> Holmes Custom
Creating Personalised Products
Creating Personalised Products
Now celebrating its 65th year in business, Jacksonville-based, Holmes Custom designs, manufactures and retails personalized products across 8 web brands. How does a business that was started in the 1950’s stand the test of time? There’s only one way. Innovation.
What once started as a rubber stamp manufacturer out of a garage, Holmes Custom is now a multi-million-dollar enterprise operating in three locations in the U.S., shipping thousands of personalized products each day. Core products include rubber stamps, custom signs, name tags, Photo ID’s, and employee recognition awards, trophies, and plaques. Setting Holmes Custom apart from the thousands of similar product shops around the country is their seamless online ordering experience and unparalleled back-end technology that process orders within seconds.
98% of the orders received reach their customers (regardless of U.S. location) within 3 business days. 99% of their orders ship next business day. “We made a conscious decision a few years ago,” says owner and CEO, Bryan Croft, “to really invest in our technology to process orders faster than anyone ever thought was possible.” Holmes Custom’s tech team is comprised of over 15 individuals highly skilled in web programming and engineering. They’ve developed a proprietary software that automates order entry and processing, even with customized orders.
“Now that we have orders flowing quickly through our facility, our next step is to innovate the way in which we produce our personalized products,” says Croft. The company is putting significant financial emphasis on improving equipment and streamlining production processes to get even more efficient. It’s this constant innovation that fuels the growth of the company, which averages at about 25% per year.
Croft is described by many as a visionary. Energetic, passionate, and full of life, Bryan will tell you that he has hundreds of ideas each month on how to push the business forward. His partner, CFO & Owner Steven Fernandez, works as an integrator to flesh out and implement the top ideas. Not all ideas make it downstream, but a few do, which is why the company continues to drive forward and innovate.
The company introduced personalized gifts to its lineup of core products a few years ago. Personalized bible covers and cutting boards are among the top products exploding the site 904custom.com. Croft has ideas about what core products will be next and a dedicated team of 10 individuals are actively pursuing testing on new hard goods each day. Coming up with the next “big thing” is something that’s core to the company’s growth strategy.
Also, core to the strategy is better service of Holmes Custom’s Corporate Partners, which doesn’t sound that innovative at first pass. Looking closer, you’ll see a growing team of individuals focused on superior service and getting customers set up with Company Stores. These online, password-protected portals allow for easy reordering of approved, branded store merchandise. Although Holmes doesn’t publish their customers taking advantage of these online portals, VP of Strategic Partnerships, Libby O’Regan says there are over 150 customers using the Company Stores and over a dozen Fortune 500 companies amongst those.
What’s next for Holmes Custom is likely to be more advancements in tech, product, and service, constantly innovating this more than half-century-old business into the future.