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Building on success with HP PageWideXL

Wednesday, 08 June 2016
By Patrick Howard
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Printers by success; Michelle Berndt and Gary Jackson, Tender Edge and RedHub in the Fyshwick suburb of ACT.

Disseminating information to thousands of subcontractors in the construction industry may seem a distance from the graphics industry but it’s proved to be the foundation of a dynamic printing business that deals in time-sensitive documents.  However, the owners of Tender Edge don’t really think of themselves as printers even as they pump out thousands of pages per week.

Gary Jackson is not quite convinced of the reliability, efficacy and endurance of his new acquisition, the first HP PageWide XL inkjet in Australia. Sure, it’s been in place for three months, and yes, it’s pumped out over 35,000 square metres of 60,000 construction plans in black and white and colour without a hitch, but for Gary, the jury is still out. There are no complaints he can identify, especially with the quality of the output. But still he’s in a wait and see mode.

His caution may be explained by long list of printing equipment he’s used in his business, Tender Edge, over the years. He still has a storeroom filled with spare parts for a series of FX 510s.  He preferred diving into the guts of the machines to do his own servicing rather than pay a click charge.

He has a grudging admiration for the transformation the Pagewide XL has wrought in the productivity of Tender Edge, the business he runs with his business partner, Michelle Berndt in the Fyshwick suburb of ACT. Construction plans are output fast, in order, collated, in colour at the touch of a button, ready for pick-up by a continuous stream of construction industry contactors or despatched nationwide by overnight post.

Above all, Gary is reassured by the quality of the service capability of Neopost, the HP PageWide XL agent. They make it all seem so easy.

Back in Bywong days

It wasn’t always easy for the construction estimator when he and Michelle moved from Sydney to Bywong, not far from Bungendore over 20 years ago. Like many a tyro printing business it all started in the garage, this time with a rented Océ plan copier. Sought out by the local construction industry to help get tender documents and plans out to contractors, the pair soon had half the street working flat chat outputting and collating plans, nine drawings at a time. To hear Michelle reminisce, it was a slow and laborious process.

Gary was and is very well connected within the construction industry; he knows just about everyone. Tender Edge, to coin a phrase, has the edge when it comes to getting appropriate plans into the right hands at the right time. Soon the demand for printed plans grew to the extent that he and Michelle had to upgrade and move to Fyshwick and begin a series of investments in printing equipment.

It wasn’t just printing either. As the internet and digital wave washed over the construction industry, same as everywhere else, the dynamics of the business changed. Information migrated to the cloud and the Tender Edge Team were quick to see the potential. RedHub is one of the most popular construction document management websites in the country. Designed in-house with an in-depth knowledge of what builders and contractors require to deal with one another over multiple projects, its growing traffic is a testimony to the value of meeting the markets’ needs.

Construction companies and subcontractors access all their project plans and documents in an easy and intuitive way. They can download and print the plans they require to draw up an estimate for a quote, or print off the latest set of documents for their project. A minimal number of clicks gets them onto the RedHub website for output but they can just as easily nominate another printer of their choice.

Word of mouth

Again responding to requests from customers, Tender Edge has moved beyond plans and tender documents, expanding into signage for construction sites and other document printing, A Mimaki and Canon wide-format along with a Fuji Xerox 891i are just as you’d expect to see in any commercial printer with ambition. Print room manager, Michael Burgess with printer Craig Daly now bring conventional printing expertise to the burgeoning on-demand print business. They were the two who saw the HP PageWide XL at last year’s PrintEx exhibition in Sydney and brought it to the attention of Gary and Michelle.

Tender Edge and RedHub present a fascinating amalgam of business savvy, technical expertise and a willingness to take up opportunities when they present themselves. The principals are still not sure about describing themselves as printers, but there are many commercial print shops that would dearly love to have the variety of business that is powering their confident growth.






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