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GRELIND PRINTING CENTER -- Technology Matters

May 2002
BY CAROLINE MILLER


Grelind Printing Center Owner Linda Peterson lives in one of the most beautiful places in the country. Her printing operation is nestled within the foothills of Black Hills National Forest in Rapid City, SD, located just miles from Mount Rushmore.

While Peterson is greeted every day with awe-inspiring and breath-taking vistas, she also has to deal with the fact that there are less than 200,000 people within a 400 to 500 square mile radius. And she has to compete with more than 16 other printers within the Rapid City area, and still even more shops in surrounding towns.

So how does this 20-year-old printing operation with just eight employees continue to survive in an area with so few people and a market with so many competitors?

"From the very beginning, we felt that keeping up with technology and continuing to upgrade and replace equipment were important to our success. It enables us to be more productive and more efficient. We always choose new and high-quality equipment, and we plan to upgrade and replace yearly. We combine this with high-quality output and service," explains Peterson.

Small Shop, Big Options

Although a fairly small operation, the shop does over $700,000 in business annually, and offers a wide variety of options to its customers.

"We've always provided creative services. We also print envelopes, fine art and some book publishing. We were the first in our area to offer digital output capabilities, DSL services and modem. And we have full bindery capabilities," she says.

"I've learned over the years that, when you live in a low population area, you cannot specialize. We need to be able to take in whatever work our customers require. If you try to specialize there is not enough work," she remarks.

Grelind Printing clients are mostly commercial law firms, manufacturers, hotels, restaurants and hospitals. They also do a lot of bindery work for local in-plants that don't have the finishing equipment that Grelind does, she reports.

Because Grelind has such a diverse product offering, the machinery that the company purchases must be very flexible and efficient. Which is why Peterson believes that upgrading equipment has been such a huge key to her company's success over the past 20 years.

"With the direction that the printing industry is going, I believe that the more efficient we become with new equipment the better we will be able to capture more market share," she claims.
 

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