Some screen printers may consider taking chances on new technology too risky, but Intergraphics sees it as a gateway to experimentation and product expansion. Learn how the shop’s adventurous and fearless spirit made it a successful graphics provider for an international client base.
By Lori Leaman
Intergraphics entered the digital arena in 1986 with the purchase of a SignTronic digital flatbed cutter. Intergraphics was the second company to bring this technology to Canada. The cost was significant, but Desender’s business philosophy of investing profits in new technology proved successful yet again. Within ten years, Intergraphics had achieved sales in the range of $7-10 million.
Desender’s next foray into digital technology involved the implementation of a software program that would make business management more efficient and productive. Intergraphics began using the Information Business System (IBS) in 2002. The program is designed to connect various processes and ease data exchange by enabling customer-service representatives to specifically tailor instructions by customer, process, and delivery. All employees who work on a particular job have access to the same information, which can be accessed at their individual computers. Intergraphics achieved a record $12 million in sales that year and developed an impressive list of clients, including major manufacturers of buses, coaches, and recreational vehicles, as well as petroleum companies and other regional interests.
New facility, equipment, and products
In 2004, the steady growth in business demanded that Intergraphics move into a larger space. With the move came the opportunity to develop a health-conscious infrastructure, including air flow, dust removal, and layout of crucial pieces of equipment to facilitate efficient workflows and processes. The new 46,000-sqft facility (Figure 1) houses the production division on the main floor, along with the sales office, planning, and administration departments on another level.
Desender purchased an M&R Conquest six-color carousel press to fill some of the additional space and handle complex jobs. Several factors influenced this decision. Jones explains that competition became fierce, prices fell rapidly, and the value of the US dollar plummeted. The company needed to find a way to significantly increase production while reducing production costs. Eighty percent of the jobs are screen printed.
“Labor costs were significantly reduced, turnaround time sped up, and production costs were reduced significantly,” Jones says. “We could sell at competitive prices, further increase our volume, and reduce our throughput time.”
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