The Silicon Review
Digital printing is one of the rapidly-growing segments of the print industry. The progress of this segment can be seen in the incredible size of what can now be produced. This segment has become a major trend in advertising space. Today, digital printing is everywhere; your business card, huge digital prints on glass fronts of offices, and massive banners draped down the sides of buildings. The print industry is witnessing a massive paradigm shift which is transforming the way companies and people produce their projects.
One Machine, One Computer, No Cutter, and a Will to Succeed
Founded in 2006 as a digital printing company, DMS Color started in a basement. 12 years ago when digital print technology was just arriving in the marketplace -especially digital print equipment that could produce at offset quality. This paradigm shift was recognized and DMS Color was founded.
At that time, digital printing was a new technology and most people did not understand it. What was considered the “high margin” work at an offset press was short run print – like business cards. This new technology was placing severe price pressure on the offset press operators. But, DMS Color took the risk and started out with just one machine and one computer. They struggled at first, as most startups do, but it did not take long before they started producing and maintaining a healthy profit margin. The pressure had a huge impact on the industry and led to many commercial print shops closing down during the Great Recession. But at the same time, DMS Color was growing 300% a year.
Today, DMS Color is one of the largest web-to-print service providers in America. From marketing asset management and graphic design to statement processing and direct mail, DMS is the digital print company of choice for businesses across the country.
The DigiFLO Venture
After the inception, when DMS Color unfolded the plan and laid it out on the table, DigiFLO came out as their first project roll-out, a proprietary market asset management system.
One of the first customers of DMS had just acquired 20+ locations and needed a platform to keep the field utilizing the same materials across a large footprint. Based on the same customer’s need, DMS released the very first version of DigiFLO and the level of success skyrocketed. This was the turning point when DMS Color decided to put much effort into putting DigiFLO on a level of its own and built the system to solve specific business needs its customers were recognizing.
“Our client retention is above 80%. That number is 95% if they are utilizing DigiFLO. We established very early in our company, a relationship the customer can trust is imperative to our success.”
Make Mistakes. Learn. Don’t Repeat.
Even though outsourcing development has helped some companies to succeed, for DMS, it wasn’t the right choice. After the initial launch of DigiFLO, which was developed in-house, DMS began to outsource development, that didn’t end on a good note -version 2 of DigiFLO didn’t get built to its standards and the company learned very quickly to never do that again. DMS didn’t repeat the same for DigiFLO version 3. The DigiFLO v3was a huge success for the company and it pushed DMS to the next level.
Hitting an old adage - “You are only as good as your people”, DMS Color bootstrapped the company without any outside funding. Even though it put as train on how much the company could pay its key employees,DMS got the right people in the right place and everything began to fall in their exact places.
“Every startup needs a serious discussion around outside funding and rocket fuel. You must ensure your business partners have the same focus as you. If they don’t, you must get rid of them quickly. Allowing someone outside of your organization to make you look bad, should never occur.”
Crafting the Future Road Map
DMS Color is one of the first companies in The United States to install a 3ds Jet Varnish machine produced by MGI based in Paris, France. The machine allows some incredible print production including – raised varnish, spot varnish, CMYK foil, and variable foil - all without the need of dies or plates (fully digital production).
Also, the company is working on processes that will eliminate the ability for counterfeiting tickets, concert posters that truly are unique and packaging products that catch the eye and bring brands to the front of the spectrum.
DMS Color is constantly improving DigiFLO and adding functionality and has plans to launch its first B2C site this year that will integrate fully with DigiFLO and automate production methods. The site will embrace the technology and print products produced on the new MGI 3ds Jet Varnish.
Greet the Chiefs
Ryan Cooper is the President and Founding Partner of DMS. He graduated from Auburn University with Bachelors in Business Administration. While working for Oce/Imagistics after college, Ryan saw an amazing opportunity beginning to take shape. While most print companies were shunning digital print technology, Ryan submersed himself in it.
Matthew Greer is the CEO/CTO and Founding Partner of DMS. He graduated from Auburn University with Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Management Information Systems. Matthew has been instrumental in directing the company in its technology initiatives, including its Market Asset Management System, DigiFLO.
David Rula serves as Partner and Director of Business Development at DMS. He joined DMS in April 2012. David is a graduate of Mississippi State University. While at Mississippi State, David played alongside many future basketball legends on Mississippi State’s only Final Four team. His accomplishments on the court translated easily into the business world. A master at building relationships, David works closely with the company’s new business opportunities.
We are not your average print shop; we are not a commercial print company. We are a technology company with sophisticated printing capabilities – a group of experienced individuals that can meet your needs and exceed your expectations.