From Paper to YoPrint: Boundary Waters Sees a 71% Sales Growth with YoPrint

December 19, 2022

Trevor Karns, Manager at Boundary Waters Screenprinting, talks about their experience with YoPrint.

About Boundary Waters Screenprinting

Boundary Waters Screenprinting has been in the business for over 11 years, meeting customers’ needs in and around Redding, California, to even clients as far as Asia. Michael Karns founded the business in February 2011; having been in the industry for almost 40 years, his previous work for other print shops quickly drew customers to “the artist who’s been doing their art for so long.”

As their reputation and orders grew, Michael brought in his family to help manage the shop’s day-to-day operations. His son, Trevor, serves as Boundary Waters’ manager and helps out with the printing.

The Trouble with Paper Trails

Trevor explained that they needed to overcome challenges as things began to pick up, “especially [with] everything being on paper” at first. “It was all kind of at will [or] at the whim of whoever was writing [the customer’s order]: they’re gonna give a discount [or] charge this much for a shirt.”

It did also lead to some stock issues as they took on orders. “You write up a PC61 Black… and then you find out that it’s out of stock,” Trevor recalls. Then there were occasions when mistakes such as incorrect tax charges found their way into orders. “At least for a while there, [taxes] were changing almost yearly.”

Ultimately, it made it difficult to keep track of orders and what was needed to fulfill them. It became apparent that they needed a system to help keep everything neatly organized. “We knew that we needed something,” Trevor said. “We just didn’t know what it was.”

Transitioning to YoPrint

They enlisted the help of a local to create an app that could help with their daily management requirements, but it didn’t work out as it couldn’t provide what Boundary Waters needed. Eventually, in 2019, while Boundary Waters’ crew was visiting a trade show in Long Beach, they stumbled upon YoPrint and later told Trevor about it. Within a month after the Long Beach trade show, they started a trial with YoPrint. Not long after that, they implemented YoPrint into their daily operations.

Trevor recalls that it didn’t take long to learn the ropes to YoPrint. “[I]t probably took me about a solid week to… get it set up and functioning well. And then we’ve made little edits along the way to… make this run better, or price this [differently].” It was a learning process for Boundary Waters, and YoPrint, especially with updates rolled out to improve the user experience.

Trevor was also impressed with how quickly he could get support for things he wasn’t sure about. He cites YoPrint having “good customer service… is a big plus”, especially when there are aspects of the app’s capabilities he isn’t sure about. “Even in that time, I was like, ‘Hey, I don’t really get [something about the app] and… [they were] always great about getting back to me on [troubleshooting].”

How YoPrint Helped Out

Accurate, Consistent Pricing

Having moved from paper trails, Boundary Waters has seen the positive impact YoPrint has had on organizing its overall workflow. In the past, there were occasions when some orders were charged at cost. With YoPrint, all that’s needed is to set up the relevant pricing matrices for different job types, and the app takes care of everything.

Trevor cites the convenience of “being able to check stock with the click of a button; knowing that [the] prices are automatically… getting [the correct] markup” as some ways that YoPrint has helped out. It means they won’t be undercharging customers for specific services and ensuring a profit margin for every order.

Checks and Balances with Customer Orders

Trevor believes that YoPrint’s “checks and balances” system has helped keep everything consistently and correctly priced and ensure that their customers know what they agreed upon from start to finish.

“It’s awesome that you can not only get an approval of your quotes and make sure that [the customers] see the price, but then you include the artwork, so then they’re approving the artwork [as well]. You can change it [as needed] and send it [to the customer] again. You’re constantly getting this approval process so that… everyone is aware of the changes.”

Trevor Karns

It’s helped to address situations where customers weren’t aware of any changes to the order, especially when there are associated price differences for particular services or adding designs to specific areas. “We’ve definitely had people that are like, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize that adding a location on a hat was going to cost more!’”

Easier Growth Tracking

Moving away from paper and to YoPrint has also made it easier to keep track of sales and order data through reports. “[We] have been getting into the reports lately,” he added. “[Since] we’re getting closer to the end of the year, so seeing the annual percentages of what we’ve made, breaking it down to [how much] we’ve taken in checks [or cash]… some of that stuff is just so cool to see.”

There are still features in YoPrint that they’ve not started using yet, such as the Gantt charts for organizing operational workflow on pending orders. “[They’re] probably one of the things that we’ve used the least that probably would benefit us.”

Growing Together

The app’s steady improvements have made it easy for customers to review orders through the customer portal. “We’ve got a couple of customers who have got almost a hundred orders to themselves,” Trevor stated, “so that they can actually scroll through [it] and see what [their previous orders] were in the past. It’s been really handy.”

In fact, since joining YoPrint, Boundary Waters’ sales have seen an increase of 71%, as well as a 40% increase in orders from 2020 till today.

“[P]ercentage wise, we’ve increased – minus the covid year,” Trevor remarked. “[But] we’ve increased every year in our sales and profits… COVID obviously rocked everybody… but [overall] it’s been very beneficial for us.”

Trevor Karns

Many of the changes YoPrint underwent are thanks to feedback from users like Trevor, who might occasionally want additional features to help with their daily operations. “I’ve had times where [I tell YoPrint], ‘Hey, I noticed this… I don’t need this done in a week; I was just letting you know I found this little thing.’”

This mutual relationship of growing together has borne fruit in how YoPrint and Boundary Waters have changed over the years. “It’s been really cool to have that connection to be able to help build [the app] – not only in helping [YoPrint improve] but also it helps [Boundary Waters’] business,” Trevor commented.