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Tucker-Castleberry -- Relationships Do Matter

August 2005
By Erik Cagle

Senior Editor

The world of commercial printing is much more than ink on paper, and the related services required to make the final product a reality. It is about people, the relationships they form, and the trust they build as business partners and even as friends.

As technology improves processes and levels the competitive playing field for printers, making quality a reality across the board, offering the lowest price still isn't always going to win the contract. Honesty, integrity, satisfaction and reliability still count to some print buyers. And it keeps them coming back with more jobs.

Take Tucker-Castleberry Printing in Atlanta, a $14 million a year general commercial sheetfed printer. With 75 employees and around-the-clock production five days a week in a 50,000-square-foot facility, the printer reaps a lion's share of its revenues from the local corporate market. A smaller cut of the pie comes via advertising agencies and local professional sports franchises. It is a client base that demands quality, obviously, and one that presumably can have its pick of the Southeastern printer litter. So why Tucker-Castleberry?

A Personal Touch

It's a family affair at Atlanta-based Tucker-Castleberry, led by company president Tuck Tucker, shown on the left. He is pictured with son Kent, who marks the third generation there.
Part of the answer lies in the people skills of Tuck Tucker. The president and son of the company's co-founder, Wiley Tucker—who teamed with A.C. Castleberry to form the firm in 1949—has his roots in the sales aspect of the business. In 1979, he cold called Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves, an account then handled by another printer, to see if he could "wiggle away" the business. The Braves print buyer and Tucker held several meetings, but printing wasn't the topic of conversation, for the most part. The pair talked about baseball.

"I think what finally got me the account was when I told them that, in 1966, I was the most excited person in Atlanta after finding out that the Braves were moving here from Milwaukee," Tucker recalls. "I told the buyer that, growing up, the baseball 'Game of the Week' that Atlanta aired on TV was the Milwaukee Braves, who played at County Stadium in Milwaukee. My dad and I watched the Braves every Saturday afternoon. I then proceeded to name all the old players, their positions and stats. And, before I left, the buyer asked me if I would like to give him a price on printing their program, media guide, pocket schedule, etc."
 

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