You would be hard-pressed to find someone who loves their job more than Sandy Woods, who runs the sign shop – make that “art department” – at Carolina Premium Beverage in Concord, N.C., which is near Charlotte.
“I prefer to call it the art department because I have a degree in art and we really focus on design as opposed to just mass producing signs,” explains Woods. “I love what I do. I have been here at Carolina Premium Beverage for five years, and have been in design my entire career. I know in my heart that I will retire here. This is home to me; I love this company.”
That attitude alone is worth its weight in ink, a.k.a. liquid gold, and the art department has been instrumental in making Carolina Premium Beverage’s brands, chief among them MillerCoors, tops in the distributor’s market, which includes Charlotte and about six surrounding counties.
As you can see by the samples pictured here, design takes precedence over everything else. It is that foundation which secures valuable, premium space for Carolina’s Premium Beverage’s point-of-sale graphics.
The second piece that builds on that foundation, and which ensures the quality and timeliness of the finished prints, is the right equipment and the personal support to go along with it. “I would never want to do my job without LexJet and Kelly [Price, Woods’ customer specialist],” says Woods. “Kelly is a life saver. Most of the time, I order materials a week out, but they’re usually here the next day. When there are occasions when I need to order something right away, she’s right on top of it; she’s awesome to work with. I have two Canon iPF8000S printers that I got from LexJet as well and I love them. They’re super fast and you can’t beat the quality. Those are my babies; I can’t live without them.”
The “Siamese Twins,” as Woods calls them, help ensure fast turnaround times for Carolina Premium Beverage’s accounts, which is another way in which the distributor beats its competitors to the punch at the point of sale. Woods, who runs the art department by herself, also has an OKI laser printer for cooler tags, table tents and other small format point of sale.
“Our goal was to surpass the main competitor in our market, and we’ve largely succeeded. Part of that success is the fact that we can get our point of sale out the door much quicker,” says Woods. Ultimately, it is possible, and necessary, to provide quantity and quality point of sale graphics in order to build market share.
She estimates that the art department produces about 3,600 banners and posters a year, not counting special events and venues, like the Carolina Panthers’ football stadium and the Bobcats’ basketball arena.
Woods says her “go-to” print material is LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Polypropylene, which she uses for both indoor and outdoor point-of-sale projects. She also uses LexJet 11 Mil Valeron Banner for outdoor projects that need extra durability, and Photo Tex adhesive fabric for cooler wraps and special events, such as a recent Sugarland concert at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Charlotte.
Carolina Premium Beverage was created in 2010 through the merger of three companies: Rudisill Enterprises of Gastonia, N.C., Cunningham Wholesale Company of Charlotte, and the Charlotte-based division of Caffey Distributing.
Each company has a long history in the beer distribution business. The owners of each company believed that by merging their businesses into one they could bring the best portfolio of beers to consumers in the Charlotte market area, says Woods. “It is our goal to be the leading beer supplier to retail customers serving consumers in the Charlotte area,” she adds.