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CUNNINGHAM GRAPHICS INT'L -- A Digital Prospectus

April 2002
BY MARK SMITH


Trying to be all things to all people is generally recognized as a formula for disaster. However, putting a spin on this strategy has proven successful for Cunningham Graphics International (CGI). The Jersey City, NJ-based organization strives to be a one-stop shop for all the document management and communication needs of a tightly targeted market.

Through 18 operations spread across 12 cities and five countries, Cunningham Graphics serves the financial community with an emphasis on producing time-sensitive documents involved with investor communications, reveals Gordon Mays, executive vice president of marketing and sales.

The company's client base includes most of Wall Street's top investment firms, major insurance companies and many Fortune 500 companies. Its list of services include digital communications, document management, digital and offset (sheetfed and web) printing, as well as binding/finishing, fulfillment and mailing services.

Having engaged in a flurry of acquisition activity in the late 1990s, for a time CGI took on the appearance of being another industry consolidator. According to Mays, the true agenda behind these moves was to put the geographical and capability pieces in place to provide one-stop service.

The company itself became an acquisition target in the May/June 2000 time frame, and now is a division of Automatic Data Processing (ADP) in Roseland, NJ. Mays characterizes this move as a significant event in a very positive way. "Being part of ADP has made us an ever stronger force in the financial industry," he says. "It provides investment resources and technical expertise, as well as gives us strategic access to clients."

Outsourcing Services

ADP offers a broad spectrum of technology-driven outsourcing solutions through four business units—employer services, brokerage services, auto/truck dealer services and insurance claim services.

Scott Ades, chief administrative officer, says many people have a misconception about the market that Cunningham serves. "When you mention the financial market people tend to think of prospectuses and the like, which is one- and two-color work," he explains. "But around the total investor communications proposition, there is a tremendous amount of color work."

At Cunningham Graphics, color is just as likely to mean digital production. "The advances in color digital printing quality have been fantastic," Mays notes. "We now have clients that will accept digital, as well as offset, for very high-end work.

"If you look with a loupe you are going to see differences between offset and digital output, but I maintain that the typical end user isn't going to notice the difference. Still, there are pieces of which clients prefer be done offset. That's why we have three (soon to be four) six-color Heidelberg sheetfed presses equipped with aqueous coating and one MAN Roland just in our headquarters facility alone."
 

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