In this month’s edition of Wearables, a magazine published by the good people at ASI Central, our Director of Marketing, Joe Longtin, was called upon to give his expertise in the field of direct to garment printing for business. In an article entitled “The Blind Spot,” several readers turned to Wearables for help with delivering business-generating ideas, and Wearables connected the readers with industry experts to provide solutions.
Joe was called in to provide a solution for Parker Morgan, sales manager for Morgan Printers , a family owned and operated printing company from Greenville, NC. Parker was looking to establish consistent pricing while increasing his direct to garment sales. Even though Parker doesn’t own an AnaJet brand printer, there are still straight forward business tips that Joe offered up to help out the Greenville printing shop. Without giving away the entire article, Joe suggested the creation of a set price list that Parker could publish publicly. Joe also suggested that Morgan Printers sample aggressively, laying out a specific plan of attack for Parker to implement.
We encourage you to pick up the latest edition of Wearables or read the digital version online here (article on pg. 50-54).
Our Director of Marketing also took part in an educational webinar with ASI entitled “10 Low Cost Ways to Grow Your Garment Decoration Business” which you can read more about on our blog and even view a recorded version of the webinar online! We believe in educating our customers on the best practices with direct to garment technology because their success directly links back to our success as a company.
For more Tips and Tricks from AnaJet, click here to read more stories from our blog that can surely open doors for you and your business. Alternatively, contact us via email with any questions you might have and we’ll do our best to help advise.
UPDATE. Here is a PowerPoint presentation (download the PDF) that I prepared for the consultation.
The recommendations are detailed. Parker’s concerns are the same as for a lot of commercial printers, sign shops and other businesses whose primary business is not garment decoration: how do we get the most utilization out of this equipment and NOT leave money on the table? What constitutes a profitable business model?
They also struggle with another common challenge: dedicating time to growing the digital product line without changing anything else they are doing.
When it comes to growing any business or product line, you generally only get back what you put into it. Your customers will not automatically know you have a new offering so you have to actively market it. Sometimes this happens through word of mouth, but more often, it calls for making the product or service highly visible in your shop, putting out flyers, offering promotions, using social media and email, even calling the customer database to offer free samples. All of this is feasible and quite scalable once you begin. And done properly, this effort pays off.
AnaJet recently sent our Marketing Coordinator Deana Leelachat to ACUP 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona on April 6th through the 10th. Put on by the Association of College and University Printers (ACUP), the goal of the annual conference is to promote and foster knowledge sharing, networking and support. At this event, attendees were able to attend educational sessions, workshops, round table discussions and a two day vendor exhibit with industry partners. It’s this two vendor exhibit that we attended to show ACUP members how their in-plant facilities could capitalize on direct to garment digital printing.
ACUP 2014 is recommended to both University in-plant managers, and equipment vendors because for the most part they all have the same issues due to the fact that the both work for academic institutions. Whether you are a large sheet/web fed shop or a small digital shop, you likely share the common struggle of proving your importance to your respective University, and there is no better way to prove your in-plant facility’s worth than to turn be able to generate revenue in addition to saving on production costs. Direct to garment technology allows you to do just that.
Many of the ACUP members who came by the booth were thoroughly impressed with our AnaJet mPower i-series direct to garment printer and found the justification for the purchase of this machine pretty self-explanatory. With examples like Landau’s of Princeton and the University of Cincinnati (who just bought an mPower i-series after last year’s ACUP Conference), the business model simply makes sense (or cents… however you want to phrase it). Bring back income that you’ve been outsourcing. Roll out products and services that offer up a new form of revenue for the College or University.
For more information on the mPower i-series and the benefits that it can deliver, contact us via email or dial us direct at (877)626-2538.
Billed as the largest and most comprehensive international digital and wide format printing technology exhibition, FESPA Digital 2014 takes place May 20th-23rd in Munich, Germany. FESPA Digital is one of biggest trade shows of the year for AnaJet’s International Business Development department, and it’s a great place to meet face to face with our current distributors, as well as a place for potential distributors to come and ask all the questions they might have about our company and products.
The Munich Exhibition Centre will host over 400 innovative global brands and manufacturers, with several of our European distributors exhibiting there as well. Regardless of where you’re from, it is extremely important for print service providers to learn and discover more about how digital technology can help add new capabilities and service to create new lines of revenue, and trade shows are the place to do just that.
No matter how your business relates to digital printing, we highly suggest you look in to attending FESPA Digital if you can. You can find AnaJet in booth A1-165. We will be there with two mPower i-series mP10i printers, one mP5i, and one SPRINT direct to garment printer. So you can see all of our printers in action, showcasing just some of our digital printing capabilities.
