Metzgers Printing + Mailing -- Knowledge Is PowerMarch 2009 By Erik Cagle
The Metzger brothers are students of the game, so to speak. Joe (in charge of sales and business development) and Tom (operations) comprise the brain trust at Metzgers Printing + Mailing in Toledo, OH. Whether it’s sharing ideas on Web-to-print at a PODi conference, or discussing digital printing at Graph Expo, it is curiosity—the quest for knowledge and unearthing best practices—that sparks Joe Metzger’s passion for all things related to printing.
OK, not entirely printing, but print-related. And, sometimes, the technology stretches the definition boundaries of ancillary products.
But when the game changes the rules, the time to find out is not after the fact. How is that possible? you ask. Metzgers Printing + Mailing has evolved and morphed more times in the last 30 years than Madonna in growing to a $13 million-a-year performer. The company was founded as a typesetter by Norb Metzger in 1976, became a service bureau in the mid-’80s, then a prepress house, offset printer, variable data digital printer, fulfillment house and more.
Whither the future of Metzgers? Joe is the dreamer, while Tom tends to evaluate the Xs and Os. The left and right sides of the thought process come together with an unofficial, but accurate, gauge that factors in a number of variables to help determine how the next course of the company will be plotted.
“Continuous attendance at trade shows and industry training sessions, as well as constant research of emerging trends, company skills and customer requests, are gathered, documented and listed,” notes Joe Metzger. “Equipment dream lists, as well as equipment need lists, are updated quarterly. Constant investment in equipment and software updates, as well as major capital investments, have been happening every two to four years since 1976. Technology and equipment drive sales and new business, as well as new services.
“The decision-making process is based on customer needs, industry trends and a whole lot of gut reaction to all of these facts,” he adds. “The constant passion to sell more services and then produce everything in-house is what helps drive decisions to buy offset presses, digital presses, UV coaters, folder/gluers, as well as software solutions such as Pageflex for variable printing and online storefronts.