CASE STUDY

Printing course and educational material on demand

Lower costs and increased flexibility




Until a year ago, we still had pre-printed stock. With the VarioPrint i300, we have transitioned to 100% on-demand production.

Rob Frencken, Managing Director. NHA

An evolving business model

NHA (National Trade Academy) is one of the Top 10 training institutes in The Netherlands and has been ranked as the best distance education provider for price/quality ratio by independent research. To date an estimated two million students have followed an NHA course and NHA currently offers 500 course options in The Netherlands and approximately 350 in Belgium.

Tom Frencken, Production Logistics Manager says: “Previously we had a hall full of shelves with all our course material. Using pick lists, the order pickers collected and collated the course modules. Manual production is not only more prone to errors but you also risk running into inventory problems. And if there were changes in a course, you had to throw out all the pre-printed material.”

VarioPrint i300 at NHA

Digital transformation

NHA’s course offerings continued to evolve and alongside the requirements of customised module materials for individual students, logistical challenges still existed. NHA found that digital printing solutions could provide the answer by linking complex information systems to speed up production, whilst maintaining quality.

“In early 2018, the link was made to the NHA information systems and the COSMOS link with our systems was developed. Since then, we have moved to fully digital production with on-demand printing. Our IT staff worked closely together with Canon consultants, starting by programming, producing and testing one course on-demand. When that worked, we transitioned everything to on-demand.”, says Tom Frencken.

The installation of the VarioPrint i300 with COSMOS software at NHA was the final phase of the digital transformation that NHA had begun two years earlier. Tom Frencken says: “The quality of the i300 is excellent. I was really surprised when I saw it for the first time.”

employee at NHA unloading paper

Orders shipped the same day

Tom Frencken says, “Our employees work in a completely different way than with offset, but they are very enthusiastic. They are motivated to keep pace with the orders and to hit our target of shipping within one day. Sheetfed production supports this very well. The i300 delivers the course modules ready for collating and shipping without any need for post-production.”

Managing Director Rob Frencken says: “We’re now achieving both a much more effective production process, and very high quality at the same time. As a result, we can provide a distinctive customer experience in terms of both logistics and content. The high point so far was being chosen as the best website in The Netherlands for training and education in 2018. We are extremely proud of that.”

Rob Frencken, managing director NHA


Once a student orders a course, they can count on the package arriving the next business day. Automated by COSMOS, the course material rolls out of the printer within half an hour.

Rob Frencken, Managing Director, NHA

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