Bindery Management — Flourishing At Finishing
Included in the company's array of services are mechanical binding, stitching, perfect binding, diecutting, UV coating, laminating and foil stamping. Its slogan, "Done Right on Time," reflects the emphasis management puts on responding to customer needs, especially in turnaround times. The shop has about 50 employees.
Finish Binders serves a range of printing companies, from small (quick printer) to large ($25+ million). The trade binder works closely with its customers, getting involved in the job early on, Beard notes. Whenever possible this includes consulting with clients at the design and layout stage to offer ideas for how a job can be produced more efficiently.
Beard believes part of the answer to printers bringing postpress capabilities in-house is to point out the real costs involved. Buying the equipment is just the beginning, he says, since most processes also require a fair amount of expertise. Even something basic like square footage of available plant space can be an issue, he adds.
For work within a one-day travel time, Beard contends that the speed of its equipment and running multiple shifts enable his shop to turn around work as quick or quicker than a printer could complete the job in-house. "Staying competitive comes down to honest communication and proper plant management," he says. "We let a client know if a job is going to be delayed, even by a matter of hours."
E-mail is becoming an important communication tool, as well. "E-mailing is quick, it's in writing and it's trackable," he notes. Finish Binders' customers so far haven't been pushing to go beyond that point, say to online quoting and/or scheduling, but Beard can see that happening in the not-too-distant future. "First we have to implement real-time data collection internally, which is our next big project," he says.
Bryce Berry at first might seem an unlikely cheerleader for the market segment, given that he recently sold the trade bindery he started about seven years ago. However, Berry agreed to stay on as vice president of sales at Express Solutions in Salt Lake City, UT. The company's business outlook and strategy have a lot in common with Finish Binders' story.