Island Pro Digital : The Problem SolversAugust 2012 By Julie Greenbaum, Associate Editor
Since Island Pro Digital's clients and their needs seem to change on a daily basis, the company places a major emphasis on cross-training its employees. At the end of last year, the company implemented a farm system to train employees who lacked prior experience in the printing industry. "There are less people going to school today to study printing and graphic communications. So, we find talented people and mold them into what we need, while also giving them a new set of skills that they can grow with," stresses Kyle Kubik.
"Our two-color pressman is a very good auto mechanic. But when he had trouble finding work, we gave him the opportunity to learn a trade that he is now extremely passionate about. He has since moved from a two-color press to a four-color model, and has far exceeded our expectations." Cross-training also allows the Kubiks to move staff from one area of the company to another based on incoming workloads.
In the pressroom, Island Pro Digital currently operates a four-color Heidelberg Quickmaster DI 46, a two-color Heidelberg Printmaster QM 46-2, a single-color Chief 15, a two-color AB Dick 360, a Ricoh Pro C720 digital printer and a wide-format HP DesignJet L25500 printer. Finishing gear consists of a Polar cutter, a Stahlfolder and GBC laminators.
"We added an additional high-speed GBC laminator because there weren't enough vendors in Long Island to serve our need for lamination. So, we decided that we would become that vendor," explains Kyle Kubik. The laminator can handle up to 28x40˝ sheets, and is used for smaller posters.
Combining Old, New Processes
Since its outset, Island Pro Digital has taken a "Lateral Thinking of Withered Technology" approach to its business, where it takes familiar equipment and uses it in modern ways. For example, for its short-run packaging needs, the company may integrate digital printing with traditional letterpress printing. "Or, we might create a letterpress-printed business card that has a QR code on it. It combines the look, feel and tactile artistry of letterpress with the new-age digital medium of a QR code or augmented reality," Kyle Kubik explains.
Last September, Island Pro Digital received the 2011 Rookie of the Year award from the Hauppauge Industrial Association for excellence in customer service, as well as an award from Graphic Design USA magazine for best self-promotion on its sell sheet.
Both owners credit the company's success to the fact that all of its employees are on the same page. "We shut down the entire shop every day at 10 a.m. to brainstorm on different issues," says Kyle Kubik. "It is not only a good communication outlet for everyone involved, but a good way to let everyone know what issues have arisen with previous orders, how we can correct them, and then move forward and find success together."
Kurt and Kyle Kubik also make it a point to meet for dinner every Sunday night to discuss the current state of their company and where they hope to bring it in the future.
Moving forward, both father and son will continue to examine the current and future demands of the market, and seek out technologies that can satisfy those needs. "I also envision continued growth and further expansion in the realm of full-service media fabrication, along with the addition of new press capabilities and wide-format peripherals," concludes Kyle Kubik.
"Another aspect of our business that my father and I would like to promote is short-run packaging and prototyping. This seems to be something that clients are very interested in, so we are trying to get the word out there that we offer that service." PI