How “Outsourced” Became In-house Control, Superior Quality, and a 30% Increase in Sales

Wall Street Greetings designs and sells some of the most creative, colorful greeting cards you’ll find for any occasion. Since introducing more efficient printing capabilities, creating a line of in-house produced designs, and adding greater production capacity, the company has experienced a 30% increase in sales. It also reached $4 million in annual revenue for the first time in its more than 30-year history.

Visual Edge IT served as the service/solution partner to Wall Street Greetings throughout their in-house transition — one of the few providers of print equipment and services who could determine and implement the vendor neutral solution the greeting card maker needed.

Versailles, KY

Greeting cards for all occasions

Visual Edge IT Service/Solution type
Print equipment and services

The Wall Street Greetings Story

Wall Street Greetings (WSG), as their story goes, began 33 years ago with “one investment-themed holiday card for a financial advisor.” They’ve come a long way since then. With annual sales of 5 million stationery pieces, the company now designs and prints its corporate greeting cards for companies including the likes of Amazon, Citi, US Bank and Staples.

Quality is everything
For its cards and envelopes, which are printed on recycled paper stocks, Wall Street Greetings is keenly attuned to the final print quality of its products. The company’s doctrine on quality, for instance, is that a printing defect on even one card out of hundreds can blemish a customer’s brand, as well as WSG’s longstanding reputation for delivering superior products.

Their Challenge

Outsourced print production of custom jobs was too costly

In 2022, Wall Street Greetings made the decision to invest in new technology in order to begin producing a new line of designs in-house, to complement its existing card offerings produced in an outsourced model. Being able to better ensure product quality was one reason. So was reducing product costs and improving turn around in response to a growing demand for smaller orders of custom greeting cards that WSG designs and sells — factors that made outsourcing impractical.

But given WSG’s selection of card types and the various paper stocks on which each product is printed, the in-house transition required a variety of print machinery for cards as well as envelopes. Which meant that any lineup of equipment likely had to be “vendor neutral.”

Other key requirements

  • Because card production had always been outsourced while all personalization of cards and envelopes was done in house, WSG had no direct experience with the card production process and all it required. Educating them would therefore be vital before, during, and after selecting and implementing any new print equipment and associated software.
  • To justify bringing card production in-house — and to scale operations and their business — WSG had to be able to both produce new print products and reproduce the materials they’d been outsourcing. Any new print equipment, its software, and finishing solutions also had to be designed for high output and efficiency.
  • To improve the design and quality of their greeting card products, the ability to adjust print colors, paper type, and finishing was a must. So, subsequently, any new print and finishing equipment had to provide this capability.

The Solution

Discovery, training, equipment recommendations, and a vendor neutral solution

For as much as Wall Street Greetings had to learn about print production operations to bring them in house, Visual Edge IT’s team had to learn about WSG’s product approach first. The discovery process was beneficial on both fronts. Initially, account reps from Visual Edge IT spent hours with WSG leaders to learn how to produce their product. This due diligence helped in understanding — and recommending — exactly what equipment WSG needed to implement their new in-house print production operations.

Visual Edge IT additionally arranged meetings between WSG and paper manufacturers, and accompanied WSG’s leaders to an industry trade show so they could learn as much as possible about the print production process. These activities further helped determine a vendor neutral solution for the right printing equipment and finishing solutions, as well as the levels of training WSG employees would require.

Knowing the busy season for WSG is in the fall, Visual Edge IT formulated the plans to implement their new print and finishing equipment around the company’s unique print production schedules. Providing them with multiple pieces of equipment on different equipment refresh schedules also ensured production was never “down” during the install.

“The machines and service provided by Visual Edge IT have allowed for more on-demand, in-house printing. By more efficiently printing (our greeting cards and envelopes), we have been able to operate in shorter shifts while outputting more products. This is largely due to the investment in top of the line digital printers based on the recommendations of Visual Edge IT.

Nathan Smith, Director of Internal Operations, Wall Street Greetings

The Outcome
A successful in-house transition and increased sales

As WSG’s partner, Visual Edge IT helped them go from outsourcing 100% of their card production to comfortably producing a majority of their products entirely in-house. Today, with approximately 65% of the WSG product line produced, packaged, and shipped out internally, the company has been able to reproduce the materials they used to outsource, and produce new prints, in the most efficient way possible. Personalization of cards and envelopes has also improved quality and resulted in faster production times with investments in new print technology.

65% 30% $4 million
WSG products now produced in-house, previously 100% outsourced Increase in sales since implementing Visual Edge IT’s solutions/service Sales in 2023, the first time in WSG’s history to reach $4M

Product quality and WSG’s own QC results have also improved with the ability to control and adjust each product by way of color, paper type, and finishing.

Most notably, WSG has reduced its production costs and turnaround time for new orders significantly. Smaller orders, for instance, are now produced and shipped in just a couple of hours, opposed to a week or more through outsourcing. Larger orders of several hundred to thousands of cards are also processed in much less time.

And since they adopted their new in-house formula of higher output and shorter production timeframes, WSG has scaled its production volume enough to increase sales 30% to its current 5 million stationery pieces annually. The company even recently celebrated $4 million in annual sales, a new threshold that promises to keep climbing with the help of Visual Edge IT.

“As we continue to grow, we plan to upgrade our machines. The investment in a great digital printer allowed so much growth for us, we’re excited to make similar expansions and upgrades to our machines with Visual Edge IT.”

Nathan Smith