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All Out Print Communications : How Bigger Can Be Better

January 2010 By Erik Cagle
Senior Editor
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THERE ARE companies which devise clever, creative names that sound less and less cute every time you hear them. Some prefer to meld together several monikers; others turn to techno-esque handles that may make zero sense, but still sound cool.

And many graphic arts firms are taking the word "printing" out of the equation, because it's no longer hip to be just a printer and no one wants to be pigeonholed as such. You'd think it was akin to calling a company Johnson Typewriter.

But few "marketing solutions providers" use a name that accurately describes not only what they do, but how they do it. That all has changed with the emergence of All Out Print Communications, the new kid on the block in Woodridge, IL. Actually, it's literally true that All Out is new, given that the firm only opened its doors in November of 2005. More on that later.

What's in a name? In this case, a little bit of attitude, a dash of tenacity and a boatload of spirit. Think Pete Rose without the bad hair or shady friends. All Out's trademark is "Big, Bold and Fearless." For you see, not only does company founder J.B. Capuano expect his production team to jump through hoops for their customers, he wants those clients to alter the approach they take to creating and disseminating their message.

"We challenge our customers to be big, bold and fearless—to embrace large-format output, and to print on unique substrates," he says.

That's the Way We Roll

Capuano is a man of few words who doesn't dabble in BS. He knows that, without quality customer service in a highly competitive Chicago-area marketplace, the name isn't going to fill capacity and keep clients coming back. Everyone at All Out—from Capuano down to the guy who drives delivery trucks—is in lock step with the message, "Customer service, that's the way we roll," which can be found hanging on a large sign in the middle of the pressroom.

"If they don't care about the customer," Capuano notes of employees, "they're not working here."

Capuano's industry resumé extends before his company's November 2005 birth. His father, Jim, founded a shop called Multiple Images in 1986, before selling it to Houston-based Consolidated Graphics in 1999. The Capuanos stayed on board to manage the company for another six years, but increasingly found they wanted to go in a somewhat different direction from their traditional 40˝ sheetfed work.

J.B. Capuano liked the thought of going into large-format printing. And he relished the challenge of printing on plastics and other unique substrates. Package printing was also appealing, and not just "down and dirty" label printing.

All Out Print Communications is a realized vision for Capuano, who brought along key executives such as Gordon Gizowski, vice president of operations; Dan Kotas, marketing manager; Craig Rehr, IT/prepress manager; and Bob Pawlicki, sales manager, from Multiple Images (Jim Capuano is CFO). It outputs commercial work (annual reports, brochures, catalogs, magazines, direct mail), but also boasts a varied menu that includes large-format and package printing. Point-of-purchase (POP), static cling, plastics and lenticular provide extra spices, along with unique applications such as MiraFoil. The company is also collaborating with Tracer Graphics on some patent-pending lenticular innovations that will be unveiled this year.

As for plastics, All Out loves a challenge. It works on substrates including the electronically charged Cling Z, the plastic/paper hybrid Teslin, vinyl, polystyrene, polypropylene film and Tyvek, among others.

At the beginning of 2009, All Out installed a new KBA Genius 52 UV waterless and rollerless offset press for the short-run production of POP and packaging materials. The press complements a pair of 56˝ KBA Rapidas already in the fold—a five-color with coater and a six-color with interdeck UV curing and coater.

While the Genius only went live last February, it has already been affectionately dubbed Mighty Mouse, another creature with a small footprint and brute strength. The machine churns out 8,000 sph and can print on paper, plastic, foil and virtually any non-porous surface.

"It's an unbelievable little press," notes Gizowski. "We do a lot of press proofing on there for lenticular work, then wind up printing the production runs on the big presses. Clients like to see the real thing instead of approving proofs output from a normal proofer.

"What's unique about our Genius is that can handle a thick substrate, even 32-pt. board stock. We considered several different presses...for what we wanted and what our clients needed—running lenticular to thin substrates—and the KBA does it really well. The turn time is incredible and there is virtually no waste."

Large-format, POP and packaging has opened many doors for All Out, adding about 37 percent more volume over its commercial take. Just to keep customers up to speed with the company's evolving capabilities, the printer will often fire off an e-mail blast marketing campaign that details a recent project.

Its burgeoning sales volume hasn't stopped All Out's quest for becoming leaner and meaner. According to Gizowski, the company's desire to streamline production and eliminate redundancy in errors led it down the JDF (Job Definition Format) path centered around its Hiflex MIS system. Now, the company's prepress department, KBA presses and cutter are all JDF-compliant. Internal efficiencies and cost reductions have been gained, while real-time tracking provides the cherry on top for All Out.

Rounding out the acquisitions for 2009 was a fully automated platesetting system from Screen (U.S.A.). J.B. Capuano sees the company possibly adding diecutting capabilities, and maybe even another large-format press, in the next 18 to 24 months. Another thing that is high on his to-do list is a 20,000-square-foot addition to the company's current 30,000-square-foot facility.

Farewell, 2009

As 2010 gets underway, Capuano is optimistic about growth opportunities for his company. He envisions All Out generating $30 million in business backed by the three KBA presses, a figure he would like to one day see reach $50 to $60 million. And, while general commercial work is the backbone of this G7 and FSI/SFC certified firm, the growing muscle lies in large-format, working with plastics and lenticular, and POP jobs.

Leaving nothing to chance, All Out has joined some user groups for the purpose of devising new ideas, developing strategies and sharing marketing tools. "There are a lot of discussions about where companies want to see themselves in the future," Gizowski remarks.

All Out certainly picked up some valuable experience from the Great Recession of 2009, as the company sought to find creative ways to raise its level of engagement with customers. One such measure was a rewards card of sorts, which was loaded with a free car wash for clients each time they came in for press approvals.

"It may sound crazy, but a lot of clients were impressed with the idea," Gizowski notes. "It got us more engaged with them, and opened the door to having more one-on-ones."

Perfection may be out of reach for most companies, but the way Capuano sees it, the pursuit of perfection can bring about the desired results, especially with customers.

"We know that we're always doing the right thing," J.B. Capuano adds. "Bottom line is, we'll always succeed if we take care of the customer and make them happy."

As the sports adage suggests, going All Out means to put forth one's best effort. Which is necessary for victory...or success. PI


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