PI 300 Fast-Track Firm: The Dot Corporation Responds to Printing Industry Change With Value-Added Solutions
The worldwide happenings of the past two years have been, to say the least, unusual. From a business standpoint, the year-over-year metrics companies used to chart growth and, hopefully, success aren’t as reliable as they once were.
It is well-known that the past two years were very good for some printing segments: packaging and direct mail, specifically, come to mind. For others, for instance those companies that primarily serve events, such as concerts, festivals, and trade shows, the strong downturn was profound and prolonged. It is in this reality that Printing Impressions presents its 2021 Fast-Track companies that appeared among the 2021 Printing Impressions 300 list of the largest printers in the U.S. and Canada, ranked by annual sales.
The summary of The Dot Corporation that follows recognizes this company as a “fast- track” firm that has weathered the recent storm in its own way, and its insight on business and industry trends can serve as a “north star” for companies looking to navigate themselves toward a safer harbor.
The Dot Corporation | Irvine, California
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $60.3 Million
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $33.1Million
Percentage Growth: 82%
Bruce Carson, CEO and owner of The Dot Corporation, describes his company as a “single-source solution.” In describing what it does and who it serves, he includes the inherent necessity of printing to the company’s portfolio of services, but stresses a variety of value-adds — including fulfillment, mailing, and expertise in e-commerce — that give the entity its unique edge. While the company’s primary focus is on serving the needs of clients in the medical and healthcare segments, The Dot Corporation also serves spaces as diverse as real estate marketing and a t-shirt subscription service.
Fulfillment is an essential element of the company’s success, Carson says. To illustrate, he shares that in the past, printing activities accounted for roughly 70% of the company’s annual revenue, with fulfillment and other services comprising the rest. Today, he says, those numbers have flipped as the firm has expanded upon its fulfillment successes and adjusted services to meet its customers’ changing needs.
For its medical clients, direct mail and data management have provided valuable services. These capabilities, coupled with the company’s extensive work in fulfillment, placed The Dot Corporation in an interesting position amid the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company found itself well-placed to handle the fulfillment and shipping of COVID home test kits for its customers — this following a general trend toward home testing. The firm was also able to address the higher fulfillment demand stemming from the increased use of online shopping amid lockdowns. Carson says the company was “in the right place at the right time,” during the pandemic, and was able to meet the unique needs of its customers.
Serving a Changing Space
From a business standpoint, Carson says the pandemic demonstrated the need for the company to be “adaptable, flexible, and looking for opportunities.” To him, one key strength of The Dot Corporation is its ability to embrace change, noting an attitude that sees challenges not as problems, but as opportunities.
Regarding challenges, Carson says the company, like so many others, is fighting for supplies of paper. In response to a labor shortage that has, of late, been intensified, Carson shared that one goal for the company moving forward is to focus on automation whenever possible. This includes an expansion of software solutions and a shift toward robotics. The ultimate goal here, he says, is increased productivity and reduction of labor.
For the broader industry, Carson says, moving forward, the emphasis will be on making it easier for customers to interact with the businesses that serve them. This supports his company’s strong drive toward software development.
Further, he sees the printing industry moving more strongly toward digital printing — inkjet in particular — as its printing platform of choice. Given the presence of fewer skilled workers serving manufacturing segments, he says, tomorrow’s machines will be operated by fewer people, with different skill levels.