Shirt Monkey is a family run business located in Winsford, Cheshire UK, specializing in direct-to-garment printing. “We specialize in order fulfillment, which means we print on demand for large retail companies that primarily sell online. All orders are shipped direct to the customer on a turnaround of anything from 24 hours to 72 hours”, says Nic Simons, director at Shirt Monkey.
Shirt Monkey began printing in early 2013 with a single Brother GT-381 garment printer – building up a customer base and slowly increasing their daily printing levels. “After steady growth for a couple of years, we took the decision to invest in Kornit systems, and our business has gone from strength to strength. We eliminated all of the headaches of pre-treatment garments outside of the machine and massively reduced our cost per print”, he explains.
Introducing the Kornit Digital systems
Nic began to research the market for a bigger DTG machine to increase Shirt Monkey’s capabilities in this market. “We first heard about Kornit at as show, and they seemed a very expensive machine, but after doing some basic calculations, it seemed like the machine for us and we took the dive and brought our first Kornit Breeze machine.
After six months of using the Kornit Breeze, we needed more capacity. That’s when we placed our first order for the Kornit Storm II and quickly followed that with the Kornit Avalanche 1000. Around about a year later, we actually bought a second Avalanche 1000 and we’ve just had an Avalanche HD6 installed with another one on the way”.
The cost benefits of direct-to-garment
“Our Brother machine was a great entry into the DTG market, however, Kornit machines are for us the only viable option with this sort of size. The cost per print plays a huge part in our decision making, and Kornit has the best cost per print on the market so it was a simple choice”, adds Nic.
Nic explains the workflow: “When orders come in, its printed off in our office, it’s then sent to picking. Once it’s picked, it’s handed over to the print team, they will load up the artwork then and print the garment. Once it’s printed, it’ll be dried in our dryers and then sent across to the packing team.”
He also mentions that because of the volume that they’re doing, it’s very important that the machines are easy to use. The Shirt Monkey operators come in, and after a couple of days of training, they’re already printing orders. “And that’s critical for us for efficiency and cost”.
Reliability is a very important factor for us, says company director Nic. “The machine is a very complex machine so naturally they’ll break down. However, the technicians that come to us are very good to deal with, they answer any questions that we usually have, and they always get the machines back up and running pretty quickly”.
Keep on growing
Charlotte Smith, the head of the Shirt Monkey digital printing production team, mentions to us on a side note that having the Kornit Avalanche HD6 has really made her life easier, “it’s a really easy piece of machinery to work with, it’s really easy for the staff, and it just creates some really, really good prints, especially for the customers”, she goes on.
Company director, Nic Simons says “if someone was looking for direct-to-garment printers, I’d definitely push them in the direction of Kornit. I appreciate they’re a lot of money, but the quality and the cost per print it makes it work. We believe that quality matters when it comes to printing and therefore we use only the best machines on the market”, adds Nic.
Shirt Monkey’s next step for the New Year “we are quite excited that we’ll be moving into new premises taking us from 10,000 sq ft to 24,000 sq ft!”