If you’re interested in attending FESPA Digital 2014 in Munich and setting up a personal demonstration, email us and we will set it up. To learn more about our upcoming trade shows, both in the United States and abroad, go to our Trade Show web page for all the details.
Greg Kwiecien was one of five winners of our Video Testimonial Contest held in February. We wanted to learn more about Greg’s business after watching the video he sent us, so we reached out to Greg to hear his full story. Greg has been in business operating Unique Embroidery & Printing since 1992 and decided to add an AnaJet mPower i-series mP5i in November 2013.
Unique Embroidery & Printing is an apparel decoration shop located inside the Royal Scot Golf and Bowl entertainment complex in Lansing, Michigan. The Royal Scot complex has 27 championship holes of golf, 60 lanes of bowling, and three banquet centers. Greg has four full-time and two part-time employees operating Unique Embroidery & Printing, including himself. Greg initially opened Unique Embroidery & Printing only to serve the existing Royal Scot customer base, but business quickly became popular with the surrounding community. Now Royal Scot customers are only 3% of Greg’s overall business, with 20% coming from wholesale and retail, and the remaining majority coming from contract work for area screen printers and ASI promotional product distributors.
Greg receives a lot of business from other garment decorators in his area who lack either embroidery, rhinestones, or digital printing capabilities. But before purchasing the mPower, Greg also contracted out a lot of his own work because he lacked white ink printing ability. Before purchasing his AnaJet, he owned a competitor’s digital apparel printer that could not print with white ink. Greg knew he could earn higher margins if he didn’t have to contract out his dark shirt orders, and he knew he could bring in contract work for himself if he could print on dark shirts, so he had been looking into purchasing a new direct to garment printer that could print with white ink.
When Greg saw AnaJet make a special offer on mPower printers last November, and after seeing a demo of the mPower’s fast dark shirt printing and easy-to-use AnaRIP software that comes with the printer, Greg says he had to jump on the opportunity. Greg decided to do a two-year finance plan when he purchased his mP5i, but already estimates he’ll have the cost of the printer paid off by the end of year one. Unique Embroidery & Printing is already seeing an increased workflow by not sending out as many jobs and from the increased orders they’ve received for dark shirts.
Greg’s still working on getting the word out that Unique Embroidery & Printing can now print on dark shirts; he’s been marketing to his existing ASI promotional product distributor and screen printing customers by providing them with a free sample shirt. He also puts shirts on display around the Royal Scot complex. Greg also recently launched an online business side to Unique Embroidery & Printing that he markets to community groups, schools and other organizations. He says he’s taking on jobs in-house and controlling costs in a way he couldn’t do before purchasing his mP5i. He was recently able to land a large job for a sponsored event in which the sponsors wanted full-color printed shirts that Greg wouldn’t have been able to produce any other way besides digital printing.
We want to thank Greg for taking the time to share his success story with us and for making such a great testimonial video, which you can watch below:
Cindy Eisele owns and operates Service Surplus & Crafts out of her home in Longview, Washington. In business as a desktop publishing firm since 1991, Cindy shifted her company’s focus to garment decoration using embroidery and vinyl transfers in 2004. Cindy has operated Service Surplus & Crafts as a garment decoration business for the past 10 years, all while maintaining her part-time day job running the front office at her family’s metal fabrication shop.
Typical customers for Service Surplus & Crafts are businesses looking for custom logo shirts, but Cindy also receives orders from car shows, schools, local equestrian clubs and other community organizations.
Cindy was dissatisfied with the quality of her vinyl transfers because she was experiencing vinyl cracking and was not able to do small letters without major weeding. She started researching direct to garment technology in 2013 and chose an AnaJet mPower primarily because of its closed-loop ink delivery system and ability to print white ink. Cindy said her AnaJet University training at AnaJet’s headquarters in Costa Mesa, California was excellent.
Now Cindy is able to compete with screen printers and pick up orders that were impossible with vinyl cutting. She’s also able to accept one-off print orders and fulfill orders for customers within days or even hours.
Says Cindy: “I’m just so excited about an order I received that I had to tell AnaJet. I picked up an order for a car show. One of the participants drew part of the picture they want on their T-shirts. I could have never done wispy smoke coming out of a BBQ with a vinyl cut, but with the AnaJet printing directly on the T-shirt there is no problem. I also added another new customer this week from a wrestling team and am talking to a local fishing group. The mPower has really opened up new possibilities for my business. Thanks AnaJet!”
A few days later Cindy wrote in again to tell us she picked up an order from a local political candidate to print all the campaign t-shirts, as well as an order from a local Christian bookstore, and she thinks it might be time to quit her day job!
Cindy was one of the five winners in our February 2014 Video Testimonial Contest. Watch Cindy’s full video testimonial below: