All Digital Printing
One expectation of short-run printing is the ability to turn jobs around fast. "Our standard turnaround on all jobs is three days from proof approval, and most jobs ship in just two days," notes Renton. "On average, we print around 200 different label jobs every day, and this lightning-fast turnaround is only made possible due to our unique mutuality, customer service philosophy."
This customer service philosophy is built on the idea that Lightning Labels doesn't try to be all things to all people, says Renton. In addition, the company works closely with its customers so that it can serve them better.
"The more effort our customers make to send us print-ready graphic files, the better we are able to serve everyone in a speedy manner," he says. "We say to our customers, 'You help us be more efficient and we will help you by providing good pricing and the fastest turnaround in the label industry.'"
Another example of doing what it does best is Lightning Labels' very limited offering when it comes to substrates. It provides labels using just ten substrates, with more than 60 percent of its business being run on white BOPP. As with the great majority of substrates printed on HP Indigo presses, the substrates need to be top-coated before printing. "We outsource our top-coating to Masterpiece Graphix (www.mgxdigital.com) in St. Louis," reports Renton. "They order uncoated material from the material vendors, coat it themselves, and then ship to us. It is a system that has worked well for many years."
It is readily apparent—as Renton recognized when he started the company—that digital printing has a clear advantage when it comes to short-run, fast-turnaround demands. But speed and effectiveness on the press requires a specialized printing work flow—both upstream and downstream from the press.