The Store Decor Company Takes Production to the Next Level with EFI VUTEk GS-Series Printers

For more than 25 years The Store Décor Company has been providing visually exciting interior signs, graphics, and retail decor for the nation’s leading retailers. The Store Decor Company specializes in brand communication through high quality design, fabrication, and installation. The company was founded in 1983 by Robert Potts in Rowlett, TX, as a complement to his store planning company. From humble beginnings, with one small building and two employees, the company has grown to 14 buildings, 120,000 square feet of manufacturing space, over 100 team members, state-of-the-art equipment, and a creative work environment that continuously establishes the standard for fabulous retail experiences.

Challenge

In 2003, The Store Décor Co. began replacing its eight screen printing lines with digital printing in the form of the VUTEk PressVu 180, purchasing its third PressVu in October of 2005. In 2010, the company wanted to upgrade its production platform to take advantage of the latest technology and turned to EFI (Booth 2602) for a solution. In 2012, the company needed another printer to handle its growing volumes.

Solution

In 2008, with the economic downturn, retailers were looking for store decoration and POP solutions that were more cost effective. “We had primarily been printing on gator board, polystyrene sheeting, and vinyl,” says Ron Freeman, VP of Operations. “Our clients were looking for less expensive substrates, so the first investment we made was in a MultiCam EZ Knife system that could do the type of finishing we required for these substrates. Then we turned our attention to upgrading our aging PressVu fleet.”

The Store Décor’s transition from screen printing to digital with VUTEk transformed the company. When it was time to upgrade the fleet, Freeman turned to EFI VUTEk to learn about the latest technology.

“We selected the GS3200 printer,” Freeman explains, “and acquired two of them in 2010. Between the improved quality and our upgraded finishing, we were able to sell more POP signage, and that created more demand for print capabilities. By 2012, we were looking for our third printer, and we determined that the VUTEk GS3250 with grayscale capability was the best fit.”

At the same time, they upgraded their two GS3200s to grayscale and also implemented a Fiery XF front end to improve color management, throughput, and more. “One of the things we really like about EFI’s strategy is the ability to upgrade printers with the latest capabilities without having to purchase a new printer. This protects our investment and ensures that we always have access to the latest and greatest,” Freeman adds.

Results

“We feel very good about where we are positioned today with our VUTEk fleet,” Freeman says. “We have an evergreen platform that will not become obsolete in five years like many of the other platforms available on the market.”

Freeman is also pleased with the performance of the company’s new Fiery XF server. “With Fiery,” he says, “we have greater control over color consistency. It also gives us a faster RIPing speed, more capabilities for late stage editing, and the ability to control imposition and nesting right at the Fiery.” Freeman is also pleased with the ability to individualize store materials for specific stores or regions. “That was much harder to do in the past,” he adds. “With screen printing, it required the use of cut vinyl letters. Now it is all done in one pass.”

Moving forward, The Store Décor is keeping an eye on EFI Pace as a print MIS solution it can use to track complex jobs through the production process. “EFI is working to add the full functionality to Pace that we need for our specific applications,” Freeman comments. “We don’t just print, cut, and ship. Many of our projects are much more complicated, requiring routing, painting on the edges, and printed output being layered onto a base we may have fabricated in our wood or metal shop. We have full confidence that Pace will meet our specific needs in the not-too-distant future.”

Freeman expresses a high level of satisfaction with the EFI relationship, saying, “They have been good to us and the service has been great. We are pleased with the way the company is moving forward, keeping pace with market developments and enabling us to better serve our customers. We are looking forward to the next advances in printing technology from EFI which we believe will provide us with even more capability, allowing us to offer more new services to our customers at attractive prices.”

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