The Bureau : (Grand)Mother of Diversity

The Bureau staff members stand with the company’s new six-color, 73˝ Roland 900 XXL large-format sheetfed press with in-line coater.

Lynne Alexander, CEO of The Bureau.

That the company is now in its sixth generation of ownership, and still thriving as a printing concern, is a major coup on two counts. It has long been said that any company that has been able to endure decades of sometimes tumultuous fiscal and technological upheaval has earned that right by not clinging tightly to tradition. What’s tried and true is a moving target, and The Bureau is no exception as it has carefully mapped out and diagnosed the evolving needs of its customers and the means used to effectively reach that end-user base.

Tucked along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, the 125-employee printing aspect of The Bureau (which has a second well-known division, the Art Instruction Schools) approaches $25 million in annual revenues by providing marketing and large-format, point-of-purchase collateral for the retail and label/packaging markets.

Its retail clients include many of the big-box chain stores, automotive, liquor and banking markets. The Bureau also prides itself with the ability to manufacture displays and signage on a wide variety of substrates.

While Alexander’s direct involvement in daily operations dates back to her being named to her current roles in early 2010 (she has been a board member for 25 years), her 20-plus years of experience in the retail sector provide the company with unique perspective in that highly-competitive market. Still, she contends that market savvy has long enabled The Bureau to enjoy a leading position.

Responding to Retailers

“Quality and competitive pricing were basically our mantras,” Alexander says. “We determined it was vital to keep production in-house. It provides control over schedules and quality, and it helps us to ensure on-time deliveries.

“Retailers, more than other markets, work on short lead times as to what types of displays and promotions they’re going to use. It’s a fast-changing industry, and many customers come to us with the impossible job—impossible from a delivery or production standpoint. We love those jobs and we’re positioned to help solve the impossible.”

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