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BCT Midwest, Des Moines, IA

June 1, 2010
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An argument can be made for a name change when that name fails to capture the full impact of a business. Take BCT Midwest. The acronym of this trade printer once stood for Business Cards Tomorrow, referring to the 24-hour turnaround offered on such orders. But BCT also provides its printer customers with letterheads, envelopes, announcements, postcards, brochures, catalogs, note pads, carbon forms, labels, wide-format banners and more.

BCT Midwest Owner Tim Danley is working on changing the misconception. "It's a constant struggle for us to convince people to not think of us as just a business card printer," he says. "We're a full-service wholesale/commercial printer. There aren't many trade printers in the Midwest that do everything we do."

Danley is undaunted by the sheer volume of competition in the general commercial space. And he's confident that his company can go toe-to-toe with the online printing sources.

"We are the best of both worlds—we have low prices and quick turnaround, plus we know your name," he says. "We provide project management that the Web-based companies simply can't. When you get past the real cheap advertised pricing of Web-only printers, you find the rest of the pricing really isn't that low, especially when you add in the inflated shipping and handling charges.

"I do thank them because they have forced change in the industry. They have made the strong get better and even stronger."

One highly impressive distinction that BCT Midwest can claim is 20 consecutive years of sales growth; no small feat considering there have been several recessions during that time frame. In stretching beyond the traditional business card sector, Danley credits good old-fashioned word of mouth with spreading BCT Midwest's gospel.

The Danleys acquired then-BCT Des Moines in 1994 and bought other franchises in Omaha, St. Louis and Kansas City, which have since been rolled into one facility. The company's geographical markets now include Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and Southern Illinois.

While Danley didn't have a printing background, the parents of his wife, Tami, owned a Minuteman Press franchise in Des Moines. BCT currently serves printers of all sizes, as well as print brokers.

Danley is an ardent believer in keeping up with printing technology, especially given the high mileage BCT Midwest tends to rack up on the presses. A company that has done as many as 1,400 custom orders in one day and a million-plus card order in a three-day span requires iron that is rugged in construction. Last fall, BCT Midwest took delivery of a five-color Ryobi 755 XLW sheetfed press with coater from xpedx. It was a relatively easy call for Danley to make, since BCT Midwest has been a Ryobi shop from the beginning.

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