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Harris DeWese

The Mañana Man Online

By Harris DeWese

About Harris

Harris DeWese is the author of "Now Get Out There and Sell Something." He is chairman/CEO at Compass Capital Partners and an author of the annual "Compass Report," the definitive source of info regarding printing industry M&A activity. DeWese has completed 100-plus printing company transactions and is viewed as the preeminent deal maker in the industry. He specializes in investment banking, M&A, sales, marketing and management services to printers.


And, the Winners Are. . .

IF YOU’VE ever visited Philadelphia, you probably ate a cheese steak. Maybe you ordered your cheese steak with extra cheese, grilled onions and hot peppers. That’s Mañana Man style. I’ve had to back off on too many cheese steaks due to my waist line and worsening lactose intolerance.

If you were just visiting Philadelphia, you probably didn’t have any Tastykakes. You have to buy them at the grocery store or a minute market. Personally, I prefer the Chocolate Lovers Cupcakes. They come two in a package, and you have to open the cellophane carefully, so you don’t disrupt the thick chocolate icing on the cupcakes. You can eat one in two bites, but I always tried to eat one in four bites, so they would last longer.

Let Them Eat Tastykakes

But, alas, I’m a fat old slug, so I don’t eat many treats anymore. Tastykakes has come out with a sugar-free collection, and I’m going to try them. The Tasty Baking Co. was founded in 1914 and has grown from sales of $300,000 the first year to almost $270 million in 2006. Management announced that they are moving to a new 345,000-square-foot plant in the old Philadelphia Navy Yard.

The winners of my first-ever print communications company Website contest will receive a case of Tastykakes to acknowledge their being judged among the best. Remarkably, none of the winners are from Philadelphia, so the winners will be experiencing a taste of Philadelphia.

We’re going to take a Website tour, so you can see the winning sites firsthand. (Note: Winners are not listed by ranking order/placement of award.) I’ve rented a bus, so climb aboard and let’s go.

We are headed for Madison, WI, to see the Website of American Printing. So key in . Our judges selected this winner for its clarity and organization. It is written and designed to answer the questions that a prospective customer is likely to ask.

Eric Schindler, technical service representative at American Printing, submitted the company Website, and I’m guessing that he had some hand in its design (and that he might share the Tastykakes).

Everybody back on the bus!

We are now headed north to De Pere, WI, to visit the Website of a specialty printer, Independent Printing. Key in . Our judges selected this site for the pleasing graphics that seem to match up well with its buyer-friendly text. This company specializes in standard pocket folders, reinforced folders, tab folders...well, you get the picture...and, you can read about their other specialties.

You will note that this specialization has made this company customer service oriented vs. sale oriented, hence, the need for a Website that sells. Steve Vogel, in creative marketing at Independent, submitted this winning site.

I decided to bag the categories based on company size and have the judges pick six winners and to name one “Best in Show.”

We’re headed south to Wauconda, IL, to visit . The judges loved this site because you immediately see that Plastic Graphic prints plastic cards, tags, charts, point-of-purchase materials and measuring tools (like protractors). They also loved the company address and phone number at the bottom of each page. There is nothing worse than having to search for the company phone number. I have actually visited some Websites where there was no phone number anywhere.

This site was submitted by Jeff Grimes, and he should be on the lookout for a Tastykake delivery.

OK, we’re headed for St. Cloud, MN, and . Katie Olson, a perfect name for a Minnesotan, sent us her award-winning entry. This company is another specialist with web and sheetfed equipment printing books, directories, manuals and catalogs. It was founded in 1854 and is the oldest of our winners.

Website Defines Printer

Sentinel Printing’s Website does a great job of defining the company, and it has an emphasis on customer education. That’s always an effective marketing tool. Katie, thanks for the entry, and look for your shipment of Tastykakes.

Now we are headed south all the way to Orlando, FL. Yes, we’ll be staying in the $23-a-night Country Cabins Motel in Hoodunit, KY. No TV, but I’m on a budget.

Key in . Very clever, since Next Generation Printing sells 98 percent of its work over the Internet, and they sell all over the world. Lotsa people are coming to Orlando, and if they need printing for a convention at Disney World or Universal, they probably Google “Orlando printing.”

Frank Nathe submitted this Website, and he tells me that they don’t emphasize the phone number, since they have customers around the world who are shopping online for printing.

Finally, we’ve got to load up and head way north before the first blizzard in Rochester, NY. Our grand prize winner is —the Website that promotes Cohber Press. This entry was submitted by Eric Webber, president and CEO.

One of our judges remarked that this site is simply elegant and loaded with great information, including a very clever approach to the company history, which can often sound very boring and self-serving.

Congratulations, Eric! You guys are the big winner, and some Tastykakes are on their way!

Now, I’m exhausted by all this travel and my rowdy bus-mates. I’m going to take a nap; you get out there and sell something! PI

—Harris DeWese

About the Author
Harris DeWese is the author of Now Get Out There and Sell Something, available through NAPL or PIA/GATF. He is chairman/CEO of Compass Capital Partners and is an author of the annual “Compass Report,” the definitive source of information regarding printing industry M&A activity. DeWese has completed 141 printing company transactions and is viewed as the industry’s preeminent deal maker. He can be reached via e-mail at

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