Mimeo.com: Driven to Succeed Online
• both staff and clients receive training.
Because of the investment involved, there must be sufficient volume and recurring revenue associated with a new product offering for it to be added to Mimeo.com's catalog. Decisions have to be made about simpler requests such as adding new substrates, product sizes and finishing options, up to the big calls such as moving into photo publishing and large-format printing.
Manufactured to Order
The company's offerings can't be limitless, Slutsky notes. "If they were, we'd never be able to keep a standardized set of production capabilities within three different facilities. Part of our secret sauce is our ability to push customized inputs through a standardized production process which yields finished documents that are unique to a given order."
Memphis, TN, is home to the original and still largest production facility at 140,000 square feet. Next came an 80,000-square-foot plant in Newark, NJ, that began production in September of 2008, providing full redundancy for the capabilities of the Memphis operation. Within a year, a 60,000-square-foot facility in Emeryville, CA, came online. Rising demand fast-tracked the last expansion despite the recession, as the total number of orders processed jumped to more than 1.5 million in 2009, up from 215,754 the year before.
Part of Mimeo.com's manufacturing approach involves standardizing its equipment lineup whenever possible, which provides redundancy, buying power, and simplifies maintenance and manning. There are more than a dozen digital color presses, mainly Kodak NexPress and HP Indigo machines, installed across the organization and an even greater number of Xerox DocuTech monochrome devices. On the large-format digital printing side, HP DesignJet ink-jet printers drive production.
From there, work is fed into various finishing processes that are based on a flexible cell manufacturing concept, notes John Delbridge, COO. Organizing the equipment required to complete a specific task into near-line, self-contained work areas—as opposed to following the traditional assembly line model—has improved average cycle times by 16 percent, he says. The photo cell, for example, includes cutting, binding, gluing and other equipment required to produce a range of photo products.