Press Releases

Nancy Thomsen, President, featured in Repro Report Weekly

Salinas, Calif. - July 11, 2003: A Closer Look - Digital Slowly But Surely

When Andrew's Blueprint Inc. went digital in 1999 with a Kip 2900, it seemed like a bold move. But in retrospect, owner Nancy Thomsen believes that her Salinas, CA-based company didn't operate digitally in the true sense of the word until January of 2002.

"A couple of years ago, we visited a vendor in Livermore that also has a small repro business and saw it run a state-ofthe- art machine, and I suddenly realized that we had digital technology, but we didn't really know how to use it. So despite what ended up being a costly investment, I came back and made a very easy decision."

That fateful decision was for Andrew's Blueprint to get its foot in the digital door in a serious way, a goal Thomsen and her six-member staff strive for to this day. The challenge is this: Salinas is an agricultural area an hour away from the San Jose, and local architects are rather set in their ways.

"We've really been pushing digital for a year now, and while it's beginning to catch on, we've had to work very hard to convince people to follow us," Thomsen says. "There are all kinds of contradictions. For example, there are some folks who draw in AutoCAD but insist on blueprints rather than bond. They don't understand that they're going to get a cleaner, faster print with the ability to make changes on the fly rather than dealing with velums."

As evidenced in a company news release issued last fall, Thomsen harps on the speed, ease and accuracy of digital prepress and output. Many customers are still hesitant to send files via email or work with blueprints that aren't actually blue.

"Every [digital] print looks exactly like the original because it is an original," the release states. "This process takes a fraction of the time that the older blueline process demands. Andrews also accepts files for plotting by CD, zip disk or floppy disk at no extra charge. The new digital technology also scans large documents and prints them with the same quality benefits."

Occasionally, customers will surprise Thomsen. "They sometimes change in spite of their fears. I remember asking people if they were interested in having their archives scanned and stored digitally, and they said, 'No.' Well, the Monterey County planning department has given us 4,000 maps to scan. You don't expect local governments to beat the private sector on technology, but I was impressed with what the county has planned. They're setting up what amounts to a basic plan room that makes the maps viewable. It's funny, because I had promoted plan rooms to the county awhile ago.

Thomsen knows the fine line between encouraging customers to modernize and pushing them too far too fast. In fact, Andrew's once landed a job precisely because it respected a customer's limitations when the competition did not. "A local school district was doing a massive modernization project, and the firm handling it was headquartered 30 minutes away," Thomsen says. "They had received some quotes from another repro shop, but the trouble was that there was a requirement to be trained on the shop's plan room. The customer just wanted printing and didn't really need plan room capabilities, so we became the preferred option."

It was a gargantuan project that obligated Thomsen and her husband to work nights and weekends in order to produce several hundred thousand pages and a large number of spec books in a six-week period. But this huge undertaking also served as a big wakeup call.

"We were forced into digital, but in a pleasant sort of way. Our customer wanted everything done in bond, and there was no way our little machine, which did something like three pages a minute, could handle the job. We knew we were headed that way eventually, but it was definitely some extra incentive."

Call Nancy Thomsen, President, (831) 424-0331


About Andrews Blueprint, Inc.
Since it was developed in the 1840's, blueprinting has been an invaluable aid to the technology, development and growth of our nation. Engineering firms, architects, surveyors and construction companies in the area have learned to rely on Andrews Blueprint for our blueprinting and drafting needs.

Established in 1962 and located in Salinas California, our family owned and operated business is one of the foremost blueprinting firms throughout the Monterey Peninsula. President Nancy Thomsen has consistently been a leader in the printing and reprographics market by adding new technology and up-to-date services including pick-up and delivery in Salinas and the Monterey Peninsula. Our dedication to detail, accuracy and customer support has earned us a reputation that is unequaled in the business community.

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