Minuteman Press of Norwalk: Solving Pieces of the PuzzleOctober 2013 By Nicole Perry, Associate Editor
Greg Duffey and Joe Brenneis have worked together in the commercial printing industry since 1989 for various incarnations of RPC Printing Co. They served clients as large as USPS, Mars, Nautica, Victoria's Secret and Calvin Klein. When the two discussed joining talents to open a business, they initially thought a franchise printing company was not what they wanted, but after being presented with an opportunity to purchase a failing Minuteman Press in Norwalk, CT, they thought they might be able to turn it around.
"We figured we could bring big commercial talent and experience to a small commercial printer—something we thought was lacking among many such companies," explains Duffey. Papers were signed in September 2003, and impressively, the dynamic duo increased sales volumes by 750 percent.
"We didn't have any magic formula to grow the business," Duffey admits. "But we did know that the only way to survive would be to invest our time, talent, energy and money." They began by launching a direct mail postcard campaign in combination with sales visits to existing customers "and good, old-fashioned cold calling," he says. The team also joined several local business networking groups and reached out to previous contacts.
Next, they invested money in technology. The previous store had one Windows-based PC; an old, single-color press; and even older bindery equipment. "We literally threw out about 99 percent of what existed," Duffey notes, replacing them with new machines and iMacs.
The store was cleaned from top to bottom and repainted. "With first impressions being the most lasting, this was a top priority for us," he relays.
Key Digital Devices
After two moves, the company now occupies a clean, 3,200-square-foot building. A Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C8000 digital color press and an OKI Data Pro 900 digital envelope press are now operating, the first such installations in Fairfield County, CT. Duffey remembers that he and Brenneis first considered a C7000 model.
"One of the sales reps asked what our needs were," recalls Duffey, "and we explained we saw a trend in printing on heavier stocks. He led us to the C8000." The increase in speed and the ability to handle heavier grades have allowed Minuteman Press of Norwalk to produce jobs faster and better.