Articles, Industry Updates, Interviews…


Debbie McKeegan, FESPA Textile Ambassador, speaks to Raitis Purins, Head of Marketing at Printful, a global print company. Printful provide drop-ship fulfilment of customised printed products worldwide.

Founded in 2013, Printful are a global print company going places…

 With a growth rate of over 700% and a turnover of 77 million dollars. To date they have manufactured over 7 million products and aided 9 e-commerce customers to become millionaires.

Printful have harnessed the internet and provide drop-ship fulfilment of customised printed products worldwide. Growing to over 600 employees across 3 global locations in just 6 years.

In conversation with Raitis Purins, Head of Marketing during our podcast recording we discussed what it takes to build a successful manufacturing business, the IT and Print technology required in a State of the Art - Smart factory, built to service the exponential growth of the customised E-commerce marketplace.

The company was founded by Lauris Liberts and Davis Siksnans, with a strong background in social media, ecommerce and IT both founders saw the entrepreneurial opportunities for the future of customised sales and sought to develop a platform that provided online fulfilment of print on demand products utilising customised manufacture and smart technologies.
The company Printful was founded 6 years ago, and it has been a highly successful adventure, that continues to drive change and to deliver a successful new business model to an emerging market that is witnessing exponential growth.
Originally a team of 5 people the company now employees 600 people and now manufactures in three locations, within the USA and Europe. Printful  were quick to realise the potential growth of the e-commerce sector and the requirement for customised fulfilment and provide a white label (direct to client) print-on-demand service. With no minimum order, and a huge list of SKU’s the company provides personalises products that include, both printed Accessories, Apparel and Home Furnishings serving independents and e-commerce retailers worldwide.
Digital technologies are the forefront of their success, and they currently utilise over 10 different technologies for printed products. Including Dye sublimation for polyester fabrics, and specialist DTG technologies from Kornit Digital. The factory is highly automated, and driven by MIS, and PLM software that accurately controls the manufacturing workflow from the minute the online order is received. This guarantees a speedy production line and one that fulfils the demands of the consumer regardless of order volume.
Heavy investment has been made in Digital technologies, with over $17 million dollars invested to date on new technology. As digital technologies evolve the speed of print, ink usage and sustainability assets built into the development of these new technologies combine to improve the speed of manufacture, and the savings are passed onto the consumer with no price increase. This has ensured that Printful can evolve to meet the needs of the e-com marketplace. They deliver high quality products with great efficiency, and continue to provide an eco-conscious service and products where possible, whilst offering their customer excellent value and margin.

Driven at the front end by an online platform, Printful also control and develop their own IT, and have created a sophisticated platform for online retail that offers depth for customisation alongside simplicity during the order process. An essential pre-requisite for e-commerce sales.

Customer service and Quality control are a top priority, and the company continues to develop their business model to adapt to the consumer. Clients demand speed of delivery, and lead times get ever shorter, and only a highly organised production system can deliver products at warp speed. The consumer is also becoming ever more eco-conscious and in order to fulfil their needs, Printful looks to increase their offer of sustainably sourced bases, and those that have already been introduced are becoming increasingly popular. This does pose challenges (which will be overcome) for a global company that needs consistency in its product offer, and supply chain.
Shipping is also an area where Raitis and the Printful team are reducing their carbon footprint by reducing the amount of protective packaging to a secure minimum they expect to save 6 tons of plastic in the next year alone.
Printful have worked hard to create a loyal client base and offer a suite of marketing tools and social media tutorials that offer help and advice to the consumer. With a vibrant blog, the Printful website delivers knowledge, Insights and support alongside educational content to benefit their clients, all of which aimed at helping the e-retailer to grow their businesses.
As the company grows Printful continue to invest in new technologies, and continue to drive change, adapting their operational workflow to reap the rewards of automation. One such possibility for the future is Sewbots, nothing is ruled out at Printful, who as a company accept that in modern manufacturing the only consistent factor is change!

As an adaptive, innovative company built for I4 (Industry 4.0) manufacturing we wish them continued success. Listen to the accompanying FESPA podcast to this article here