American Printing — Fast-track Firm
This also extends beyond production personnel. "Another key is looking at your capabilities, and then identifying those salespeople and customer service reps who can handle specific types of accounts--matching accounts with people and building relationships from there," Sturgeon adds.
What has also helped American Printing grow is its ability to maintain a loyal base of customers for a prolonged period. Some clients have been with the printer for 30-plus years, and Sturgeon notes that many are substantial accounts.
"We tend not to lose customers," he says. "We build deep relationships and we sell horizontally within a given company, so that we're not relying on one person to keep us in the game."
American Printing has developed an eight-step formula for success in the printing industry.
According to Sturgeon, the points have buoyed the company during its growth period and are an essential part to making the five-year growth plan become a reality.
In order to be successful, Sturgeon says a company must:
Have an owner willing to invest money;
Identify and hire top-flight employees;
Identify and purchase quality equipment;
Develop a plan of action for the short, intermediary and long term;
Have an appropriate plan in place to make it become a reality;
Provide ongoing training programs;
Pay attention to details; and
Market its capabilities, then be proactive in the marketplace.
A general commercial printer, American Printing serves a wide array of customers in the retail, financial and educational sectors. Many jobs that come through its 90,000-square-foot manufacturing area incorporate a combination of sheetfed, half-web and digital printing.
Web on the Way
The natural progression, according to Stanford, is the pending addition of a full-web press. American Printing has narrowed its choices down to two manufacturer models, both of which fully address the printer's quality requirements. Big picture-wise, the company will be able to extend business with existing customers and allow it to penetrate the regional market for publications, directories and catalogs.