“We’re creating products that, in all likelihood, may outlive me, or whoever’s buying them,” he says. As the massive HP presses roll on one side of the 240,000-square-foot warehouse in Plano, other workstations prepare the dozens of products that started as sheets fed through the Indigo presses. Once the prints are made, they’re sorted by barcode to their next step. The cards go to one assembly line and are paired with envelopes. Yearbooks from an elementary school in Baltimore are bound and covered, while images of a newborn from a photo shoot are trimmed and stacked.
“Whether it’s how people express themselves through what they wear, what they’re posting online, or how they’re defining themselves, everyone wants to be unique and different these days,” Nelson says. “We see that demand in all our categories, and that’s why we’re looking to scale when needed.”
Working with HP has been critical to gaining that scale, with in-depth training services and problem-solving that give operators of the Indigo presses the expertise and solutions they need. “They really offer us the biggest bang for our buck in terms of quality, and efficiency, and partnership, and cohesiveness with the two brands working together,” says Herber.
It’s a collaborative relationship that’s deeper than just client and service provider, Sokol says. When he meets with colleagues at Shutterfly, they are able to work together to create innovative solutions to improve their products. Even when there are conflicts, that unique partnership leads to better solutions.
“There’s such a strong base of trust and partnership,” Sokol says. “There’s a real intent to get things fixed together.”