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FedEx Kinko’s — Network of Resources

June 2007 By Kristen E. Monte
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Business happens pretty quickly in the printing trade, and the same can be said for the shipping industry. Merge the two together, and you can expect the pace to get ratcheted up a level or two.

Take the humble beginnings of FedEx Kinko’s Office and Print Services. Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko’s, put a couple of copiers in a taco stand on the campus of the University of California-Santa Barbara in 1970 and sold a minority stake (tacos not included) for $200 million in 1996. Today, the printing and shipping hybrid does just north of $2 billion in annual revenues with a staggering 1,600 locations.

The print aspect of the overall company, formed by the 2004 acquisition by FedEx, serves as a back office for small- to medium-sized businesses and a remote office for traveling professionals. The back office realm provides a comprehensive suite of services for clients—not only document management via full-service color and black-and-white digital printing, binding and finishing, but also direct mail services, banners and POP displays. Oh, and of course, there’s office supplies and shipping.

Traveling Pro’s Dream

The company also created an environment where a traveling professional can use a store as a remote office via the Mobile Professional Program. It offers computer rentals, WiFi and mobile professional accessories, such as computer cords and cell phone chargers.

The “don’t blink” speed at which change impacts FedEx Kinko’s isn’t about to slow down, either. In June 2006, FedEx Kinko’s began its national expansion of new centers. In the past year, the company has opened nearly 200 stores and, in the next year, plans on opening another 300. According to Tom Leverton, senior vice president of operations growth and development, 2,000 more stores will be opened over the next five years.

Leverton says the stores are different from what customers have come to expect. A typical Kinko’s store was about 6,000 square feet, but the new ones will be about 1,500 square feet. Instead of a dozen employees buzzing about, these boutique-size shops will be manned by just three people.

The smaller store model offers improved customer service and convenience, enhanced pack-

and-ship stations and about 700 office products. The centers will carry a selection of business papers and writing instruments, along with new technology offerings such as DVD media, thumb drives and mobile phone accessories.
 

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