Mail Advertising & Bindery — Getting Into a Bind

Mail Advertising & Bindery looks to leverage its eight-pocket Muller Martini Prima stitcher.

The brain trust at Mail Advertising & Bindery, from left, Mike Pompilio, Mark Pannell, Paul Noonan and Charlie Le.

The Heidelberg ECO 105 folder/gluer is in action at Mail Advertising & Bindery.

Mail Advertising & Bindery employees monitor perfect binding activities.

The Super-KTZ folder from MBO debuts at Mail Advertising & Bindery.

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.

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