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Seattle Bindery--Trade Binderies in a Bind?

September 1999

However, Vine overestimated his ability to run two separate businesses in separate locations.

Knowing that he was scheduled to relocate his entire operation to South Seattle in the spring of 1999 (see sidebar), he had hoped to avoid the disruption of moving the Bellevue-based letterpress operation into his Central Seattle plant...but it was not to be. Vine acknowledges that, in retrospect, the move probably was a blessing in disguise, since it helped him understand the inter-relationship between the bindery and other services, which was a great aid in planning the layout in his new facility.

"As much as I wish it were true, there are no foolproof routes to growth," concludes Vine. "I'm constantly reminded of the wisdom of the old saying: 'The more you learn, the less you know.' All we can do is take our best shot based on equal degrees of experience and intuition."

About the Author
Charlotte Mills Seligman is president of Traversant Marketing Communications. Formerly Marchand Marketing, the firm specializes in the printing and allied graphic arts industries, bringing nearly two decades of experience to its work for clients. For more information, call (415) 357-2929 or visit Traversant on-line at www.traversant.com.


The Sound of (State-of-the-Art) Silence

Seattle Bindery, a full-service postpress trade shop, moved into its brand new 30,000-square-foot facility in April. Located in South Seattle, the new single-story plant has a custom-designed floor plan and state-of-the-art information and production systems.

According to President and CEO Milt Vine, the advantages are many.

"The new open work area allows production managers to look up and see the entire floor," he says. "Want to know where a job is? Just look."

In terms of scheduling, Vine says the new space plan has already made transfer between departments quicker and customer service more accessible. Another plus, he explains, is in shipping and receiving, where two grade-level doors and four dock-high doors efficiently accommodate any size truck.

The biggest surprise, though, has been the noise—or rather, the lack of it.

"We all know how noisy postpress equipment can be," explains Vine. "In fact, I even bought a phone booth to put on the floor, so people could make calls without screaming. It's no longer necessary."

Initially a tabbing operation, Seattle Bindery expanded its operations to include letterpress services, such as diecutting, foil stamping, embossing and numbering. The letterpress capabilities were added to provide the company a full suite of complementary postpress services.

 

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