September '22

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2 4 G R A P H I C S P R O • S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 2 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M Some suppliers have been unable to manufacture the type of material Rapid would typically buy pre-pandemic, or they have cut down on the variety and color of products they produce. "ere are a lot less of the exotic-type materials being manufac- tured right now," Jack says. "We are seeing challenges with some of that. We used to be able to offer more customized things that right now we can't do because we can't get the material for it, or we find alternate materials." LESSONS LEARNED Jack says the biggest lesson he has learned since the company began to grow and expand so quickly is that "everything costs literally twice as much as you think it is going to cost. Be pre- pared for the cost impact." When a shop buys a new piece of equipment, a price is nego- tiated, but shipping and the logistics to get it into the building are not included. Add onto that the electrical requirements of the new equipment. "You realize, especially at the speed we are moving on, that you tend to overlook things," Jack says. For instance, when Rapid opened its new facility in January, it forgot to buy a forklift for it. "e little things add up to be quite a bit of money and tend to be more than what you expected startup costs to be," he says. When the company first moved into the new building, it realized it didn't have the electrical requirements it needed. He thought they could just call the city and have them put in a new breaker panel, but the city didn't have the equipment it needed to do the job. "For them to find a transformer to support the amount of elec- tricity we needed, at first they were telling me six months to get a transformer," he says. at's when he started looking for alterna- tives to power the building immediately and rented a generator designed to power hospitals. It sat in the parking lot, and Rapid ran all its equipment off it for three months, waiting for the new transformer to be installed. e cost was $20,000 to $30,000 per month in fuel and rental costs that the company had not planned on spending. Still, the investment was worth it. It has allowed Rapid to take advantage of consumers' desire to shop online. Jack believes e-commerce will continue to be a good business to be in. "I think the continued growth potential there is almost unlim- ited," he says. GP Paula Aven Gladych is a writer based in Denver, Colorado, who has been covering the graphics industry since 2014. She can be reached at Agfa, which is based in Canada, had a new Jeti Tauro H3300 with ¾ automation available, and within four weeks of ordering the machine, it was on-site.

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