GEOGRAPHICS INC. — A STRANGE BEGINNING
“My thought was, if you have a 38˝ sheeter, then you’re back to a 16-page press,” he says. “I wanted us to run everything at 55˝ or 57˝. So we installed two fully automated folders on the Sunday press.
“Conventional wisdom says that if you have a second folder sitting there, you may only run it 30 percent of the time, so you’ve got a large investment that’s not being used. From our standpoint, it allows us to run more jobs on that press.”
Geographics’ willingness to invest in new technologies is one of the factors behind its 10 percent annual growth rate over the past three years. But it is customer relationships that truly fuel success. Lanio notes that the plant’s clean, attractive environment hooks customers when they walk through the door. And its flexibility, the nimble quality that comes with being privately held, improves response time on customer issues and needs.
“There’s a big difference between a public company that’s run by earnings per share, a quarterly deal, versus a company that is privately owned, well funded and can take more of a long-term view,” Hagan says. “That’s a tremendous advantage for us. Over the last few years, when the market was down, we continued to invest in new equipment. Many companies did not.”
Lanio estimates that 70 percent of the printer’s jobs are customer approved, which means a good deal of client visits for press checks. And since making customers feel at home is critical, Geographics decided to construct three on-site customer apartments. Lanio and Hagan were extremely pleased with the way the accommodations turned out, so they asked one of their customers—The Ritz- Carlton—to assess their efforts.
“We walked them through the facility and they said, ‘Wow, these are really nice, but we’ll tell you some things to add. You’re in the hospitality business now,’ ” Lanio recalls. The two pages of additions, including toothbrushes, robes, washer/dryer and satellite television, have given Geographics the unofficial distinction of having the finest printer customer apartments in North America.