Target Graphics Prints Licensed World Series Gear
Located just 303 miles from Comerica Park in Detroit, and 278 miles from Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Target Graphics, Naperville, Ill., found itself in the middle of baseball fever in late October. Within an hour of the St. Louis Cardinals winning the World Series, Target Graphics began Hot Market printing on thousands of T-shirts.
Hot Market Production—where a company prints huge volumes of shirts in a very short selling period—is usually related to a major event, such as the World Series or the Super Bowl. In preparation for Hot Market printing, Target Graphics housed 250,000 garments onsite and prepared for printing and shipping tens of thousands of pieces at a moment’s notice.
As daunting as that sounds, Tom Vann, president of Target Graphics, has more than 15 years of Hot
Market experience. “I have learned that you must expect something to go wrong,” commented Vann. “From the smallest detail to a huge problem, such as equipment breakdown, you must be prepared.”
Part of that preparation involves adjusting commitment dates for core business. A week before the World Series, Target Graphics switched to 12-hour shifts to clear the house of standard orders, creating a 48-hour window to run nothing but baseball gear. “This is no easy task for a business our size, but it must be done and we get it done. By the time finals come around, the production staff is working 12- to 18-hour days,” said Vann.
In a 24-hour period, Target Graphics separated, printed, labeled, picked and packed 50,000 pieces for shipment to more than 200 locations. “It required 54 people to cover all necessary tasks. I know from experience that understaffing costs more money than is saved,” observed Vann. “If you do it right, you can make a lot of money in a short time.”