Commercial Printers Share Tips on Expanding Into Wide-Format Printing

For many business printers, locating new boom possibilities has been key to their achievement. Over the remaining decade, extensive-layout inkjet technology has continued to confirm, providing a stable sales stream for savvy commercial print shops. With that stated, the thought of enforcing a brand new variety of services – entire with new equipment – can be overwhelming. There’s a bevy of questions that immediately come to mind. What applications will I be capable of realistically create with this new device? How plenty area does huge-layout equipment absorb? How a good deal of emphasis do I need to vicinity on the finishing system? Can I sell these offerings to my current shoppers and new customers alike?

Wide-format printing has been a key part of the growing carrier blend for DOME and Hatteras for 5 years or extra. As commercial printing’s early wide-format adopters, both organizations have skilled the entire variety of fulfillment and mastering experiences throughout their wide-layout implementations.

Some Formidable Print Creds

Before we get into the how’s and why’s, allow’s set the degree and establish our specialists’ credentials. Sacramento, Calif.-primarily based DOME is a one-stop operation with more than 40 years of revel in inside the business printing space. The company – coming in No. A hundred thirty at the 2017 Printing Impressions four hundred – serves diverse markets and has the capability to provide a huge array of commercial printing products. Using its web and sheetfed presses, complemented with an in-depth completing and mailing facility – there may be very little that they can’t do. Dome has to turn out to be a lot more than only a printing employer, supplying the whole lot from innovative services and virtual printing to success and included commercial enterprise answers. Sales in 2017 topped out at $38.1 million, and roughly 23% of its sales come from wide-format products, which the company commenced providing approximately 5 years in the past.

Commercial Printers

DOME lately obtained an EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340 to satisfy the demands for textile smooth signage and an EFI VUTEk 5r. The printer also brought an extra-large-layout sheet length to its pressroom with the set up of a 5-color, 81˝ KBA Rapida 205 UV offset press. DOME has found the 81˝ print format to be perfect for POP presentations. DOME’s cognizance is primarily on retail markets and consists of POP of all types, product presentations, and complete window display ideas.

On the other coast, Tinton Falls, N.J.-primarily based on Hatteras Press – ranked No. A hundred and five at the 2017 PI four hundred – first opened its doorways in 1983. A commercial printer with huge-ranging abilities, Hatteras provides offset, digital and extensive-format printing for unsolicited mail, advertising collateral, factor-of-sale signage, branded environments, and cross-media advertising and marketing campaigns. The agency predominantly offerings the pharmaceutical market, churning out the whole thing from marketing collateral, sales kits, visible aids, and go-away behinds, in addition to the retail space (automotive, cosmetics, luxurious, and fashion). This $50 million business enterprise reviews that approximately 20% of its general sales are generated thru huge-format packages, a branch they commenced in 2012.

Hatteras has a complete complement of the wide-layout system, which include an EFI VUTEk HS125, an EFI VUTEk GS5500LXr, an EFI VUTEk GS3250 LX Pro, a 104˝ HP L28500, a 60˝ HP L25500 Latex, a 60˝ HP Z6200 and 60˝ HP Z6100 printers. Hatteras’ awareness is predominately in retail and assisting its clients in elevating their manufacturers and power extra commercial enterprise. Additionally, the corporation creates loads of occasion snapshots, environmental graphics, a few vehicle wraps, and a few non-traditional OOH. Those organizations had been very a success in implementing extensive layout printing into their groups. We can distill their revel into five “lessons discovered” to gain different commercial printers on a similar path.

With Wide-Format, Size Matters

When we speak approximately wide- and grand-format, the size of the equipment performs a totally huge function. You have roll-to-roll gadgets, flatbed-handiest, and hybrid machines that may be used for both rolls and sheets. With such many distinctive models to be had on the market, it can be tough to decide which one to shop for. But even earlier than you decide on the particular version, a close examination of your present-day plant is important. Is your construction able to housing a huge layout department?

You can probably fit the printing equipment itself, but you may want to load and offload the media and transport the materials around the shop. These materials are possibly large than what you’re currently acquainted with managing. Wide- and grand-layout equipment prints on rolls as much as 16-toes. Huge and sheets as much as 8×10 ft. And that’s simply the printing press itself. Have you accounted for the changes you may want on your finishing and shipping departments? If you’re kitting jobs together, you’ll want the area to shop jobs before they’re shipped out the door.

When the executive crew at Hatteras was looking into the wide-layout gadget, they found out they wished greater area and accelerated into a 2nd constructing. “The size of the system is one issue, and the capacity to navigate materials to and from the equipment is something that wishes to be thoroughly thought out,” says Bill Duerr, president, Hatteras. DOME, in the beginning, was able to incorporate its new huge-layout equipment within the partitions of its store. Later, they ended up shopping a Bay-area business enterprise that specialized in grand-format printing. “Currently, we’re consolidating all of our locations right into an unmarried ‘amazing facility,’” says Bob Poole, DOME’s companion and CMO. DOME just finished a circulate right into a newly renovated 320,000-sq.-ft. A facility in Sacramento.

Listen and Learn from Your Clients

The lifeblood of your business is your customers. They ensure you could pay the payments and preserve the lighting. But are you listening to your clients when they discuss their ache points? Do you already know the overall volume of their advertising and marketing programs? Have you examined all components of their advertising campaigns – or have you ever best looked at the portions you could currently offer? Are you clearly a companion to them?

Hearing and listening are two very different things. You may pay attention your customer speak about their go-to-market techniques, but do you concentrate closely enough to decide their underlying demanding situations and issues, after which provide solutions to assist clear up them? Or, when you have an opportunity to expand your business and offer new offerings, do you discuss your plans along with your customers? Don’t choose to add wide-format services in a vacuum because other business print stores are doing it. Make positive your current customers and pinnacle potentialities need and need those services from you.

“Our clients pressure maximum of our choices,” Poole says. “On many events over time, our clients have asked us to provide products and services that they need. They fee our exemplary provider and first-rate and understand we will provide that in the entirety we do.” Duerr concurs. “We noticed a possibility within our present purchaser base to offer additional offerings and upload cost with the aid of using brand consistency across offset, virtual and extensive-layout products,” he notes.

Invest Intelligently

When it comes time to spend money on huge-format equipment, take some time to do your studies. In addition to attending exchange suggests, including the SGIA Expo and studying alternate journals like Printing Impressions, communicate with the OEMs. While they aim to promote you a bit of system, they are very knowledgeable about their device’s precise abilities, how it has been carried out in various organizations around the arena, and what you can count on in phrases of an ROI.

Jeremy D. Mena
Alcohol geek. Future teen idol. Web practitioner. Problem solver. Certified bacon guru. Spent 2002-2009 researching plush toys in Miami, FL. Won several awards for exporting tar in Libya. Uniquely-equipped for managing human growth hormone in Libya. Spent a weekend implementing fried chicken on the black market. Spoke at an international conference about working on carnival rides in Miami, FL. Developed several new methods for donating jack-in-the-boxes in Edison, NJ.