It wasn’t easy building a screen printing supply website from scratch, in a bedroom, and on the far west coast in Vancouver, WA. I remember driving boxes down to UPS by the airport at 8pm just so they could get out a little faster and not have to ship the next day. The only place we could get supplies in 1 day was OR and WA and it took up to 6 days to get to the east coast… 6 DAYS! Screen printers, can you imagine waiting for ink for 6 DAYS!? Who would do that, right?
We grew our business mainly from selling startup kits and Riley Hopkins presses, and training screen printers how to use them. To expand, we knew we had to figure out a way to get close to our customers. First we opened up a small warehouse in Arkansas, which became a main distribution center as it was the most central. Next we moved into Southern California, opening up our second largest distribution center in the largest supply market located just outside of downtown LA. While these did help to grow Ryonet, with sales doubling between 2007 and 2010 through the recession, we found 3 new problems with this model.
1st. When you ship out of Arkansas that is all you can get to in 1 day, Arkansas. That’s great for Arkansas and we have some AMAZING customers there, but it still took 4 days to get to the NE.
2nd. Most people like to will call or get things delivered in LA and our spot was hard to get to. And, once again, we could only hit LA in one day. AZ, Nor Cal, and Vegas were SOL.
3rd. Running our own warehouses were so expensive to keep open during the slow times and so ineffective at keeping up during the busy times we didn’t have the capacity or finances to add another one.
After looking at a few options, like moving Arkansas to Memphis or Texas, we decided to take a completely different approach. Instead of investing our money in warehouses, we invested in technology. Between 2012-2014 we went through a massive project to get Ryonet into the cloud, onboarding to Netsuite, the world’s largest cloud ERP. Eventually, we moved our websites over as well, migrating from silkscreeningsupplies.com to screenprinting.com in the process.
This allowed us to downsize in California and put resources towards a 3PL (third party logistics) company to open up a east coast warehouse. Allentown, Pennsylvania went online late in 2014 and rapidly helped us grow our NE supply business. With Netsuite we could manage inventory and shipments using someone else’s overhead to ship supplies much faster. The east coast went from 3-4 days to 1-2 days and lo and behold, we started to get more orders from all of you. THANK you!
After that, we have been rolling out warehouses one by one. Next in Florida, then moving Arkansas to Kansas City, then moving California to a full distribution center in Ontario, and now opening up in Chicago IL. With our recent Chicago addition, we can now hit 71% of the US population in a 1 day transit time! That’s ordering before the 4pm local time cutoff and having your order the next day. With ScreenPrinting.com and Netsuite you can actually see live inventory counts online on every product page, simply by clicking the link, “Available Inventory and Shipping Map!” Our two master warehouses are WA and KS, which we stock almost everything in, and all of our plus products and more are stocked in all of the warehouses, allowing us to hit 71% of you the next day with fully loaded screen printing supplies!
Here are the actual % that we are able to ship to.
|Area||Population||1 Day Coverage||2 Day Coverage|
What’s next? We realize that we have to continue to get faster, more accurate, better supplied, and overall continue to service you better! Stay tuned for new updates to our site, your cell phone, and product offerings and pricing! Also, here in the PNW, our home and where we started, this summer we will be moving our WA warehouse to PDX! (Portland screen printers rejoice)! Don’t worry WA printers, you can still pickup at HQ too! Oh Canada, you just may be in the near future as well!
I’m no rocket scientist, but judging by everyone else’s shipping maps I think this now makes us the widest serving one day shipping screen print supplier in the USA! Now that ROQS! Thank you for Powering The Print with Ryonet and ROQ on!
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