Canon Enables The YGS Group to Maximize Workflow and Drive Efficiency
The YGS Group, a commercial printer whose roots stretch back to 1952, has continued to adapt to changing industry needs, investing in powerful technology and workflow solutions to support stronger productivity, efficiency, and overall workflow. With the support of Canon Solutions America, The YGS Group shows no signs of stopping as it continues to expand its fleet of workflow solutions to achieve new growth in its print components as well as increasing its direct-mail business.
Owner and CEO Jim Kell purchased the company in 2002 and re-branded it as York Graphic Services Co. (dba The YGS Group), and since then, the company has expanded significantly from approximately 48 employees and $5.8 million in sales to more than 150 employees and $50 million today.
Utilizing Duplo print-finishing and embellishment equipment, the York, Pennsylvania-based company was transformed from a print-only operation to a publisher services corporation, encompassing design functions and the ability to sell advertisements, among a host of services offered.
Prior to the pandemic in 2020, YGS was involved in printing materials for transportation, such as bus tours, and content related to trade shows in cities where conventions are popular, such as Las Vegas, Nevada and Orlando, Florida. Changes from that tumultuous time prompted an evolution, with direct-mail and signage on the uptick, helping to make 2021 a successful year for the company and propel it to continued success into the present.
“We were able to evolve and adapt to the customers’ changing needs by investing in powerful workflow solutions and technology,” said Mark Ploucha, YGS vice president of production solutions. “Understanding that the normal means of doing things wasn’t necessarily an option anymore forced us to think of other ways, such as beefing up storefront offerings for clients. We wanted to take advantage of what we already had and build from that.”
Also supporting these expansion efforts is Canon Solutions America’s strategic relationship with Quadient, which offers ways to best fit customers’ needs through integrated solutions. YGS has benefited from this commitment to quality, utilizing the DS-1200 G4i fourth-generation Quadient inserter which can fill up to 12,000 envelopes per hour with maximum accumulation speeds up to 32,000 sheets per hour.
YGS’s previous inserter required timely mechanical changeovers from one size envelope to another, and high-volume peaks required upgraded solutions. When the decision was made to utilize the DS-1200 inserter, Canon Solutions America’s service and support group was there to offer guidance throughout the entire process, explaining what was involved with the installation, determining the right location for the machine, and ensuring functionality once it was up and running.
“Canon Solutions America’s support has been a strong driver for us throughout the years and continues to be a strong strategic partner for our business. We know we can rely on their team to address any questions or concerns in a timely fashion and have built a rapport with our group that’s truly unmatched,” Ploucha said. “The differentiator with our Canon Solutions America partnership is their ability to find us the resources we need, when we need them. They have a great understanding of our business model, as well as our customers’ needs.”
The Duplo DC-646 machine, which features the ability to slit, cut, crease, perforate, and fold in a single pass, has also assisted YGS to help serve the ever-changing needs of its customer base. As an example, Canon Solutions America helped YGS come up with a solution to accommodate a customer’s challenges around various trim sizes of a print run of a children’s book, and constructed a mechanism that fit the different specifications.
“It’s a great machine and will be a fundamental piece of our portfolio going forward,” Ploucha said. “Canon Solutions America took the time to have conversations with us and understand what we were looking to do and came up with a solution that allows us to do more in one process. They also helped to ensure we get the proper training, and it is appreciated.”
The addition of new solutions to its fleet has helped YGS to further expand its customer base and find new growth opportunities. The leaders of YGS also cited investments in technology and outreach as a way to improve its own efficiency and a means to retain good employees and attract new ones. It also helps to prepare for the company’s future, in which quicker turnaround times are to be expected.
“We’ve expanded our customer base that includes senior living communities across the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast,” Ploucha said. “The success in this field has helped YGS develop partnerships with other printers as it expands its geographic reach into the West.”
Future plans include adding Canon inkjet printing technology, continuing YGS’s mantra of exploring avenues to optimize its business. Opportunities also exist for expansion into apparel, with embroidery operations being part of a new warehouse and fulfillment facility that opened in 2018 sitting 10 miles north of the company’s York headquarters.
“Willingness to adapt and evolve has made a huge difference in navigating rapidly changing business environments over the last few years and customers such as YGS have shown that those who seek to fit the changing needs of customers are the ones that continue to have success,” said Peter P. Kowalczuk, president, Canon Solutions America, Inc. “Their willingness to invest in technology has been evident, and we at Canon Solutions America are happy to see that YGS continues to expand their fleet of workflow solutions to reach new growth.”
The preceding press release was provided by a company unaffiliated with Printing Impressions. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of the staff of Printing Impressions.