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Mail Advertising & Bindery — Getting Into a Bind

March 2008 By Erik Cagle
Senior Editor
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THE PRODUCTION workflow chain can be lonely toward the back end, particularly when your company specializes in mailing services. Not to mention frustrating, infuriating and a few more colorful terms.

When mailing’s the name of your game, there are usually one or more vendors ahead of you in the production of a job, pushing the acceptable boundaries of deadlines. The job finally arrives in your shop; it should have been mailed yesterday; and now you are left to pick up the pieces. You either shrug and concede it to be the nature of the beast, or decide that maybe the tail end of the workflow isn’t the greatest place for you.

You can put Mail Advertising & Bindery into the latter category, though the Smyrna, GA-based mailer’s decision to branch into binding was hardly fueled by frustration. According to Mark Pannell, president of the 35-year-old firm, its 2001 foray into finishing was motivated by client needs. And, once the equipment purchasing started, it was difficult to stop.

“We were often waiting on the jobs coming from companies that were giving us the mail work. The jobs were either stuck in their bindery or at a trade bindery,” Pannell says. “So, we decided it would be a good business decision to buy some folders. One thing led to another, and we ended up purchasing stitchers. From there, we installed a perfect binder.”

The growth has proven to be drastic for Mail Advertising & Bindery, which has acquired nine folders in seven years. At the turn of the millennium, the company had 30 employees operating in a 10,000-square-foot facility. It now boasts 130 workers and 75,000 square feet of manufacturing space. For 2007, it posted sales of $7 million. A lion’s share of its work comes from the Southeast, namely Atlanta, though it also has customer pockets in Ohio and California.

Mail Advertising & Bindery maintains a fleet of 12 ink-jet printers, both water- and solvent-based, with the capability to print on most UV and aqueous coatings. The printers include four Scitex Liberty 7122 models, four Scitex 5120 machines and two Kodak Versamark DP5122-2 units. The company also brings to the table 6˝ print capability, match mailing, variable data, wafer sealing and Cheshire labeling. The company’s digital printing line consists of three Xerox models: a Nuvera, a DocuTech and a DocuColor.

The Binding Revolution

The binding revolution now allows Mail Advertising & Bindery to produce saddlestitched and perfect-bound books, along with a variety of application glues and tip-ons. Mike Pompilio, general manager of Mail Advertising & Bindery, points out that customers are now coming to them with specialty requests. He points out that one such job, an 80-page, perfect-bound book with four-color photos, included hand inserted tabs, a labor-intensive process.

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