For Bob Patterson, High Volumes Caused New Problems
Robert Patterson of Heritage Print Solutions has only been in the industry for about a year and a half. When he started with the company, he took a new approach and led sales with promotional products and apparel versus printing; providing value-added services in response to customer demand. Because of this approach, the volume of layouts and imprints increased significantly.
With only one person on the internal team who could work on these files, the company began to experience a backlog that slowed down revenue. Capacity was exceeded and it became labor-intensive to create vector files and/or request them from clients, who often had only jpgs.
On top of that, customers sometimes balked at the cost of having the files created. Heritage Print Solutions accounts expected their provider to do the art and absorb the extra cost.Once the volume got to about 10-20 files per week, even sales was impacted because team members had to spend time problem-solving to keep orders moving through their system.
A Chance Encounter Led to the Perfect Solution
Bob attended the ASI Show! in New York and met Vice President of Graphic Production and Support Services Joanna Grant. He didn't engage Affinity Express initially because he thought the company wouldn't outsource this function, but problems increased to the degree that he finally decided to give us a try.
Today, it is a different world at Heritage Print Solutions. The company has the ability to increase sales because internal team members are not tied up with concerns about file formats.
The only communication Bob needs with Affinity Express is to provide clarification. Turnaround times are spot on. He uses IDEA to submit and upload orders and says, "The system is great—I couldn't make any recommendations on how to make it better." He advises his team members to "use the comments section, write as if someone was sitting across the desk and ask for exactly what you need." In other words, he suggests being as specific as possible. The only time he has gotten questions back from Affinity Express (maybe four or five times in total) was when he provided confusing instructions.
Bob has even taken a photo with his phone of the back of shirt for which a customer wanted an imprint and sent it to Affinity Express to create. He explained that Heritage Print Solutions team members occasionally make bets with him that we can't possibly complete a job submitted. They are proven wrong every single time! That's why, today, one hundred percent of the artwork is sent to Affinity Express and does not have to be touched by any internal Heritage personnel.
Result: Sales Increase 48%
According to Bob, "We are up YTD 48% over last year." He attributes a majority of this increase in sales to the Affinity Express support. Now the print side of the business is also starting to use Affinity Express services.
When Bob talked with an industry contact from Minnesota last Saturday and told him about Affinity Express, the response to the prices and quality was, "you're kidding me!" Bob explained to his contact that the work we do is phenomenal and that we made final products so much better.
Bob noted, "A lot of what happening now is that we are growing at a real clip because we have people set up to build business on the apparel side, allowing me to make more money. If you don't have a relationship like Affinity Express, you run out of capacity in your internal structure. Artwork was an issue for us and our requirements were met because we are dealing with experts."
He went on to say, "Affinity Express is a great complement to a company. Having a full-time person with this level of expertise would be very costly. Affinity Express is a time-saver, offers a quality product and allows you to sell more and grow your business."
After reviewing the Affinity Express website last weekend, Bob realized there are services he is not yet using. He was excited to hear that we can execute original design ideas and will quote non-standard projects. That's another way Heritage Print Solutions can solve problems for its customers and capture more business!