Signature Card — What’s in Your Wallet?
“Printing on plastic is a very tough and demanding business that has few specialists within a rapidly growing market segment,” Farris claims. But Signature Card—which operates with 58 employees in 10,000 square feet, running nine Plextor press lines two shifts per day (plus its secure data facility)—has become a major player in plastic card manufacturing.
Short Runs, Fast Turns
“Many of North America’s leading large-format card houses and printing companies have come to rely upon us as their short-run, fast-turn partner,” says Farris. “Although the gift card market has been around for more than a decade and is very mature among the ‘big box’ retailers, growth and acceptance have been pushed down to the broader, small retail marketplace. It is in this small-run, fast-turn segment that Signature Card has thrived.”
Signature Card started out as a small plastic card printer focused on printing discount and fundraiser cards. “The company hobbled along, just keeping its nose above water,” says Farris, noting that Signature Card has been in business 11 years through three sets of owners. Mounting debts forced the sale of the business in 2002 to its second owner, who had extensive operational background, but no printing knowledge.
The second owner was able to regain profitability, adding additional press lines and staff to expand the business into direct and small reseller channels. A Web-based advertising initiative was started to let the world know that Signature Card was available for short-run plastic card production.
In 2004, the third and current set of owners purchased Signature Card. The acquisition team comprised three individuals: Farris, Tom Kissell and Michael Gallant.
“Michael heads up finance, marketing and HR. Tom oversees production. My focus is sales,” Farris continues. “The partnership works perfectly with everyone sharing the common goal of producing a great customer experience and establishing Signature Card as the premier short-run producer of customized plastic cards in North America.”