PrimeNet Direct Marketing Solutions : Addressing the EnvironmentAugust 2012 By Julie Greenbaum, Associate Editor
The hurricane season of 2004 was a year that Mark Keefe, president and owner of PrimeNet Direct Marketing Solutions, and his staff would like to forget. As hurricane Charlie touched down on Tampa Bay, he realized just how unprepared his Largo, FL-based printing company was to handle a storm of this magnitude, let alone the three hurricanes that followed.
"Every time a storm would come through in 2004, our business and homes would lose power for days," recalls Keefe. "At that time, we were working out of three separate buildings—across a parking lot—that were not hurricane proof and we didn't have a plan in place. As a precaution, we loaded up semis and sent key equipment up to Atlanta to wait out the storms. I spent more than $200,000 that year on trucking charges alone. We also had to wrap every piece of machinery in cellophane."
The final straw for Keefe, however, was when his architect assessed one of the buildings and told him that the roof was so unstable that it could actually blow off. "I shared my concerns with our landlord at the time who indicated that's what insurance was for. I looked at him and said, 'I need to keep the business running.' "
A Smooth Move
To protect the company from natural disasters, Keefe moved the 50-year-old business into a new 55,000-square-foot facility last August. Located nine miles away from its previous plant, the move took about six months to complete. "We were printing at both locations for a while. In the midst of the move, we installed a new four-color Heidelberg Speedmaster 74 at our new plant, while we kept our other presses running in our previous location," he explains. "There were no interruptions in workflow, and we never missed a mail date."
With an additional branch in Minneapolis, the direct marketing operation employs a staff of 100, and serves hundreds of clients across the country. The company caters to a wide variety of verticals, including the educational, financial, hospitality, auto, health, retail services and home improvement segments. Some of the services it offers include sheetfed offset printing, digital output with variable data/personalization capabilities, data analytics, list management, Web-to-print capabilities and personalized URL campaigns. Printed products include postcards, self-mailers, and letters as small as #9 up to a jumbo 9x12˝.