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Fast-Track Firms--Growing Greatness

December 1998
OK, so not everyone can be a Consolidated Graphics—exploding in sales more than 60 percent during 1998 through acquisitions. Then again, could the commercial printing industry really thrive in a sea of Consolidated clones? In an industry that is changing and consolidating, here are some leading printers from the Printing Impressions 500 on the road to riches.


BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO


In an industry of giants, an industry that can boast top sales in the billions for the upper echelon and an industry that can compensate top CEOs in the millions of dollars, a commercial printing operation doubling sales from $10 million to $20 million in one year can often get lost.

To applaud the little guys—who, with sales in the multimillion-dollar range, aren't so little—Printing Impressions offers this thumbnail view of a few fast-track printers.

Who they are may surprise you. How they boosted their annual sales so significantly in the span of a year will, no doubt, make for some interesting conversation. Better still, their tips for doing what they did—in some cases taking a tiny printing concern and transforming it into a world-class contender—should prove quite motivational.

Cunningham Graphics International
Jersey City, NJ
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $53.5 million
Previous Year: $24 million
Person Interviewed: Michael Cunningham, president

How did Cunningham grow?
"Over the past five years, we have been growing at a compounded growth rate of 39 percent per year. This growth was enabled, in part, by our decision to vertically integrate our operations, from database management right through intelligent inserting and to specialize in a particular market—all with an emphasis on customer service. We focused on printing and distributing time-sensitive materials and on providing on-demand printing services for the financial services industry.

"In addition, we expanded globally. Many of our clients had international printing requirements. To fill these needs, we formed the World Research Link (WRL). WRL is designed to facilitate the expeditious distribution of time-sensitive printed materials throughout select international markets, 24 hours a day."

Did you invest in new technologies?
"Absolutely. We are constantly reengineering ourselves. We have, and will continue to make, significant investments in a wide variety of technologies. For example, we are going direct-to-plate in all of our facilities. In addition, we just added two Xerox 6180 units and have on order an Océ DemandStream 8080DI twin for our digital output division.

In our pressroom, we just added another fully-automated, six-color Heidelberg Speedmaster. In our bindery, we recently installed a new MBO folder and a brand new Wohlenberg perfect binder with in-line trimming.






 

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