By Courtney Saba
Many companies pride themselves on versatility. For smaller print service providers (PSPs), it’s not always possible to do everything. Sometimes a PSP encounters a job that cannot be completed due to lack of capacity, projects requiring additional equipment, or skills have not yet been mastered.
Instead of turning the job away, PSPs have the option of partnering with a wholesaler to the trade. Located regionally or nationwide, these print organizations are equipped to handle almost anything. Not only do they maintain the quality and integrity of the job, they also strive to complete it quickly.
A Beneficial Option
There are many advantages in utilizing wholesale printers. The most beneficial aspect is creating more business and expanding sales opportunities.
“We give the customers the ability to both expand their in-house capacity of how much business they can handle, but also open up the number of possible items they can sell. Simply, more business and sales opportunities, providing more ways to make money,” explains Ryan Shacklett, president, Ultimax.
Why should a PSP reject jobs or contracts based on what it can produce in house? Jennifer L. Carter, director of business development and strategy, Georgia Printco, Inc., suggests PSPs are missing out by not taking advantage of available wholesalers. She recommends that when placing these jobs with wholesalers, the PSP can still service its customers knowing that a company is there to provide excellent products and service as an extension of the PSP’s brand.
Carter presents the example of fabric printing, citing it as a highly sought after commodity. When a PSP doesn’t have the resources to manufacture a product, this is the time to partner with a trusted wholesale provider.
“Trade printers allow PSPs to outsource and take advantage of the assets of a quality trade printer while focusing on their own core competency. This allows them to save on time and capital investment while keeping core competencies in house. This outsourcing strategy can lead to exponential growth because of the savings on time and resources in addition to the scale of products offered,” says a representative from 4over, Inc.
David R. Kim, CEO, Fly Digital Print, also touches on how working with a PSP is beneficial to the reseller as well, in regards to working in volume. A wholesaler has a lot more resources available when it comes to materials and therefore offers a much wider product line than most PSPs.
Kim claims that it wouldn’t make sense for a print provider to stock material and inventory it doesn’t sell very much of because inventory is expensive and does expire. Due to the volume produced and the volume of materials bought by Fly Digital Print, it can typically purchase at a lower price.
What to Expect
In the wholesaler and PSP relationship, a line of privacy and protection is respected on each end. The wholesale printer works as an extension of the print provider.
“All work and pricing is protected. Anything shipped directly to customers is shipped blindly, and our information is not represented anywhere on the package or packing slip. Ultimax’s trade-only printer division, Signobi, verifies and approves every customer that registers to ensure its not selling to end clients,” explains Shacklett.
Shacklett emphasizes that providers know and expect the company to stand behind its work. Ultimax realizes that its products represent a PSP’s business, causing the wholesaler to strive to provide the best quality.
4over conveys to PSPs that working with trade printers can greatly accelerate growth opportunity. Offering more products to clients and fast turnarounds from regional facilities increases customer confidence in on-time delivery. Delivery services, loyalty programs, and regular promotions lead to what is referred to as “perfecting your profits.”
With an extensive experience in working with PSPs, Georgia Printco’s Carter advises print providers to get to know their wholesalers and the reputations they carry. Understand the products and equipment used, the quality, and the manufacturing specifications. Carter states that PSPs should be knowledgeable about the wholesale printers chosen.
Fly Digital Print’s concerns are generally for quality and service. For quality, providers should inquire about machines, materials, and inks used.
“Fly Digital Print is committed to using only brand name materials and original manufacturers’ ink. This way the customers know exactly what to expect. Also, it creates color profiles for every material used because each material has different white points. This is a necessity for a well-known quality brand to maintain color consistency,” explains Kim.
Regarding service, Kim urges print providers and trade printers to establish a relationship with excellent communication. Communication keeps the customer satisfied and is helpful for all involved. It allows business and profits to increase, among other benefits, for both ends of the partnership.
Meet Wholesale Printers
A variety of trade printers offer insight about their companies and what qualifies each business as successful, including shipping practices and customer service.
Among 14 operating locations, 4over’s headquarters resides in Glendale, CA. This company specializes in services including offset and digital printing, marketing products, large format, packaging and labels, booklets and catalogs, promotional products, as well as stationary and envelopes.
4over’s wide distribution network spans North America, enabling it to maintain a local presence across the U.S. and Canada. This asset, coupled with a consistency in quality and competitiveness on pricing, continues to keep 4over nimble and ahead of the curve.
