Primary Color — A Change of SceneryMarch 2007 By Erik Cagle
For Primary Color, the addition of new “furniture” when it relocates from the California towns of Culver City and Irvine to El Segundo and Costa Mesa is not intended as a cosmetic enhancement. The company has opted to pick up stakes due to a growing problem, which is not a problem as much as it is an opportunity. Primary Color saw its growth skyrocket by 20 percent to nearly $50 million in sales for 2006 and anticipates a similar swell in 2007.
Thus, the “growing problem” was really Primary Color needing more space in order to accommodate customer needs. According to Dan Hirt, company president, it is a measuring stick of success.
“There are two measures of success for Primary Color,” Hirt says. “The first is sustained profitable growth, which we encourage by institutionalizing continuous process improvement. The second measure—customer satisfaction—cannot exist without the first.”
The company, founded by Walter and Elizabeth Hirt, debuted in 1985 as a prepress operation addressing the needs of the Orange County, CA, market. That was also the year that Dan Hirt, along with brothers Ron (vice president of sales and marketing) and Mike (vice president of production) took the helm from their parents.
Primary Color has since widened its scope to provide a wide range along the product and service spectrum, including eight-color, 40˝ sheetfed work, very-large format output and variable data digital printing.
Its core vertical targets include advertising agencies, major entertainment companies, the automotive sector and corporate marketing communications groups.
With 280 employees operating in a total of 67,000 square feet, Dan Hirt felt the company needed to reevaluate its plant production space. Thus, the decision was made to transfer assets from Culver City to El Segundo this August, followed by the Irvine to Costa Mesa migration in early 2008. The net is a near doubling of manufacturing space, which will burgeon to 120,000 square feet when completed.
“Increased demand for our products and services, coupled with our commitment to providing state-of-the art technologies and workflow processes, led us to the decision to relocate both of our facilities,” he explains. “Our El Segundo operation will house sheetfed printing and prepress, while Costa Mesa will focus on digital printing and our large-format group. Costa Mesa will also feature prepress systems that mirror El Segundo. Both facilities will also have fulfillment and distribution capabilities.