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CADMUS SPECIALTY PRINTING — WHEN COMPETITION’S FIERCE

October 2006 BY ERIK CAGLE
Senior Editor
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MARKET PRICING in the B2B and special interest publications realm can be described in one word, according to Dan Rodriguez, general manager of Cadmus Specialty Publications. Predatory.

If you want to play ball in this space, you’d better think Yankee Stadium. New York City is the eye of the publishing storm; conquer the Big Apple, and you’ve got it made.

Were it only so easy. That predatory nature of the competition won’t allow printers to rest on the good will they’ve accrued. Laurel resting is not advised.

Cadmus Specialty Publications, based in Easton, PA, has adapted to its environment. Its proximity (just 80 miles from NYC) is critical and strategic but, in the end, the goods have to be delivered—on time and on schedule.

“Easton’s key differentiating feature is its long-standing history and reputation for quick-turn jobs and virtually 100 percent on-time delivery,” Rodriguez states. “That has allowed us to remain competitive and retain customers.”

Jobs produced at the Easton and Richmond, VA, facilities represent roughly $288 million of the $436 million in annual sales enjoyed by parent Cadmus Communications, based in the aforementioned Virginia city. Specialty Publications handles B2B and special interest daily, weekly and monthly magazines for the finance, entertainment and commercial sectors.

The Easton facility is growing, with a 12,000-square-foot addition nearing completion at press time. The annex will bring the size of the 380-employee plant to a shade under 300,000 square feet.

Bindery Additions

But adding capacity is not the route Cadmus Specialty is taking to bolster its publication standing. Reducing labor and improving turnaround time were the motivation behind recently acquiring a Muller Martini Prima SB saddle-stitcher and an Avanti bundler. Further enhancing productivity will be the arrival of a six-color Goss Sunday 3000 web press before the leaves turn color this fall.

The value of cutting down on makeready time is somewhat of a debatable topic; its value can be lost on some. But for a division like Cadmus Specialty Publications, which parades scores of titles through its presses and bindery at a time, the appreciation of quick makereadies is not mere lip service.

“The bindery works on very tight, compressed schedules for weekly and daily publications,” Rodriguez says. “Makeready speed is critically important to us since, at any given time, we have anywhere from two to three dozen weekly publications going through the bindery.

“We worked with Muller Martini to get a solution that was ergonomically sound on both the press and bindery side. We have a robotic palletizer attached to the Avanti bundler for the new Sunday press, as well as pocket feeders and streamfeeders on the Prima stitcher—all to facilitate quicker makereadies, higher runs speeds and better ergonomic conditions for our employees.”
 

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