Creativity and an Office Printer Bring New Revenue to Motorcycle Business
Since 1980, Angelo Siagos has been owner and manager of CycleCraft Motorcycles, a motorcycle business based in the eastern suburbs of Sydney specialising in Vespa and Piaggio scooters. The company has a reputation as a knowledgeable supplier of quality motorbikes and is trusted by local motorbike aficionados for its quality of service.
Siagos clearly enjoys the business and the people he deals with every day. And even after 35 years, he understands the importance of continually renewing and refreshing the company's marketing when trying to attract and retain customers.
T-shirts as a promotional tool
Earlier this year, Siagos decided he would like to periodically produce T-shirts that could be worn by staff or handed out as gifts to customers. Because he envisaged small print runs and was after the freedom to introduce new designs and one-off shirts, he decided against commissioning the shirts from a professional printing company. Instead, Siagos opted to invest in an OKI C711WT white toner printer that would allow him to produce the T-shirts in-house. The printer was purchased from Mediaform Computer Supplies, an Authorised Sales & Service Partner of OKI Data Australia. Since 1991, Mediaform has been providing expert advice to it’s customers on a wide range of print, multifunction products and solutions.
“I bought the OKI printer because it's the only A4 printer in the world that has white toner and it also prints in colour. This means I can print any kind of T-shirts design that I like and I can also do stationery, the shop logo or alternative logos to stimulate advertising for the shop. Compared to externally printing the shirts, buying the printer is cheaper in the long run and it gives me the flexibility to do whatever I want. It also ticks all the boxes in terms of cost of consumables,” he explains.
Bobby Hussain, Managing Director of Mediaform says, “We add value by understanding our customer’s needs. We ask the right questions, we dig deep and provide expert advice on the right products. Mediaform only offers the best quality brands, that’s why we partnered with OKI, as they have reliable LED technology, 3 year warranty, and unique products with white and clear toner, that allows customers to print jobs with unrivalled quality and versatility.“
The sales opportunity
Initially, Siagos only handed out his limited edition T-shirts to staff, friends of the company and select customers. But it wasn't long before he was approached by individuals and groups with requests for custom-designed shirts. These days, Siagos is happy to produce T-shirts for CycleCraft's promotional use as well as to sell on request. Handy with a computer, he's comfortable experimenting with designs in his spare time, occasionally purchases designs over the Internet and can equally work with any digital image provided by the customer.
Siagos believes the T-shirts are adding value for his customers and his business. “We recently sold a small batch of T-shirts to the Ducati owners group and we have another group looking for around 100 or 150 shirts. The printer works well for small batch numbers and I'm very happy with the quality I'm getting out of it.”
“Mediaform is about working with our customers, and also helping to grow their business”, Bobby Hussain explains. “Our customer base consists of small to large businesses, local and national. Our goal is to serve the customer beyond their expectations. The Mediaform sales team is highly trained to introduce new and unique printing technology to customers, such as OKI’s office printers with white and clear toner.
A novelty that pays
“Doing T-shirts for other people and getting paid for it is not our core business so we can be very price competitive. It gives us an edge absolutely,” he asserts. “If I have a good idea for a logo, it can go on a T-shirt. When a new model bike comes out, I can promote it and I don't have to wait for a third party to provide materials. I can act on ideas immediately. It's a simple thing. If I can get my return on investment (ROI) by paying for staff T-shirts, that's great. As I sell T-shirts, I'm recouping costs faster and eventually, the income will be pure profit.”
Siagos estimates this cut-over into profitability will come after only 500 T-shirt, but adds, “I'm in no rush. It's a novelty that I can make work in terms of financial return.”
The performance of CycleCraft's white toner printer has been so reliable that a few months ago, when the company required a new basic printer for use within the shop, Siagos immediately turned to OKI.
“We bought an OKI MC562 multifunction printer. It's wireless and handles all the networking in the shop. I've rediscovered that with printers, the more you spend, the cheaper they are to run. When I look at the consumables this one uses, they are about one-quarter of the price of alternative brands. We've had the OKI operational for a month-and-a-half and it works flawlessly,” he concludes.
‘I’m delighted to see innovative products like our C711WT adding value to businesses, and empowering them to be more creative, flexible, as well as generate incremental revenue. Such businesses can also experience OKI peace of mind thanks to our reliable LED technology and 3 year warranty’*, said Antonio Leone, Marketing Manager at OKI Data Australia.