Simple Solutions Printing is a commercial print and sign shop based in Southern Illinois. Like many of our users, they provide a one stop shop for printing for area businesses and individuals.
They produce a ton of products in house — digital printing, 1-2 color offset printing, sign and large format, vehicle wraps, screen printing and embroidery.
Before using shopVOX, the owner Tim was having trouble keeping track of his growing business.
Let’s get to the Q&A with Tim.
Tell us about your shop
I started this business in 1993 with a single head offset press, a videotape on how to operate it, and $10k debt on a credit card. The first couple years were lean, but we’ve grown to be one of the top providers in our area.
In 2014, we did a little over $1mm in sales with just 3 full time employees.
We’re in a smaller market, so we adopted the one stop shop approach. We find good customers and try to provide them with what they need.
As far as we produce in-house, we do digital and offset printing — products like brochures, business cards, forms, newsletters, etc. We also create signage and wide format prints. We do wraps, mostly fleet vehicles. Also screen printed t-shirts and embroidered apparel. We sell promotional products to supplement our other offerings.
Pretty much anything a customer needs to market or promote their business, we provide it.
What problems were you having?
We’ve grown at fast rate over the last several years, so we were experiencing a lot of growing pains. We had 3 main issues that were causing us a ton of headache.
1) Keeping track of everything
We had been using paper job tickets for over a decade. We tried creating better versions of the form to get more of the info that we need, but even that didn’t work out. We also had the issue of lost job sheets and trying to manage those jobs sheets between our two locations.
We took forever to get a quote to a customer and our guys were always giving out different prices. We were pricing jobs based on sheets we’d created years before, or sometimes just what felt right. We’d overlook a detail and lose money on some jobs.
More times than I care to admit, we lost our shirt on a job because of miscommunication amongst the team. We’d have to reprint a job because of an error or not having enough information.
It was hard to know who had taken an order, or who was responsible for what. I’d have to constantly ask the guys questions about an order because it wasn’t on the job sheet.
What had you tried in the past?
I had lost $10k on buying two products that never really worked out for us. We never got up and running with one because of the clunky interface and technical issues. The other we managed to set up our pricing on. It was decent for wide format and digital printing, but did not work for our screen printing or embroidery.
Another problem we had was Quickbooks. We’ve used Quickbooks for accounting since the beginning and moving away from that would be a huge pain for us. The other options we purchased would not integrate with Quickbooks. That was a big plus with switching to shopVOX.
What objections did you have about shopVOX initially?
I had some initial concerns about shopVOX being 100% cloud based. What if they go down? Where does my data go?
They eased my concerns — assuring me that my data was secure and backed up, and I can pull it out via excel at any time.
I wasn’t too worried about the monthly price. shopVOX saves me at least 3-4 hours a week and we have less errors on our jobs.
How has shopVOX improved your shop?
ShopVOX has brought organization to my business allowing me to manage it more efficiently, especially having two locations.
Being able to use the different workflows allows us to manage the different steps in getting all of our products out the door.
Being able to assign different tasks to the employees also helps out a lot with communication.
What is your favorite feature in shopVOX?
My favorite feature in shopVOX would have to be the ability to tie all of a job’s assets to that particular job. It saves a lot of time as far as locating the correct files in order to produce a reorder.
What does the future for Simple Solutions look like?
I hope that we can continue growing. The organization that shopVOX brings should allow us to continue to increase our efficiency and in turn being able to increase our production.
I look forward to seeing shopVOX adding new features and integrating with other products which will make company management a lot easier.