J.S. McCarthy — Driving Out Costs, WasteSeptember 2008 By Erik Cagle
Indeed, it takes a hearty printer to compete in the general commercial realm--one more apt to accept smaller margins, offer a full array of services, become the low-cost provider and be able to find ways to drive costs out of the system. Oh, and don't forget quality. The implication is that quality is sometimes winked at in low-cost scenarios. . .your competition wants you to believe that.
All of the aforementioned outlets are pursued in lieu of asking clients to bear a greater burden in the fiscal portion of their print campaigns. It may not sound like the sexiest way of doing business, but there are companies in this space that have been able to rise to the challenge in less-than- favorable conditions. J.S. McCarthy, or JSM, is one of those printers; a conglomeration of merged entities honed into a taut, well-oiled machine that is only getting stronger with time.
Rick Tardiff, president of JSM, leaves no stone unturned in his quest to find an advantage over the competition. From adding more efficient equipment that handles twice the work of their predecessors, to green initiatives such as wind power, and embarking on lean manufacturing training that will allow the company to do more with less, Tardiff knows how to seize the opportunity.
"We're JDF-compatible, from the press to cutting, folding and stitching," notes Tardiff. "All of our equipment purchases moving forward will be made with automation in mind; we see that as the future. We can cut our makeready times and out-produce someone who has conventional equipment. We're looking to be the low-cost producer in the industry. The bottom line: The low-cost producer is going to win in the end."
To say JSM is a provider of 40? product does not do justice to its dizzying array of capabilities: variable data digital printing, wide-format output, package printing, diecutting, foil stamping, embossing, mailing, fulfillment and specialty applications. Its clientele primarily represent the greeting card, secondary education, museum, B2B and retail sectors.
"The breadth of services we offer under one roof is a major strength for us," notes Jon Tardiff, JSM vice president and Rick's son. "There's not much work that we farm out."
The pride of Augusta, ME, JSM took on its current form at the beginning of the millennium. Letter Systems--fresh off its acquisition of Knowlton & McLeary--bought JSM, which had merged with Gannet Graphics previously. Prepress house Graphic Color joined the fold shortly after. JSM's name was kept since it boasted the strongest brand identity.