” explains salesperson and machine operator Siegmar Nossenheim. “With the new Roland Soljet EJ-640, we can print three times as fast as with the ER-640, which we also have in-house. The reason for this is the wide printing surface.” The ink cartridges, which hold a full 1 litre, have proven to be a great solution for Nossenheim. “We often leave the machines to operate all night. When you do that, you don't want the ink to run out halfway through. We replace the ink cartridge on the other machine every evening, and we use up the half-empty cartridges during the day.” Nossenheim points to an enormous pile of half-empty cartridges. “With the new machine, this is a thing of the past. Of course, the new ink cartridges hold three times as much ink.”

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Substantial cost-savings

“And, this ink is much less expensive,” says Marquardt. “All together, I estimate our cost-savings to be 40% on the average advertising job. And that quickly adds up in a production department like ours. When we told our dealer, Hansa, in Bremen that we were looking for a faster printer, he told us that Roland had entered the heavier production segment with the EJ series. We thought it would be worth the effort for us to pay a visit to the Roland stand at Drupa to test out the new machine. As a matter of fact, in our few days there, we looked at and tested all of the potentially competing products. Not one single competitor delivered an equally high-quality end product at the same printing speed as the EJ-640 from Roland.”

 

Solid

Nossenheim: ”There are printers that claim to have comparable performance, but the solid appearance of the EJ-640, with its steel frame and metal cover plates, looks much more professional than the plastic machines that you often see. Perhaps I am a bit old-fashioned, but at Hodge it has to be steel in the production department. It's clear as day; the machines are much more durable and much more reliable. When you see that we have exactly the same colour rendering on three different Roland printers, well, that says a whole lot about these machines. And the fact that we never have any malfunctions with the two Roland printer/cutters that we already have in our production unit just shows how high the quality is.”

 

Reliable

Hodge is a printer with its own creative department. The company specialises in the production of advertising products. Indoor and outdoor advertisements, vehicle lettering, T-shirts and any other imaginable advertising media—all made in-house by the company itself. And, it goes one step further than that. After recent acquisitions, Hodge also produces books and, by way of collaborations, all kinds of house-style printed materials. Michael Marquardt purchased the company ten years ago. Due to his commercial approach, the company has always done a good business, and even in difficult times, it has continued to grow. “Our customers want to purchase everything at one sales point. The customers value contact with the supplier and want to deal with a reliable partner.” Marquardt also maintains this personal contact in his commercial interactions. Everything happens via telephone. “The people want to hear directly from me,” he explains.

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Human scale

Even during the holiday period, it is busy at Hodge. On a warm Saturday in July, the Roland printers are running at full speed. “We used to sometimes have slower periods,” Marquardt tells us. “Now, we have added many customers from the tourism industry, like restaurants and other local activities.” And it is not only customers from Northern Germany who find their way to Hodge. Denmark is not too far away and neither are Austria, Italy and Spain—companies from all of these countries also place orders with this quality printer. “This is because we work for a number of large customers that have European branches. And why us? Here, you are served by people and not by a computer.”

 

Trust

“It goes both ways, of course,” says Marquardt. I also expect that same personal contact from our suppliers. And that is exactly what we get from Roland DG. The good experiences we have had with this company meant that it was only logical to expand by adding a Roland machine. Even after we had investigated all of the other options. We could have waited until the EJ-640 had been on the market a while longer, but our trust in Roland DG is so great that we just went for it. We are extremely satisfied with the new machine—it delivers as promised.