Another trend the company has avoided is that of negative sales growth in this struggling economy. In fact, Trend Offset is posting enviable numbers for a healthy financial atmosphere; projected revenues have risen from $182 million in 2001 to nearly $200 million by year’s end. Previous strides have also been lengthy; sales ballooned from $120 million in 1999 to $151 million in 2000.

Open Communication

“When it comes to our growth, the level of communication we continue to keep with our customers before we make any big purchasing decisions is a huge factor,” Nelson says. “We have a strong connection with what’s happening with our customer base, and we’re light on our feet to be able to make decisions that complement that. When I say light on our feet, if it means we need to buy an $8 million press, it doesn’t take an act of Congress to do that. We have a structure in place that can get it approved very quickly.

“When you look at our competitors, especially the national, multi-million-dollar printers like Quebecor World, R.R. Donnelley and the like, our nimbleness is very attractive to our clients. They like the ability that we have to react quickly.”

The company has been reacting quickly since its inception in 1985 with a modest, 25,000 square feet of manufacturing space on a street corner. Trend Offset now encompasses 90 percent of the street, roughly 31⁄2 city blocks. In under 17 years, the company has grown to more than 1,000 employees (600 in Los Alamitos alone) and boasts a little over 700,000 square feet of space, with another 80,000 slated over the next 12 months.

Trend Offset cut its teeth as a retail insert printer but, as it bolstered its bindery lines and word spread that the company performed both heatset and new high-speed, high-quality coldset web printing, it gravitated toward weekly, bi-weekly and monthly publications. Such freebie non-subscriber, pure-revenue publications for automotive, housing, travel and hotel niches became the company’s largest market category. Trend still manufactures retail work, telephone directories and high-end enamel catalogs, and is a direct mail/marriage mail printer. The company also produces substantial GPO and state printing.

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