Quad/Graphics : Solving the Integration Puzzle
Retail Inserts, Books, Directories and Canada
With the exception of some book and gravure insert work, this four-headed division is virtually a greenfields experience for Quad/Graphics. Joel Quadracci tapped Brian Freschi, a 17-year member of the Quebecor World franchise, to serve as president of the biggest capabilities infusion to come from the acquisition.
Freschi sounds like a printer whose been given a new lease on life. He had endured the merry-go-round of chief execs at Quebecor World (about eight by his count), and is enthralled by the tradition and stability that an organization like Quad offers. That stability and sense of direction certainly resonates with customers, as does the company's commitment to capital investment and technology.
The additional Worldcolor holdings, plus investments and the redistribution of retail insert printing assets to the Lomira, WI, facility—one of the brightest gems in the Quad chain—solidifies the company's reach into the Midwest and provides more geographic coverage. Four web offset presses, including a pair of new 24-page models with gapless blanket technology and digital inking, highlight a $20 million investment initiative announced last November. The result: quick-turn production and delivery of highly versioned, smaller page-count advertising formats inserted into newspapers.
"The advent of the Internet and all of the multi-channel devices that allow shoppers to conduct business online began as a threat, but it's actually made print more important, especially on the retail insert side, in supporting stores," Freschi points out.
"Earlier in my career, I worked for a creative agency, and a newspaper insert is still the most cost- effective way for an in-store manager to deliver a message to surrounding consumers. I feel bullish that the newspaper insert will remain a key driver in terms of advertising price points for all stores.
"Testing has shown that quite a few people buy the Sunday paper or mid-week edition not to read the news anymore, but rather to look at the inserts and see what stores are running which specials. We've expanded into the offset side due to demand for more versioning, more specificity in terms of retailers targeting certain segments of consumers."