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Pazazz Printing to Restructure

By Adam Dewitz
Published: March 10, 2010

Pazazz Printing has filed a Notice of Intention to restructure the company under Canada's Companies Creditors Arrangement Act. President Warren Werbitt says, “Pazazz file a Notice of Intention to preserve and maximize the value of the business.”

WhatTheyThink spoke with Warren this afternoon and he was upbeat and is making moves to to get the business back on track after taking chances to grow the business in tough economic conditions. He is working with his suppliers and is forming a strategic alliance with financial backers from outside the industry.

“Moving forward, I have every intention of maintaining the same level of integrity and respect that I have had for this industry over the past 18 years.” says Werbitt

Pazazz made large capital investments within the last year which included a KBA 56" UV 6-colour press and a Xerox iGen4 digital press.

Werbitt's gained industry notoriety when his fanatical love of print was captured in a viral video the company posted on YouTube.

Statement from Warren Werbitt

I am writing this letter to set the record straight and to correct rumours that have been circulating recently. As the Founder and CEO of Pazazz I want to personally reach out to you during this important time in my company’s history.

On Monday March 1, 2010 Pazazz file a Notice of Intention (“NOI”) to preserve and maximize the value of the business. However, in the next weeks we will be making a proposal and restructuring the company.

Pazazz will continue to be a productive, efficient and capable print solution provider. We remain confident in our strategic decision to acquire the KBA 56" UV 6-colour press as well as the iGen4 digital press. Those acquisitions have enabled us to provide our clients with unique applications such as printing UV on plastic, flute and board up to 48 points that no one else in Eastern Canada is capable of doing. As usual, our presses are running continuously, our services continue to advance and our employees continue to be trained. As always, our goal is to provide you - our clients with superior print products and services. Our commitment to our employees, clients and suppliers remains strong.

On Tuesday March 2, 2010 I spoke with every Pazazz employee face to face to proactively explain the current situation. Everyone had the opportunity to process the information and ask questions. Employee response was sincere; they respected my honesty and were very supportive.

On Wednesday March 3, 2010 I began to call our suppliers and advise them of the circumstances. My goal was to personally talk to each one before they received a letter. We are loyal and will continue to be loyal to our suppliers. We have been dealing with the same suppliers for several years and have witnessed outstanding cooperation and moral support.

On Thursday March 4, 2010 I started to call our clients and advise them of the current situation, they too have offered a strong vote of confidence and are willing to stand by Pazazz.

Going forward I have brought together a couple of strategic partners to help advance Pazazz in the future. We have introduced many exciting innovations and we are confident that we can continue to serve your needs in a most meaningful manner.

In the last week I have learned that after 18 years of being an entrepreneur, my consistent effort to be honest, respectful and loyal to others has paid off. It is true that what goes around comes around.

I firmly believe that with the encouragement and cooperation of our dedicated team, loyal clients and committed suppliers Pazazz will be better and stronger.

I am available to everyone at anytime if you want to speak to me. I hope that we can count on your continued support.

Yours Truly,
Warren Werbitt 
Founder and CEO



 

Discussion

By Steve Barberi on Mar 10, 2010

Hi warren,

You are the best !!!

I thought this quote was appropriate:

"A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain."

Mark Twain

Best Always

Steve Barberi
CEO AGT-USA

 

By warren werbitt on Mar 11, 2010

Thank you Steve. I am going to do my best moving forward. It's what I know. Although this industry is going through tough times and we are all nervous we must remember everyone needs us. With us the printer nothing in the world moves. Everything sold has printing. Instructions, directions, warnings etc. We must all stand together and BE PROUD of what do and we should demand to be paid for our services. It costs money to keep up with technology. WE SHOULD NOT SELL OURSELVES SHORT. We the printer must unite.

 

By Alin Jacobs on Mar 11, 2010

Hi Warren,

Sorry to hear about your challenging situation.

I'm confident that your commitment to the printing industry, combined with your ability to communicate innovation, will continue to create great successes for you and your company.

