2004 Fast-Track Firms -- Success Despite Adversity
By Erik Cagle
Those pundits who, a year ago, predicted that an improved economy would translate to a trickle-down effect for the commercial printing industry were eventually right. After a three-year funk, many observers impatiently watched as 2004 jumped into gear like a lazy teenager preparing for his final spring in high school.
But as the second half of the year garnered steam, so did the industry. Graph Expo & Converting Expo produced solid foot traffic and sales volume, and a number of printers announced substantial capital investment initiatives. By year's end, the confidence in improving numbers was no longer wistfully forced.
As you look at the following fast-track companies, please keep in mind that most of these performances were for the fiscal year that ended December 31, 2003, before the perceived (or real) recovery. That didn't stop these printers from flourishing.
A sampling of the year's finest performers is listed below, in no particular order.
2004 Ranking: 86
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $68M
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $56M
Pictorial Offset, which grew by 21 percent year-over-year, works with customers and supporting advertising agencies to advance their electronic and print promotional marketing strategies within the pharmaceutical, communications, automotive and luxury goods markets.
During 2004, Pictorial Offset added critical sales personnel, resources to expand its "Design to Destination" service offerings and developed Web-based solutions aimed at reducing cycle times, headaches and money spent by customers.
"The driving forces enabling our growth stem from a conscious effort to define and grow Pictorial Offset as a brand that represents a passion for customer satisfaction, superior quality and reliability, as well as community stewardship," notes Gary Pawlaczyk, vice president of sales and marketing.
The company prefers to take a long-term, solutions-based approach to strategic technology investments by projecting ahead up to five years to gauge future client needs. Particularly, Pictorial Offset has focused its recent efforts on prepress technology, adding personnel to expand on its color retouching, print ad distribution and Staccato screening capabilities.