This is a story of right-sized packaging meeting digital printing logistics.
With printing clients across the entertainment, automotive, retail, food service, and banking industries, one cannot drive 15 minutes in any domestic metropolitan area without seeing something Graphic Tech has produced. The leading Southern California-based full service printing firm has built a reputation over the past 25 years for uncompromising excellence with every project, from concept through to delivery.
Graphic Tech continuously invests in new and advanced technology to stay ahead of the market and increase its printing capacity without compromising its quality product solutions. What once was a one-man analog operation, Graphic Tech has become very prolific with its digital executions, including print samples and short runs, seasonal campaigns, POP displays, and store signage for a broad range of top name brands. The firm is also capable of producing 10,000 full-color, large format prints per day.
Graphic Tech is also a business that knows corrugated, having grown its corrugated business with confidence to serve customers across the globe. The firm's adoption of digital printing made it possible to print only the quantities needed, while allowing it to save on storage and wasted inventory, key benefits it would soon realize on the packaging portion of its supply chain as well.
According to Graphic Tech COO Jim Blee, the company’s belief in versatility brought digital printing to the table, introducing a new level of dynamics. Quick to recognize advances in his industry, Blee realized that analog printing was to box inventory as digital printing was to On Demand Packaging®, a lean packaging system for businesses with complex corrugated packaging needs.
“Marketing, sales, supply chain, and other variables play an important role at Graphic Tech,” said Blee. “Logistics has changed the game and versioning allows for multiple iterations of a similar campaign. As such, we needed a packaging system that would keep pace with our production and logistics demands.”
The firm’s product turn times are generally constant and quick since the materials printed typically have very short lifecycles. In addition, product damage can sink a customer account due to the same lifecycle issues of each print campaign. “There is literally no time for mistakes,” said Blee.
In 2011, Graphic Tech installed its first Packsize corrugated On Demand Packaging® machine, the EM6-50. The new system included the converting machine that produces the boxes or cartons based on dimensional data, as well as z-Fold™ corrugated material that is used to make the right-sized boxes. The Packsize converting machine cuts, creases, and scores the Z-Fold to the exact specifications.
At Graphic Tech, Packsize On Demand Packaging® makes corrugated box production part of the material flow. The pick list that conventionally helps find the box is used to make the box, in less time and with unlimited options for quantity, size, and style. Stock-outs and obsolete inventory is zero since any box is available anytime and boxes can be made hours or minutes before they are needed. The latter is also an especially attractive feature since change orders are a constant variable in the graphics business.
According to Blee, the turnaround on marketing materials in retail is very quick, and frequent last-minute changes are common. “By partnering with Packsize, we can make the shipping boxes -even for our large format orders - as the customer’s order is printed, translating to a right-sized box at the exact time it is needed, and no overruns left to gather dust.”