W.A. Fisher--Mapping Out SuccessMay 1999
Small Niche, Big Money
Though only 15 percent of its $2 million business, map printing has proved to be very profitable. The maps, which are 23x35˝ in size, are sold wholesale to local outfitters, who, in turn, sell direct to campers. "The profitability of our map division greatly increased after switching to Yupo," relates Norri enthusiastically. "We were able to more than double our map pricing, due to the added-value to our customers."
Norri notes that W.A. Fisher adds volume to its map sales by printing maps for the entire region. "The area is so large—14,500 square miles—that it takes 30 maps to cover the region," he explains.
Coincidently, much of W.A. Fisher's map printing is conducted during its slow season. "Map printing complements our overall business because it supplies revenue during the winter, which is traditionally a slower time of the year," says Norri.
Print quality is the yardstick for any printer. Do images hold razor sharp? Does the substrate support vivid colors? This is particularly important of camping maps, whose depth or elevation contours, hiking trails and roads are essential details.
"It is important that the synthetic substrate run well on press, particularly since we print all four-color jobs on two-color presses," says Norri. "Yupo paper holds dots exceptionally well and enables us to capture critical details in print."
Since purchasing the business, Norri and Leese have increased the company's scope. By developing a new creative and advertising division and offering creative writing, design and media planning to its existing full-color printing services, W.A. Fisher has doubled its business in eight years.
The company maintains a full-service prepress department, a pressroom that features a pair of two-color Heidelberg presses, a pair of two-color A.B. Dick units and a finishing operation that features foil stamping, embossing and a six-station bindery. W.A. Fisher's 19 employees also produce work for tourism, medical, financial, educational, industrial and packaged goods clients.
While Norri is diversifying W.A. Fisher's services, he clearly sees the importance of the core business that established the company. "Map printing will always remain an important part of our business," he says. "We've adapted our products and services to meet our customers' needs and have become more profitable. Products like Yupo paper add value to our services and products."