The past ten years have been a wild ride at ER2 Image Group. Upon reaching the milestone year of 2020, we asked The Schellerer’s about how much changed in the 2010s— as well as a peek at what’s in store for the future
Keeping Up with Demand
“It’s hard to believe how much smaller we were in 2009,” said President Gary Schellerer Sr. “Word has gotten out that ER2 is the go-to company for grand format printing projects, no matter how big or small. As a result, we’ve made a lot of new friends, and our business revenue has grown more than 250% during the past ten years. Not bad!”
Of course, he told us, they have been careful along the way to keep pace with production and maintain on-time delivery standards and a high level of quality. Investment in equipment and infrastructure through the years has helped the organization “right size” operations in relation to the customer base.
“A lot of our increased capacity is due to our move to the new building in Hanover Park in July of 2018,” said Vice President Gary Schellerer Jr. “We went from 17,000 sq. ft. to around 32,000 sq. ft., and from three different buildings in several locations to one centralized facility.” The relocation really maximized productivity. “Communication and efficiency weren’t ideal before the move, but we made things happen and the lessons we learned helped us grow to where we are today.”
Being in one location has allowed the team to get to know each other a little better. In addition, management, creative and build teams are all right down the hall from each other. That makes it easy to discuss projects face-to-face and make customers’ visions come to life.
According to Gary Sr., “The expanded workspace also let us install more advanced and diverse art production equipment and have room for the experienced technicians to run them.”
A Ton of Talent
Speaking of space for people, ER2’s staff has doubled since 2009. “We now have the talent and depth to meet client challenges in ways that we would have never dreamed of ten years ago,” said Vice President Mark Schellerer. “The team is experienced in all aspects of the grand format printing industry from early planning and site surveys right through to fabrication and installation.
Okay. You know how ER2 loves new gadgets to play with. Here are just a couple of examples of equipment that was recently purchased to help keep up with business growth. “We upgraded our EFI Vutek H3 flatbed printer to an H5,” said Gary Jr. “This upgrade will offer our clients speeds of over 100 4 x 8 boards per hour.” ER2 also purchased a second brand new Zund CNC cutter. They now have two of these devices along with a MultiCam CNC router. “It’s Swiss-based technology ensures that all of our rigid and flexible materials are cut with repeatable accuracy of just 1/1000th of an inch,” Gary Jr said.
We Love Our Clients
“One thing that hasn’t changed in the past decade is our wonderful customers”, said Gary Sr. “Now there are more of them, and we couldn’t be happier.” ER2 still works with companies who have been with them for years, but is adding new ones who can benefit from the increased capacity. Recently, projects have been competed for Innerworkings Corporate Office, UOC Mansueto Library, United Center Projects, Neocon and Chicago Gourmet (click on the links to watch videos on these projects).
2020 and Beyond
Over the years, the business mix has grown from simple signs to retail displays, event graphics, architectural signage and vehicle wraps, etc. “Recently, we’ve started branching out into interior design and residential installations,” Mark said. “In fact, we will never stop looking for new grand format printing projects.”
Alan Schellerer agreed. “If you can describe it, we’ll find a
way to make it happen. We just love stretching our creative muscles.”
Every decade has brought the organization new challenges and opportunities. “Everything that we’ve achieved over nearly 30 years has helped prepare us for what we believe will be a monumental 2020,” said Gary Sr.
Whatever grand format printing you have coming up in the new year, please contact us and we’ll work together to take your business to new levels.