June '20

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4 0 G R A P H I C S P R O J U N E 2 0 2 0 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M According to Thom, it was around 1986 when the company started expanding its horizons, beginning with engraving. The main driving force behind the diversifica- tion was customer demand. "Customer needs and selling benefits (were the main reasons we decided to expand)," he notes. But of course, the increase in market share and sales volume didn't hurt. As sales volume increased, so did the va- riety of products Loremans' offered. Cur- rently, Thom lists T-shirts, jackets, hats, trophies and plaques, signs and banners, golf shirts, and promotional products as his top sellers, which drives home the point that this shop does it all. He does note that vehicle wraps are not something they do as much as he'd like, though it is among their offerings. When you read this extensive list of tech- niques and substrates, you probably assume that the business uses a variety of software. Your guess would be right. "Illustrator, CorelDRAW with digital art plug-ins, em- broidery digitizing software, and engraving and routing software," all make the list. But that's not all. "We need many RIPs and spe- cial print/queue items to correctly output, cut, engrave, and such," Thom adds. Loremans' currently serves local, re- gional, and national accounts, which is no surprise considering everything they offer. "Businesses and manufacturers are the most popular (buying groups)," Thom elaborates, followed up by schools and gov- ernment. The shop does do a fair amount of business online, but like its offerings, sales are done through a variety of chan- nels, such as on the phone and online. Loremans' online presence is extensive given its super shop status. Thom notes that they take advantage of such platforms GRAPHICS PRO: WHAT HAS BEEN THE EFFECT OF COVID-19 ON LOREMANS'? LOREMAN: We have much to lose, but keeping our employees safe is priority number one. (We are) already behind in sales, and staff is well reduced to "essential personnel." GP: WHAT WERE YOUR PRIMARY PROJECTS DURING THE PANDEMIC AND ESSENTIAL BUSINESS- ONLY ORDERS? LOREMAN: We created factory signage and cutting materials as well as did some medical printing. GP: WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC MEDICAL ORDERS YOU'RE FULFILLING? LOREMAN: Cloth masks for service personnel. (We ran our business) with no close proxim- ity to others—it was one person per department versus the usual three. GP: WHEN DO YOU FEEL BUSINESS WILL SPEED BACK UP? LOREMAN: I think August! It won't just open up and flow; we're going to leak to get going. There may be more outdoor activities and events than normal as well as family gatherings (once it gets going again). GP In the front office, Ross McCallister, sales manager, assisting a cli- ent while Jim Re- isdorf, custom- er service, gets some computer work done. Jen Adams loading a gar- ment onto a heat press. Loremans' employ- ee Brett Beverley doing some screen preparation. ONE-ON-ONE: THOM LOREMAN AND THE EFFECTS OF COVID-19

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