FLIGHT. 130 | NO. 91 | Monday, May 11, 2015


By Madeline Faber

If you’ve heard of an in-store sale while shopping, this Memphis-based printing company could have helped you save those extra pennies.

For nearly 20 years, Total Concept has worked as a full-service print shop for major manufacturers and retail chains in the Memphis area. This year, she will be launching a fully online business, Eco Signs and Banners Memphis, within the parent company.

With around 30 small printing companies in Memphis, most are still trying to survive in the commercial market within the Memphis community, according to Gene Martin, commercial director at Eco Signs and Banners.

Total Concept owner Chris Deal is launching Eco Signs and Banners, an e-commerce printing company this year. To facilitate, he invested in new equipment and an expansion of the warehouse.

(Daily News / Andrew J. Breig)

Martin develops the website, www.ecosignsandbanners.com, and plans to eventually consolidate all operations of Total Concept owner Chris Deal on the Eco Signs and Banners site.

The business of Eco Signs and Banners is generated entirely by e-commerce traffic. Customers can go online and select a static design to edit or create a custom design.

Deal, which acquired Total Concept in 2010, hired two graphic designers to provide free advice on the design of windows, banners and signs. Although Eco Signs and Banners customers never have to walk into a storefront, they can still use this service by calling or sending an email.

“Often the larger chains will contact you within 24 hours. We will get back to you in an hour, ”said Martin. “And then we’ll send you proof within eight hours.” “

With an investment of $ 50,000 in large format printing equipment, Eco Signs and Banners will be able to process approximately 50 orders per week. Orders are printed and shipped from the company’s 20,000 square foot warehouse at 1324 Farmville Road. The addition of three new full-scale printers required a 3,000 square foot expansion of the equipment room, but the transition was mostly smooth. Currently, Total Concept has 10 employees and is looking to hire two more if Eco Signs and Banners lives up to monthly revenue projections of $ 6,000 to $ 10,000.

This new activity also marks Total Concept’s first foray outside the Memphis market. With the UPS shipping module, green signs and banners can operate across the United States. With the increasing market share of companies like FedEx Office, family businesses must act quickly to stay relevant.

“With the changing landscape of the print market, we have decided to invest in new digital technology,” Deal said. “This new equipment, combined with high-speed digital copying equipment, on-site graphic designers, a large warehouse that provides storage and packaging of the kits, just seems right for the business.”

Loren Sprague, graphic designer for Eco Signs and Banners, retouches a plan in the company’s offices.

(Daily News / Andrew J. Breig)

Although the technology used has been around since the 1980s, large format or computer controlled printing, as opposed to screen printing, is a recent trend among printing companies. According to a white paper “Going Wide: Understanding the Opportunities in Wide-Format Printing” published by What TheyThink, a leading media organization for the printing and publishing industry, demand for large-format printing is increasing by compared to the general downward trend in other business impressions. services.

Companies change and structure products differently. Instead of being a manufacturer of printed products, they are positioning themselves as a strategic marketing partner for customers. This is especially the case for Eco Signs and Banners, which offers creative product solutions, project management services and strategy advice from industry experts among the services it provides. The target audiences are also different for the two companies. Total Concept has carved out a niche in the manufacturing and retail markets, and green signs and banners target individual consumers: parents of footballers, event coordinators, and sorority and fraternity decorators.

“We’re trying to separate our identity from being just a print fulfillment company to a full service provider for signs and banners,” Martin said.


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