Make 2020 the Year You Reach Your Profit Goals

As the last decade was wrapping up, we began looking at 2020 as being full of possibility. But we’re not too naive. We know today’s print service providers are faced with lots of challenges, such as rising wages and benefits costs, pressure to enter new markets, a thin workforce of available, skilled workers and more. So we decided to take a look at two areas where LexJet can help, not just as a materials provider, but a business partner as well.

At the SGIA/Napco Research Key Industry Trends & Insights Research presentation during Printing United, we learned a lot about these challenges. While nearly every sector in the print industry saw growth in sales (yay!), the increase in profits didn’t match up. How could that be? Perhaps investment in equipment, wage increases (and more to come), lost productivity, training up staff in new market segments, or maybe you were paying too much for the wrong products.

One of the startling revelations was PSPs who stated they were “so busy, we don’t have time to figure out what would be profitable.” Yikes! So let’s look into two current, major pain points and see how we can help.

Adding a New Product Line or Entering a New Market

You can diversify the products and services you’re offering your customers, but let’s look at some smart strategies. While it may seem like everyone is jumping into vehicle wraps, ask yourself if you’ve got the proper print technology, installers with experience and product lines you trust. If not, that’s a steep climb before you get out of the red. If you are set up to tackle vehicle wraps, consider starting with simpler applications, such as box trucks, before you get into intricate designs like sports cars.

Inkjet Canvas Decor by MyPix2

Another supplemental market that may have a quicker ramp-up, in terms of production, is décor. This segment covers a pretty wide gamut of applications, from canvas prints to wallcoverings to windows treatments. If you’re in the wide-format space now, you likely have equipment that you can use to expand into décor printing. For instance, if you have an aqueous printer, many materials exist for you to print wall art, such as canvas wraps, fine art reproductions or portraits. Wallcoverings and window graphic materials (like Squid) are decor focused, and can be printed on solvent or latex print technology. Dye-sub printers used for fabric open a new door for upholstery, drapery and more. Your capital expenditure may include finishing tools or machinery, so scope those out and plan accordingly.

Some growing interest in customized décor printing include hotels, restaurants, healthcare facilities and corporate offices, so consider customers you already have in these spaces and market your new capabilities to them!

Combating Material Costs

Another ongoing pain point is material costs. This is always top-of-mind for all of us here at LexJet, as we launch new or next-generation products. We are constantly looking for ways to pass on savings to our customers.

One strategy is to opt for multi-purpose, quality products. When you opt for a “Swiss Army Knife” product, you save on inventory space and production set up time as well as costs savings, much of the time. One such material is FlexTek 170g, also available as FlexTek SUV 200g. FlexTek is a budget-beating, non-woven technical fabric that works in a variety of applications, including wall art, banners and canvas wraps. It can be finished with grommets or it can be sewn or wrapped or folded. It’s recyclable and has a long shelf life — talk about an inventory win-win!

Our print specialists at LexJet can also help you fine-tune your materials and supplemental products that fit into your budget and help your profits soar! Call us today at 800-453-9538.

Now Available at LexJet: The HP Latex Family of Cutters

Recently, HP launched the Latex Print & Cut solution by bundling the HP Latex 115, Latex 315 and Latex 335 with cutters, giving print providers the opportunity to trim and cut graphics without interfering with their workflow, saving both time and money.

Realizing that many latex printers were purchased prior to the release of the bundle, HP knew that those users could benefit from the addition of the HP Cutter with the latex they already have in house, so they company released the HP Latex Cutting Solution at the ISA show in March.

The new cutters will give all users of the HP Latex 300 and 100 series printers a true print and cut option, that includes FlexiPRINT and CUT RIP. With three options, there is a solution available to everyone, from beginners to seasoned shop veterans:

  • The HP Latex 54 Basic Cutting Solution is an easy and affordable option for those whose graphics demand don’t exceed 54 inches and has a maximum cut speed of 33in per second (84 cm/sec)
  • The HP Latex 54 Cutting Solution is a great way to grow your business with your 54-in latex in the graphics market. This cutter offers a faster maximum cut speed (44 in/sec; 113 cm/sec) for quicker turnaround times
  • The HP Latex 64 Cutting Solution will accommodate graphics as wide as 62.2 inches (158 cm) with the same maximum cutting speed as the 54 inch model (44 in/sec; 113 cm/sec)

The addition of an HP Cutting Solution or Latex Print & Cut will open up opportunities in applications like labels and stickers, floor graphics, wall decals and window graphics.

