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Innovation Printing & Communications — Focused on Growth

October 2007 By Julie Greenbaum
Associate Editor
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A “WHATEVER it takes attitude” in the business world may sound cliché, but Philadelphia-based Innovation Printing & Communications has walked the walk—responding to customer needs by adding new equipment, consolidating into a single facility to optimize workflows and increasing its headcount with 20 new employees.

From its outset in 1973, Innovation was a boutique shop, specializing in annual reports and other high-end projects. Owners Jeff Jones, president, and Dave Carpenter, vice president of sales and operations, wanted to transform the business away from the seasonal nature of annual report printing into a commercial sheetfed offset and digital printing operation.

Jones and Carpenter bought Innovation outright from the original partners in 2004 and decided to expand the business. They also changed the company’s name from Innovation Printing & Lithography to Innovation Printing & Communications to better reflect its diverse offerings.

“When Jeff and I acquired the company, we knew that there was a need to switch from a boutique-type printing company to become more of a corporate printer,” explains Carpenter.

As a result, Innovation has expanded beyond traditional offset into large-format printing, variable data digital printing, Web-to-print capabilities, and warehousing and fulfillment. Today, it serves the design, financial, software and pharmaceutical industries, with plans to branch into education.

As customer demands have changed, Innovation has responded in kind. “For example, one client wanted us to produce large volumes of print-on-demand work, which led to our purchase in 2005 of a Xerox iGen3 digital press,” Carpenter explains. The company’s first leap into digital output was with a Xerox 6060, but the iGen3 was installed for its versatility and variable data capabilities. Similarly, “other customers were looking for someone to not only print their projects, but to also fulfill them, so we created our warehouse and fulfillment operation,” he adds. And, when another customer required diecutting and converting services, Innovation purchased a 40˝ diecutter and folder/gluer.

“Our clients love the fact that we buy new equipment so we can keep more work in-house, which ultimately saves them money. As a result, our costs come down, but our quality remains high because we can control the entire process,” Jones explains.

As business continued to grow, both Jones, Carpenter and George Slater, co-owner and vice president of sales (who joined the company in April 2006), realized that operating out of two buildings totalling 39,000 square feet was no longer adequate. So the owners decided to expand, ultimately moving into their new facility in January.


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