retail

Kitting & Distribution Delivers

We’re located in Lenexa, Kansas - a suburb of the BBQ and baseball capital, Kansas City. Believe me, we have heard every Dorothy and Toto joke in the book!  We love our Color Castle, and our location has so much to do with our company’s success. 

One of the million things that sets us apart from other printing companies across the country is our centralized location in the Midwest. Our location affords us the ability to deliver graphic kits to most of the country in three days or less through standard ground shipping.  Graphic kits are another defining aspect of our company that establishes us as a leader in the retail POP printing industry. 

Not all printing companies have kitting and distribution services – at one point we were also one of those companies. We identified a need for a kitting department when we noticed that our large retail customers were burdened by the massive task of receiving printed materials, unpacking the materials and putting together store-specific kits to ship to their many locations. 

Now we have a robust department of highly motivated individuals who make our kitting and distribution magic happen.  Our kitting professionals regularly put together store-specific packages that are unique to each individual location, yet contain like-printed items. We place an emphasis on our quality employees who take pride in their work to make sure our customer’s expectations are always exceeded. 

At Custom Color, our kitting department is every bit important as our printers. Having beautiful prints is only a portion of the equation – ensuring that our customer’s stores are receiving kits full of beautiful print it on time and accurately is really what matters.  

Here are some numbers to exemplify how much it means to us: in the last month alone, our kitting department has put together well-over 5,000 packages to ship across the country with over 99.95% accuracy. This great care, precision and attention to detail drives more print because we deliver (both literally and metaphorically) each and every time.

Our capacity to kit for 10 or 10,000 locations accurately and efficiently, our location in the middle of the nation, our detailed and analytical packaging pros and our over 40,000 square feet of warehouse space dedicated to kitting is a driving force of our company. 

Our customers appreciate accurate and quick ink in a blink, and we know you would too. If you want to talk about your next big printing and kitting project, contact us


Matt Keith is the CEO at Custom Color Corp, also known as the captain of the printing process from idea conception to kitting and shipping. He doesn't enjoy talking about himself in third person, but he is a big fan of Motocross Racing. Connect with him on LinkedIn. 

Research and Development: Our Top 4 Designs

Grammar time! A major definition in the Custom Color dictionary is research and development, or R&D. The caliber of research and development that we’re defining isn’t a common noun in our industry; we like to think that we’re on the forefront of R&D in printing.

To provide a concise definition to represent the entirety of research and development is quite difficult – however, we’ve managed to hit the nail on the head in less than ten words. To us, research and development is, “innovative problem solving to exceed customer’s needs and expectations.” 

cc research and development

Some of you might be visual learners, so I’ve come up with our top four developments that started as sketches on napkins or scrap paper and have evolved into print perfection.

1. Giant McDonalds Bag – Project since 2013

Their challenge: McDonalds wanted to send a "thank you" message to Iowans for their support - they took that message to the state capital. They were looking for a print company to create a larger-than-life item that represented their larger-than-life fast food chain.

R&D to the rescue: We developed a massive (by massive, we mean 9 feet tall by 5 feet wide) replica drive-through bag. This was challenging because a truly matte paper is impossible to find. We had to develop a way to print on the reverse side of paper to make the finish true to the bags that everyone knows and loves. We also created an internal structure to keep the bag standing upright in the middle of vast state capital floors. This project was so successful that we have created the celebration bags for this event in the years since 2013. 

2. Branding Blocks for a Midwest-Based Banking Institution – Project since 2009

Their challenge: As with many projects, budget was a factor. This particular banking institution wanted a printed item that was more unique than the standard prints they currently had for about the same price they were currently paying. Floor space was also a challenge – this bank knew that their branches had less than 2 feet to dedicate to visual marketing. An additional challenge was the product had to ship flat to each branch. 

R&D to the rescue: I immediately went to B-Flute, an affordable, strong, corrugated board and a great rigid substrate for printing. After much folding and cutting, drawing and crunching numbers, and folding and cutting some more, the branding block emerged. Now we create branding blocks in  19-, 12- and 6-inch options. Thanks to the success of the branding block, we’ve created thousands for different companies in different industries all over the United States.

3. 3D Popcorn Display for AMC Theaters

Their challenge: AMC thought the branding blocks were cool, but they wanted to adorn their theater lobbies and hallways with printed masterpieces unique to their brand. Echoing the affordability and shipping factors, I had to ensure that their unique creation would be cost effective and could ship flat to their more than 300 locations. 

R&D to the rescue: After much experimentation with different substrates and angles, the 3D popcorn display was created from a styrene substrate. The angles on this project were a killer challenge, but the finished product was so worth the math that it took to create. This successful research and development project encouraged AMC to ink outside the box to create more custom creations for their theaters. 

 

4. Interchangeable Sign Frames for Savers

Their challenge: You guessed it, cost. Prior to the R&D revamp, in most Savers stores you’d find large metal double-sided frames that held 6 mm sintra. Savers has over 350 locations. Two-sided rigid prints for 350 locations made changing messaging quite pricey due to the substrate and oversized shipping rates. They needed a different solution.

R&D to the rescue: We worked through trial and error on this project. We tested many substrates and adhesives, including Velcro and paper. The final solution was brilliant (if I must say so myself) and allowed Savers to change messaging more often for more stores. We mounted 2 pieces of magnet to sintra – this magnet is the base for all designs. Now we print on magnet receptive paper to allow the designs to be layered and installed with ease. 

Each research and development project is evidently different - however, each project starts with a problem that needs to be solved. many customers find not only that research and development solutions alleviate their initial problems or concerns, but oftentimes also save tens of thousands of dollars per campaign. While it may seem that research and development creates products, we are actually engineering printing solutions. 

Some of our super-awesome work for the best clients in business can be found here. If you're interested in talking about some research and development for your good or service, contact us!


Brett Saunders is the Vice President of Finance and Development at Custom Color Corp. Brett spends part of his days wondering how to combine his loves of product research and development, Haribo gummy bears, large format printing and all things Disney. The rest of his time he oversees the company finances and productivity. Connect with him on LinkedIn