New Orleans Printer Mpress Delivers Impressive Results with Mitsubishi
Press release from the issuing company
May 23, 2007 -- NEW ORLEANS -- Hurricane Katrina pounded the New Orleans printing industry, forcing closures, relocations, mergers and equipment repair costs. In the case of Mpress, however, adversity created a dynamic new company that is busily crafting a national identity.
"By bringing together the value and capabilities of three longstanding New Orleans printing companies, Mpress is truly a full-service printer," said Ashley Abbott, chief executive officer.
Mpress came into being with the merger of Metairie Printing, Franklin Southland Printing and Monahan Printing & Direct Mail. The commercial printer operated temporarily out of Metairie Printing's 16,000-square-foot space in Kenner until the former Monahan facility could be rebuilt to serve as headquarters.
At 35,000 square feet, the Mpress plant is home to a new Mitsubishi Diamond 3000S. The six-color, 40-inch press with tower coater is nearly identical to a 2-year-old Diamond 3000S that had escaped flood damage at Metairie Printing.
"Everything was going well at the Metairie building," Abbott said. "We were running the Mitsubishi press, and it was in great shape. When we made the decision, in May 2006, to relocate to the Monahan building, we wanted a seamless transition with no downtime. Rather than move the existing press, we chose to trade in the old one on a new press that had the same configuration and features as its predecessor."
Mpress employs 61 people. The three original companies each billed $4 million in annual sales. The new firm generated approximately $7 million in 2006. More than 15 percent of its revenues came from customers outside the region. Abbott expects total revenues to increase to pre-Katrina levels within a short period of time.
"As a combined unit, Mpress has the potential to be very profitable," he said.
Mpress performs in-house die-cutting, saddle stitching, perfect binding, cutting and folding. A host of other diverse capabilities includes stamping, embossing, hand assembly and fulfillment.
While Mpress readily embraces digital workflows, web-based file transfers and electronic commerce, traditional commercial printing and related services are the mainstays of its business.
For its litho-printed projects, the printer employs the Mitsubishi press along with a five-color, 20-inch press, a two-color, 18-inch machine and a two-color envelope press. Print runs of 5,000 impressions are typical. Jobs with runs of 30,000 represent the high end of the printing spectrum.
Catalogs and books keep the 40-inch press well supplied with work. Direct mail is another key component of Mpress' printing.
"The Mitsubishi is a really good press," Abbott stated. "The print quality achieved by printing presses today is very high. The value you receive from an investment is important. For our press operators, it's all about ease of use. All of our press operators say the Mitsubishi is the most user-friendly press they have operated. Operation is straightforward. The plates fit on and off the press easily. Operators can access different areas of the press without having to squeeze into tight spaces. They love the press."
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