DLT Direct--Playing to Win
DLT Direct's doors opened as a printer and orders came in, but supplies didn't. Investigating, Taylor found that because his street address was the same as the insolvent printer, suppliers wouldn't ship there!
"To clear that up, we tried to petition the county to change DLT Direct's address," Ruby recalls. That, plus the partners' good reputation with paper and ink companies, soon lifted the embargo. Supplies poured in. The company began printing on April 10, 1995. And though its first "month" was scarcely 13 working days long, it billed $92,000—a portent of success to come.
Today, there are 54 employees that the partners describe as DLT Direct's most valuable asset. They also call its new Didde Viper the company's second most valuable asset. The vigorous young company's sales are currently running at $500,000 per month. First-prize awards for printing excellence cram its conference room walls, including countless awards won in recent Printing Industries of Virginia (PIVA) competitions. Now, because of its Viper press, DLT Direct is classed as a "category 3" printer, which pits it against PIVA entries from the highest-ranked printers. Yet, on its award wall hangs the coveted PIVA August Dietz award, declaring that DLT Direct is the best printer in Virginia.
With so much proof of its top-quality direct mail printing, Ruby observes, "Some printers still think that direct mail is 'down-and-dirty.' They're wrong, of course. We think 'top commercial quality' when we say 'direct mail.' We do everything we can to make a job turn out absolutely top-notch. Paying attention to details makes the difference in our quality, and all those little things add up."
Working smarter and adopting state-of-the-art technology have helped DLT Direct grow in sales and profitability, according to Ruby. "I came from a long history of printing high-end, multicolor, sheetfed work. Any way you look at it, sheetfed is simply a costly way to manufacture," Ruby comments.