Ironmark, Annapolis Junction, MD: A Decade of M&A Dominance Leads to New Plant, Equipment
Perhaps Jeff Ostenso has spent some time working with the Witness Protection Program. The CEO of Annapolis Junction, MD-based Ironmark has ushered his company through a comprehensive identity change in the past 10 years. Interestingly, perhaps the only folks who still recognize the former Frank Gumpert Printing are its customers, who couldn't care less about names, but know a great job when they see it.
Turn back the clock to 2004. Frank Gumpert Printing—which had existed for nearly 50 years—is a modest, $3.5 million commercial printer serving the Annapolis area. Ostenso, who had taken the company reins in 1992 after having done it all in a 12-man shop, soon realized that being the quick printer down the street just didn't jibe with the vision he had for his firm.
Ostenso wanted to grow Frank Gumpert Printing. He wanted to do it through acquisition, as well as organically. Not only did he want to acquire capabilities his own firm didn't possess, Ostenso wanted to bring aboard a savvy talent base to deliver—confidently and expertly—on said capabilities. He wanted to cross-sell to the customers of those acquired companies; not only would he bring new services to his own client base, Frank Gumpert Printing would serve the commercial needs of the newbie acquisitions.
"Anyone can add printing equipment; it's really the knowledge and talent to produce it effectively and deliver it at the right cost point that make a big difference," Ostenso says.
Ten years later, the newly-minted Ironmark has added six firms through acquisition, with a pending seventh conquest slated to be its biggest acquisition yet. The company has ballooned from $3 million in annual sales to right around the $22 million plateau. And last September, Ironmark moved into a new, 52,000-square-foot plant, christened no less with the addition of two presses: an eight-color , 40˝ Komori Lithrone sheetfed offset press with coater and an HP Indigo 7600 digital press.