Drop Ship

Is this supply-chain method right for you?

Screen Printing Editor

Mario Tovar of Marsuno, a full-service design agency specializing in web, print, web marketing, and brand building, talks us through drop ship. When using this supply chain management method, the retailer doesn’t keep goods in stock, but instead transfers its customer’s orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer, another retailer, or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer.

Can you explain what led to your shop offering drop ship?

I started my clothing brand in late 2011. One thing I quickly found out was screen printers weren’t exactly jumping at the chance to take on a 10-color job for 18 units. I had to build relationships and really had to try my best for screen printers just to take my job. So, as the years passed, I found out about direct garment printing. I was instantly sold. I purchased my first Omniprint Freejet 330TX plus printer and went to work. As my brand grew, so did my printing company. Fast forward years later, I vertically integrated every solution I needed to scale my business to what it is today. Hence my need for drop ship capabilities.

Can you explain what a normal day of drop ship looks like?

We open at 5 a.m. during the week and start the day by pulling blanks for all of our customers. By this time we already have our “pick list” for every brand we print and ship for. We print all day, do our quality control, relabeling, packing, and shipping until 11 p.m. In between that, our sales and customer service team is on the phone ensuring our end customers are happy and understand we’re on top of everything. It’s not easy, but with a lot of hard work and dedication we’re able to output units by the hour.

You mentioned you’re currently super busy with drop ship right now. Has COVID-19 affected this?

COVID-19 affected everyone and has truly been a very stressful time. I honestly was worried about the outcome of my business. So, I did all I know how to do and worked. I developed various ecommerce sites and new collections to release and got to marketing for our clients. I was able to scale our clients businesses significantly. Many other clients reached out and followed suit. They wanted to work with Marsuno Creative, not because we’re the only solution, but mostly because we were the best solution for their needs. We are all about quality over quantity, but quantity is always a must. 

What are the benefits to this management method?

Less wasted inventory. Less startup cost for a new ecommerce venture. Less hassle for samples. Design and start selling instantly. So many can start, but I would say it is very difficult to master. One day we’ll master it, but until then we’re doing our best to improve daily.

Any tips for a screen printer looking to add this to their offerings?

The biggest tip I would give a screen printer would be to not shy away from the idea of printing less units and on-demand printing. I truly feel that one-off customers or drop ship models are the future. Screen printing will exist forever, but don’t discount the power of the on-demand model.

Half designer, half entrepreneur, Mario Tovar started his career at ad agencies designing for companies like Pepsi, Coors Light, Subway, and Bud Light. After a year of putting his ideas to work, he left the agency world and started his own clothing company and marketing agency. Two years into his new endeavor, the web design industry took a huge dive and he had to pivot. Intrigued by the new direct-to-garment wave of technology, he jumped in head first and bought his first printer. After many ups and downs of learning the struggles of DTG printing firsthand, he purchased his second printer. Fast forward six years and two retail stores later, Mario now runs various ecommerce stores and marketing campaigns for many clients. He enjoys teaching clothing brands the ropes and creating new artwork for the world to wear and enjoy.

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