Best Value Copy : Masters of Digital PrintingJanuary 2012 By Julie Greenbaum, Associate Editor
Mark Stokvis joined the company in 1999 when he graduated from college. He started as an account executive, selling litigation copying services to New York-based law firms. When both he and his father decided to launch Best Value Copy, he jumped at the opportunity to direct the new business. “I was so excited to be a part of our new online division. Not only was it a new opportunity for me personally, but also for the company,” he explains. “Creating Best Value Copy was the best way to combat the decline of our traditional printing operation, and we hope that it will enable us to keep that going as long as possible.”
While the growth of the Internet has helped to strengthen the company, it has also presented many challenges. For example, much of the legal work that it had produced over the years has transitioned from paper-based, to electronic, documents and communication. Other challenges Best Value Copy has experienced include competition among other Web-based printers, cutthroat pricing, as well as the high IT costs involved with developing a robust Website and a Web-to-print platform.
Robert Stokvis likens the challenges of starting an online printing business to the California Gold Rush. The amount of work it took prospectors just to find a few nuggets is akin to the amount of time devoted to developing a Website, in hopes of finding new clients. “Web-based businesses have to do a lot of work just to try to be seen, and are forced to spend a considerable amount of money to advertise online through search engine marketing,” he adds. “It is also challenging to get profitable clients due to the very high cost of a paid search. Each time a prospective customer clicks on your ad, you pay a substantial charge, and very few actually turn into orders.”
Looking to the future, both father and son see the trend toward electronic communications continuing unabated, and feel that ink-on-paper will be discontinued in many applications. Robert Stokvis adds that the Internet will continue to adversely affect our industry as technology becomes more advanced, more mobile and more affordable.
“The migration of print to the Web has affected virtually all types of printing, and will likely continue in the future as more companies reduce their need for printed materials, and as the younger generation demands more Web-based information,” he concludes. “Even so, our future will be determined by how well we can manage ourselves through the current economic downturn. We will continue to serve our customers well, and try to come out of it in a strong, competitive condition.” PI