Thanks to YoPrint, Inked Up Graphics has been able to meet its growing customer base while delivering excellent customer service simultaneously. Learn more about how Inked Up Graphics leveraged YoPrint’s features to its advantage.
About Inked Up Graphics
Based in Redding, California, Inked Up Graphics was founded by Eric and Brittany Jimenez in 2011. Starting as a part-time venture, Eric worked for a local sign shop while screen printing from his garage on weekends. They went full-time two years later and opened a retail storefront for customers to swing by, place orders, and collect completed ones. They later moved to their current location in 2015 and have been operating from there since then.
Inked Up Graphics caters to the local Redding community by offering screen printing, embroidery, and even design services, mainly to recreate existing art and have it ready for printing, but they also create original artwork like logos.
Buggy, Laggy Software Affected Business
At first, Inked Up Graphics relied on a particular software suite as the primary management solution for all customer orders. It was appealing due to the software being a one-time purchase, but it had its fair share of cons. For one, there was a lack of support for the software; Eric recalls having spoken to the program’s creator once over a seven-year period. Moreover, the software couldn’t handle large orders, and the lag time was significant enough to impact their sales.
The user interface had a lot to look at, but not in a good way. It was daunting to train new hires to operate the program, as it took Eric and Brittany a long time to be familiar with what it could and couldn’t do. Bugs in the software also didn’t help when they bogged down orders, and there weren’t any new updates. Ultimately, it felt like dated software; “We knew we weren’t really [going to] grow with it,” Eric commented.
Searching for the Right Software Solution
Inked Up Graphics took some time to look for a better alternative to what they were using. They tried a promising one for a short while, but it didn’t work out because they felt it was overloaded with features. Eventually, after “intensive Google searching,” they stumbled upon YoPrint; they started a trial run sometime in September 2019 and implemented it for their business in late October that same year.
YoPrint Provided a Stable Platform for Handling Orders at a Smooth, Efficient Pace
Eric was impressed with YoPrint’s clean, user-friendly appearance, and its workflow made more sense for Inked Up Graphics’ purposes. They could transition their pricing structure to the program efficiently and in a straightforward process. They could also create as many sales orders as needed without limits or software bugs. If they needed to check on anything, YoPrint could do it.
On top of that, Inked Up Graphics could also customize jobs to the shop’s preference – from the pricing of individual items to the print location and much more – all in one sales order. “Some of the other programs we were running… weren’t really working with the way we would price jobs,” Eric remarked, recalling his experience with other management programs he tried before YoPrint. “That was always the downside of the other ones that we tried. They didn’t work with our pricing structure, basically. So [YoPrint] was working really well for how we quoted jobs, and we were used to quoting it that way without totally changing our system. So we were able to integrate into that pretty seamlessly.”
A bonus was the constant tech support Inked Up Graphics received from YoPrint’s team, especially when they first started with YoPrint. It was a far cry from what Inked Up Graphics initially used for their business, with hardly any tech support received.
Faster Customer Communications & Fewer Emails
“There are a lot of pros for using YoPrint, but for us, just being able to eliminate so many standard email messages to our clients, and everything’s run through YoPrint. We weren’t doing that before…You couldn’t keep up with the emails because there was too much to do. That’s what stood out; the automation of being able to contact your clients through [YoPrint] was probably the biggest thing for us.”Eric Jimenez
The ability to remove standard email messages and run them through YoPrint instead was a big plus point for Inked Up Graphics. “It’s got to cut down probably about half the amount of emails we’ve been having to compose,” Eric says. “It’s all coming through YoPrint, so it’s easier just to have that open and just message directly, and you keep track of it a lot easier too.”
All of Inked Up Graphics’ client communications are done via emails. As their clientele slowly grew, they found it challenging to keep up with emails coming and going. “Traditional emails kind of get lost in the feed a little bit. Once we get set up with the client and get that first initial email off, and they’re recognizing it on our end, going to their inbox directly, then it’s super easy to communicate back and forth.” Automating the email process was a no-brainer.
Having a customer portal proved to be a surprise hit among Inked Up Graphics’ customers. Many clients found the portal easy to use and made speaking with Inked Up Graphics much simpler.
“I don’t know how many times we’ve gotten compliments on how professional it looks, sending out quotes and interacting through a portal,” Eric said. Not a lot of people are necessarily used to such a system. “Usually, they’re used to just direct email back and forth or having to call and make a payment, or always coming down to the shop. We’ve [had] a lot of really good feedback on the ease of use for them.”
This all comes together to enable Inked Up Graphics to deliver highly professional yet customized services for its clientele. Eric agrees that it made a lot of difference in how YoPrint helped present Inked Up Graphics as a “customer first” business. “If you’re looking to grow your business and have a more professional appearance, you need software like this,” Eric said. “Sending someone a link to make a payment, that’s something we didn’t have in the past.”
He recalls previously needing to call up customers just to get the relevant credit card information to transact payments; “It doesn’t seem as professional.”
“Just the fact that that you can easily shoot off all your approvals and have all your disclaimers in there too; like you’re signing, this is what you’re agreeing to, it’s just kind of an all-in-one system, so it’s not separate emails coming through for each step of the order process. Clients [don’t have] to open up three different attachments in an email to look at art proofs. [With YoPrint, they] get the link [and] go to the client portal… if we’re presenting ourselves more professionally than the shop down the road, just the way that we’re even interacting with our clients, then it gives us a little bit of a competitive edge.“Eric Jimenez
The professional appearance YoPrint presented to IUG’s customers and its smooth interface helped IUG grow revenue by 56% from 2020 to 2021. On top of that, Inked Up Graphics saw a 10% increase in customers and a corresponding increase of 27% in orders. Inked Up Graphics’ ability to provide all these top-tier services through YoPrint shows that its customers are more than willing to contract Inked Up Graphics’ services.
Going Further with YoPrint
Inked Up Graphics has been able to take its business further with the help of YoPrint, but Eric says that this is only the beginning.
“Honestly, we don’t even use the software to its fullest potential. What’s great about it is there’s room to grow with it as our business grows. It’s very extensive as far as what you can do and how you can run your shop with it. I definitely see where we can start implementing more of our employees to be able to utilize it, and more spread [out] across the shop.”
It’s a move that will take time to get off the ground, but Eric and Brittany are hopeful that they can leverage YoPrint’s functionality even more than they do today.
“If looking to scale your business and be able to keep up and handle the growth, you need a shop software like this. You don’t even have to use all the features that are available, too. Start with your quotes and sales orders, get your art proofs in there, collect your payments, and just get jobs in and out and get used to it, and then scale with it as you need.“Eric Jimenez
“It’s cool because it can grow with us; we can grow with it,” Eric shared. “There’s plenty more I see that we’re not even using yet.”