Vic Bay Apparel Grows its On-Demand Fulfilment, Dropship Operation with Kornit Digital

Sharon Donovich
May 7, 2021

Based in Johannesburg and the other major centres in South Africa, Vic Bay Apparel has been a manufacturer, supplier, and wholesaler of basic t-shirts and golf shirts for 25 years, supplying blank apparel to decorators and resellers of promotional clothing. They predominantly service resellers in the tourist, workwear, printing, embroidery, and advertising markets. In addition to their showroom, Vic Bay has a robust e-commerce presence, generating considerable business via its website.

According to Vic Bay Johannesburg’s managing director, Mike Shiller, the growing demand for small orders and multi-colour designs was a poor match for traditional screen printing, a challenge that ultimately led them to consider digital direct-to-garment (DTG) production.

Chris Govier from Kornit Digital, Mike Shiller from Vic Bay & Steve Harcourt-Wood from Rexx

After researching available options, Vic Bay chose to implement Kornit Digital DTG technology, which presented reliability and a secure supply of consumables in the long term.

“I bought our first DTG printer from (South African distributor) Rexx, and since then I have purchased two additional Kornits,” says Mike Shiller . “Our latest is a Kornit Storm HD6 that incorporates the latest full RGB full-colour printing in 1,200dpi density, which offers our clients a photorealistic print on garments.”

According to Mike, the systems have enabled his business to scale and meet new challenges, demands, and opportunities. When COVID-19 disrupted the market suddenly, he saw businesses with a strong web-based operation weathering the storm more effectively than others, and Vic Bay responded by launching a new site dedicated to B2B order management, offering enterprise customers the versatility they would need. Using this website, customers could place their orders and Vic Bay would print and ship the pieces on their behalf.

“We are now one of the first truly online print-on-demand drop shippers servicing the print and embroidery community here in South Africa, and have seen a dramatic increase in volumes month-over-month since introducing this new web-based operation,” he says.

Per Mike Shiller , Rexx has continued to provide “exceptional” service and support for the machines. “We have never felt that we are left alone to solve any issue, whether it pertains to ink supply or parts needed.”

Looking forward, Vic Bay foresees adding additional Kornit technology to its production arsenal, increasing capacity to meet new demand for their rapid, reliable, high-quality fulfilment.

“I would certainly recommend Kornit as the best DTG print system available,” says Mike. “It’s a true testament to their capabilities that some of the largest and most diverse producers worldwide have turned to Kornit for their online businesses, and only use Kornit to imprint apparel.”