New CPrint Organization Helps Printers Prosper With New Technology
Press release from the issuing company
January 11, 2005 -- There is a new printing competitor on the national scene. CPrint (Certified Printers International) is an alliance of more than 100 independent printers from throughout North America who have joined together to create a competitive advantage for their companies in their local printing community. The organization is currently conducting a major recruiting effort to bring more printers into the alliance.
Established by the Crouser Professional Performance Alliance, CPrint is “taking the pain” out of the print buying experience for customers with its customer-friendly technology while providing a structured framework to help printers prosper.
According to Tom Crouser, president, CPrint is a new networking model that allows printers to achieve both financial and personal success using a combination of professional business advisors, peer-based board meetings, and applied educational programs tied with unique products and selling systems. “CPrint will provide a roadmap and services for printer’s success.
“The goal is to make a difference in the amount of money our affiliate printers earn and the amount of time they have for themselves and their families,” said Crouser. “It combines proven business practices with education and accountability to work toward profitability, financial stability and sales growth.”
According to Crouser, what makes CPrint unique is it has standards that must be met and maintained if a company want to continue to participate. “CPrint affiliates hold themselves to a higher standard than others in their market,” said Crouser. “Promoting those standards gives them their competitive advantage.”
A prospective affiliate first becomes part of the Alliance program with a two-year commitment to the program. The commitment includes the annual on-site visit and a twice-a-year board of directors meeting. Alliance participants also take part in national sales, production management and owner conferences and a professional sales course.
“Prospering is a commitment,” said Crouser, “and the Alliance participants are held accountable. They must participate in the program and apply what they learn. There are required courses, such as the general manager course, that must be completed. Once the company meets the standard, it becomes a full-member in the CPrint program. Failure to meet the minimum standards means the participant will not be eligible to renew.”
Each affiliate’s Board of Directors monitors success and failure. A participant is assigned to a Board of Directors group of eight companies that meet every six months in one of the CPrint Performance Centers in Jacksonville, Chicago, New Orleans or San Diego. During these meetings the participant receives pertinent business training, meets with his board, and adopts a budget and action plan.
“This is where the Board of Directors is different from other ‘peer groups’,” said Crouser. “The financial information, budget formats, and business practices among the participants is uniformed and can be easily compared. Each month, the financials are reviewed by the CPrint headquarters’ staff and shared among the Board members. What happens in the Board meeting is monitored until the next meeting.”
Directing each board meeting is another business owner CPrint calls a Mentor. They are senior participants in CPrint. As chairman of the board, their role is to make sure everyone is kept on task while sharing their experience as a company owner and senior in the program.
A business advisor works directly with the affiliate on an ongoing basis. “The relationship that develops between the business advisor and the affiliate is really the heart of our program,” said Crouser. “Our business advisor comes to your shop and works with you in developing a budget and an action plan. You present it to your Board. Then we monitor it. Then we make adjustments. And then we do it again. And in doing this, we can help the affiliates make vast improvements in your business.”
Besides making more money, affiliates also have more time. “We stress organization and real business skills,” said Crouser. “With our training, affiliates can achieve ‘hassle free’ management. This gives them more time to spend on the important things in life such as their family.”
How successful are CPrint affiliates? Some participants can point to achieving the organization’s goal of a combination of a 2 to 1 current ratio, 20 percent profit before owner’s compensation and a sales growth of 15 percent every three years. Achieving these numbers puts the printer into the top performing companies in the country. Others point to the time saved by eliminating organizational barriers to success that translates into 40-hour work weeks and vacation time.
According to Crouser, the typical affiliate print shops in CPrint have 20 or fewer workers and most are in the 4 to 12 range. Sales are anywhere from $200,000 to over $3 million, but typically in the $300,000 - $1.2 million range. Said Crouser, “All of the shops we work with are owner-managed and most have a single location About half the affiliates have other members of the family, spouse, child or parent, involved in the business on a daily basis.
More importantly is none of the CPrint affiliates compete with each other in commerce. Crouser said, “We can share freely and openly and train our people together. This lets us deal with the real issues of our business and family life.”
Because of the competitive buffer zones, CPrint can offer some unique services to give its affiliates a competitive edge at the local level. The organization has such services as RightType Document Creation Service, an overnight typesetting service, and the SeePrint Driver, an automated PDF creation program. The group has also developed some special marketing programs such as its RapidRepeat System and CPrint Gateway System to give the affiliates unique reasons to call on customers.
“Technology is an important part of a printing organization,” said Crouser, “but most printers haven’t been able to translate the technology into sales. We have ways to bring the new printing technology to customers in an easily understandable form that will profit both the customer and the affiliate. It gives our affiliates a selling advantage for printer.”
One reason the CPrint affiliates are successful is because training is being pushed throughout the company. “Too many times, the only training available is seminars offered at trade show for the owners and management staff,” said Crouser. “CPrint delivers online training directly to the printer’s staff each month.” CPrint offers employees more than 30 hours of printing specific seminars and courses each month, much of which can be used as continuing education credit at local colleges.
“We know that most successful printers have the best trained staffs,” said Crouser. “Having well trained employees will give you a competitive edge and makes attractive to workers. CPrint companies offer employee benefits and opportunities not usually found in a small family-owned business. We want to provide a professional environment for those working around us that result in a growing and secure business.”
CPrint is currently accepting applications into its Alliance program. For more information, visit www.CPrint.org or call 304-965-7100.
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