Digital Print Solutions
Located in Kensington, MN, Digital Print Solutions is a wholesale large/grand format printing company for sign companies, advertising agencies, print shops, photographers, and other resellers. The company ships anywhere in the U.S, as well as internationally, and ships blind. It offers one to three day shipping to 90 percent of the U.S.
Some of its products include banners, vinyl decals, flat signs, flags, specialty products, fabric table covers, strands/retractors, translucent products, and canvas wall art. Printers found in the facility include Epson, HP Inc., and Mimaki USA, Inc. Common media brands used are 3M Commercial Solutions, Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions, Orafol Americas, and Ultraflex Systems, Inc.
It encourages PSPs to give them a call before turning customers away. Digital Print Solutions carries an array of materials, boasts a friendly customer service staff, and has the ability to print vinyl and mesh banners up to 16×50 feet without seams, with hems and grommets included.
Fly Digital Print
Based in El Monte, CA, this one location houses 15 employees and has the ability to ship nationwide, as well as to Canada. Fly Digital Print specializes in indoor and outdoor wide format printed signs and displays. It uses HP latex and UV printers, branded media, and original HP inks for quality and consistency.
Fly Digital Print’s quality and service sets it apart from the competition. The company offers prices comparable to vendors that don’t commit to the same level of quality and service.
Lakeland, GA is home to Georgia Printco’s one location, which totals 35,000 square feet with 69 employees. Goods and services offered include specialized printing on most substrates using large and grand format digital printing machines, along with dye-sublimation equipment for printing textiles. Georgia Printco’s service area is worldwide.
Equipment used includes machines manufactured by EFI—one five-meter roll-to-roll UV printer, two three-meter roll-to-roll UV printers, two three-meter hybrid printers, and two three-meter textile printers. It also uses a Roland DGA Corporation 60-inch large format printer. Other equipment includes two cutting systems, three laminators, three automatic grommet machines, and five sewing machines. Georgia Printco works with ink from 3M, EFI, and PrinterEvolution’s AquaSub 33. The company stocks 250 different product types to reduce turnaround times.
Georgia Printco’s state-of-the-art equipment offers high resolutions and high speeds. It offers 24-hour factory support on every machine. 15 sales representatives are available anytime. Its staff is courteous and knowledgeable.
Specializing in “going large,” ImagineThis is a premiere large format and out-of-home digital print shop. Looking for large quantity orders or the largest outdoor graphics, the company offers customers high quality and quick turnaround at competitive pricing. For example, it offers ten 18×24-inch plastic yard signs printed double sided for $37.
Based out of Massillon, OH, ImagineThis creates building wraps, fleet graphics, transit graphics, vinyl and mesh banners, billboards, large trade show graphics, outdoor advertising, vehicle wraps, backlit signs, and out-of-home signage. Work is completed on equipment from EFI, Epson, HP, and Miller Weldmaster.
Headquartered in Las Vegas, NV, JW Media is an industry leader in print order fulfillment for both small and large resellers. It offers same and next day shipping options depending on the urgency of an order. A dedicated staff is trained to help customers maximize profits with low pricing not available to the general public. Some of the print services offered at JW Media include flags, banners, stickers, posters, window perforations, custom made fabric, rigid signs, banner stands, and magnets.
Residing in Shelby, MI, Signs365 is known for its abundance of graphic services. It offers 24 hour standard production time, guaranteed rush delivery, and overnight delivery anywhere in the U.S. According to the company, it only employs state-of-the-art technology. Equipment utilized includes HP Scitex FB10000 Industrial Presses and HP Latex 3000 Printers.
Located in Denver, CO, Ultimax’s Signobi is successful with one location and ten employees. Goods and services include commodity to specialized materials and substrates, specializing in cost-effectively offering custom and contour cutting. Additionally it provides clear materials and white ink printing and ships nationwide. Ultimax utilizes UV printing for all rigid substrates, and eco-solvent for most decals. What sets it apart from the competition is product offering, contour cutting, customer service, and flexibility.
Trade printers and print providers form a relationship to benefit each other. When a job isn’t practical for a PSP, it turns to its wholesaler for help instead of rejecting a customer. With an increase of business and an expansion of sales opportunities, PSPs and wholesalers continue to reap the benefits from a simple peer relationship.