Today, new technologies and business models have completely transformed the way we think about speed. Whether creating a competitive advantage or reducing the cost of doing business, the ability to move quickly has become a primary driver of success.
This need for speed has certainly affected the way we think about commercial printing. The ability to deploy POP signage for a national promotion or implement an eye-catching direct mail campaign in a new market are key differentiators in a competitive marketplace. We've heard our customers loud and clear when they tell us we need to be agile so they can better respond to market conditions, capitalize on revenue opportunities and grow their businesses.
The old way, which much of the print industry still works within today, involves building a large commercial print facility where most or all of the print production work occurs, then shipping the finished print work to its point of use. So, if the printing is happening in Chicago, for example, and the points of use are Los Angeles, Dallas, Charlotte, and Kansas City, you can imagine the time and expense involved in getting the work into the hands of the people who need it.
FedEx Office has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in a nationwide commercial print network — 19 facilities strategically located across the United States. And from our centralized Network Operations Control Center in Plano, Texas, we have real-time visibility into network capacity, inventory, equipment, and more. This allows us to instantly redistribute projects to maximize speed of delivery. Most times, that means moving the work digitally to our commercial production center closest to the customer's point of need so that the finished product only needs to be moved a short distance via our FedEx transportation network.
And because each of our production facilities uses the same advanced equipment, including automated binding and finishing equipment, and wide- and grand-format printers, we're able to maintain high levels of quality and consistency.
Here's a great example of how an efficient commercial print network drives business results. We once received an urgent request from a national retailer that needed replacement signage for Black Friday produced and delivered to 4,500 stores nationwide in less than five days. For a traditional printer, it would have been almost impossible to pull off, and very expensive. But thanks to the power of our network, combined with our FedEx transportation network, we were able to print and deliver in just 48 hours, enabling the client to more effectively sell high-value items on one of the most important selling days of the entire year.
To learn more about how FedEx Office can help with your speed to market visit fedex.com/intheknow.