Foxfire Printing and Packaging : Sure Signs of SuccessSeptember 2012 By Erik Cagle, Senior Editor
The way John Ferretti sees it, printing is just about the least of his customers' problems. The CEO and founder of Newark, DE-based Foxfire Printing and Packaging knows that if he can get to the point where his customers are essentially getting their printing for free, then he knows his firm has done its job.
The largest printer in the state of Delaware—with $47 million in sales for fiscal year 2012—didn't get that way by doling out freebies (especially since the business nearly doubled from a previous year's $24.1 million in revenues). Instead, Foxfire reached the top of its market space by enabling its clients—retail chains including grocery, clothing, pharmaceutical, auto, department and discount stores—to efficiently and effectively execute their signage programs, from data manipulation through installation.
One of the most interesting facts offered by Ferretti: The cost to install a sign is generally eight to 10 times the cost of the sign itself. So how does Foxfire and its clients make money? By providing solutions that enable the retailer to greatly reduce its installation time. And, with floor personnel kept to a minimum by many cost-conscious retailers, the ability to efficiently and effectively execute an advertising campaign can provide real savings, thus negating the relatively small cost of the printed products as part of the whole enchilada.
"We've recruited and developed retail industry experts. We've become experts in supporting their needs," Ferretti states."Print is just our by-product. We've developed end-to-end solutions for retail that feature a holistic approach, looking at everything from data to installation."
Where Foxfire delivers is in impacting the two pivotal metrics in the world of retail: Same store sales and operating margins. He points out that retailers count 20 percent of their revenues from promotional sales alone, and many retailers often fall short of having 100 percent of their outlets implementing 100 percent of promotional signage. But, in using the plan-o-gram system (the organization of how products are laid out in the store, packaged to be easily implemented at the retail level) the value proposition far exceeds merely making life easier on the retail employee staff.
"We look at the way the kit is organized and examine the distribution channel—all the factors in reducing installation time," Ferretti stresses. "And, if we can reduce that by 10 percent, essentially the printing is free."