Digitally, Very Photogenic
GlobalSoft Digital Solutions team members remain busy in the photo book “clean room” production operations department.
The layout of GlobalSoft’s digital press fleet was determined by lean manufacturing principles.
Pat Meredith, VP of manufacturing (left), reviews press sheets with DP manager Rick Lidestri.
Digitally produced books are inspected by quality control workers at GlobalSoft.
Targets: Photo Specialty and Calendars
The firm is now experiencing explosive growth in the photo specialty and calendar markets. In 2008, GlobalSoft became the production engine for a greeting card publisher in the United Kingdom, but that is only the tip of the specialty products iceberg.
Today, GlobalSoft counts roughly 15 small publishers among its clients. But the photo specialty isn’t limited to greeting cards. The Jersey printer has become the dean of white label products, churning out personalized photo books, calendars, invitations, mugs and t-shirts. GlobalSoft also serves boutique book publishers while operating in the shadow of the industry’s largest publishing houses.
Other more “traditional” digital offerings include corporate marketing collateral items and document management programs.
“The photo specialty market has become significant for us,” notes Petro, president and CEO of GlobalSoft. “It’s a diversion from our past, where it’s typically been an enterprise level, commercial based, B2B customer engagement. Our greeting card business has grown substantially over the years. Publishers use us for wholesale and retail business in a print-on-demand environment.
“Publishers used to order greeting cards printed offset in bulk and store them everywhere, even in their homes,” Petro laughs. “We’ve built a model that enables zero inventory, which allows them to offer more SKUs without risk and get into a better delivery environment. We’ve pared down their turn times significantly.”
The growth of photo specialty products at GlobalSoft is revolutionary. By the end of fiscal year 2012, it will account for 35 percent of total revenues, a figure Petro expects will balloon to 60 percent in 2013. Sales forecasts are for the $18 million to $20 million range.
GlobalSoft’s migration to a Pageflex Web-to-print platform eight years ago took the printer’s online storefront program to the next level, opening the floodgates on enterprise-level accounts. But it didn’t take long for fulfillment to become a challenge in regards to those accounts with global needs. The solution: GlobalSoft opened a facility in Pusignan (near Lyon), France. It’s a printing and fulfillment operation, with no sales staff. GlobalSoft now does business in 23 countries and 15 different languages, 100 percent supported by Web-based storefronts.