Four PI 400 Companies Share How They Achieved Outstanding Revenue Growth
The following four printing companies appearing on the 2016 Printing Impressions 400 reported outstanding revenue growth from their previous to most recent fiscal years to qualify for fast-track distinction. But, as one might expect, there are multiple avenues to business growth, including investments in new equipment and automation, entering new vertical markets and gaining greater customer share of existing clientele, as well as through M&A and tuck-in activity.
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $72.5 million
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $48.50 million
Vision Integrated Graphics Group has been in business for more than 30 years, and operates three production facilities in the Chicagoland. One is committed to point-of-purchase/retail and wide-format graphics; a second produces digital and conventional print, with a full bindery, fulfillment/warehousing and a lettershop for direct mail; and a third center in downtown Chicago consists of 10,000 sq. ft. of loft space devoted to technology professionals and sales. Combined, the company operates in more than 200,000 sq. ft. of space with 300 full-time employees.
The company specializes in multichannel, personalized direct response campaigns, marketing automation solutions and point-of-purchase displays at retail and large-scale event locations. Some of the products and services it provides includes email creation and execution, IP targeted banner advertisements coordinated with direct mail and new mover direct mail programs, and the production of personalized photo products.
Vision serves national brands across many sectors, including the retail, insurance, health care, financial, e-commerce and nonprofit segments. The firm was also an early adopter of digital printing, starting with its first HP digital press in 1998. Today, it operates 12 HP presses, including eight HP Indigo digital presses — three 10000s, three 7600s and two 7000s. Additional HP presses include a Scitex XP5300 wide-format printer and three DesignJet wide-format printers — a L25500, Z6800 and Z6100.
According to Vision’s CEO Doug Powell, there were several reasons for the company’s impressive growth of 49% over its previous fiscal year. “We have the ability to integrate and automate our clients’ programs. This enables complete flexibility in design and functionality, and it helps drive costs and hours out of workflows and processes,” says Powell, who adds that Vision has a technology department of more than 20 professionals on staff to support its clients’ applications. “This team allows us to bring a new level of service and automation to client programs and makes us stand out from the competition.”
Another area that has contributed to the company’s growth was the investment in new equipment. In 2016, Vision added a third HP Indigo 10000 digital press; a Sakurai UV press; a five-color, 40˝ Komori Lithrone sheetfed offset press, a Durst Rho 1312 wide-format printer and a BSR 550 rotary diecutting system from MBO.
Looking ahead, Vision’s focus is to move beyond marketing execution services. “Our continued growth will depend on us becoming more strategic with our clients. We are looking at many different opportunities to move further upstream with our clients to help them develop their strategies and analyze their results,” concludes Powell.
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $27.6 million
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $22.30 million
V.G. Reed & Sons was founded as a provider of printed communication products by Virgil Glenn Reed in 1938. Current President and Owner Robert “Bobby” Reed Sr. constitutes the third-generation leadership in the family business. Under his guidance in this role (2011-present), the company has flourished. Fourth-generation Reed family members are part of the existing workforce and are being mentored for leadership roles as part of the succession plan that Bobby Reed Sr. has put into place.
Today, V.G. Reed & Sons serves a range of vertical markets, including the manufacturing, financial services, marketing/commercial, pharmaceutical, health care and insurance segments, many of which are comprised of Fortune 100 companies.
The firm offers a variety of print and finishing services that include cold and heatset web offset and sheetfed offset printing, along with full-color and monochrome digital printing solutions. The printer also has a full-service bindery, mailing department and fulfillment capabilities. Some of the printed products V.G. Reed produces include instruction manuals, fact sheets, provider kits, directories, direct mail, publications, catalogs and inserts.
According to Bobby Reed Sr., the company’s success is due in large part to its skilled and talented workforce, by not becoming a single niche provider and through organic growth with existing customers. “While we are focused on a handful of markets, we do not limit our sales efforts when it comes to landing new clients,” he notes. “We believe in our processes and that has translated to new contracts.”
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $25.65 million
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $20.97 million
Phase 3 Marketing & Communications was founded in 2001 by Ken Holsclaw and Max Nair. Today, the firm has 180 employees and two 50,000-sq.-ft. print facilities located in Atlanta and Dallas, along with three additional plants in Charleston, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Nashville, Tenn. The company serves the retail, financial, hospitality and medical segments, and provides marketing, branding, creative, public relations, print, and warehouse and distribution services.
On the printing end, it provides small-, wide- and grand-format digital printing, finishing, installation, marketing collateral, in-store point-of-purchase, sales kits, posters, banners, signage, flyers and brochures.
According to Holsclaw, some of the factors sparking the company’s growth came from successful acquisitions and subsequent integrations. Also, the ability to successfully sell and support multiple products and services into large corporations was another contributing factor to Phase 3’s growth.
“We have made seven acquisitions during the past 48 months, which have contributed to our tripling of top-line revenue over the last four years,” explains Holsclaw. “We have also expanded our value proposition from ‘Design and Print’ to ‘Ideation to Execution,’ which means we are providing more front-end marketing services that are also leading to print growth.”
In terms of what lies ahead for 2017, Holsclaw says he does not foresee more acquisitions, but instead continued integration, deployment of next-generation print procurement software and various equipment upgrades.
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $21.00 million
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $15.00 million
At the helm of FLM Graphics, a leading provider of commercial printing, digital imaging, reprographics, document management and integrated graphic communications services, is father and son duo Frank L. Misischia Sr., founder and chairman, and Frank M. Misischia Jr., president of the FLM Group. Founded in 1972, FLM Graphics operates out of a 50,000-sq.-ft. headquarters in Fairfield, N.J., and also has operations and offices in Princeton, N.J.; New York City; Marlborough, Mass.; and Sarasota, Fla.
The company serves a range of vertical markets, including the retail, sports marketing, pharmaceutical, finance, entertainment and event planning segments. Its wide range of services include traditional offset printing, small-format and wide-format digital printing, binding and finishing, design, premium promotional products, customized online tracking and marketing management programs, cloud-based marketing portals and marketing solutions that incorporate virtual and augmented reality.
Printed products run the gamut, from signs, vehicle wraps, banners, wall and floor wraps, and window and display graphics, to brochures, catalogs and promotional materials.
M&A and Organic Growth Moves
According to Misischia Sr., the reason for FLM’s 40% boost in sales in the past fiscal year is due to a number of successful acquisitions/tuck-ins during the past few years, along with new service offerings that has enabled the company to grow organically. “In all of our acquisitions, there were offerings that gave us a real head start in growth. For example, Trucolor was a traditional photo/digital business that we moved immediately and eventually converted to all wide- and small-format digital. And the acquisition of Dolan Wohlers in 2009 delivered additional revenues and added more finishing to our platform.”
In 2015, FLM Graphics acquired Paravista, which was located in Piscataway, N.J., and migrated that business into its Fairfield facility. “Paravista not only brought additional revenues but gave us an opportunity to offer premium products to our existing client base,” he explains.
Misischia Jr. adds that he is enthusiastic about continuing to serve FLM’s clients with quality print products but also sees great opportunity as companies embrace and utilize their newer augmented and virtual reality media offerings.