Fineline Printing Group : Living the American DreamOctober 2009 By Cheryl Adams
The printer has implemented numerous green initiatives, as part of the SGP program and of its own accord. For example, Fineline recycles all of its paper and cardboard waste, printing plates, used shop towels and "nearly everything that can be recycled," says Miller.
"We reuse, recycle and/or neutralize almost everything used in the printing/manufacturing process. In 2008 alone, we saved about $83,000 via our recycling efforts."
In addition to its affiliation with the SGP and its extensive recycling efforts, Fineline is also a certified EPA Green Power Partner that purchases and utilizes green energy. It also uses EcoSmart inks from Braden Sutphin. "Green printing is one of our strengths," says Miller. "The healthcare and pharmaceutical industries have also become niches, as we produce Medicaid/Medicare literature and fulfillment, as well as packaging inserts."
Fineline's growth over the last few years "has been averaging about 10 percent per year," Miller reports. "However, over the past two years—with the purchase of the most recent Speedmaster, implementation of an online ordering system, creation of a marketing department, green printing promotions and expansion into promotional products—sales growth in 2007 spiked 20 percent over the previous year. And, in 2008, despite the recession woes and our clients' printing budgets being frequently cut, sales were 15 percent over 2007," he asserts.
Still Aiming Higher
Confident that its financial growth will continue, even during what economists have described, at best, as an economically tumultuous 2009, Fineline Printing Group is aiming its sights above the current fray. Miller expects the company's next milestones to include reaching the $15 million mark (sometime in the next two or three years), expanding into the wide-format digital market, and continuing to be a printing industry leader in the areas of green and lean initiatives.
Besides investing in new technology and innovative business strategies (i.e., being green), having a strong work ethic and an "employees are assets" mentality, Fineline's success can also be attributed to Miller's sense of family values and his commitment to fostering healthy relationships company-wide.
"Employees are proud to be a part of Fineline because they feel a true bond to the company and its managers," explains Shawn Smith, the company's marketing and PR director. "Whether you're a manager or a new press worker, you know Richard Miller and call him by first name. From top to bottom, all employees want to help Fineline grow, and that's reflected in the quality of their workmanship and service."
The "living proof" that Fineline employees are committed to the company, Smith says, is the fact that the average employee has been with Fineline for about 10 years, with some having served the company for 20 years or longer. "That's dedication and experience!" he asserts.
That diligence and know-how is reflected externally, as well, and Miller believes that those traits help differentiate the company from other printers.
"One thing that distinguishes us is our level of client commitment. We almost always say 'Yes' to our customers," he explains. "If we don't have the equipment, we buy it. If it's something we have never tried, we test it and try it. As our clients' needs have grown and diversified, we have expanded our products and services to meet these needs."
The bottom line at Fineline Printing Group is the same today as it was yesterday, and it will be the same tomorrow and all the days thereafter, asserts Miller. "We will not ask for your business unless we can help you improve it. That is the company creed, and it's one that our team sticks by." PI