Graphic Village Continues Growth Strategy with RMGT 9 Series Press with LED-UV Curing
Graphic Village’s chosen mantle, “The Print Shop of the Future,” is truly the reinvention of a commercial printer built to compete in 2020 and well beyond. Today, Graphic Village, based in Cincinnati, is a multichannel marketing solutions provider. Their client list spans numerous vertical markets including financial services, healthcare, education, non-profits, manufacturing and marketing agencies. The fact that Graphic Village is one of the Printing Impressions 400 largest printing companies in the U.S. and Canada by annual sales (110% growth to $20 Million FY 2018, jumping 141 places to No. 223), would point to the strength of the Graphic Village reinvention approach.
While operating under its current identity for a little more than five years, Graphic Village’s roots go back much further. It was the vision of the executive team led by Eric Kahn, executive chairman of Graphic Village, and Larry Kuhlman, previous owner of Bramkamp Printing and president/partner of Graphic Village today, to acquire and unite distinct operations that specialized in marketing, commercial print, digital print, packaging, wide format and direct mail. Formed in 2013 through the merger of Cincinnati’s leading offset and digital printers (Bramkamp Printing & DocuPros) Kahn quickly folded in nine additional companies to build what is today’s Graphic Village.
“Our goal was to vertically integrate our business, bringing all the print product lines under one corporate roof,” says Kahn. “We want to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for our clients. But we ended up with three different manufacturing facilities that weren’t integrated. So last year, we bought a 153,000-sq.-ft. building in Blue Ash and we moved everything under one roof. Our goal is to keep growing, both organically and through strategic acquisitions. We will continue to pursue additional businesses in the regional marketplace, both in the same spaces and in unique spaces.”
As part of this string of acquisitions, Graphic Village ended up with a wide range of equipment spanning every manufacturer and technology type. As a technology pioneer in Greater Cincinnati, Graphic Village was the first in the Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana Tri-state to install the HP 12000 and Scodix equipment. But moving into new facilities was a chance to evaluate what each acquisition had brought to the table. Selling off the older pieces gave them the ability to invest in newer, more state-of-the art equipment. “We have always invested, and tried to be at the forefront of technology,” says Kahn. “When we moved into this facility, We actually invested $4.5 million in new equipment, including offset presses, die cutters, and digital equipment. In addition to investing in leading edge equipment, we continue to invest heavily in people. Most recently, we were fortunate to bring on a new CEO, Michael Nold, who brings the experience and expertise to truly make Graphic Village a world class organization.”
One of the centerpieces of the new facility was the installation of a new RMGT 940 LED-UV press, which appealed to Kahn and his team because it maintained the 16-page layout in a smaller footprint with much lower staffing requirements. “The feeds and speeds off that press are exactly where we need them to be from an improvement standpoint,” says Larry Kuhlman.
Mark O’Bryan, who was the president of CTS Packaging when it was acquired, and today is division president of packaging at Graphic Village, notes that the new press is opening up new services not just in the commercial print side of the business, but in packaging as well. “This RMGT press offers the diversity we need to get into new markets where we haven’t been in the packaging world,” he notes. “Things like the higher-end food and beverage space. This is a hybrid press that can do both commercial print and packaging, as the LED-UV inks and coatings position us to take advantage of both spaces.”
Graphic Village is already enjoying the faster makereadies, better color control, and the instant dry times that the LED-UV equipped RMGT 940 brings to the table. And while Kahn notes that with just nine months since the installation, they have quickly ramped up the business they can push to the press, he foresees it being a workhorse. “In fact, we already have the pad right beside this press for the next one. We’ll probably retire one of our other older presses and put in either another press specifically for the packaging side, or another 9 series. We have a lot of room for growth.”
“The growth of Graphic Village has been incredible to watch,” says Chris Manley, President of Graphco, the RMGT distributor for the region. “We’ve been amazed at the strength of Graphic Village’s production team and the relative ease with which they moved the work from a Heidelberg SM102-10P, an SM-74-6 and a Ryobi 755XL onto their new RMGT 9 Series press. Their scheduling and execution to achieve nearly 100% utilization of this new press almost immediately has been very impressive.”
“Graphic Village truly embodies what it means to be The Print Shop of the Future. With the current path they are on, I can’t see anything slowing them down. Being able to offer our partners The Unfair Advantage of an RMGT press to help propel them forward that much faster is a truly exciting opportunity. I cannot wait to see where Eric takes this company next.”
Graphco and Graphic Village will be hosting an open house event on Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. so that fellow printers from around the Midwest and Southeast can witness the latest in RMGT print quality, automation and flexibility of production in action. For more information about this event, please visit http://bit.ly/GVOpenHouse.
The preceding press release was provided by a company unaffiliated with Printing Impressions. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of the staff of Printing Impressions.