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Tom Parrot of Excell Color Graphics on the evolution of the business and attending Graph Expo

Published on October 16, 2012

Tom Parrot, President of Excell Color Graphics talks to Pat Henry about the origins of the company that started as a prepress shop, the evolution of the business, and the value in coming to Graph Expo.

Pat Henry: This is Pat Henry, WhatTheyThink. Graph Expo 2012. With us this afternoon is Tom Parrot. Tom is President of Excell Color Graphics, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Tom, thanks for being with us.

Tom Parrot: You got it. Thank you.

Pat Henry: Tom, I understand your business began life not as a printing company but as a prepress house. So that’s always an interesting story. Can you tell us how that happened and why and how you equipped for your role as a printer.

Tom Parrot: Started out as a prepress house in 1990 and the previous owner named Excell Color Graphics Excell Color Graphics because he wanted to excel at color. Kind of an interesting story instead of naming it by his last name. And I purchased the company from Jerry Blaising in 2006. And obviously the prepress got phased out because of the local printers were all getting into prepress themselves with the desktop era.

Pat Henry: Not much room for a trade shop anymore.

Tom Parrot: Not much at all. So we dove into printing. Jerry invested in printing equipment in 1997 and was basically a full blown commercial printer at that time. And I kind of befriended him along the way and saw how he ran his business, got involved and, like I said, bought it in 2006. And we had a lot of dated and outdated workflow and printing equipment and decided to look at some other avenues for printing.

Pat Henry: And what were some of those other avenues? How did you equip or what did you acquire?

Tom Parrot: One of the things that – one of our areas of frustration was we had many different suppliers that were supplying us the different pieces of equipment and workflow and software. And I was sitting here actually last year looking at the Heidelberg presentation and thought, “You know what? That really would fit us pretty well.” So that’s when I decided to start taking a hard look at that.

Pat Henry: And would that have been their Prinect Workflow Architecture? And, okay, how thoroughly are you Prinected?

Tom Parrot: We actually – with the goal in mind of putting in an offset press, 40-inch, six color. We started that as what our goal was going to be and then we started thinking about how we needed to feed into that situation. So we actually started out with a platesetter first. Got into their total Prinect Workflow Business Manager and then put in an Excel 105.

Pat Henry: Okay, well that was as a result of attending Graph Expo and leads naturally to the next question. You’re back here again in 2012. Why is it worth the time of a company president to be away from the shop for two or three days. Expense related – why does that make sense for you to be here?

Tom Parrot: Well we started to get into digital equipment and wide format printing and really interested – that seems to be an area of our business that is growing quite a bit so just looking at the technology involved with wide format and digital printing.

Pat Henry: Okay, well Tom, we certainly wish you a good show. There’s a lot to see here and we’ll keep an eye on you if that’s alright.

Tom Parrot: Okay, I’d appreciate that.

Pat Henry: Okay, thanks so much. Pat Henry, WhatTheyThink.

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