Wishing you the best,

Alin Jacobs

 

By Kate Dunn on Mar 11, 2010

Unite around what? I read this and I think to myself, why buy that equipment in the midst of a recession and throw your financials so out of whack that the bank insists you reorganize? There is so much excess capacity out there that it is highly likely that Pazazz could have partnered to get what they needed until such time as sales and future sales justified the acquisition. And by justified I mean a multi-year contracts from reputable firms. Contracts are necessary because on any given day there will be some company more desperate than yours who will win business you thought you would get when you but the iron in the first place. One of the reasons our industry is suffering so much is the amount of fixed assets companies are paying for whether there is work or not.
I used to be the VP of Sales and Marketing for a printing company. When I struck out on my own, the first big lesson I learned was that I could buy all the things that we used to make for less money than it cost us to make them at the printing company. They had the same quality and after working out a few bugs in the process we now get the products we need from all of our partners with less chaos than it used to take me to get them from within my own company. What we need to unite around is that we need a new business model in this industry and it's not going to look like the one we've had for the last 50 years.

 

By Dick Kouwenhoven on Mar 11, 2010

Hello Warren,

The news of your challenges took us by surprise. We thought that the power of your enthusiasm, which was, and still is, inspiring to all of us in the printing industry, shielded you from the fundamental changes we see happening in our industry.

I am happy to read your optimistic and uplifting message to your stakeholders. Go, Warren, Go! Score that overtime goal!

Very best wishes to you and yours, Dick Kouwenhoven

 

By Lisa Bickford on Mar 11, 2010

Warren: I, too am a lover of the printing industry and I cheer you on! We are fortunate to be debt free, but it's not because we're smarter than the next printer...it just worked out that way for us. I often think of my peers that are not so lucky right now, "There but for the grace of God go I."
Kate: I wonder if you are making the assumption that Warren's letter blaming the bank is just to cover up his financial instability. I have a great relationship with my banker and we often have heart-to-heart conversations about how it's going for other businesses. He has told me multiple stories about good businesses, even ones that cash flow and have lots of assets, that get into a pinch and the bank over-reacts. Now believe me, I am not one to blame all the woes on banks, but it seems to me that a person can't jump to conclusions about a business unless they are in-the-know about that businesses financial status.
Fellow Printers: Rally around Warren and your fellow printers - hold your head high!

 

By Michael J on Mar 11, 2010

Warren,
We haven't met, but when I saw your vid it warmed my old printer's heart. You have it just right in seeing that Print Rocks! It's been around 500 years and will be around when the Web is Web 6.0.

From everything I'm reading IPEX is going to be a game changer. Digital print has matured to the point that heavy metal is interested.

My $.02 keep a close watch on QR and other 2d codes. it connects print to the web AND it can send back click data just like the data from a website.

The big brands are starting to get in the game, but they are still in the experimenting stage. Todays Ad Age had an article about how the thing to do now is figure it out. What's safe? What scales" What supplies the data you need.

As for the "reorganization" it's probably is very, very stressful, but at the end of the day if GM can reorganize, Quebecor and newspapers have to reorganize, it's not that big of deal from a business point of view. Actually to be expected when the global financial system turns itself upside down and sideways.

Meanwhile it seems that you have created just the right culture to come out of this with flying colors. To paraphrase an Andrew Carengie quote. If you take my factory and I still have the people, it's easy to build another factory. If you take my people and leave the factory, I've got squat."

Ben Franklin is still the best hero of any industry we;ve got going.

 

By warren werbitt on Mar 11, 2010

First I would like to thank everyone for their words of encouragement. I too believe print is here to stay no matter what happens.
What I had was a plan in Dec O7 that went into play mid 08. I don't blame anyone and I do think I made all the right visionary moves to be more than a commercial printer. By the time we started rolling the world was in turmoil and it was too late to stop.

Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing.

As for QR codes lookout for our press release next week. We have some great ideas.

Life has setbacks, but one must get back on the horse and ride on. And that's what we at Pazazz will do

Print on!

