Joel Kurian, the owner of three AlphaGraphics locations in Central Houston, creates thousands of kits containing branded bottles of hand sanitizer, masks, and other personal protective equipment for his customers’ employees.
“How can we help our customers be successful during the shutdown, as they plan to reopen, and in the new normal? Those are the first questions we asked ourselves,” Kurian says. “The needs of our customers were already dynamic, and COVID-19 further amplified those needs, so we quickly aligned our strategy, developed a plan, then jumped in headfirst.”
In addition to meeting the demand for thousands of kits, Kurian’s shops are also providing safety, social distancing, and marketing signage, including window, wall, and floor graphics for all businesses that are in the process of reopening to the public.
“We’ve always done a significant amount of signage, in addition to fulfilling customers’ print needs, but there has been an explosion in sign demand over the past few weeks. Businesses want to effectively market themselves and their offerings, and they want customers and employees to feel safe—signs help them do both.”
To meet this demand, Kurian has invested in new equipment and lengthened the workday to create the necessary capacity.
Kurian’s three Central Houston shops—Downtown Houston, Memorial Park, and Greenway Plaza—serve various industries including oil and gas, manufacturing, real estate, restaurants, hotels, and medical facilities, with signage, window/wall/floor graphics, digital and offset printing, promotional products, direct marketing and fulfillment, and graphic design.
In addition to his own customers, Kurian is helping his employees and the community weather the pandemic.
“I feel a huge responsibility to the people I employ and to the community we serve,” Kurian adds. They’ve used the time to improve operations and processes at each location, adding muscle to an already strong business that first opened in the early 1980s.
Kurian plans to donate a portion of the proceeds from sales of COVID-related items to the Houston Food Bank, as a way to give back to the community.