W.A. Fisher–Mapping Out Success

Synthetic Stock
W.A. Fisher initially used several different synthetic stocks, while seeking the right product. “We just couldn’t find a synthetic paper that had all the characteristics we required,” declares Norri. “We tested a number of brands to find the most consistent, stable sheet,” he continues. “During testing, we compared printability, runability, cost and dot gain. We finally picked Yupo.”

The company adapted its marketing message to enable it to carve a profitable niche in the mammoth map business. “We’ve separated our company from the competition by adding value to our map products,” says Leese, vice president and account manager. “When setting out on a trip, campers want accurate, durable maps that stand up to abuse. The durability of Yupo gives our company the competitive edge.”

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 23×35˝ 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.

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