Allied Printing--Crowning Customers
A Simple Plan
Allied Printing installed its digital photography studio following DRUPA 95. The company saw its scanning revenue stream drying up because designers were doing their own desktop scanning and designing around their capabilities there rather than the capabilities of a high-end system.
By showing customers a considerable savings in color separations as well as their photography bill, it gave them even more money that could be spent on printing.
Sommers feels it is vital to have Kaufman out in the field in search of the most recent and relevant technologies (Sommers refers to them as "toys") and the company receives justification in the form of an independent board, which will evaluate and judge whether or not a particular "toy" belongs in the Allied Printing toybox.
"We have to look closely at what we're doing today and listen to find out what the industry is doing tomorrow," Sommers remarks. "With the way commercial printing is changing and evolving, we need someone out there tracking new developments and reporting back to Allied. We have an independent board to put [proposals] through the process of justification. It's not a rubber stamp by any means—our board asks many tough questions before we receive approval to purchase any new equipment."
It seems Allied Printing, a staunch independent printer, and a number of other commercial printers have found a way to circumvent at least one of the so-called advantages enjoyed by commercial printing consolidators: namely purchasing power.
Two years ago, Sommers, a member of the Young President's Organization (YPO)—an international organization that boasts a multitude of vocations, including 30 to 40 printers—founded a purchasing group that featured YPO member printers. Only YPO members are considered for inclusion in the purchasing LLC, which boasts considerable consumables buying leverage because its versatile membership prints on a variety of substrates.