Your Future is Digital Printing
Whether your business is traditional screen printing, pad printing, engraving or even web or offset printing there comes a point when you must consider the benefits of adding a digital printing system.
A large percentage of the imprinting business is currently dedicated to producing shorter run, higher color output. The custom t shirt business is full of examples of companies taking advantage of digital printing, and being VERY successful doing so. Just look at Café Press and Zazzle.
Mass Customization is what industry pros call the trend that is inspiring the need for digital printing. That trend has also created a consumer that demands not just small quantity ultra-customized apparel, but imprinting of an image onto whatever they can find. Those finds are often difficult substrates for analog processes to print on.
Why You’ve been Holding Back on Digital Printing
The reasons you haven’t brought digital printing technology into your screen printing business, silk screening shop, t shirt transfer business, promotional products operation or awards and engraving business is probably because you’ve heard:
- Maintaining digital equipment is too time consuming
- The cost of consumables like ink is too high
- It’s not nearly as fast as what I have now
… the list can go on and on when you are looking for excuses NOT to add digital printing to your operation. But these things are either based on old information or just comments used to justify the status quo. After all, it IS easier not to change!
Why you NEED to go Digital Soon (Hint: it is your money, your profits, your future)
Turn Around Time – Digital Printing Wins
Every job starts with artwork. Printing analog, using screens, sublimation, pad printing, all begin with the image that you or the customer wants to print.
Here is how your “analog” shop probably works:
- Create a mock up and print it out or email it to a customer for approval
- Wait for customer approval
- Make edits and changes to your mock up
- Wait for customer approval – again
- Get the EXACT quantity, sizes, etc
Depending on which process you’re using now, you will then go onto prepping your screens, printing your transfers, etc.
Customer Happiness – Digital Printer Shops Win
- Customers want the custom t shirts, custom signs or tchotchkes that they want.
- They don’t care how easy or hard it is for you to make them
- They don’t want to understand why they can only order 12 or more, or 50 or more.
- They aren’t happy when you tell them NO; no I can’t deliver then, no I can’t print you 2 more.
Customer aren’t happy when they get their t shirt, sign, or promotional product and the image quality, colors, sizes aren’t what they expected. No matter what they signed.
Happy customers are two things:
- They stay loyal and order more from you and they tell others about you.
- Unhappy customers tell everyone they know about their experience with your business – you’re fault or not.
The quicker you get started the quicker you can deliver and the quicker you can deliver the happier your customers are.
Customization at the Highest Level | More Ways Digital Printing Wins for Your Money
Offering Mass Customization is a money making addition to your shop.
New Services you can Offer:
- Variable data
- Bar coding
- Name Drops
- Variations in the size of the graphics – for instance art specific to garment size in the case of direct to garment printing
The Ultimate Profit Builder – Upselling with Digital Printing
When producing output for your customers on your traditional equipment why not offer them the option for more colors, or photographic content?
Suggestive selling of add on items – for example why not suggest digitally printed luggage or computer case tags for the real estate company that you just did polo shirts for? Or perhaps printing coasters for the local brewery that you did the flyers and banners for?
Digital gives you to opportunity to grow from just being a service provider to partnering with your customers in an advisory role and also proactively selling, not just taking orders.
Quick options for re-orders
When a customer comes back and wants 10, 20, 40 more of an item that you have produced with traditional methods it is beneficial to be able to offer them a digitally printed piece instead of hitting them with setup fees and minimums or even worse – doing the job and not charging them setup fees and minimums! It is never a good practice to lose money on an order (unless the situation was caused by some mistake on your part).
You can actually turn this into a sales tool by letting folks know upfront that you can do small to medium re-orders digitally without all of the upfront fees and minimums.
Sooner or later, you are going to have to add digital if you hope to survive and grow
There is no time like the present to consider adding digital to your repertoire of methods of producing output. Every day that you wait to add digital to your shop is a day closer to when you must have it instead of choosing to have it.
Why wait until everyone had digital and you need it to remain competitive instead of getting it now and be the one that everyone else is chasing?