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Smith Litho--Exceeding Expectations

August 1998
Founded in 1973 with a handful of employees and one of the area's first four-color sheetfed presses, Smith Litho has since grown into a $38 million company servicing national and multinational customers.

"We've far exceeded the expectations I had when we started," admits Charlie Smith, company founder and president.

Before opening the company with Bill Hodges, co-owner and vice president, Smith had success in the industry. "But I wanted more," he says. "The company I worked with was afraid of color and high-quality work, but I saw the potential."

He's been proven right. The Smith Litho staff has multiplied 40 times its original number, with sales per employee well above the national average. The company has also expanded from 19,000 square feet to the current 100,000 square feet.

"The past 25 years have been great," Hodges enthuses.

"That's true," Smith adds. "We've stuck to a few important principles, and that's kept us exactly where we need to be. And the first of those principles is an obvious one: Meeting deadlines is the single biggest key to our success."

Pressroom Manager Rick Bowie believes it's Smith Litho's range of equipment that makes meeting deadlines more than a goal. Smith Litho boasts a full complement of Heidelberg Harris web presses, including a perfecting six-unit full web, a perfecting six-unit double half-web, perfecting five- and six-unit half-webs, and a non-heatset Didde web. Its sheetfed Heidelbergs include two six-color 40˝ perfecting presses, one waterless, and a four-color 40˝ perfector.

Every piece of equipment in the pressroom, as well as in the prepress and finishing departments, enables Smith Litho to live up to its second business principle: flexibility based on customers' needs.

A host of Scitex workstations, high-resolution imagesetters, Power Macs, digital and flatbed scanners, and color proofing systems are the heart of Smith Litho's prepress center. Its communications capabilities, including ISDN connections, are as advanced as any in the industry. The bindery, too, is fully outfitted with a remoistenable glue unit and multiple saddlestitchers, folders and cutters.

Such capabilities are important since, contrary to conventional wisdom, the goal at Smith Litho is not to specialize in one area of printing but to provide a broad range of capabilities for its customers. "Flexibility is what makes us unique," Smith says. "For many customers, we're the only supplier that fits every category they buy. We can produce a job from short trial runs clear through the full roll-out."

The third business principle Smith Litho adheres to is an unwavering commitment to customer service. "When I started this company, I wanted Smith Litho to be known not only for quality work and consistent pricing, but also for being as customer-friendly as possible," Smith says.
 

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