Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Software for producing custom boxes on flat-bed cutters

Do you have the need to ship large-format color print jobs, and, if so, how do you handle packaging your stuff?

Even though it happened many, many years ago when I was still very young in the reprographics business, I still remember a customer’s comment about how our “shipment” looked when it arrived at his office. It was the kind of “comment” that was a “lesson to be learned.” For that particular customer, we had shipped a bunch of plans and specs. Whereas the plans were neatly rolled and covered with kraft paper, the specs were another matter. We used a bunch of used Xerox boxes to pack the multitude of specs we had to deliver, and they were heavily (and “messily”) taped ….and not in great condition. The customer I’ve referred to was a “design” architect, one who was always concerned with appearance (the “appearance” of everything!) His complaint was simple. “Joel, your driver just delivered $15,000 worth of plans and specs and the boxes containing the specs are in our lobby, where clients come in to our office, and they look like a mess! (even though he did say that the spec job, inside the boxes, was nice and neat, well done.) From that day on, we tried our best to always “think twice” about the appearance of a shipment.

Do you have the requirement to custom-make boxes to fit and ship large-format color print jobs? And, if so, how does your packaging look? Good, fair, bad or ugly?

This morning, I received an e-mail from a guy who developed and offers a software program (by subscription) that calculates and provides instructions to flat-bed cutters. Make your own corrugated paper boxes, 1-2-3. (That’s provided you’re willing to invest in a flat-bed cutter!)

Which brings to mind this question: Is there money to be made in offering custom-box-making services in your market area? Use your system for your own needs, and use your system to earn profits from others who need custom boxes?

Here’s contact information for the software program I mentioned above:

Darrell E Deschler


Phone: 262-412-4191

Also, you can find information about flatbed cutters at Zund.com. I saw a couple of Zund flatbed cutters when I attended the Graphics of Americas show in Orlando last year. Cool systems.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Joel. The story is very relevant and mine would go like this: I had a design instructor keep driving at my fellow students and I that "presentation is everything". And while I was working for Guy Ladd (President) at Reprographic Technologies in Milwaukee he would report back to us production workers that our customers really loved our packaging and labeling, which was custom made for each large format color print order on a flatbed cutter. It's my opinion that Guy was conveying to us that customers viewed the printing by itself as a commodity but the packaging was what made us stand apart from the competition. The custom packaging definitely had an impact and made and impression. Making a custom box is very effective in "getting jobs out the door" because less time is spent on figuring out how-to package or searching for the right box on a shelf.

    After being an operator of the Kongsberg and Zund flatbed cutters and I believe a system with custom made packaging improves workflow and promotes a customer experience with a higher perception quality. The Sweetcutspro tools are designed to address the packaging needs of large format color printing.

    Darrell E Deschler