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Tim Arnold of Arnold Printing on how their 100 year old printing business has evolved

Published on September 28, 2012

Tim Arnold, Vice President of Arnold Printing, talks about how their more than 100 year old printing business in Cincinnati has evolved and changed over the years and today embraced digital technologies.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com. And I’m here with Tim Arnold, who is the Vice President at Arnold Printing. Welcome.

Tom Arnold: Thank you.

Cary Sherburne: It must be a family business.

Tom Arnold: It is.

Cary Sherburne: In Cincinnati more than 100 years.

Tom Arnold: Fourth generation.

Cary Sherburne: Hundred years old.

Tom Arnold: Yes.

Cary Sherburne: But you weren't there when it was founded.

Tom Arnold: Some days I think I am.

Cary Sherburne: Maybe you could talk to us a little bit about - that's a long time in the printing industry. Maybe you could talk to us a little bit about how your business has evolved, especially recently with addition of digital printing.

Tom Arnold: Well, we are pretty much a general commercial printer, as we saw ourselves in moving into the digital field. It was driven by a lot of our customers asking us for quicker turnaround times, shorter runs and addressing that need to help them meet their needs out to their customers. Then getting into the personalization, that was probably one of the biggest factors, getting, buying a digital press was being able to do the variable data.

Cary Sherburne: So, when you did that, when you bought the press and were able to start to envision being able to do variable data, did you have to get new staffing, did you have to - what'd you have to do to be able to learn about the data?

Tom Arnold: Well, luckily, our staff is phenomenal and they are all old prepress. They were strippers. They came up through the ranks, but they were able to learn the new technology relatively quick. And in everything that we’ve added to our company for the digital side of things, whether it’s workflow, PRINERGY Workflow is the workflow we use, they caught on to it very well, went to the training and so it was relatively easy for us.

Cary Sherburne: Oh, that's great. That's great, because you hear a lot about people struggling with that aspect of it.

Tom Arnold: We have never struggled with that.

Cary Sherburne: That's great. And so you send your people to training. And maybe you could just talk a little bit about how you think the suppliers are doing, the suppliers to the industry are doing, in terms of partnering with you to help with this changing market that we’re in.

Tom Arnold: Well, that's one of the big things with HP is that they’ve become a great partner of ours and are vested in us to be successful and it’s very comforting to have them as our partner. And they’re there every step of the way and they’ve helped us develop a marketing plan and a business development plan just for digital. And we’ve kind of tied it in to our entire company and it’s been very useful for us to be able to count on them to help us through this.

Cary Sherburne: So you’ve really been able to continue kind of a growth path even through the difficult years, huh?

Tom Arnold: Yes, we’ve attacked it. I guess it’s a strong will to survive, and, really, we couldn't have done it if hadn’t put in these different pieces to the puzzle. So it’s really affected how we have organized ourselves and we continue to evolve and will continue to evolve through this whole thing. And we’re becoming, I hope, one of the innovators and one of the poster childs.

Cary Sherburne: That's great. You know, it’s so sad when you see some of the older printing companies having to close their doors, and it’s really exciting when you see some of the older printing companies that are doing well and change with the times, so congratulations on that.

Tom Arnold: Thank you very much.

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