It started in Prague, then continued in Velké Březno. Today, OPT OnDemand is a company with half a billion CZK in turnover, 150 employees, a huge production hall in Hrbovice near Ústí nad Labem and partnerships with the world’s biggest brands (such as Marvel or the largest European music publisher, UNIVERSAL MUSIC). The unique thing about OPT though is that it is still a Czech company with a Czech majority owner, who has a vision and knows where he wants to take the company. That vision is to have enough production capacity so that the company can be a market leader in sustainable fashion. If you haven't yet heard of OPT, we guarantee you will in the future. This is because the on-demand concept of T-shirt production, where the products don't have to travel halfway across the planet but are printed the moment someone actually orders them, is already reality at OPT. Plus, more technological advances are on the way. OPT ranks among the most reliable suppliers in T-shirt printing, both offset and digital, and is also a very popular partner to renowned global brands.
A SUCCESS STORY REACHING BEYOND THE BORDERS OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC
We started 25 years ago as a small T-shirt printing company based in Prague. Today, we partner with many big names abroad, and foreign orders make up the majority of our half a billion CZK in turnover. We have licenses to print products for MARVEL, STAR WARS, DISNEY and PIXAR. We print garments for the RedBubble portal or for EMP, Europe's largest distributor of fan merchandise. For UNIVERSAL MUSIC, we print T-shirts for the world’s most popular bands. When groups like AC/DC go on tour, we send the printed their T-shirts directly to the cities where the concerts take place. It's quite an honor when you're a big fan of Nirvana and now you get to print their T-shirts and other merchandise. This requires an ultra-high level of quality. Luckily, our capacity in Hrbovice is far from being maxed out. We have room to grow and interesting partnerships from all around the world already await Ondra and his company. So OPT definitely won't be bored in the future.
Our vision is to be a world leader in the on-demand print industry. We want be known as a super reliable partner for the biggest players on the market. Thanks to use of the most advanced technologies, we will deliver on-demand production that ensures greater sustainability in the world of fashion. We plan to ensure that every product we print has already been sold and is not sitting in a giant warehouse somewhere.
A COMPANY THAT WILL GROW ON YOU
When asked why they have been with the company for several years, many OPT employees simply answer that it's because of the people. You will find plenty of employee-fans who have grown to love this company. They enjoy and respect the work culture established by the company owner Ondra, the management and the production supervisors. All this contributes greatly to their work satisfaction. OPT has a relaxed, collaborative and very friendly atmosphere. We know how to help each other and we all support one another as a team. There are so many little things that are different at OPT compared to other companies. Overall, there is a huge difference between OPT and a traditional manufacturing or trading company. That's why a lot of people love it here and why they have no reason to go elsewhere.
Before OPT, I was in a 'don't talk just work' type of company. It's different here. You get to talk to the owner in a totally friendly way; so much so, that you don't believe he's the CEO. The management cares about its people, walks and visits with its production teams and has general common sense. And that's a very nice change.
OPT grew up using a punk approach to business. Even though it now has more traditional processes - because you can't manage half a billion orders just like that - the punk essence coming from Ondra Parpel is still there.
You can approach the management, the owner: who is involved in the day-to-day running of the business, with anything. In its operations model, OPT is still really a start-up or a family-run business.
Our future has two main focuses. We want to double production, with an emphasis on first-in-class technology. Plus, we plan to develop our own tools that will allow us to expand our on-demand production.
GROWTH IN PRODUCTION DEFINITELY AWAITS US
The first key to our success is our production department, which has been able to double its capacity under the leadership of Jürgen Gauger, our Production Mentor. This means that through further global partnerships our production will continue to grow. The aim is not to expand through cheap prices, as is sometimes the case with production in the Czech Republic, but rather through quality and reliability. What will differentiate us from our competitors is not price, but strong partnerships, top quality materials and modern technology.
We want to convince more of our partners to focus on on-demand production. It is critical that we maintain current levels of camaraderie so we can support our people and retain those who want to grow with OPT.
ON DEMAND REVOLUTION (ODR)
The second aspect of our future development is a bet on technologies that will lead a revolution in fashion production. ON DEMAND REVOLUTION is our technology division, perhaps you could even say our own disruptive start-up. It is now developing a virtual warehouse with virtual products that are only produced at the moment the end customer places their order. We've already got digital avatar technology ready, so you won't have to worry about ordering something that doesn't fit. When you order, we'll know your measurements: we won't send you a size L shirt when a size M might fit you better for a particular brand. The result will be far fewer returns. This technology that we are now developing will be available to other e-tailers and manufacturers.
