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Spectrum Press--Seamless Expansion

April 1999
When sheetfed printer Spectrum Press expanded into web printing, business management tools helped ease the company's growing pains.


Printers looking for a growth formula could do worse than take a page from the book of Roseland, NJ-based Spectrum Press, located just west of New York City.

When President and CEO Matthew J. "Matt" Scott started Spectrum Press, he adopted a credo that he says accounts for the company's phenomenal growth: "Never say no to a customer!" According to Matt, "Price is important, but Spectrum Press is not a price leader. We offer higher quality and service than most other printers, but we win with turnaround time and responsiveness to customers' needs."

Spectrum was founded in 1982 with a single-color, 29˝ MAN Miehle press and a 15˝ ATF Chief duplicator. Today, the company has four 40˝ Heidelberg sheetfed presses, a 41˝ MAN Miller, a brand new six-unit MAN Roland Rotoman web press, and a host of prepress and bindery machines to feed the pressroom and process the output.

Ink in His Veins . . .
The founder of Spectrum Press clearly has ink in his veins. Matt's father operated John Scott Typesetting until his retirement, and son Matt melted lead, delivered hot type to customers, did page makeup and set hand type. While a senior in high school, Matt began working in a print shop next door to his father's business, where he learned to operate a Heidelberg Windmill platen press, as well as a variety of other machines.

Spectrum Press first opened in Hoboken, NJ, but quickly lost its lease when the landlord, a forms printer, went bankrupt. In late 1982, the company moved to Orange, NJ, and added its first multicolor press, which was in use until 1998. In 1987, Spectrum Press moved again, to Livingston, NJ, doubling its space and its revenues in five years.

The present location in Roseland was first occupied in 1994, when sales were in the $7 million range. The original 47,000 square feet of space has now grown to 80,000, as the company grew to occupy the entire building. Spectrum Press currently has 75 employees, working two five-day shifts. By the year 2000, a third shift is anticipated.

Spectrum Press customers are primarily large, greater New York tri-state area corporate accounts, such as BMW, Prudential, Lucent Technologies and Tiffany & Co.—with a few advertising agencies tossed into the mix. Sales grew nearly 18 percent in 1998, to approximately $11.5 million.

From Sheetfed to Web
With the transition from a strictly sheetfed printer to one with both web and sheetfed printing capabilities, Spectrum Press anticipates nearly doubling sales in 1999 and expanding its customer base to encompass the entire eastern seaboard.


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