Craftline Printing — The Finishing TouchesJune 2008 By Erik Cagle
Craftline Printing, a commercial printer and direct mailer based in Fort Wayne, IN, knows a little something about partnerships, both with companies that supply it with equipment and customers who rely on the printer to deliver their marketing messages.
Craftline has three divisions: commercial, book and C-Point Marketing. The commercial branch produces printing and mailings for local, regional and national clients. On the book end, Craftline is one of the largest producers of coloring books in North America; it prints and binds the books (saddlestitched and perfect-bound), and even produces the display packaging that are then shipped fully stocked.
C-Point Marketing is the technology arm of the Craftline triad, providing solutions such as digital variable data printing (VDP), data management, e-procurement, and mailing and fulfillment services, among others. The printer has some customers in the service provider sector, as well as a few retail clients, but its bread and butter lies with healthcare providers.
It should come as no surprise that variable data printing, along with its ancillaries, represents some of the best growth potential for the Craftline organization. It is what prompted the company to go full color and add two Kodak Nexpress digital production presses, a 2500 and an S3000. According to Larry Lengacher, vice president and general manager of Craftline Printing, the company was taken by Kodak’s entire platform, including the InSite asset library and e-procurement storefront.
“Kodak became highly interested after they had the opportunity to see what we were doing here,” Lengacher says. “It added one more component to its business model, which was the data collection of the variable data that we were putting out there. Kodak looked at it more as a partnership than just selling a piece of equipment. That’s where the relationship blossomed.”
So Lengacher had planned to go with two Nexpresses, but also ended up with the Kodak Prinergy workflow system, InSite asset library and Web-to-print storefront solution. “If Kodak has it, we own it,” he quips. “I didn’t buy a Nexpress as much as I bought a partnership,” he adds. “We wanted to expand our variable data capabilities into a much higher speed from where we were. We needed to have the volume capabilities.”