 

By Linda P on Mar 12, 2010

Kate Dunn is spot on. I sold my printing company after 26 years of spiraling up equipment purchases, and spiraling down customer needs. We as an industry must recognize the industry is changing so fast that equipment bought last year will probably out-date before there is ever ROI. The customers see us as a commodity, and the competition for the same jobs is fierce in every city. And the bankers know this, they buy printing too! Take off the blinders and don't just listen to your equipment suppliers. Listen to your sales staff and customers. Research buying printing on the internet, and you will find out what our customers already know-printing is cheap, available everywhere, and relatively the same quality. Certainly, if you can find a niche, do it better than anyone else, but don't expect it to last forever. Consolidate, conserve, and collaborate with other providers, and perhaps you will survive.

 

By John Henry on Mar 12, 2010

Kate Dunn hits pretty hard, I agree with some of it. Today there is no bottom to prices if that is what you can always find a lower price.

That said thank god people buy from people and want personal service. Cost while always a factor is not the only factor.

Big issue going foward is overhead, or abilty to add what equipment and staff, will it go up? if he cannot make it now how then?

 

By Michael J on Mar 12, 2010

Warren,

"As for QR codes lookout for our press release next week. We have some great ideas."

My social media of choice these days is twitter. the persona is @toughloveforx when you have those releases send me an @ and I'll do what I can to spread the word.

Go Print!

 

By Kurt Kroening on Mar 13, 2010

Warren and the Pazazz Team,

I have no doubt you will work through this difficult time and prevail. Pazazz is a shining light of customer service and product innovation in eastern Canada. It was a pleasure getting to know you and working with you in your effort to be the best!!!

Kurt

 

By Michael J on Mar 13, 2010

@Linda and Kate,

With all due respect I have to disagree. Yes, do NOT listen only to your equipment supplier. No blame, but they have a job to do.

Yes on "Listen to your sales staff and customers."

I just want to add, listen your press people and all your production people. My bet is that they have many ideas to make production alot more efficient and get to increased margins the old fashioned way -- cut costs.

 

By Garo Nazarian on Mar 14, 2010

Hi Warren,

Keep up the good work and make sure to concentrate on the hard work, unfortunately there are certain group of people in this industry that are driven by the negative thoughts and approach, and nurture their drive through spreading the bad gossip.

Most of the equipment suppliers have a big role to play in this difficult times.....
The fast paste driven technology is forcing us not to see certain realities.

"Creativity, it has been said, consists largely of re-arranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know."
-George Kneller

Best to you and Pazazz team

Garo Nazarian

 

By Adam Rachwal on Mar 15, 2010

I heard about the "viral" Pazazz video when it started to spread but watched it only last week.(200,000 views is not really viral especially when considering most views came from printers and hmmm... printers) Right after, I watched the other Pazazz video where they install the new press and thought to myself "wow, this guy's nuts, he must have choked after getting such a response from the video and decided to ride the wave - without understanding the nature of the "viral" beast: now I care, now I forward to my friends, now I care about something else/forward - and the wave came splashing down. I couldn't, yet I could believe my eyes when I noticed the above article. Now is the time to cry because the truck is really leaving. ( sorry I don't really mean to be sarcastic) I do wish you Warren all the best, I know you will come out of it alright because all I just wrote also says that you have the guts to take the risk and that's important in any business.

 

By Michael J on Mar 16, 2010

Warren,
I knew there was a reason I became a fan after the video... I saw the story from Output Links this am. So I tweeted:

Pazazz Printing of Montreal Launches CodeZ QR New Business Campaign http://ilnk.me/1efa | Pazazz continues to Rock !

If you ever want to chat about how CodeZ QR could make a difference in bottom of the pyramid HS ed, best way to get in touch is on twitter.

Re the tag line : Make Print Clickable, you might want to check out @clickableprint on twitter. I've be playing with some use cases for education.

The real trick is that CodeZ QR emits information exchange data. That means you can find out if a kid clicked on the link. That means you can track when they don't. If they don't click for a couple of days, you can automatically send an SMS to mom, telling her the kid is acting like a jerk.

Then the kid will stop acting like a jerk.

 

By Lois Liverman on Mar 17, 2010

Nice Guys DON"T finish last. Good luck Warren.

 

By jeff berger on Mar 18, 2010

I am a ex employee,
There is no one out there in the print industry who has the love for the industry as Warren Werbitt.When he says ink flows in his veins he is not far from the truth.Wishing you support during this difficult time,I remember the motivation you brought into the plant with you everyday.
good-luck my friend..

 

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