Based in the Kansas City suburb of New Century, Kansas, Stouse is a trade-only specialty print provider. It supplies applications such as labels, decals, magnets and signs to promotional products distributors, commercial printers and marketing and advertising agencies. The company opened its doors as a screen and flexographic printer in 1977 and has
since grown into a market leader with 40+ years of consistent sales growth. At any point in time, there are some 3,000 active jobs in the shop.
Clearly an innovator, Stouse has used digital technology in a variety of ways to optimize the shop’s efficiency. Stouse began its digital journey in 2003 and, today, the volume of digitally-printed pieces exceeds that of analog. The company offers an e-commerce platform for ordering and job submission that seamlessly interfaces with its digital presses to produce the product, then digitally communicates with their back-office systems for functions such as shipping and invoicing. Some jobs process through the shop with very limited human intervention, sometimes even exchanging data with their customers’ ERP systems.
In 2019, as part of its ongoing market research, Stouse identified the need for a provider that could profitably handle short runs and offer quick turnaround in the folding carton market. “There were plenty of shops that serviced the big orders that could be run on analog equipment, but those shops were less than enthusiastic about the small or medium size runs,” said Nikkie Freeman, Chief Commercial Officer at Stouse. “As a result, there was a salient customer pool that would react favorably to a printer who could offer what they needed. We wanted to be their printer.”