This business changes every two years
No coincidence that this company has invested in three swissQprint machines over six years.
Simpson Print, Bloomingdale, Canada. This full-service provider offers a diverse set of specializations: from industrial nameplates and decals, to retail merchandising and in-store signage, to custom and high-volume packaging. Their key to success is not just diversity, but intelligent integrated processes.
Simpson Print has been recognized as a top-notch screen printer in Canada for decades – and they have always been an early adopter. The company's president, Carla Johanns, literally grew up in her parents’ print shop. She took over the role in 2017, a time when the company had been through various transformations and retail was growing. Her attitude is part of her parents’ legacy: “We want to be ahead of the game.”
Carla believes: “This business changes every two years.” That is why she is fast in pivoting, ready to adapt to changing market needs. It may seem like a coincidence that Simpson Print has invested in a swissQprint Nyala every other year since 2017, installing their third in 2021. Truth to tell, the company has continued to grow and thrive since getting its first.
“I can be bold with this line-up,” Carla smiles. Simpson Print’s wide format business is focused on retail and branding markets, where she knows: “You had better get it right the first time if you want to hold customers in today’s times.” Quality is a client deliverable that is not up for sacrifice. With two swissQprint Nyalas they have already been able to deliver on high-volume requirements, too. As they are not a one job shop and have a diverse set of clients, adding a third Nyala has ensured that they can now compete with the over-abundance of speed platforms in the marketplace. “Our print is about quality and versatility, and swissQprint has exceeded in this time and time again,” Carla summarizes.
Sustainability as a core value
Another aspect of that family legacy is sustainability. Screen printing back in the days was toxic and water-polluting. Conscious of this, Carla’s father built a recycling pond. “We have long recognized how critical ‘green’ as a value is,” says Carla. As she sees it, the company's workflow consciousness enhances the client experience, including quality and bottom-line economics. “You need to involve customers and tell them how the product was made – explain the whole workflow.” Carla reports that they have reduced their carbon footprint by about 30 percent over the last few years. Ryan Sibley her director of operations, has been the driver of this process, to which swissQprint Greentech is critical.
Sustainability is one puzzle piece of Simpson Print’s holistic concept. As a full-service provider, they basically have everything under one roof. While there is a screen, a digital and a litho side to the business, they position the company as a facility specializing in work that others cannot do. “With the exception of flexo there is nothing we can’t produce.” Having said that, Carla explains: “Key to success is not just diversity, but an intelligent integrated lineup that spans printing through to finishing.” In May 2017, Simpson launched a MIS/ERP system as the foundation to implementing a true consolidation. Again, swissQprint was a cornerstone of this move. “All of our capital investments are about complementing the entire workflow,” Carla stresses.
Retail as main business line
One of Simpson Print’s major business lines is labels and industrial name plates, where screen printing stays the prevalent technology due to longevity requirements. Another line is retail, aimed at the needs of medium to large stores and franchises. Simpson Print further specializes in decals, custom packaging and various direct-to-substrate products.
They regularly combine offset, screen and digital in jobs. “Registration across all platforms is crucial for precision,” Carla points out. This is where the swissQprint registration pins come into play. Another key aspect is color consistency; it keeps many a customer with Simpson Print. They do their own profiles, and color management has shifted from the operator to prepress. “Digital is the only sector that manages full color integrity,” Carla knows. “The consistency across the three Nyalas blew the operator’s mind.” She also appreciates the large extension to the Nyalas’ color gamut that comes from adding orange as a spot color. And then there is swissQprint’s jettable varnish that offers various gloss levels to play with, especially useful in packaging.
In 2020, Simpson Print established Sawmill, a marketing company to diversify their offerings. Sawmill specializes in sensory instore experiences like 3D displays, pop-up stores, event equipment, transit signage, pop-up banners and interior décor. It is less about high volume, more about creativity. Sawmill provides the process from A to Z: starting with design – prepress is crucial – to construction, to installation. “Creativity is very important in this field,” Carla points out, “but again, quality is non-negotiable.” The Nyalas are deployed to print acrylics – especially for clients in the cosmetics business – and wood.
Wrapping up, Carla wonders: “Why aren’t there more swissQprints in the market?” After all, she finds, these large format printers do such a great job: “Their economics are phenomenal – they are low maintenance, there is no costly service contract, no down-times. We run two shifts without any issues and get great results.”
Retail Signage and POS for retailers and consumer packaged goods and ice cream brands
Out of home advertising for outdoor media companies and agencies
Liquor packaging for spirits
Signage for exterior signage and installation applications
UV offset and screen print coatings for packaging clients in food, pharmaceutical and luxury brands