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Re: direct garment printing - a bit of a different perspective

I just joined the board yesterday - so I am trying to catch up with some of these threads. We at SWF East have been involved in selling direct to garment printers for about 21 months now (an eternity in this marketplace!). One challenge that I don't think most of the "newbies" in the distribution market fully grasp yet is the aftersale support that goes with the sale of these machines. We have a long history of supporting high ticket apparel decorating equipment sales, because of this we already have an infrastructure that is designed to handle the support and training of this type of equipment. As the percentage of our sales that are direct to garmnt continues to grow, we have had to add more and more support, training and even shipping personel to handle the growth. Any new "players" that are not already established in the apparel marketplace are in for a rude awakening when they begin to experience this growth. While I don't claim to know all of the major players in the market at this time, I know most of them. Few can produce the volume of machines required to be a major player in the marketplace. To run with the "top dogs" (creidt given here to Scott F. for coining the phrase) - you are gonna have to move 100+ units a month - I don't see many out there that can meet those kinds of numbers.

It is not too terribly difficult (not that I could do it!) to modify an Epson printer to do what these machines do, as is evidenced by the number of new entries at SGIA. Being able to sustain production at a high level is the issue, that as well as the ability to produce solid projections 3-4 months out so that products are in stock without having excessive $$$ tied up in inventory. For those who have never dealt with importing a product before, it takes as much as 6-8 weeks for a product to arrive via surface (water) from Asia to the US. Add to that the fact that you have to project how many units that need to be produced to be ready to ship on a given date and you can see that the logistics of entering the market at a high level are very intense. Heaven forbid you have to expedite shipping (air frieght) and incur a 5-10 fold increase in freight charges!

Be wary of the "upstarts" - while they may be well intentioned and have a valid product, they are most likely unprepared for the hellfire they are about to encounter.

Happy Printing

SWF East

"I ink, therefore I am!"
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