Some screen printers may consider taking chances on new technology too risky, but Intergraphics sees it as a gateway to experimentation and product expansion. Learn how the shop’s adventurous and fearless spirit made it a successful graphics provider for an international client base.
By Lori Leaman
Intergraphics relies on the LEAN Consortium as a valuable training tool and gets its employees heavily involved in its programs. The company also has internal identified trainers who attend external training sessions offered by industry associations, at trade-show events, and other sources, and pass on the knowledge to the rest of the staff. New employees are trained by the identified trainers for a particular position. Competency requirements are assessed for each position in the company, and employee skills are measured against established benchmarks.
Investing for the future
The team at Intergraphics attributes the company’s success to several key factors, including a heavy focus on customer service and constant investment of profits in new technology. “Conrad and Yvonne have created a capital structure that is based on sound business principles,” Jones says. “Although new equipment is generally financed by borrowing, the repayments are made from operating results. Hence, the finance of the company is strong, making it more capable of supporting larger production runs and more creative stocking arrangements to the benefit of customers.”
Jones adds that ecology is front and foremost in everyone’s minds at Intergraphics. Desender’s recent acquisition of a dehazer completes his wishes to make the entire production shop ecologically friendly.
One area in which Intergraphics has not invested heavily is advertising or promoting the company by way of marketing materials. Instead, the company counts on positive word-of-mouth to increase its visibility. Still, Intergraphics recently revamped its Website, redesigned its logo, and published a brochure about its services and capabilities. These media are designed to bolster the efforts of the company’s sales force. Intergraphics has an in-house sales team that services the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Outside sales representatives serve the provinces of Alberta and Ontario. The company also has a group of independent salespeople who serve the US market, primarily the Midwestern states, and it maintains agencies in Belgium and Sweden to oversee the Europeanmarket.
To better serve its customers and meet the demand for quick delivery times, Intergraphics plans to invest in the equipment and processes that will allow for rapid turnaround. The company has its eye on computer-to-screen technology; additional large-format, multicolor presses; and additional digital printers. Intergraphics operates two shifts, five days a week, but the staff believes an upgrade to fully automatic equipment will increase efficiency and further increase production.
In reward for its constant drive for quality, Intergraphics has become the preferred supplier for two busmanufacturing companies that deliver products across Canada and the US, as well as for a major recreational-vehicle manufacturer in the US, several transportation companies, and a few petroleum firms. And with a continued focus on new technology that can be used to grow and improve the business, it expects its list of major clients around the world to continue to grow.
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