Edwards Brothers Malloy: Making Change Their Friend
Joe Upton points out that Edwards Brothers Malloy recently took over an in-house digital printing facility in New Jersey operated by one of its major publishing customers. The sizable volume of four-color work that accompanied the agreement made it easier for Edwards Borthers Malloy to justify its InfoPrint acquisition and fits into the company's ideal role of serving as an inventory manager for its client base. That's certainly reflected in further planned acquisitions, many of which are concentrated on IT and creating systems that drive cost out of the transaction process, while making life easier for the customer.
In all, Edwards Brothers Malloy has eight digital printing centers nationwide, with one in the United Kingdom. Of the nine, five are housed at customer locations. "We did significant upgrades at most of the centers in terms of equipment, normal wear-and-tear replacement, and picked up some additional capacity," notes Donna Coleman, director of marketing.
The book printer and manufacturer has helped many of its longtime offset customers transition smoothly into POD production. One of its larger clients posted 17,000 orders in 2012 with an average print run of just 2.2 copies. Edwards Brothers Malloy has reduced many of the human touch points that can complicate the process by linking POD customers with the printer via an electronic data interchange (EDI) connection. The EDI-driven orders contain all the specifications that are needed to process the short-run jobs, which are sent directly to the print engines without the need for human intervention.
"This saves us significant time (that comes with) having a human being enter the order, prep it and push it into the production system," Coleman notes. "It also saves on the back end, since invoicing is also done automatically, along with order receipt acknowledgements and shipment notifications."
Clearly, the biggest change to visit Edwards Brothers Malloy was the 2012 merger that brought the two Michigan heavyweights together. John Edwards and Bill Upton began talks in August of 2011, and soon realized the companies had complementary aspects and little redundancy, including in their customer lists. Edwards Brothers offered a significant digital footprint, and Malloy Inc. countered with a solid fulfillment operation. Both firms were traditional family-owned businesses with vision statements that were essentially the same. The typical Edwards Brothers print run was half as long as Malloy's, but with twice the page counts.