How have screen-printing operations coped with changes in the market for point-of-purchase graphics? Our discussion with a panel of experts in this field reveals the latest market trends and strategies for remaining competitive as a P-O-P producer.
By Lori Leaman
The fact that we have fulfillment services is often a pre-requisite for getting awarded printing jobs. We do have some customers who use independent fulfillment houses. They do this as a quality-control measure. Some customers feel that the printer shouldn’t handle fulfillment, but others won’t do business with you if you don’t offer fulfillment. We offer fulfillment services that often include kit packing our production along with that from outside vendors, such as coupon printers. We pack, ship, and track the packages to their ultimate retailstore location. We also store customer inventory and supply inventory reporting on a perpetual and monthly basis. We do charge for these services, but not as much as they are worth. Customers don’t realize the value of this service until they get pricing from an independent fulfillment company.
Absolutely. Collating, kit pack, and individual shipments are requested. It used to be that you print a run, bolt pack it, and ship it to a distribution center. Now we are starting to ship directly to specific locations from our facility. It saves the extra step in packing, transit, and everything else that goes with it. This investment is paying off. And we most certainly charge for it.
Yes, there continues to be a greater demand for the fulfillment portion of the business. KDM continues to market itself as a full-service P-O-P provider, offering clients online fulfillment, pick and pack, inventory control, and housing of their P-O-P materials. The cost for these services is a nominal charge. The end result is KDM prides itself on taking care of our customers from start to finish. The fulfillment portion is the latest offering that completes our customers’ needs.
We have a very comprehensive division of our company for fulfillment and distribution services. This is an area we have been focusing on for the last few years as clients look to their business partners for more and more assistance in managing their programs. This portion of the business requires a tremendous investment in resources from additional labor to sophisticated software programs so it, consequently, has to become a profit center for the company.
Art Etc., Inc., Louisville, KY
Founded in 1976, Art Etc. considers itself to be one of the most experienced and versatile producers of point-of-sale graphics and other screen-printed products. The 45-employee company is equipped with screen-printing and digital imaging technologies, as well as a variety of finishing capabilities. Art Etc. prints banners, posters, window signs, and other P-O-P applications onto materials such as paper, foam board, corrugates, plastics, and textiles.
Chief Operations Officer
American Screen Art, Knoxville, TN
American Screen Art was founded in 1955 as Screen Art and focused on printing fleet graphics. Over the next several decades, the company went through many transitions of ownership, all the while growing its fleet-graphics business and pursuing the beverage and retail markets. Today, the 100- employee operation is housed in a 90,000- sq-ft facility equipped with screen-printing, digital imaging, and kitting and fulfillment services.
Chief Operations Officer
Graphic Tech, Fullerton, CA
Graphic Tech opened in 1987 as a print-brokerage firm. Twelve years later, the company established its print division. Graphic Tech is equipped with a staff of 125 and an equipment line-up that includes five multicolor lines and 14 digital printing devices. The company serves four major industries: automotive, fast food, retail, and entertainment.
KDM, Cincinnati, OH
KDM was established in 1970 by Bill Kissel Sr. and his wife Mary Lou as a business venture to provide for a growing family. KDM reached $1 million in sales by the mid-1970s, and the company expanded six times before its move in 1998 to its current 110,000-sq-ft facility. The second-generation, family-owned operation uses a variety of printing technologies, offers finishing services, and provides an array of P-O-P materials for fast-food and grocery chains, oil companies, and others.
Coyle Reproductions, Inc., La Mirada, CA
When the Cutrone family opened Coyle Reproductions in 1963, their goal was to become the best and most reputable screen printer in southern California. Today, the 130-employee operation offers an assortment of services, including design, screen and digital printing, finishing, installation, packing, and fulfillment. The facility also is equipped with an area for display fabrication. The company has made a specialty of printing large-format in-store graphics.
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