Ink Inc

Westar Systems Prides Itself on Knowing Its Customers

By David Savastano, Ink World Editor | 06.17.09

Westar Systems Prides Itself on Knowing Its Customers

Providing customers with better products and services is critical for entrepreneurs who start new businesses. Knowing what your customer needs is an essential first step to success.

For Rich Brenner, president of Westar Systems LLC, a sublimation ink and paper specialist headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO, understanding what his customers require is the reason he went into business, and is a key to the company’s rapid growth since its beginnings in March 2006.

“I felt that I would be able to service my customers more effectively by being able to select ink and papers, providing better products and service and by being more specialized,” Mr. Brenner said. “We’re able to provide ink sets that will work with unique applications.”

It is that extensive knowledge of their customers that is driving Westar’s success.

“It is so essential to be able to help customers and have an understanding of their needs,” Mr. Brenner said. “We know what kinds of jobs our customers run and have compiled a strong knowledge base. That way, when we have new products, we know who will use these products, and can get the new inks to them quickly.

“We know how inks work and understand the variables,” Mr. Brenner added. “For example, if a customer has a new employee, we can work them through any problems. We can visit and eyeball the facility to help our customers produce a better print. Our customers will call us just to talk about the sublimation process, and we enjoy helping them.We can help people with both the art and science of sublimation printing.”

Fading and color shifts are important challenges for sublimation printers. Westar Systems has introduced its Super Light Fast inks, which have an unprecedented L7 Blue Wool rating. In addition, all four process colors are rated at 160 AATTC Fading Units (AFU). Mr. Brenner noted that SLF inks have double the AFU of standard sublimation inks and provide twice the life without color shifts.

“Color shift and fading have historically plagued the outdoor sublimation market,” Mr. Brenner said. “Traditionally, each ink wouldhave its own fading curve, which leads to color shifts. Our Super Light Fast inks offer uniform fading for all of the colors. For example, if cyan fades before yellow, there is a green color shift. After a year with standard colors, you’d notice a color shift, and people will discern that. It just won’t look right. We did accelerated testing on our SLF inks, and now we are collecting reports from the field which show that there are no significant reports of fading. ”

Mr. Brenner noted that dealing with customers in an open manner earns their trust, and as a result, the company has grown, bringing on additional people and moving to larger facilities.

“We have a solid business, with a great group of customers,” Mr. Brenner said. “I really enjoy dealing with our base. We deal in a really open manner. Our job is to make sure our customers have the products they need so they can keep running and make a profit. In all businesses, you have supply chain problems, and if I know my customer's business well enough, I can help them keep their business running. We’ll find a way for them, and they know I'll shoot straight with them.”

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