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Motivating Graphics — Making the Right Calls

April 2007 By Erik Cagle
Senior Editor
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PRINTERS WHO hitch their star to a particular vertical market put themselves in a vulnerable position, given that market may experience wholesale changes and leave them holding an antiquated bag.

By all rights, Motivating Graphics’ obituary should have been written by now. The Ft. Worth, TX-based company primarily aligned with a single market from its outset in 1976, and that vertical experienced major technological shifts that would have shaken loose many vendors like apples from a tree. But, 30 years later, the Clark family—father Ray Sr., son Ray Jr. and grandsons Chris and Tim—are coming off a year in which they invested more than $20 million in equipment that further entrenches Motivating Graphics in its vertical of choice.

Of course, it helps just a little if that vertical is the telecommunications industry. Technologies may come and go at a mind-numbing pace, but one thing that will never change is the need for interpersonal communications. Thus, Motivating Graphics has seen some monumental changes in a relatively short period: Consider that when the printer was aligning itself in this space, before it was even dubbed telecommunications, electronics and two-way radios were all the rage. Then, the pager craze hit in the 1990s and faded on the heels of Y2K. Naturally, the beeper went bye-bye because of what has become perhaps the most pervasive technology to emerge since the ATM card—cell phones.

Pacing with Change

One thing remains a constant in telecommunications, and that is change. Motivating Graphics’ ability to maintain pace with the evolving needs of the industry has enabled it to forge deep relationships with the three leading phone manufacturers and many U.S. and international carriers.

“All along, we’ve had a better mousetrap,” notes Chris Clark, company vice president. “The main reasons we’ve been able to garner a lot of business is quality and turnaround. The industry has always been ‘gotta have it now,’ so our quick turn times made us what we are today.”

With facilities in Ft. Worth and Deerfield Beach, FL, Motivating Graphics generates some $70 million in annual revenues on the strength of its 350 employees. The printer is growing at a 10 percent annual clip, and the Clarks anticipate upward of 15 percent growth for 2007, buoyed by its first full year of box manufacturing. The company is also growing physically; following an expansion, the Ft. Worth campus now consists of three buildings, bringing its overall size to just more than 300,000 square feet of space.


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