If you currently own a Latex 300 or 100 series printer and are interested in adding one of these solutions to your workflow, call one of our LexJet sales specialists at 800-453-9538 or visit us online at LexJet.com.

LexJet Print-N-Stick: Encouraging Students to Explore the World

When Ashton Elementary School teacher Rachel Montisano wanted to liven up her classroom while simultaneously providing an interactive educational environment, she reached out to LexJet for some ideas.  Michael Clementi, LexJet’s in-house printing guru, recommended that she use LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric.

“The use of large-format graphics has allowed me to create an interactive environment for my first-grade students as we study different topics,” says Montisano. With the bright, matte surface, easy repositionability and cleanly removable adhesive, the Print-N-Stick was the right product to bring the world into Montisano’s classroom.

Recently, her students were asked to research and report on the different animals found in the Arctic. As they stood at the head of the class to give their presentations, an image of polar bears frolicking near a snow-lined river served as the back drop for the students. Montisano says, “the students added animals and wrote their own captions and labels on the image. They were so excited to use what they had learned and make it a part of the large, realistic scene.”

Now that their trek through the Arctic is finished, the students will be whisked away to the Amazon rain forest. Once again, they will be asked to research the plants, animals and other interesting critters that call the rain forest home. Excited to see what the students’ imaginations will bring, Montisano says, “they will create their own plants and animals to add to our rain forest graphic, turning our classroom wall into a life-sized page from a non-fiction picture book.”

However, this new graphic will not just be for the students’ education and enjoyment, “they will make a presentation to parents,” she says. “As everyone walks through the rain forest, the graphic – and the special additions – will help them explain to their parents everything they have learned about the Amazon.”

Montisano is thrilled with the results of the images on the Print-N-Stick Fabric and says that the size and scope of the graphics played a huge part in bringing the environments to life in her classroom, which continue to generate excitement and learning amongst the students. The vivid colors, the ease of working with the product and the photographic image quality all contributed to a successful experience for the Ashton Elementary first graders.

“Working with this product allowed me to use thematic teaching – incorporating reading, writing and science in the same project – and it has been so rewarding to see such enthusiasm from my students,” she says.

Thesis Exhibits Get Graphic with LexJet Print-N-Stick

When designer Nathan Lambert of Full Color, Inc., a professional printing lab in Dallas, needed to put together his master of arts thesis exhibit along with a handful of his peers, he opted for an easy-to-use product that would work on all surfaces, floor to ceiling.

“For these big final presentations, we used LexJet Solvent Print-N-Stick Fabric everywhere,” Lambert says. “We printed all the wall graphics, and used it for floor graphic and pedestals, too.”

Throughout the exhibit hall, Lambert and his peers put together elaborate displays that featured topics like color therapy, gender identity, mobile fresh markets and superhero archetypes. Lambert’s thesis discussed the benefits of contemporary middle school uniforms.

A Halloween Treat: 30% Off panoRama Walk & Wall

MONDAY, Oct. 31 ONLY: Save 30% on panoRama Walk & Wall

An extremely versatile product for nearly any surface, panoRama Walk & Wall is easy to use, with no lamination required. The dimensionally stable textured vinyl with fabric backing can be repositioned and removed with no adhesive residue left behind.

Unlike competing products that only work on certain surfaces, panoRama Walk & Wall is ASTM slip-resistant certified, and will stay in place on tile, glass, carpet, metal, stone, sidewalks, concrete and more, making it the ideal one-step solution both indoors and out.

panoRama Walk & Wall Highlights:

* No lamination required, one-step solution
* Slip-resistant, durable textured surface
* Removable with no adhesive residue
* Sticks to tile, glass, carpet, metal, stone, sidewalks and more
* Compatible with eco-solvent, solvent, latex and UV-curable printers

To order, call your LexJet representative at 800-453-9538 Monday, Oct. 31, 2016, before 8 p.m. EST or shop at LexJet.com.

*Exclusions may apply

Insider Tip: How to Create Tiles for Large Wall Graphics

When it comes to tiling large graphics for wallcoverings, starting with a well-designed graphic that’s prepped off-site is one of the best ways to make sure your installation is a success. Here are three great tips on how to tile your graphic and prep for installation.

1. Site Inspection

Tiling Wall Graphics

Test Surface: Start with a site inspection to test the wall to make sure your media is compatible because most zero or low VOC paints have additives that prevent adhesive from sticking to it.