DGI is a true 3M house, offering high quality adhesives and stocks. The costs on these products may be slightly higher, but to Bekesha, the cost is well justified since he can be sure that the products will perform well every time. Other products may cause the printer to re-run a job or create huge issues for the installers.
Category 5’s Greg Pried has noticed a shift in client demands. Clients know more than ever about printing processes, including sustainability and recycled substrates. Clients often want to ensure that their printers have knowledge of the trends before they place orders. “My customers are making sure we have those things in place,” said Pried.
How does Category 5 stay on top? One of the ways is through their fulfillment process. Category 5 has expanded their territory, allowing them to service clients even faster.
“We’ve not started to operate on both coasts,” said Pried. “That’s something that’s cut down on shipping costs. That’s a big part of the expense these days.” Pried goes on to say, “We’ve got North American pretty well covered.”
Supply and Demand
What are wide-format printers offering their clients in the new marketplace? Flexibility, speed, quality and perhaps most important of all, the ability to cross promote and target specific markets. Small retailers tend to have a more direct focus on the materials they need, however, their time frames tend to be much shorter. It is not uncommon for a retailer to call his printer to announce a quick sale on products that aren’t moving or some last minute promotion. It is up to the printer to be able to accommodate the client without sacrificing quality.
Speed is just one of the added values clients should expect from their printers. Category 5 is known for being prepared for those last minute orders and changes.
“We’re always ready and we always get it done,” Greg Pried said, “A lot of people use us because we anticipate that they have sales coming up.”
Service is King
At the end of the day, it seems that service and know-how are still king. There are many companies that may have the equipment to create retail signage but without top level customer service, they have little chance of making it in this increasingly competitive industry.
One of the major trends in retail signage depends a great deal on the concept of service and convenience. Convenience stores of all kinds have been spending a lot more for POS these days, eager to let the consumer know what they have to offer.
Bob Bekesha understands that the clients have many needs with a smaller budget. “We have to be nimble to do their store branding and still be able to provide that quality work,” Bekesha said. “We know that they have to go to low cost solutions that look like they’re not low cost solutions.”
superGraphics is also heavily involved on the convenience store market and have found a niche in which they can provide high quality, consistent printing services throughout an entire franchise as easily as if they were concentrating on one store.
“Our best retail clients value our contribution because we know printing is only one part of their needs, and potentially the most understood piece of the puzzle,” said Sullivan. “They look to us for consultation on how to approach and plan for an execution and also seeing through the logistics, constant communication with their team and proof of installation throughout their entire network of stores or locations. Consistent methods and a proven record of understanding their process of doing business is key in my opinion.”