How We’ve Used Technology to Speed Up Turnaround Time

What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of "commercial printing"? If you're like most people, the first thing is likely the finished product. You think of a sign or large wall graphic. We think "process".

Commercial printing is a process. This process has multiple steps:

  • Get a request for estimate
  • Confirm that we have all of the necessary information to give a proper estimate. Get additional info if necessary.
  • Generate the quote
  • Get/generate the design
  • Get the final artwork approved
  • Print the artwork
  • Mount the artwork or take it to the job site to be mounted and then mount it

This can differ a little bit from job to job, but generally speaking that's the process for getting a commercial sign made.

There are three potential places where the process can get slowed down:

  1. Getting the right information to generate a quote
  2. Printing approval for the final artwork
  3. Printing the artwork

We've been working hard to find solutions for all three of these potential pain points in order to speed up our turnaround time and we think you'll be happy with the results.

Problem: Making sure we have the right information in order to generate a quote.

Solution: Our new "Request a Quote" feature on the website. This quote form is dynamically generated based on your answers. Looking for a real estate sign? We ask all of the relevant questions on the form. Need a vehicle wrap? Same thing! The form will ask you all of the appropriate questions allowing us to shorten what could be a multiple day game of phone tag all the way down to us receiving all of the information we need from you instantly. If we receive your quote request during the business day, we can typically turn it around within the hour. If it's received after business hours, we're able to follow up with a quote early the next business day.

Problem: Getting final artwork/approval for artwork.

Solution: The "Upload a File" page on our website. For common reorders or for customers who already have their artwork ready to go, now you can send us your digital file right from our website. We support AI, EPS, PDF, GIF, JPG, and PNG files up to 128MB in size.

Some projects will still require some back-and-forth between our team and the client but for common reorders, this will dramatically speed up the approval process.

Problem: Printing the artwork could take days depending on how much drying time is required

Solution: We bought a new printer! The beauty you see at the image at the top of this page is the HP Scitex FB750. It's a really wonderful printer. The thing that sets it apart from the other printers in our shop is that it can print directly to substrate. This allows us to use the same printer to make retail POP/POS signs, outdoor signage, retail displays, fine art & decoration, window graphics, and specialty signs. Without getting into the nitty-gritty details, it can turn a printing job that would have previously taken us 3-4 days just to do the printing, down to under an hour.

Part of the reason for the extended time needed to print the graphics previously had to do with the drying time. The image would need to be printed, and then it would be necessary to glue it to the substrate, which is the underlying surface of the sign. The drying process alone could take 24 hours or longer. But with the HP Scitex FB750, we can print directly to the substrate, eliminating the lamination process altogether and drastically speeding up production time.

Here's a visual example. This is our production board.

production wall

On the left side are all the projects that are waiting approval. In the center are the jobs that are in production. And on the right are jobs that need lamination. Notice the basically empty gap for items in production? That's a testament to how quickly we can turn projects around with the new printer.

If you have a need for a sign and it has to be turned around quickly, give us a call at (910) 350-8242 or fill out the Quote Request form. We'll get the process started asap and turn around your sign(s) or graphic(s) in a jiffy!