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Miami Printer Eyes Future

August 2002
MIAMI—Jorge and Manny Hernandez are big fans of the United States, having come to this country as children when their parents evacuated them from Cuba.

The Hernandez brothers availed themselves of the American dream, attending Miami's public school system before majoring in business administration while in college. In 1985, after having worked in several print shops, Jorge and Manny decided to go solo, literally, when they cut the ribbon on Solo Printing.

Early last September, the brothers studied the slumping U.S. economy and developed an eight-stage growth plan to boost its current sales level from $10 million annually to about $30 million within a five-year period. The plan involves a multi-million investment in equipment and services.

One week after their meeting, terrorist attacks rocked New York City and Washington, DC. So Manny, Jorge and Andy Sanchez, vice president of sales, met again and decided to move forward with the growth initiative and begin purchasing the new equipment.

"The owners decided that the U.S. economy was strong enough to snap back quickly," notes Dale Meldgaard, director of sales for Solo Printing. "Manny and Jorge are very nationalistic, pro-U.S. They love this country."

The first four stages of Solo Printing's growth initiative have been completed, with the full agenda due for completion by March 2003:

* The first step was the the creation of a full-service digital photography and creative studio.

* The second stage saw Solo Printing install an eight-color Heidelberg Speedmaster sheetfed perfector.

* The third stage saw Solo bolster its sales force by seven people, including three out of state as the company is looking toward pushing past Atlanta and the Carolinas, into the Northeast.

* Stage four was the installation of a Fuji Saber computer-to-plate system in May.

The fifth stage, the development of an e-commerce Website, was nearly complete as of press time. The final three stages involve adding supply chain management and fulfillment capabilities, the addition of 30,000 square feet and the acquisition of more press hardware. According to Meldgaard, Solo Printing is considering adding a six-color full-web press and an eight-color narrow-web press.

"The stages have come together very well," Meldgaard notes. "It's opened up quite a few new accounts. We've gone from one shift Monday through Friday to two shifts and some weekends."

Solo Printing serves the greater Miami region's general commercial printing needs. It produces a number of short-run publications with half-webs and sheetfed presses, serving the cruise, insurance, banking and travel industries, along with state and county work.
 

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