Raising a Plastic Glass to Customization: GORIGHT Takes Drinkware to New Levels

by Brittany Willes, editor, Plastics Decorating
Photo courtesy of GORIGHT Plastics, Printing, and Logistics

“We saw a need that wasn’t being met in the current marketplace,” said Kacey Stotesbery, director of printing for GORIGHT Plastics, Printing, and Logistics. “We were looking for new opportunities for ourselves and for our customers. We wanted to be able to bring something different to the table.”

Founded in April 2016, the Aurora, Colorado-based manufacturer specializes in irregularly shaped drinkware. Although it is a young company, GORIGHT has found unique ways to distinguish itself from other plastics manufacturers – namely through being able to streamline the production process while still offering customers a certain amount of flexibility in the printing process.

“Our name says it all,” stated Stotesbery. “We manufacture products, we customize them with one of our printing methods and we provide full-service third-party logistics services to ship the product to the end user. We are one of the only few companies out there that performs all three of these services under one roof.”

GORIGHT’s commitment to offering a variety of services that can be completed in a single location not only fulfills its mission of acting as a full-service manufacturer able to serve all of its customers’ needs, but the company also is taking manufacturing in a fairly revolutionary direction. As Stotesbery explained, traditionally the different services the company provides – manufacturing, printing and such logistics as warehousing and storage, transportation, kitting and other special projects, as well as managing vendor compliance for all major retailers – require interfacing with a number of separate companies for customers to get their products to market.

“When customers have no choice but to involve a number of companies in the process of getting their products to market, it becomes very time-consuming and expensive, from both a logistics and freight perspective,” stated Stotesbery. “To be able to offer all of those services under one roof is a revolutionary idea for an industry that is traditionally fractured into different silos.”

In the two years since its inception, GORIGHT has proven that its platform of taking products from the manufacturing stage through the shipping process under one roof is a highly desired situation in the marketplace. Furthermore, this ability has since led to massive growth in the consumer goods channel.

The digital inkjet decorating system from Koenig & Bauer Kammann allows GORIGHT to create highly customized products at any volume level with minimum waste. Photo courtesy of GORIGHT Plastics, Printing, and Logistics

Providing all of its services under one roof is not the only way GORIGHT has distinguished itself from other manufacturers. According to Stotesbery, when it comes to the decoration side of things, one aspect that sets the company apart is its ability to print in many different formats. “We utilize digital inkjet printing, silkscreen printing and pad printing, as well as full-color label application in our facility,” she said. “We are able to tailor the type of print we use to each customer’s individual needs.”

For instance, one customer may only require a single-color print for a job, whereas others may need to utilize the full capabilities of digital printing. “Being able to offer all types of printing allows us a degree of flexibility that a lot of other companies simply aren’t capable of offering,” Stotesbery continued.” This, in turn, allows us to service a more diverse group of customers.””

Part of the flexibility that GORIGHT offers is the ability to perform short runs. In recent years, the decorated drinkware marketplace has seen several shifts. Most notable have been shifts toward more digital printing, reduced lead times and shorter runs. For GORIGHT, the shift to shorter runs was something the company was eager to become more involved with, due in part to its specialization in irregularly shaped drinkware.

“Given the unusual shapes and sizes of products we typically deal with, we’re often presented with limited printable areas for traditional processes,” explained Stotesbery. As a result, branching into the super-low run market – where GORIGHT would be able to utilize high-margin runs of one to 20 pieces – made the most sense.

In order to do so, GORIGHT opted to invest in a digital inkjet decorating system from Koenig & Bauer Kammann. Utilizing this technology has allowed GORIGHT to produce high-quality, 4-color (CMYK) imagery on products at any volume level. Additionally, the new inkjet system allows GORIGHT to continue its tradition of creating highly customized products while also providing just-in-time delivery, sampling and minimal waste. By reducing the set-up costs that had made low-volume decorating uneconomical, GORIGHT is able to offer even more flexibility to its customers.

“We can print one item or 10,000 at virtually the same set-up costs and pass that savings on to our customer,” affirmed Stotesbery. “At the same time, having a hybrid machine makes us more versatile in what we are able to offer our customers. Sometimes it’s screen printing, sometimes it’s inkjet and sometimes it’s both.””

Furthermore, the new system is in keeping with GORIGHT’s determination to perform all in-house services. “With the new machine we are able not only to decorate short runs, but we can fulfill multiple short orders efficiently and effectively,” she said.

As Stotesbery noted earlier, making and decorating the products in the same facility “minimizes both the costs and time associated with moving drinkware between various facilities. Traditional manufacturing can be inefficient and costly. Extra steps in the process means more money spent and more time wasted. The big trick is knowing how to handle and manage a continuous flow of small, custom-decorated orders.”

A large part of managing those orders means making sure that customers receive exactly what they ordered in a timely manner. For example, GORIGHT recently completed an order for a wedding that required printed artwork on four different styles of drinkware. To further complicate things, each piece had to be personalized with the wedding logo and each individual guest’s name, as well as the table number. It was for this type of job that GORIGHT decided to invest in the Kammann system to help the process run as smoothly as possible.

“One of the amazing functions of the Kammann machine is its ability to process these types of automated runs,” stated Stotesbery. “The prepress is a little time consuming, but once all the order details have been programmed in InDesign, the RIP software generates all the files in a row, and the Kammann processes them in order without having to set up for each individual print.”

GORIGHT printed more than 250 individual units for the wedding job in roughly four hours. According to Stotesbery, the time delay was mainly the result of needing to change tooling and recalibrate the machine for each of the four unique cup shapes.

“The biggest hurdle was reprinting images that didn’t meet our stringent QC standards,” said Stotesbery. “We had to identify the individual art file out of the 250 and reprint just that one. In retrospect, we realized we should have printed in batches of 25 or so to make the QC process smoother.” Despite the challenges, the customer was ultimately pleased with the final product and GORIGHT was able to reap the rewards of its investment.

With its focus on revolutionary manufacturing and flexible printing, GORIGHT is uniquely suited to meet a host of customer needs without ever needing to look outside its own facility. With investments in the latest technology and determination to seek out new growth opportunities, GORIGHT can drink to a bright future.