For more than 50 years, Tree Towns Reprographics, Inc. has delivered quality and service excellence to the Chicagoland design and corporate marketplace. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, their experienced team provides valuable guidance throughout a customer’s entire project, with a goal of 100 percent client satisfaction. Recently, Tree Towns has created new business opportunities for the company in the form of short-term, on-demand point-of-purchase (POP) retail signage with the Océ ColorWave 600 printer.
The recent economic recession has hit the architecture/engineering/construction (AEC) market hard. In turn, reprographers who rely heavily on this revenue source have also faced challenging times. But for many of those willing to seek out new opportunities in the retail industry, providing customized, high quality POP signage can be richly rewarding. Tree Towns has been able to build color print volume, increase profits and diversify its revenue stream by utilizing the Océ ColorWave 600 printer to quickly and cost effectively deliver on-demand, disposable signage to a growing roster of local merchants.
The Perfect Match for Retail Needs
Although consumers appear to be slowly loosening their purse strings—the National Retail Federation’s 2011 economic forecast projects a modest four percent increase in retail sales (“NRF Forecasts 4.0% Increase in Retail Sales for 2011”, February 17th, 2011, The National Retail Federation, accessed on March 18, 2011)—competition for customer dollars remains intense. Eye catching color signage that is tailored to local market preferences and easy to update with pricing or inventory changes can help small retailers stand out, attract customers and boost sales—especially at the point-of purchase. In fact, POP signage has proven to be an especially effective sale accelerator, with consumers making as many as 70 percent of purchasing decisions at point-of sale.
At Elmhurst, IL-based Tree Towns Reprographics, president and owner Chuck Wingard quickly saw the potential to branch out beyond his traditional AEC client base into the retail market. “Using the Océ ColorWave 600 printer enhances our ability to reach a different marketplace,” he said. Traditionally we hadn’t played in the retail marketplace signage arena for several reasons, including production rates and product pricing.”
However, he saw the Océ ColorWave 600 printer as part of a solution to enable Tree Towns to generate a steady stream of business from previously untapped sources, particularly retailers. “Retailers are constantly trying to get new information in front of people, and we can be a part of that,” he said.
Wingard already considered the printer a valuable addition to Tree Towns’ operations. Originally, he invested in the Océ ColorWave 600 printer to expand color printing services to his traditional AEC client base. “We already had a variety of inkjet devices, but we couldn’t get where we wanted to go as far as speed and quality of product,” he said. “Knowing we wanted to go after more color business, we needed to be able to streamline the entire printing process.”
At first, Tree Towns focused on selling the printer’s advantages for mechanical drawings—electrical, plumbing, HVAC and fire protection—because color documents offered clear benefits compared to monochrome versions. “With color, customers instantly see what they need to do on a particular project. So the color almost sells itself, as long as the pricing structure is correct,” Wingard said. “But it does take pricing flexibility on our part because we don’t want them to migrate back to monochrome. With the Océ ColorWave 600 printer, we can be more flexible—and consistently provide a high quality product.”
Exploring New Sales Frontiers
By using the printer, Tree Towns also had a solution to offer customers seeking affordable short-term, short-run signage. “The Océ sales team worked closely with us right from the start,” Wingard explained. “We identified a series of retail signage opportunities. Then Océ helped us refine our approach.”