The Garvey Group — All Under Four Roofs

A Screen platesetter meets the output requirements of the Niles large-format printing operation.

A variable printed direct mail piece is prepared at Garvey’s Global Fulfillment Services facility in Oak Creek, WI, illustrating the printer’s ability to output complicated pieces using highly automated equipment.

Operators perform a makeready on the six-color, 81˝ KBA Rapida 205 press operating at The Garvey Group’s Niles, Il, facility.

Pictured from the left are The Garvey Group’s Dennis Muraro, general manager of the Milwaukee facility; Ed Halbur, general manager, Sturtevant, WI, operation; Edward Garvey Jr., president and CEO; Joseph Kulis, COO, Niles IL, facility; and Don Ford, general manager of the Oak Creek, WI, plant.

A Bobst diecutter, purchased in 2006 as part of the company’s capital equipment expansion, performs at the Milwaukee plant.

MANY SUCCESSFUL companies will point to a new piece of equipment or the introduction of a service offering as being the catalyst behind their success. Seldom do you hear about the benefits of dropping an offering, but there are certainly examples of companies receiving a shot in the arm after shedding one of their components.

The Garvey Group was hardly on life support when it decided to make a fundamental change in 2004. The Niles, IL-based printer boasts four facilities, annual sales of roughly $46 million, and one of the most diverse product and service portfolios in the game. But, even with a wide range of capabilities, company President and Owner Ed Garvey felt that direct mail just wasn’t a good fit. At the same time, Garvey saw an opportunity to start selling large-format printing, which he felt was experiencing a rebirth via improved technology.

The conditions were perfect for a major shift at the Windy City suburban facility. Willing to make any change that would benefit customers and allow The Garvey Group to sell them deeper, the wheels were set into motion.

“Direct mail was the bulk of what we produced in Niles, and I didn’t want to be in that business anymore,” Garvey says. “We weren’t a big enough player—weren’t anywhere near a leader in that market. We were good at it, but we were just too small. So I decided to sell the business and use the funds to develop a large-format facility.”

In early 2005, Garvey completed the sale of his direct mail business to SKM and used a chunk of the proceeds to purchase a trio of large-format KBA sheetfed presses for Niles: a six-color, 56˝ Rapida 142; a six-color, 64˝ Rapida 162A with UV capabilities; and a six-color, 81˝ Rapida 205. All three have touched down in Niles within the past three years and are among the signature acquisitions of a $28 million capital expenditure initiative during that time period.

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