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Ben Franklin Press Says Ryobi and xpedx Help Boost Profitability, Deliver Strong Performance, Support

Press release from the issuing company

TEMPE, Ariz.--April 3, 2006-- Ben Franklin Press, Inc. of Tempe is a $6.5 million annual revenue, 40-employee general commercial print and wide format shop that operates 16 to 24 hours nearly every day. The business started 50 years ago by the family of co-owners Ron, Harold and Ken Clark, when Tempe was a small town with more tumbleweeds than people. Today, Tempe's grown up and Ben Franklin Press has grown nicely with it. Top Ben Franklin Press customers include Arizona State University, which lists it as a preferred vendor, plus the Arizona Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Anaheim Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, New York Mets and more. Ben Franklin president Ron Clark got started in the family business at age 12. Not long afterwards, he was running a letterpress machine and worked in the pressroom for decades after that. He's operated large, mid-size and small presses at his print company and at other printing firms, as has his brother, Harold, now VP and CFO. The Clarks know their presses. And they know the Big Iron vendors well. Ben Franklin has four daily-use machines--a 40-inch Mitsubishi four-color, a Komori 40-inch five color, a Ryobi 23x29" five-color and a Heidelberg GTO 14x20" 2-color. The Ryobi is their newest press, added in June 2005 to meet growing customer demand. Before buying the Ryobi, the Clarks carefully investigated relevant press offerings from Hamada, Komori, Heidelberg and Ryobi. "We've always been focused on the big presses and, frankly, what we knew about Ryobi was its history in the small press market," Ron Clark explained. "But after learning about all the Ryobi offerings in the mid-size and under range--and after seeing a Ryobi in action at in-plants and busy commercial shops--we really were impressed." Originally the Clarks were looking at an A3-plus RYOBI 520 14x20" press, but their Ryobi and xpedx Printing Technologies representative, Don Epley in Phoenix, had an offer that could not be refused--a lightly used RYOBI 755 23x29" press with coater. 'We don't hesitate to put any job on our Ryobi press.' "Not only do I believe the Ryobi press prints better than all of the other presses we have, it's also just much easier to work with. "We can go from an 8.5x11 to a 20x26 and back down in a short amount of time with very little heartburn," Clark says of the RYOBI 755. "There's just zero complaint from the pressman. What's more, you can do all kinds of printing on this press--from full bleed solids to reversed type. We don't hesitate to put any job on this press." Clark also said wash-up and changeover from job to job is a snap. At an estimated 1.5 million to 2 million impressions monthly, "we run this thing day and night and there's never a problem." "We have no concerns that whatever we put on this machine, it can handle it," added Harold Clark, another longtime pressman himself. "Our pressman is extremely happy with the ease of operation. If you can have a happy pressman and a great machine, the results are positive for your customers and your company." The Clarks just bought another press for their shop, a RYOBI 520 series press with coater, to handle small custom jobs for clients. It's due on the shop floor in about a month. It will replace a well used and solidly performing Heidelberg GTO. In addition to performance, they are impressed with Ryobi's commitment to innovation, to meeting printer needs--and with the fact that it's part of a global multinational, Ryobi, Ltd., of Tokyo and Hiroshima, Japan. Ryobi has small, mid-size and large presses installed worldwide and it is also a major producer of engine die-castings, power tools and builder's hardware. After-sales press service deemed crucial The Clarks are very value driven. They have little patience for manufacturers that crow about how great their presses are but then fail to deliver on the highly important after-sale service and support. "Anybody can sell you a press that prints, but it's the service after the sale, the follow-up, the way you're treated on questions, service calls and after-sale support that matters. That's when you really find out what the company is made of," said Ron Clark. Epley, the xpedx Printing Technologies rep, is there as needed after the sale, checking in every 3-4 months or so. "He will sit down and listen to me. And then he'll go back and do something about it. That's really important to us." "I know service costs money and that it's not a profit center for the press makers," Clark added. "But it is the way to keep your customers for the long term. If you give the customer the post-sale service they deserve, they'll be loyal to you. That's one thing printers are: they're loyal."