(September 18, 2008) KBA North America, a global press manufacturer based in Williston, Vermont, announces that All Out, Inc., a general commercial printer located in Woodridge, Illinois, is seeing its two-year-old bet return a big payoff in starting up a large-format printing business. In its first year, All Out Print Communications generated over $9 million in revenue. This year the firm is on track for $14 million, with plans to increase production space by 50%, from 25,000 sq.ft. to 37,000 sq.ft. in mid-2009.
"Starting a printing business when so many seem to be failing was a huge risk, but printing is all I know," states JB Capuano, president of All Out, in an article he wrote for an industry magazine. "I left my former job as VP of Multiple Images Printing in Elmhurst, IL to start a company with an entrepreneurial spirit. I invested every cent I had to bet on "big."
Winning the bet
Two years ago, four associates and Capuano risked everything to start a "big" printing company. The firm purchased a five-color 56'' KBA Rapida with coater and a digital Kodak NexPress. A second 56'' Rapida with interdeck UV curing and coater soon followed.
The large-format presses offer numerous advantages and the ability to serve several different and new markets, says Capuano. "Not only can we print a larger image, but we can also compete with the short-run web market while still being able to efficiently compete in the 40'' market. We would never have started a printing company with the limitations of a 40'' sheet. The 40'' market is a killing field; it's a commodity market with too many players, especially in the Chicago area. The larger-format presses provided us entry to a broader market place, including point-of-purchase, labels, high-end cosmetic packaging, in-store signage and unique substrates."
Recently, printing on plastic has become a hot application at All Out. When the firm began operating its first large format press, its customers asked if they could print on large-format plastic. With the installation of the second large format press with UV capabilities, All Out can print on foils, styrene, polypropylene, biodegradable plastics and other substrates as well as print lenticular jobs. In the fall, the firm will be adding a KBA Genius press for short-run plastic printing.
Capuano's goal when he started the business was to build relationships with his clients by offering unique capabilities combined with stellar service, in other words, going "all out" for the customer. "In today's market, too many firms focus on transactional sales instead of focusing on the customer and the relationship," says Capuano. "The large printing conglomerates don't value the relationships between the account reps and the clients. They want to get rid of the account rep. I believe that's wrong."
Big, bold, fearless
Since the establishment of All Out, Capuano has coined the slogan "Big, Bold, Fearless" for himself and his employees. It is what he wants customers to feel when they print with All Out; to not be afraid to use a large sheet of 48-pt. board or experiment with a new substrate and the UV process.
All Out is not only a large-format printer, but also a digital on-demand printer, which allows for production of short-run personalized variable work. A second Kodak NexPress gives All Out's clients multiple output options.
"We may run big, but we also run efficient and green," says Capuano. "The fat, dumb, happy days are over. In today's economy, especially, it's run efficiently or fail."
Capuano is president and founder of All Out Print Communications, Woodridge, IL. He started the firm with four partners as a print brokerage and then invested in VLF and digital presses.
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