CONSOLIDATORS - Slowing, but Growing
Thompson: With the enormous benefit of hindsight, our biggest mistake was failing to anticipate the change in the rules. That is, we—and I include consolidators and the non-consolidator members of the printing industry—did not expect that the activity we were being rewarded for by Wall Street would suddenly be penalized.
Nor did we dream that Wall Street's view of our industry would change so radically and so quickly. We will adapt to this new set of rules and have, in fact, begun that process. At Mail-Well, we are taking advantage of the slowdown in acquisition activity to focus on running our businesses better and to emphasize the integration of our acquisitions. We look at this time as an opportunity to hone our operations, implement our purchasing programs, emphasize our cross-selling and national account program, and make strategic acquisitions.
Kashan: Printing is a very difficult business; you must have an understanding of your operations and your clients in order to successfully acquire companies and create a strong network. Managing multiple locations is a daunting task unless they are complementary and provide a strategic fit. We are focused on establishing meaningful improvements in operating results and developing a more responsive organization. We have significant sheetfed (12 six-color presses with coaters) and half-web capabilities in the metropolitan area, with sales topping the $160 million mark.
All our facilities are linked together, which allows us to utilize existing capacity more efficiently and be more competitive for our clients. Our success lies in technology that has enabled us to produce printed material faster, cheaper and better. Our VPN network puts all the company's resources at our clients' disposal. In particular, our Florida facility complements our product mix perfectly. Our clients are asking us to produce web work at very aggressive prices and one way to accomplish that is to prep jobs in the metro New York area and transfer files over high-speed lines to a cheaper, direct labor market. That's how we are meeting our clients' needs.