1998 Hall of Fame--Giving Back to The Industry
During this period, Suttle Press' sales skyrocketed from $375,000 in 1979 to $8.7 million in 1997. In 1992, the company completed construction of a 42,000-square-foot building, which was expanded to 52,000 square feet in 1995.
Berthelsen insists the growth is more than a result of his desire to build the company. "The key to having that kind of growth is focusing on establishing long-term relationships with our customers," he says. "It's listening to what they want us to provide, what kind of products and services they require and then trying to match up our production capabilities with those for which our customers are looking.
"We've obviously added numerous products and services over the years, and we do a lot more than we did five, 10 or 15 years ago. So it's been growing, adapting and changing with the market and with our customers."
In terms of its products and services, Suttle Press made perhaps
its biggest leap in 1993 when Berthelsen brought in the company's first four-color press. Suttle Press had added a wrinkle to the flat-color printing for which it had developed a solid reputation, and it went to 100 percent waterless printing, certainly a technological mark of distinction.
The result was a catapult from $3.2 million in sales for 1993 to $8.7 million last year.
"We held off making the move into process color work for a long time," Berthelsen reveals. "We realized when we got to $3.5 million in sales that if we were going to continue to be a flat-color printer, this was as big as we were probably going to get.
"We had a lot of customers asking us to do more than flat-color printing and we just kept holding back," he adds. "But in 1992, we made the decision that we were going to take the next leap forward and put up a new building, get into process color and continue to grow the company. It was a very conscious choice we made at that point, to change our focus and add to our product line and capabilities."