Virtual Press Clips: Print Firms in the News
By Patrick Henry
Published: June 8, 2009
With $500 million in revenues and 1,600 employees, VistaPrint is nobody’s idea of a small printer. It is, however, a company that tends to make smaller printers extremely uneasy, and to learn how it became the looming presence that it is today, read this profile from The Boston Globe. Prefer print industry news on a friendlier and less imposing scale? Here’s this week’s roundup: • In Greenwood, IN, Nick and Susie Schmoll of Heron Printing Co. got a nice writeup from The Southside Times. They started the business in 1993 in the same building where Susie’s parents had operated a surgical tool company, and they’ve enjoyed modest but steady growth ever since. Their formula for success: “Always take care of your own bookkeeping and financial matters. Treat your customers as you want to be treated.” Their production mainstay: a 1974 Heidelberg offset press. “If you oil and keep it reasonably clean, that thing will probably outlive me,” Nick is quoted as saying. • The Murfreesboro Post reported that CPrint® International presented its highest award in print shop management to Kevin and Rhonda Wax of Wax Family Printing of Murfreesboro, TN, at its board meeting in Nashville. The company was honored for achieving high standards of operational performance as measured by financial strength, profitability, and growth in 2008. Tom Crouser, quick-printing business authority and founder of C®Print, said that winning the award put Wax Family Printing “in the top five percent of independent printing companies in North America in terms of performance.” C®Print is a consulting network for small print firms. • Five years ago, two indie music fans in Atlanta figured that if they could offer ticketing services to smaller venues without subjecting ticket buyers to excessive fees, they could beat industry giant Ticketmaster at its own game. According to a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jamie Dwyer and Iain Bluett got it right. Today they run Ticket Alternative, a ticket sales and printing company with 150 venue accounts nationwide, a staff of 16, and a growing reputation in an extremely competitive business. Its ticket printing division specializes in low-cost, fast turnaround ducats for events of all kinds. • “While other businesses are struggling through the recession,” writes Mark Walton in the Franklin Park Herald-Journal, “Prairie State Group in Franklin Park has been increasing sales.” The suburban Chicago PSG, specializing in flexible packaging and pressure-sensitive labels, stays ahead of the downturn by offering extremely quick turnarounds and JIT order fulfillment. That strategy appeals to customers because it lets them hold onto cash by ordering only what they need, when they need it. Vice president and co-owner Daniel Doherty is quoted as saying that over the last two years, PSG has had a 30 percent increase in sales and that in the first quarter of 2009, sales were up 10 percent from the same period in 2008. • In another story out of the greater Chicago area, the Naperville Sun profiled Tom and Linda Wilhelm, proprietors of Allegra Print & Imaging in Romeoville. The Wilhelms started their franchised printing operation in 2007 and won hometown business-of-the-year awards in each the two years that followed. According to the story, much of the Wilhelms’ popularity stems from the extensive support that they give to local not-for-profit groups. This includes donations of marketing materials to cash-strapped community organizations. “A lot of these groups get their marketing or advertising budgets cut first,” Tom Wilhelm says in the story. “It's unfortunate that we can't help everybody.” • With summer almost here, The Associated Press wanted to find out how the recession is affecting small business owners’ vacation plans. Among those that AP writer Joyce N. Rosenberg interviewed was Rachel Imison, who with her husband, Stuart, co-owns Graphic Imagery Inc. in South San Francisco, CA. Having bought a building and a new digital press this year, writes Rosenberg, the Imisons have decided to put off a family trip to Britain in an effort to reduce expenses. “When you're a small business owner, you cut everything back to the bone,” Rachel Imison is quoted as saying. But she remains optimistic, and she describes the purchase of the new digital press as an investment that will pay off in new revenues when the economy recovers. If your company has made news locally, please tell us where to find it, and we’ll post it here for all to read.