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UBS Printing Group -- Forging New Paths

January 2005 By Erik Cagle
Senior Editor
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The world of commercial printing can be a cruel one. Just ask Gene Hamrick, president and CEO of the UBS Printing Group located in Corona, CA, just outside of Los Angeles.

When the market shifts, no one mails out a postcard to the affected parties—they find out the hard way. That was the case with Hamrick's company, which he started in 1984 as a printing, packaging and label brokerage before delving into commercial print production in 1989.

Founded in Orange County, UBS Printing was ideally situated to print manuals, company brochures and direct mail for the surrounding computer hardware and software companies.

"Our niche was that we could print everything in the box, and the box itself, for software and hardware companies," he notes.

It's a New World


Shortly after 9/11, software companies changed their packaging habits. Printed manuals were no longer included with the software—those who wanted a hard copy paid a premium to have it shipped as the print-on-demand concept began to take hold. As for the annual reports, they transformed from paper documents to PDF files that were available for download on corporate Websites. Those who still wanted a hard copy, once again, were sent one via on-demand printing.

Hamrick decided that he couldn't grow profits doing commercial printing alone, so he looked into branching into printed products where his company could provide more added value. The result: an aggressive expansion into package printing, which also required new pressroom equipment capabilities. In a little more than a year, UBS Printing has upgraded its pressroom with three new sheetfed offset presses from KBA North America: a six-color, 29˝ Rapida 74 with in-line coater; a six-color, 41˝ Rapida 105 perfector; and a six-color, 41˝ Rapida 105 Universal perfector. Both 105s are equipped with aqueous and UV coaters.

The company also constructed its current plant, a 78,000-square-foot facility that opened in 2000, and is looking to obtain a current neighboring building to accommodate new equipment and satisfy the storage requirements that package printing demands.

Today, package printing accounts for about 60 percent of its $29 million in annual sales, followed by 25 percent for commercial printing and 15 percent for book printing. And when Hamrick looks to the future, he thinks of printing on plastics and increasing his capabilities toward that end.

"Commercial printing is now in a commodity world, not like it was before," Hamrick notes. "Today, if you don't offer quality, price and service, you're out of business. In commercial printing, you now go up against several other bidders and the buyer assumes all of the printers are pretty much the same. To me, it's a going-out-of-business plan to sit still while customers say 'lower your price, lower your price, lower your price.' Pricing becomes fierce because that becomes your only differentiation.
 
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Ron Anderson - Posted on April 20, 2011
It would be great if you had a phone # and address for your Co .
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Archived Comments:
Ron Anderson - Posted on April 20, 2011
It would be great if you had a phone # and address for your Co .