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MCARDLE PRINTING — POWER OF PARTNERING

November 2006 BY ERIK CAGLE
Senior Editor
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THERE’S NO truth to the rumor that Washington, DC-based McArdle Printing is changing its name to Clairvoyant Press. But the sheetfed and coldset web shop does pride itself on knowing its customer’s needs better than the customer does.

It takes some advanced perception to survive in the highly competitive DC-Baltimore region, but McArdle will be celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2007, coming on the heels of consecutive double-digit growth campaigns the past two years. The employee-owned company, headquartered in Upper Marlboro, MD, took strides to ensure future success and new growth potential with the October 2005 acquisition of a Xerox iGen3 digital press with bookletmaker and, this December, the printer will welcome a new 10-color MAN Roland 700 with roll sheeter.

Having a firm grasp on what the customer needs, notes company president Lisa Arsenault, is woven into McArdle’s penchant for delivering high-end service.

“Our niche is service at a high level. We don’t have any local competitors that can turn jobs as quickly as we do,” Arsenault says of McArdle, which registered $40 million in sales for 2005. “From our inception, we’ve been doing tight turnaround work; it’s become the climate and culture at McArdle.”

While McArdle is not the area’s low-cost provider, according to Tricia Reyda, sales manager, clients can appreciate the complete breadth of the company’s services. “Most of our customers know they’re not getting a bargain-basement price,” she says. “But when it comes to a complicated job, it’s the fast turnaround, service and reliability factors that they’ve come to expect from us.”

McArdle essentially dates back to 1946, when the company—then known as Business Printing, a subsidiary of U.S. News and World Report and The Bureau of National Affairs (BNA)—was spun off and acquired by its general manager, Walter McArdle. Business Printing was basically an in-plant for the publishers, and continued printing for the two entities after the split, including magazines such as U.S. News and Newsweek. When the McArdle family decided to exit the business in 1985, the printer again became a wholly owned subsidiary of BNA.

Dedicated Employees

As an employee-owned company, McArdle’s workers not only have a stake in the business, but a sense of leadership. McArdle’s steering committee is comprised entirely of employees—no managers—giving them more accountability. In addition to a competitive profit sharing plan, the employee contribution for McArdle’s health insurance plan is modest.
 

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