Fetter Realigns Business; Shifts Focus Away from Commercial Printing
“The commercial printing industry, overall, has been in decline for a number of years,” said Gill, “and it was clear that we needed to approach our business very differently if we wanted to survive and prosper. Bill has done a great job of putting us on that course.”
Gill, a 16-year Fetter employee, took the reins of the company on September 18, 2006, becoming just the 6th president since Fetter was founded in 1888.
Another key appointment was that of 10-year Fetter veteran Cheri L. Glass to Chief Administrative Officer & Corporate Secretary. The company is owned by about 95 of its 120 employees, none of which own more than 2% of the outstanding shares.
Gill said the transition period and the decisions made were difficult, but that Fetter is well-positioned now to expand its market share by creating improvements in the overall process. For example, Fetter has developed customized automation tools that help reduce its customers’ reliance on large inventories by reducing its printing cycle time while improving the flow and management of its customers’ information. This fundamental change in the supply chain pioneered by Fetter allows the company to pass efficiencies along to customers in the form of reduced cost and greater speed and flexibility.
The company also plans to introduce a content management software program next year that knows what copy is on every label produced for the paint and coatings industry. If an ingredient listed on some labels needs to be changed, the program will be able to provide a list of all labels that have that ingredient.
“We’re capitalizing on the collective years of our employees’ knowledge, wisdom, and experience about our clients’ industry and business to improve the speed to market of their products,” Gill explained. “Our employees have embraced the transition from being a manufacturing organization to one that is developing practical technology solutions to address very specific customer needs.”