Mimeo.com : Driven to Succeed OnlineFebruary 2010 By Mark Smith
IT'S A compelling story just on its face. In 10 years, Mimeo.com went from being a business model on paper to an online print provider with more than 450 employees and nearly 300,000 square feet of manufacturing space spread across three strategically located production facilities. It has enjoyed an annualized revenue growth rate approaching 40 percent for the last eight of those years.
The underpinnings of that success are just as compelling. Some have already become part of the company's lore, such as setting "super efficiency" as the standard for all phases of its operations. As a result, jobs submitted as late as 10 p.m. can be delivered as early as 8:30 a.m. the next morning. Enabling that level of service by building its manufacturing capacity in close proximity to FedEx hubs has also been a key part of the plan from the start.
Efficient by Design
Mimeo.com remains an all-digital printing operation, but also has expanded beyond document production into the large-format and photo publishing arenas. Kitting and fulfillment are also part of its repertoire. Bulk mailing, however, is not and the company is very selective in its application of variable data printing capabilities.
The quest for process efficiency starts with using a Web-to-print workflow all but exclusively. From there, jobs are fed into a production platform built on a manufacturing mentality, with the products offered defined by unique SKUs and capabilities grouped into flexible manufacturing cells to optimize the production of each.
CEO Adam Slutsky believes labels such as "printer" or even "manufacturing operation" don't come close to adequately describing his company. Much of the value it offers is in the online user experience that Mimeo.com delivers, he says, including the confidence that the finished pieces customers receive will match what they compile, build and proof online. "We provide extensive Web-based technology tools that make it a painless experience for people to quickly and efficiently manage, print and distribute documents."
It's not splitting hairs to say the genesis of the company was a plan to provide a better user experience for getting a document printed, not to launch a printing company. According to David Uyttendaele, the company's chief technology officer and one of its co-founders, Mimeo.com was born of the founders' personal pain in getting their printing needs met. Specifically, the then-technology consultants found it difficult to get proposals and other documents printed out while working onsite at a client's facility.