Add Value, Secure Your Future
Adding new services gives you more opportunities to make customers happy, improving your reputation while strengthening your in-plant's position in the organization.March 2013 By Bob Neubauer
It wasn't exactly his forte, but just the same, Alvin Griffin hated to see so much of his school district's money being spent to print T-shirts.
"Last summer we outsourced probably about 1,500 shirts," says the director of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' Graphic Production Center. At about $12 each, this was a big expense for the Charlotte, N.C., school district. Griffin didn't know much about shirts, but he did know how to save the district money on its print costs. He'd been doing it for years. Why not take on garment printing too?
So last year his in-plant purchased an AnaJet mPower mP10 direct-to-garment printer and went into business.
"Our clients, they just love it," he reports. If there's a special event at one of the district's 159 schools, people order personalized shirts. This has brought in a lot of new business for the in-plant.
Griffin says it takes about a minute to print a high-quality image on a shirt, an apron, even a baby's "onesie." And the machine is easy to operate. He can buy shirts for $3 apiece, and it costs about $1.25 to print on them, he says. Even after a slight markup, the district saves a ton of money. Griffin says he invested $36,000 in the garment printer.
"But I look to get that back within a year, free and clear," he says.
Even better than the business, though, is the boost this new service brought to the in-plant's reputation and the value it provides to the organization.
"It can't continue to be all about just the marks on paper," Griffin says. "You've got to get diverse in what it is that you're doing."
This is a mantra all in-plants should take to heart. Fortunately, many of them have.
Scores of New Services
In a recent IPG e-mail poll, dozens of in-plants revealed scores of new services they have introduced in just the past two years. They range from new types of printed products, like vehicle wraps, foil security printing, magnets and envelopes, to data management services, such as mail list cleansing, transactional scanning and records management.
Here’s a quick list of services in-plants told us they have added in the past two years:
- Envelope printing
- Bill printing and insertion
- Wide-format printing
- Garment printing
- Dye sublimation
- Name badges
- Mobile printing
- Photo processing
- Toner recycling
- Student copy center
- Campus mail center
- Warehousing and fulfillment
- Graphic design
- Web development
- Digital photography
- Records management
- Mail list cleansing
- Confidential mailings
- Easel rental
- Promotional products