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Pictorial Offset -- Family Values Never Change

January 2004
By Erik Cagle

Senior Editor


You might say that only the equipment is new at Pictorial Offset, as the company's philosophy hasn't changed a bit as it celebrates its 65th anniversary. But there's just an old-fashioned charm to the Carlstadt, NJ, sheetfed and web printer's mantra that is both simple and all encompassing: deliver quality product that exceeds client expectations, on time every time.

"That's a phrase known by every employee under this roof," states Gary Samuels, who heads the manufacturing component at Pictorial Offset. "Some of our customers have seen other shops, where corners are cut in the wrong places. When client work is given to the low-cost producer rather than the low-cost, competitive producer, the service level drops. We are a privately owned organization that is dedicated to service and quality."

Being the "low-cost producer" has been in the news frequently of late. Pricing pressure has turned into a high-stakes battle that has led some printing facilities to either lay off employees or close their doors all together. According to Lester Samuels, head of finance and administration for Pictorial Offset, there seems to be little limit as to how low printers can go with pricing.

How Low Will They Go?

"Companies that have excess capacity or are on the verge of closing their doors—especially ones on the verge of going under—are basically being financed by their outside suppliers providing cash flow, so no price is too low," he says.

So how does a printer survive in a hotbed market such as New York under these conditions? It is a matter of superior customer service and paying attention to customer needs, according to Don Samuels, who spearheads Pictorial's sales and marketing efforts.

"We're the first printer in the world to receive dual ISO Quality 9000 series and Environmental 14000 series certification in 1998," he claims. "This differentiates our thought process. We're a world-class manufacturing facility, not only a good printer."

The Pictorial Offset management team of the Samuels brothers, pictured from the left, includes Donald R., Gary B. and Lester F. Samuels.
Gary, Lester and Don Samuels make up the third generation of ownership at Pictorial Offset, founded in 1938 by their grand-father, Harry Samuels. The trio took the helm in 1980 following the passing of their father, Jay, and have grown the company every year since then.
 

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