Commentary & Analysis
Opportunities in Digital, Interview with David Torok, Padgett President and CEO
David Torok has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Padgett since 1989.
By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: January 16, 2009
David Torok has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Padgett since 1989. During this time, David’s leadership has resulted in an increase in sales from $8 million to over four times that currently through organic growth. Padgett has sales concentrations in Dallas, San Antonio and Austin.
David has made Padgett a major technology leader in digital and offset printing. His ability to focus on sales and marketing, combined with his energy and creativity, have set an example for the company that is reflected in its increased employee productivity and the company’s financial security. David was inducted into the 2007 Printing Hall of Fame.
Padgett celebrates its 105th anniversary in 2008. Three generations of the Padgett family have led the company since its founding in 1903.
WTT: How is Padgett incorporating digital solutions and multi-media services into your offset print capabilities?
DT: We recently joined Direct Marketing Alliance, a company deeply rooted in leading-edge integrated multi-channel direct marketing to help us with this goal. Together, we will design and implement personalized and relevant, data-centric one2one marketing programs. Combining our strengths with the Alliance’s intellectual resources and direct marketing expertise enables us to provide our clients with a single-source solution for all their marketing needs.
WTT: Do you see adding services as an opportunity?
DT: As we continue to grow, we must continue to offer more value-added services. Not only services after the ink goes on the paper, but also services before we get to the print portion of a project. This includes our abilities to offer web-to-print solutions, to handle data, and the results of the data.
WTT: Are printers too optimistic about the economy?
DT: They need to come up with a conservative forecast for where they are going to be, and then allocate resources so they can make money at that forecast. I don’t see the economy picking up before the second quarter of 2009. I think the economy as it is today will change some of the print buying habits of our customers from this point on.
WTT: What do you think about going green?
DT: I think being environmentally friendly is a win-win-win situation. It’s a win for our company, our customers and our employees. In today’s environment we have to take those steps to help us make the world a better place for our children and grandchildren. Padgett is FSC Certified (Forest Stewardship Council Certification). We were one of the first printers in Texas to be certified as a Chain-of-Custody company by the SmartWood Program of the Rainforest Alliance. We are also exploring the SGP Sustainable Green Printing Partnership.
WTT: Tell us about the scope of your operations.
DT: Padgett has always been a leader in new printing technologies. We introduced the area’s first eight-color press and a state-of-the-art digital imaging center in 1993. In 2007, we added a 12-color Heidelberg perfecting press that prints six-over-six or up to twelve colors in one pass.
Over the last ten years we have become more active in non-offset, value-added services. We got into the digital printing business in 1998, we added mailing in
2001, added fulfillment and warehousing in 2006. In 2007, we added web-to- print applications, and now even host websites for many of our customers.
WTT: What percentage of your business is digital?
DT: In 1998, 100% of our business was offset; in 2007 only 82% was offset. The remaining 18% was spilt between digital, mailing, fulfillment and warehousing.
We’d like to continue to grow that side of the business so we’re less dependent on offset printing.
WTT: What trade associations are you a member of?
DT: We have been active in PIA, both the local and national chapters for as long as anyone can remember. We believe that a strong trade association is critical for us to be able to obtain current information, know where the opportunities are, and where the market is going. I’m also active on the Digital Printing Council (DPC).
WTT: Do you attend trade shows?
DT: The only trade show that I attend is the Chicago Graph Expo. It not only gives me a chance to talk with key executives and key equipment supplier executives, but it also gives me a chance to gauge the new trends in the market, and to look for individual solutions or pieces of equipment I might be unaware of without attending. It also gives me a chance to meet with my PEN (Printing Executive Network).