FAST-TRACK FIRMS —PADDING THE COFFERS
These are the stories of how some firms that experienced a successful year have bolstered their sales numbers. Dubbed “fast-track firms,” these industry stalwarts are leading the way though innovation, technology and a vision for the future.
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $31.71 million
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $26.64 million
Percentage Change: 29 percent
It’s no surprise to learn that a printer which aims to deliver the best printing in the fastest possible time, with the best possible skill, at the best possible price, boasts a growing list of customers and a healthy hike in annual sales.
Southeastern Printing believes the primary reason for its success has been a dedication to producing a quality product. It has built partnerships with its customers by delivering products and services that exceed clients’ needs. The company further capitalized on an acquisition made in 2005 of a direct competitor, which has increased Southeastern’s market share.
“This was augmented by growth in new value-added services, as well as a creative/consistent sales contest and marketing effort,” reports Don Mader, president of Southeastern Printing. “We have taken a strong stance on bringing additional value-added capabilities in-house in 2006, which included foil stamping, embossing, perfect binding, collating and digital printing.”
To create an advantage, Southeastern initiated an aggressive marketing program, including a unique lead-generation campaign.
“We will stay committed to invest big dollars in sales and marketing in order to achieve our lofty organic growth targets,” Mader promises. “We also plan on capitalizing on our recent ISO certification to assist in attracting larger clients.”
Mader’s outlook for 2007 remains positive and he is striving for continued growth and success.
“We approach each year with cautious optimism knowing we are in a very competitive industry,” he contends. “That challenges us to bring more sales in while driving cost out.”
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $74 million
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $60.71 million
Percentage Change: 22 percent
Hammer Packaging has been able to maintain consistent growth by focusing on capital expenditures to make the company more productive while expanding its range of offerings. By following this strategy in markets where the company has strong brand equity, it has been successful selling to clients who want a strategic partner they can be aligned with for the future.
“Customers really buy the potential of what we will be doing for them (in the future), as well as what we can do for them today,” states Louis Iovoli, director of sales and marketing.
The company’s management is a strong believer in using technology to drive innovation. Since its business is constantly changing, it is seen as critical to adapt along with industry trends.
“Our strategy is to identify the best people in the industry that can lead our investments into new technologies with the greatest success,” Iovoli says. “Capacity and efficiency go hand-in-hand. We always look to accomplish more.”
Hammer is a company that prides itself on being in a constant state of evolution. It continues to research which markets have the greatest potential to offer value through technology and innovation.
“You don’t always have to do things differently—sometimes you just have to ask how you can do it better,” Iovoli maintains.
He feels the industry is going to continue to be “hyper-competitive,” while Hammer’s client base will continue to shrink in number while growing in size. This is all happening while the range of available packaging methods continues to expand.
“The end result is we have to be very careful with our capital risk,” Iovoli assesses. “In the end, the number of printers in the United States will continue to decline as they face these challenges.”
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $38.3 million
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $28.5 million
Percentage Change: 34 percent
Signature Graphics’ manufacturing facility has more than 120,000 square feet of screen printing, digital printing, warehousing and office space. The company’s insistence on rigid quality and emphasis on customer service have contributed to its rapid growth.
President Paul Godfrey attributes Signature’s sales increase of more than 30 percent mainly to:
• Internal focus on sales growth, especially recruitment and training of new sales reps.
• Growth in size of the fleet graphics market, especially within the private and common carrier sales segments.
• Growth in awareness of the importance of fleet graphics within the marketplace.
Signature Graphics has earned a reputation for combining commercial and environmental graphics expertise with technological leadership and a passion for excellence. It offers a unique combination of products, services and resources designed for a single purpose: to help customers create and sustain favorable impressions that add to their bottom line.
To remain on the leading edge of technology, the company has expanded its digital capacity in both the printing and finishing departments. It also maintains a consistent sales message that promises outstanding product quality, exemplary customer service and the assurance that Signature’s customers will receive the full economic value of what they are buying—at a minimum.
“Only companies able to offer consistently high quality and competitive pricing will survive,” Godfrey predicts. “Most importantly, it looks like growth and continued prosperity will reside in the ability of an individual printing company to provide a niche service, with a high degree of precision and responsiveness to a specific industry.”
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $206.08 million
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $139.47 million
Percentage Change: 48 percent
Multi-Color Corp. is a global resource of decorating solutions and packaging services. Multi-Color is a producer of both in-mold labels (IMLs) and heat transfer labels (HTLs) and a manufacturer of cut-and-stack and pressure-sensitive labels and shrink sleeve packages.
Quick Pak, the company’s packaging services business, is a provider of promotional packaging, assembly, fulfillment and decoration services.
Multi-Color supports more than 330 brands at more than 650 customers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central and South America. Customers include leading producers of health and beauty, food and beverage, personal care, automotive and household consumer brands.
The publicly traded company has hit several financial milestones in the past year, including:
• Net revenues increased to a record level due to strong organic growth and its NorthStar Print Group acquisition.
• Net income grew to $9.6 million, a 21 percent increase.
• Diluted earnings per share rose by 18 percent to a record $1.43.
• Shareholders’ equity increased 23 percent to more than $53 million.
• Total debt decreased by nearly $13 million, a 32 percent reduction.
As the inventor of the in-mold label, Multi-Color has a history of technical expertise. It reinvented the in-mold label for Procter & Gamble’s new Olay Body Wash. Using multiple printing processes and metallic holographic effects, Multi-Color’s new clear in-mold label adds stiffness to the container and improves the product’s overall dispensing performance.
Francis Gerace, president and CEO, attributes Multi-Color’s successful execution of its business plan as the reason the company is producing outstanding financial results. He points to the company’s relentless drive to constantly improve as the catalyst for the increasing number of satisfied customers and shareholders. PI