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The Old and The New Dot GPO's Top 50

January 2001
CHAMBERSBURG, PA—Some established GPO vendors maintained their place in the latest list of the GPO's Top 50 volume producers.

Keeping the top spot was Montebello, CA-based Monarch Litho, which saw a 27 percent increase in its winnings to nearly $33 million. News Printing of Claysburg, PA, also increased its GPO volume and ranks again as the second-largest producer of printing for the federal government.

While familiar faces to this list are prevalent from top to bottom, there are always some new faces. Two examples: Colonial Press International, a commercial sheetfed printer in Miami, and Larco International, a laser imaging and mail house located in Cicero, IL, made the decision to enter the market only within the past year. These companies' successes show that it is very possible to build a substantial GPO account rather quickly.

Colonial Press has built a strong commercial business in South Florida. At the same time, as is the case with most commercial printers, unsold production capacity dotted its schedule and weakened efforts to achieve maximum profitability.

A decision was made to actively pursue GPO work. According to Jose Rodriguez, chief GPO estimator, Colonial accomplished two things that led to success in this market. First, it developed a team within the company that learned GPO procedures and paperwork. This team consisted of Rodriguez, who had some experience with GPO from a past employer; an account manager; an office person who receives and forwards bid invitations from the BidsPlus solicitation service; an employee in quality control; and another in bookkeeping.

"There were your normal growing pains that accompany any new endeavor," says Rodriguez, "but after a short time GPO business increased, jobs were processed through and team members got more aware of obligations.

"And, our staff found out that GPO personnel are delightful to work with and very helpful. That made the move into this market less intimidating, too."

Colonial also attacked the whole market and bid very actively on diverse jobs in order to find its niche. In order to accomplish this, the company would submit an average of four or five bids a day.

"We chose to work throughout the entire 21 office GPO system, quote on everything available that fit our capabilities, review the bid results provided by our service, and define where and with what printed products we could best find business," Rodriguez explains. "Since freight costs are normally not a factor in winning or losing work, it makes sense to match ourselves to all jobs that can run effectively on our equipment no matter which GPO office is doing the buying."
 

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