SUPPORT FOR, AND PARTNERSHIP WITH, SMALL PRODUCERS
Another effect of our ON DEMAND REVOLUTION concept is that we will be able to connect small T-shirt producers to the big platforms we partner with. So your T-shirt will be sold on Zalando or in Kaufland’s e-shop. This represents a great opportunity to spread our sustainable fashion philosophy while supporting the growth of small creative teams.
Our partners don't have to have warehouses; they don't have to worry about shipping. T-shirts are made the moment the customer orders them and we have global logistics under control.
Sustainability is one of the most important issues for us. That's why we constantly innovate and look for new ways to be more sustainable. Helping the planet makes perfect sense to us and always will.
Ondřej Parpel, CEO
JUST AN INTEREST IN WHAT WE DO AND A DESIRE TO WORK
And we'll teach you the rest here. OPT has been built by people who enjoy their work and who are interested in what is going on in the workplace and in their colleagues. We are two groups in Prague and Hrbovice, but we share an interest in the company, the success of the team and our overall results. People work here because they want to be part of OPT; only a few are here just for the job and the salary. Plus, many people who now work in management have advanced to their current roles after starting in manufacturing. So they know what the job of an operator entails: because of that, someone is always there to help, advise and teach you. No one here is just a face without a name. Still, at OPT, it's important to be someone who's not afraid to get their hands dirty and work hard. You need to have an eye for detail to ensure that our work is of the highest quality. Join us and who knows where your journey from production will take you.
Our future lies in sustainability. We want to inspire other companies headed in this direction
DO SOMETHING FOR THE PLANET
We decided to move away from mainstream production methods and shift to on-demand solutions. Our goal is to reduce mass production and mass stocks of unused clothing or unsold garments. We want to reduce the carbon footprint and the unnecessary burden on the planet created by transporting products from one end of the globe to the other. We want T-shirts to be printed and shipped only when the customer orders them. Thanks to our partners, we are able to ship them anywhere.
You can already find a collection of Henry Tiger T-shirts on major fashion portals like Zalando. This is simply a digital catalogue and listed products are only printed once ordered. Ecology and sustainability are issues that have made sense to us for many years. We were one of the first companies in our region to start offering T-shirts made from certified organic cotton. Today, we have certifications for use of organic yarns, adhesives and inks. We only buy T-shirts from companies that practice ethical production. Plus, we think about how to use the waste we produce. We want to inspire other companies to do the same.
THOSE WHO DON'T TRY, DON'T UNDERSTAND
OPT is a completely different manufacturing company from those you may have encountered in the past. It's not boring; it's bustling. We're a team-based company. We work in small production teams of three or four people who set their own pace. They decide when to take breaks and how to schedule their work. There's a great feeling of solidarity here. If it's someone's birthday, we bake them a cake and have coffee together. When someone has a baby, we pool our resources and buy them a present. At OPT, you won't find any harassment, no fistfights or any turnstiles. There's a lot of freedom. Because of that, there's minimal employee turnover, which in turn contributes to us having created a space where people know each other and know their jobs. This offers the company many returns as concerns success and growth.
I think we could be prouder of what we do and what we can do. We're growing and it's going great. Customers return for repeat business, new customers are coming in, we're doing big jobs and we can afford to invest in new things. So it's a shame to be overly modest.
People here aren’t afraid to make fun of themselves from time to time. They take things in stride and with humour.
DON'T LOOK FOR THE CORPORATE UNDERBELLY
Sometimes work at OPT, ironically speaking, can be quite a drag. Even though we are a company with half a billion CZK in turnover, we still operate very much as a start-up. We don't have a corporate mother company or investors dictating where we go or funding useless products with useless people behind them. We do what we are meant to do and what makes sense to us. Every decision is quick. At any moment, we can rethink the direction our business is headed and perhaps change it quickly. Because of how fast we work and how flat our administrative hierarchy is, there's no one hiding behind an excel spreadsheet. Everyone is seen and expected to deliver real results: not speeches and presentations. We are not a company hiding in some corporate ivory tower. On the contrary, we thrive on working in a dynamic, productive workspace and on the need to adapt and look at reality in a broader context.
A COMPANY RUN BY PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT IT
OPT is above all a very people-driven company, run by managers who don't like to play corporate boss. OPT’s management is very open and interested in the company as a whole. Ondra Parpel remains an owner that people trust: they have confidence in his vision and aspirations. On the flip side, he trusts his teams to do the best they can. Jürgen, who is behind the development of the Hrbovice site and its production, is a person who will listen, advise or help you.
This approach has built a company full of great people who know exactly why they chose to pursue a career here. Employees don't patronize one another; there are no backroom games or issues involving corporate politics. OPT has a direct environment that makes people enjoy coming to work every day.
You can work in a company, but few will grow on you like this one. It's because of the way the people here – from production to management – treat each other. They don’t act superior to one another and they're honest in sharing opinions.
