Making Waves Post-Pandemic: How T-Source Saved Significant Time By Investing in All-in-One Print Shop Management Software

September 26, 2023

Chris Maffeo, co-owner of T-Source, talks about how YoPrint helped them get organized, allowing him to focus on more important parts of the business.

Based in the Hudson Valley, T-Source is a custom screen printing and embroidery shop founded by two college friends, one of them being Chris Maffeo. Chris and his friend started screen printing about 20 years ago for their clothing brand, eventually leading to requests from other friends and various companies.

“After probably about 10 years of doing our own brand, we branched it off into a full custom screen printing and embroidery business, and that’s how T-Source started,” Chris recalls. It’s been about 10 years since T-Source was formed. They focus primarily on providing high-quality screen printing and embroidery for its customers.

“We’re a pretty small company [with] five full-time employees,” Chris added. “We service a pretty wide range of different markets, everything from schools to sports teams, organizations to retail merchandise [and so on] – we do a lot of different things.”

The five staff include Chris and his business partner, who are both closely involved in running the print shop’s daily operations.

Challenges to Growth

Originally, T-Source used a combination of different programs to manage the business: essentially, that meant one program was used for invoicing, one separate program for managing the workflow, and even spreadsheets to keep track of their expenses and other essential details. As for contacting customers, they simply used emails to do that.

“For a while, we figured out ways to make those four different things work together,” Chris said. “But as we’ve been growing over the past handful of years, it was becoming pretty difficult to keep that well-organized because everything was kind of independent from each other.”

Since T-Source does a lot of custom work, they need to work directly with their clients to find out what they need and come up with something that works for both parties, such as doing “artwork in-house” or if the customer provides it, “figuring out all the different types of products that they want,” and so forth.

With all that settled, they’ll need to “go through [their] scheduling and workflow” – such as if artwork has been approved, whether screens are ready, the invoicing process, and so on – so they can complete the customer’s order in time.

As the number of orders increased over time, it was apparent that the old method wasn’t cut out for handling these higher production levels. Chris explained, “Tying all that together in four different programs was becoming very confusing, especially the more we grew.” To illustrate, they’ve already done 80 orders a month in May and June this year and will potentially hit 100 orders between September and October.

“When we were smaller and doing less orders every day, it wasn’t as difficult to keep track of all that stuff, but when we have a lot of orders happening every single day, it was really something that we needed to get better organized.”

Chris Maffeo, T-Source.

It was obvious that they needed a solution to consolidate these separate processes into something far more manageable to prevent orders from slipping through the cracks or forgetting to get back to a customer on their order.

T-Source made a point to explore their options, including trialing with Teesom and even looking around at Printavo’s features. As they looked around for an ideal solution, YoPrint appeared in one of their searches.

Consolidating Four Processes into YoPrint

For Chris, the reason why they went with YoPrint was quite simple.

YoPrint was a little more robust in all the different aspects that it covers throughout [T-Source’s] workflow and production from start to finish – when we first start communicating with the customer to the order being shipped and delivered to them – and everything in between.”

Chris Maffeo, T-Source.

T-Source trialed with YoPrint “right as the pandemic was about to happen.” When things got difficult for the company during the pandemic, they signed up with YoPrint around the end of 2022 when they started using YoPrint and setting it up for their needs.

“[We] spent about two weeks or so just learning it, getting used to putting in orders, testing it out [and] sending [sample orders] to select customers [to check] how they would see it on their end and just customizing things at that point.”

It wasn’t challenging to familiarize themselves with using YoPrint. “I’m [a] fairly computer-savvy person,” Chris mentioned, “so I didn’t find it too difficult to start using the program and start figuring out where things were and what I wanted to get to.”

Things to Like About YoPrint

It’s been six to seven months since they started using YoPrint, and they’ve not looked back since. Chris shared with us the many areas where YoPrint has helped T-Source significantly.

Customization Options

Chris was particularly impressed by how easy it was to customize YoPrint to work for T-Source. “The way you could customize things [in YoPrint] was another big factor for us [to sign on],” Chris said. “We could see how our customers [and the rest of our staff] were interacting with [YoPrint] and make some adjustments to the point where it felt a lot more comfortable [to use].”

