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DOME PRINTING — THE TALENT POOLE

June 2006 BY ERIK CAGLE
Senior Editor
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THE POOLE brothers are not slaves to the latest trends in the commercial printing industry. Owners of Dome Printing in Sacramento, CA, Tim, Andy and Bob Poole march to their own beat, and that is usually the song that their customers are humming.

Take variable data digital printing, for example. Andy Poole—the vice president of manufacturing—sees its adoption as an inevitability, if not an evolution, that will ultimately be decided by Dome Printing’s customer needs. The company currently specializes in producing high-end, longer run work, but it is always on the lookout for ways to service customers. Most importantly, as an independently held entity, Dome Printing has the ability to turn on a dime in terms of decision making.

Nimble Operation

“Being family owned allows us the flexibility to make changes quickly,” Andy Poole says. “Equipment purchases and thousands of small changes can be made quickly, without the worries of publicly held companies. Decisions can even be made on gut feeling, and our savvy knowledge of business.”

Dome Printing embodies everything big. Most of its jobs are of the long run variety. Several
clients are the biggest in their respective fields, from cable television to entertainment technology and educational institutions.

Its geographic market is also big, littered with such heavy-hitter West Coast competitors as Cenveo Anderson, Trend Offset Printing, Lithographix, ColorGraphics and countless others. With $30 million in annual sales and projections of $36 million for 2006, Dome is a relatively large, independent printer that is growing continuously.

Still, Dome Printing has somewhat of a split personality. It maintains the press arsenal, finishing capabilities and quality production of a high-end, full-service printer. But when it comes to customer
service, Dome transforms into a family operation, providing immediate, personalized service that is traditionally associated with a smaller printer.

“We’re finding that clients are becoming more sophisticated,” says Tim Poole, president of Dome Printing. “Relationships today are as important as they’ve ever been because there are so many variables in our industry. One of the reasons we’ve grown is because we don’t look at print as a commodity. We still view it as custom manufacturing. Seeing yourself as a commodity printer is a tough sell that makes it difficult to differentiate yourself from competitors. Our business isn’t about selling at the lowest price, but providing solutions to our customers. If I’m price matching every day, we’re going to be in financial trouble very quickly.”
 

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