FAST TRACK FIRMS -- Sailing Against the Wind
2003 Ranking: 38
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $185M
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $155M
Predominantly A package printer, Fort Dearborn produces shrink sleeves, pressure-sensitive labels, rollfed, stack labels and paper/synthetic cut labels. According to Gwen Chapdelaine, director of marketing communications, Fort Dearborn's current and short-term investments are focused on increasing flexographic, roto-gravure and digital printing capabilities to support increased customer demand for shrink sleeve labels and high-end, pressure-sensitive labels.
Among its initiatives for 2004 and beyond are its digital printing solutions, notes Chapdelaine.
"We envision utilizing digital printing to replicate lithographic, flexographic and gravure reproduction processes, enabling total print production flexibility within consumer products manufacturers' brand families. This will open opportunities to eliminate packaging inventory, change 'speed to market' to hours rather than weeks and provide innovative concepts such as co-branding of the package billboard with Internet-like speed."
Burton & Mayer
2003 Ranking: 287
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $18.3M
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $16.8M
The most recent campaign represented a rebound year for Burton & Mayer, which suffered (like many others) through a dismal 2001. The sheetfed printer—which produces advertising, retail signage, direct mail, newsletters and financial printing, among others—used a concerted sales effort to win back or replace business lost in 2001, reports President Tim Burton.
Expanding the product line also bolstered that effort. A half-size, six-color Komori equipped with coater and full automation joined the pressroom, and e-commerce capabilities have been added in the past 18 months.
"We have completely revamped prepress, replacing our manual CTP platesetters with fully automated Screen devices, added Kodak Approval proofing and updated our Rampage workflow," Burton notes. "We are looking to expand or move our plant since space is now our biggest issue.
"We are growing our fulfillment business and using the e-commerce solution to provide overall supply chain management for our clients."