Libuška Jouklová, Warehouse Supervisor
EVERYTHING WORKS BETTER IN A FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE
Many people in the company are also friends outside the company. Still, they always deal with each other in a straightforward manner and any problem that arises is handled immediately so that no issues are left unresolved. In the evenings, we go to the pub together. It is quite refreshing that we can sort out work matters personally while quickly resolving the situation at hand. Sometimes we don't fix things right away because it takes time to find a solution. But we don’t keep our problems to ourselves; we don’t hold grudges; nor do we gossip in the kitchen.
Neither Ondra nor Jürgen want to have a factory where people just come to work. It is important for them that employees are happy and interact fairly with one another. Then they will naturally do a better job. OPT has a very laid-back, friendly environment that runs on "common sense".
I love our lunch breaks. We always get a lot of people together and tell each other stories from home or our holidays. We can all joke and make fun of ourselves.
The printing is great. You leave after your shift with a clear head and you can see the results you’ve achieved. When you're surrounded by people you're comfortable working with, you look forward to going to work every day.
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AS A GUIDING PRINCIPLE
At OPT, there is a lot of trust in people and their work. There is freedom with a minimum number of rules. Employees have to take on a large degree of personal responsibility. A strong work ethic and a willingness to work together are what we look for in newcomers. In order to keep up the pace needed and not have to put a lot of strict processes in place, we expect our people to be able to work independently and not need someone constantly telling them what to do or monitoring them. We are lucky to have minimal employee turnover. People like it here and appreciate our approach. This means they have a high level of loyalty and think not only about their personal gain, but also about making a difference for the company.
TWO WORLDS, TWO GROUPS & RESPECT
One-third of the company is located in Prague and two-thirds in Ústí nad Labem - Hrbovice. The headquarters (IT, finance, graphic designers and our CEO Ondra Parpel) are all based in Prague. For our employees from Hrbovice, it's a world they may have never visited and only meet their colleagues from Prague during special events. This is one of the small inconveniences that makes our life a bit more complicated. It's just two locations, two groups and two worlds. Of course, it would be nice for everyone to be all in one place.
What you'll never experience at OPT is one crew disrespecting the other. We're all part of one company, one story. When we have a high-order season, it's standard for people from the office go to help in production: not only people from Hrbovice, but also people from Prague. OPT operates based on solidarity, support and help.
We are already big enough to be able to withstand fluctuations or dead ends. That's why we can afford to keep looking for new ways to challenge the status quo and to be more adventurous.
I like the atmosphere here which is pleasant. It makes you feel good and I definitely enjoy the fact that I can influence things, have a say in the direction of the company, and be part of it.
90% of the people here frequently chat amongst themselves and this helps a lot when there is extra work and you need to organize and help. The friendly communication between everyone is much more pleasant than wondering what my role is and whether people know me.
Our Prague offices are located in Holešovice near the Libeň Bridge. We have an entire floor to ourselves that has great lighting, a large terrace and plenty of space. There is good access to the office by car or public transport, and you can find plenty of great restaurants, bistros or cafés in the neighbourhood. Plus, the future revitalization of the entire Holešovice market area will definitely add to the level of well-being in our Prague office experience.
Three years ago we moved to a modern production site where we have plenty of space, great facilities and the opportunity to grow. It's a great advantage when you can provide people with a production environment that is welcoming, spacious and modern.
WE OFFER YOU AN INTERESTING JOURNEY
Many of us have been here for more than 5 years, some even longer. And the reason why we still enjoy it is because we have the opportunity to advance in our careers and change the scope of our work. This doesn't happen quickly of course. But if you work to challenge yourself and focus on your goals, we'll help you meet them. We love it when our employees grow with us and continue to enjoy their work. OPT’s management is completely open to such discussions. In fact, they welcome them because every company needs to have the right people in the right roles. Often, the right people are not the ones with the great CV, but rather those who want to do a particular job and do it well. These people have the energy that drives the company forward. As we grow, the number of opportunities to be part of our story is increasing: both for existing employees and for those who join our team in the future.
I like how the company thinks about the planet and is making efforts to not completely destroy it. We use eco-friendly adhesives and paints; we plan to push more on-demand manufacturing, etc. Quite a few people in manufacturing are interested in ecology and sustainability and for some of them it's the reason they work here.
I really like the crew here. I like to come to work and see those people who have been very nice in welcoming me, even though I'm a temporary worker. The worst thing is when you work in a job you don't enjoy, and you do it just for the money. By finding a job that gives you a purpose, like the one I have here at OPT, you really enjoy it. As a bonus you find friends who can give you advice and help you. That goes for the company leadership too. In such cases, you have a much better life.
There are no opportunities at this time.