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Allied Printing--Crowning Customers

November 1999
Allied Printing has developed a reputation for treating customers like royalty through full-service capabilities and a deadline-conscious, dedicated staff.


BY ERIK CAGLE


Allied Printing is celebrating its 50th anniversary by following the credo instilled by its founder, John F. Sommers: Never say no to a customer. And while the landscape of the commercial printing industry has witnessed numerous changes in the way business is conducted, it seems that Mr. Sommers' motto has enjoyed a nice, long shelf life.

Never saying no, naturally, means always saying yes—an expensive proposition—yet it is one that has worked for Allied Printing Services Inc. Located five miles east of Hartford in Manchester, CT, this independent commercial printer boasts state-of-the-art equipment.

Included are Heidelberg web and sheetfed offset presses (along with a second eight-color, 40˝ Speedmaster CD press installed late last month); a digital photography studio; complete electronic prepress capabilities, with 16 Mac PowerPCs, 18 proofing units, various imagesetters, direct-to-plate systems and an Internet server with WAM!NET connectibility; as well as duplicating, diecutting and letterpress departments. Did we mention a full bindery; warehousing, shipping and receiving departments; and a fleet of company trucks?

Perhaps it is simpler to say Allied Printing has everything a customer could ask for, and a lot more. But it is an impressive laundry list of products and services.

"Many times, when customers come to us with a printing project, they just found out about it themselves," notes John G. Sommers, 44, chairman and president of Allied Printing. "They're under tight constraints on their side of the business. They want a quality job and they need it yesterday. We excel at providing that type of service. That philosophy has been instilled in all of us growing up here at the shop. Our salespeople don't conjure up all these near-impossible deliveries. Customers need quick turnarounds for a reason, and that's good enough for us."

"Our philosophy has always been: If you just print and bind, you'll have 100 competitors in a one-mile radius," adds Gerald F. Sommers, executive vice president and marketing director of the company he co-owns with his brother. "If you start adding services and differentiating yourself from your competitors, you'll have one competitor in a 100-mile radius, which is more conducive to growing your business and doing well."

Jon Kaufman, 39, vice president of technology development, has worked at Allied Printing for 16 years and was also greatly influenced by the teachings of John F. Sommers, who passed away in January 1994.
 

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