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Gandy Ink: Head of the Class In School Apparel

(February 2007) posted on Thu Feb 01, 2007

Learn how the company grew from a small job shop to a prospering specialty decorator serving elementary, junior high, and high schools.

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By Lori Leaman

Gandy Ink continued to grow, sales increased, and the company added more employees and equipment and discovered more and more untapped markets and resources for its products. Gandy doubled the size of its facility in 2000. And five years later, the company moved to its current location, a 35,000-sq-ft facility in San Angelo, TX.

What began as a small screen-printing shop that couldn't afford to turn away jobs morphed into a school-wear specialist that found itself printing a wide assortment of apparel for athletic teams, clubs, and musical groups in high schools, as well as for similar organizations in elementary and junior-high schools. "We found niches inside our niche," Phil Gandy says. "There's a lot of excitement going on in the schools, and we capitalize on that."

Today, Gandy Ink is a 75-employee operation that offers clients screen printing and embroidery, as well as ancillary services like packaging and fulfillment. Gandy's designs are relevant to range of categories, including spirit wear, sports, rhythm wear, elementary, and senior class. The shop prints its garment graphics onto sweatshirts, hoodies, and T-shirts of various styles (Figure 1).

Inside Gandy Ink

Gandy Ink's 14-member sales force keeps the shop busy and enhances its visibility in major cities, such as Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. A few sales reps are dedicated to calling on customers in Nashville, TN, a city that Gandy has been mining for opportunities in the school market, as well as in the entertainment industry.

The order-entry process begins with customer service, where artwork is checked, verified, and sent to the art department. The customer-service staff uses a software program called Job Pool, which was developed by Gandy Ink. The software tracks artwork from the moment it is included in the order entry until it reaches the production floor, all in real time. This process allows any of the employees to determine which department is in possession of the artwork at any given time. This information is especially useful for informing customers when a particular job is expected to be complete.


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