Chris appreciated having plenty of options to make YoPrint integrate with their overall workflow. “It adapted a little bit better to the way we wanted,” he added. “It kind of felt like the other options [we tried] were a little more rigid in how everything had to be done in a very precise way.”

Customer Portal

The customer portal was another feature that benefitted T-Source with how customers can access “all of their orders, their previous orders… a place where they can go and… see their mockups and history, and pay their bills.”

Chris also received positive feedback from many of his regular customers, as the customer portal made it so much easier to review their orders, check their mockups, approve or reject them, and make their payments – all in one convenient place. It also helped that it looked very professional, adding a new level they’d never previously had.

Tasks for Orders

YoPrint allowed T-Source to get staff up-to-date on what needs to be done by assigning each person their respective tasks, whether screen printing, embroidery, or even on the “artwork side.” This ensures everyone knows what they need to do with any particular order.

“It used to be a lot more word of mouth… just telling each other what was happening. There’s still plenty of that, but now our team members can see what they need to do [In YoPrint]… and then when they’re done with that, they can change the status of that task.” If they need more information, they can also change the task accordingly.

“[It’s been] a nice change for our business…getting things more organized,” Chris remarked.

Invoicing Customers

Thanks to YoPrint, they can now prepare customer invoices before moving on with the order. This was a significant change as they used to send the invoice much later or after an order was completed. Now, they can directly send invoices to their customers once the order is confirmed.

That’s also helping us capture our payments a lot sooner,” Chris told us.

Customer Support

Even when they were trying YoPrint out for the first time, there were a few times Chris reached out to the support team for “how certain things could work or… work differently.” He appreciated the support team’s quick response and how T-Source could “get some real feedback right away.”

Chris could see how his feedback was being taken and put into development, whether they may be small or substantial changes to YoPrint’s functionalities. It felt good for Chris that they had some involvement in YoPrint’s evolution while still being valued as an end user. “[It’s] not just… going on to a [support] ticket to who knows how many other different things out there that people are looking for help on.”

“There’s always gonna be questions that come up, and making sure you can get a quick response back is… very valuable,” Chris adds.

YoPrint Makes Room for Further Growth

T-Source has been growing steadily every year since the rough times during the pandemic. Moreover, Chris said they’ve been paid “more upfront” and much faster than before.

“I think, what really gives us a better feeling of success – even though you can’t quantify with certain data points… using the software is helping me focus more on getting more sales and… work on more of our sales and marketing strategies.”

“Now, I’m not juggling my order processing through a bunch of different programs and excessive amounts of emails… all of that extra time doing all that other stuff, now is getting a lot more streamlined within the program, and it’s moving things along faster, and it’s also allowing me to be a little more hands-off.

Chris Maffeo, T-Source

With YoPrint, Chris can worry less about order processing and focus on the more essential parts of the business, such as meeting customers’ needs with their orders and developing new sales and marketing strategies.

Looking Ahead

T-Source is still aiming to grow even further, and Chris is excited to see what else YoPrint will have to offer to help the business reach new heights. “Even with just five people, we have plans to keep growing bigger and bigger,” Chris says.

“There’s a lot of updates coming out; it seems like I get an email every week about new updates… it makes me feel the program isn’t kinda stagnant… not doing anything. YoPrint is considering how it needs to keep progressing forward.

Chris Maffeo, T-Source

Chris also looks forward to using YoPrint’s other modules they don’t currently use while still keeping up with their continued growth. “I can see, in the future, how it would become more useful to us if we start doing other types of work, or if we have more team members involved, and that we can start separating even more tasks or ways our team members can use it.”

Automation, for example, is something that Chris plans to look into in detail as a means to increase productivity and efficiency as they receive more and more orders over time.

“Just in the past six months, seeing how things have continued to change and get better is really exciting for us,” Chris shared. “So, it’s been a really big help… [and] I’m looking forward to continuing to use [YoPrint].”