Leading Australian chocolate manufacturer and retailer, Koko Black offers a range of personalisation options for its products, including personal messages and cards, as well as messages or logos in the wrapping.

The company had been using one-off messages which were simply printed on an in-office laser printer while larger jobs were sent to an external printing business.

Koko Black CEO, Nicolas Georges said that while this had worked for some years, it wasn’t providing enough flexibility.

“We had limits in terms of minimum print runs and also had to allow additional time for printing before an order could be filled. Being reliant on a laser printer made meeting increasing customer orders rather challenging,” he said.

Earlier this year, the company sought to find an alternative way of filling its printing requirements, which was accelerated by COVID-19 with the closure of physical stores and increased online orders.

“We had to find a better way of meeting the increased online order volume that the lockdown caused. We set out to find the most appropriate alternative,” Georges said.

In February 2020, Koko Black purchased and deployed a Ricoh Pro c5200s colour production printer coupled with a Duplo 616 Pro finisher to handle paper cutting and creasing. The Pro c5200s offers print speeds of up to 65 pages per minute and can handle paper of up to 360g/m2 in weight. The device can also be used as a scanner.

“Deployment was trouble free and we were up and running in a matter of weeks. Ricoh worked with us to help train staff and integrate the printer with other facets of our business.”

Georges said the ability for the printer to be linked to the e-commerce platform and graphic design applications also helped streamline workflows and allows orders to be completed quicker.

“Our designers can work remotely and send their completed jobs directly to the printer for output. The website integration means customers can enter their required personal message and it can be sent directly to the printer before being included with the selected chocolates,” he said.

In the months ahead, the Koko Black team plans to increase the variety of personalised items available for purchase, including personalised packaging to make chocolates more appealing as special occasion gifts.

“I am confident that the Ricoh printer will continue to provide invaluable to support to us as we continue to grow. Ricoh has become a valuable partner for us and I look forward to working closely with them in the future.”