Apprintable opens new revenue channels with double purchase
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Apprintable has taken on two new machines to create new revenue streams and drive innovation for its existing clients.
In the last few months, the London-based print and design specialist has taken delivery of a Graphtec F-Mark Plus digital die-cutter and an Epson F2100 direct-to-garment (DTG) printer.
The Graphtec device has enabled the company to bring more work in-house and take more control of its lead times. This was particularly important as the coronavirus pandemic slowed the supply chain “dramatically down”, according to Apprintable managing director and co-founder Peter Haddad.
He told Printweek: “We previously used to spend a lot of money outsourcing our die-cutting to suppliers for small-format products like die-cut and kiss-cut paper stickers, coffee cup sleeves, playing card boxes, display boxes, and pocket folders.
“This machine has also allowed us to create products that, were we to still outsource, would be impossible to produce short runs of and would cost a far greater expense to our customers. For example, in regard to our custom Christmas crackers, we can be innovative and far more cost-effective than our competitors.
“Another example would be custom sized display packaging such as candle boxes. Combining our already existing digital press, our small-format laminator and die-cutter means we can look forward to innovating with different finishes and sizes on a variety of paper stocks to create custom, unique boxes for clients at very short runs from as few as one box.”
The Graphtec F-Mark Plus is essentially an advanced CE6000-60 plotter with a creasing tool on the cutter head and a sheet feeder. It can take up to B2 sized paper and Apprintable has successfully worked with up to 350gsm coated stock for both creasing and cutting.
With the Epson F2100, the business purchased all platen sizes to enable it to print on different types of garments, such as t-shirts, hoodies and jackets. It also invested in a Schulze Pretreatmaker IV pre-treatment machine and a Sefa automatic heat press.
“We saw this investment as an opportunity to take full control of our clothing production as it was difficult to work with outsourced suppliers. We realised that almost all enquiries we have received over the past six years in business have been short runs – one to 50 items – and clients would often need a variety of sizes or colours, which our partners were not flexible on,” said Haddad.
“The opportunity really struck when we were approached by influencers who were looking to branch out into doing their own merchandise stores online but wanted a level of personalisation that our competitors could not offer, such as custom packaging, sticker packs, and personalised notes.
“Combining our website development offering through our sister company Project Click, we are now able to offer clients a full 360-degree service from ideation of their merch to production, digital marketing, and fulfilment.”
He added: “As DTG printing is completely digital, this creates an attractive offer for our clients as they don’t need to buy stock up front. We produce and ship as they sell.
“We plan to expand our product offering significantly with clothing over the next year and see this as one of our biggest growth opportunities. As sales expand, we will look at increasing our investment into production, looking at tunnel dryers and enhanced production equipment manufacturers like Kornit.”
Apprintable was able to make the total investment of £23,250 after securing a government-backed Bounce Back Loan in May last year.
Established in 2015 and largely serving the hospitality, events, and beverage industries with clients including Jagermeister and Moet-Hennessy, the business had been experiencing year-on-year growth of 25-35% prior to the pandemic.