The Goodway Group: When You’re Good, You’re...
ONLY IN A printer's wildest dreams would it imagine being so good at its craft that Fortune 500 clients would request that it build another facility, in another part of the country, because those clients were relocating there.
Your work would have to be pretty impressive—and your business relationships even moreso—for those customers to consider your services indispensable. This scenario is reality for the three divisions that comprise The Goodway Group of Companies, headquartered in Jenkintown, PA. For years, Washington, DC, was the nucleus of the military defense industry, and much of its documentation was printed at Goodway's Northern Virginia facility.
"But in the late 1960s, defense firms were migrating north, and their buyers needed a regional printer that understood their specific needs," explains Noel Doherty, president of Goodway-MA. When contractors inquired about the feasibility of opening another subsidiary in Massachusetts, the answer from headquarters was a resounding, "Yes."
Throughout the 1970s, he says, firms such as General Dynamics, Raytheon, Electric Boat, General Electric, RCA and Honeywell were the foundation of Goodway-MA's business. However, during the '80s, the defense industry largely moved south and west, leaving Goodway-MA to build upon its second largest market sector: high-tech. According to Doherty, Honeywell, Digital, Hewlett-Packard, Prime and others relied on Goodway's cold webs and extensive in-house bindery capabilities to produce user manuals and other documentation. By the early 1990s, high-tech required shorter runs and quicker turns, a demand Goodway-MA met by becoming one of the region's early adopters of digital technology.
Paving the Way for Digital
"Goodway developed and hosted one of the first Web-based, just-in-time documentation ordering systems for HP," Doherty notes. "This program utilized a proprietary system of inventory pick'n'pack and digital print-on-demand (POD) to guarantee daily deliveries of key product documentation to the back end of HP's production lines." By the new millennium, hardware and software documentation had migrated to CDs or downloadable PDFs but, by then, Goodway's commitment to digital technology, combined with its burgeoning mailing and fulfillment capabilities, had paved the way for new opportunities.