In a traditional industry like the graphic arts, VistaPrint has found success by taking a bit of a non-conventional, forward-thinking approach. It all started with the vision of Robert Keane, president and CEO, when he founded the company in 1995.
Keane’s idea included developing technology that delivers high-quality, low-cost graphic design and printing to small businesses and consumers while still providing premium customer service. VistaPrint is applying the principles of computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) to drive out costs and improve response times. It connects its customers directly to its CIM chain by providing a layout program that they can use on the company’s Website, www.vistaprint.com.
CIM enables VistaPrint to produce thousands of unique print jobs per production day while using a minimal amount of labor per order. Business cards are the company’s top seller, but VistaPrint’s menu of Internet-accessed products doesn’t stop there. Postcards, brochures, data sheets, stationery, presentation folders, greeting cards, even refrigerator magnets can be ordered in an instant and produced within hours.
“VistaPrint has the potential to be the biggest disruption to printing since the photocopier,” Keane assesses.
The truth in Keane’s bold statement can be found in the numbers VistaPrint has been producing. The company averages more than 12,000 unique print orders per day and, for the past two years, has regularly added more than 100,000 new customers per month. It operates 16 localized VistaPrint Websites that service customers in more than 120 countries. There are more than 500 VistaPrint employees globally.
Small Business Focus
The average-size of an order via the Website is $30, company execs report, and most come from the small office, home office (SOHO) market. Ninety percent of customers do the graphic design for their jobs through the VistaPrint Website.
VistaPrint offers a virtually unlimited number of templates, while also giving clients a chance to create their own designs, and upload graphics and photos. The program is simple to use, so that each job can be designed quickly and flow directly into VistaPrint’s prepress department.