Independence Press — Dedicated to Growth
IN THE ever-growing world of printing, industrial parks have become the ideal location for a company looking to grow its business—offering the conveniences of space, easy access to major highways, postal distribution centers and carefully manicured landscapes.
In contrast, trying to run a manufacturing plant amidst alleyways and docks, one-way streets, vertical facilities and sprawling neighborhoods with limited parking, can pose a tremendous challenge and make or break a company.
As direct mail printing became a growing niche for Philadelphia-based Independence Press, Tony Adamucci, second-generation owner and president, and Tony’s son/managing partner, Marc Adamucci, knew that their Philadelphia location was no longer an ideal fit for the growing company. Aside from direct mail, Independence Press produces annual reports, brochures, catalogs, posters and point-of-purchase offerings, along with CME material, monographs and product inserts for the pharmaceutical industry.
“We were located in a residential area in Center City Philadelphia with narrow streets and, as the neighborhood started to gentrify, it interfered with the growth we were trying to achieve,” explains Tony Adamucci.
Part of the company’s progression plan was to sell the Philadelphia facility—where they occupied four floors in an eight-story building—and move into a one-story building with an open floor plan for a better workflow.
In December 2005, the company moved into a 45,000-square-foot plant in an industrial park across the Delaware River in Thorofare, NJ. Not only has the new facility allowed the printer to achieve its goal of operating on one floor, but it also offers the convenience of eight loading docks, 50 parking spaces, seamless workflow, and improved office and customer space. “We did not realize the daily challenges we faced operating in the old facility until we moved here,” Marc Adamucci explains.
Of course, moving always comes with its own challenges. One of the taller tasks was maintaining a workflow while operating out of two buildings during the relocation.
“We moved one press at a time and had it up and running in the new location before we started moving the next one,” Marc Adamucci says. “For a time, from August until December, we had equipment running in two locations. It was a long and difficult process; rigging and moving large equipment is a real challenge. You don’t realize the planning that goes into taking down a manufacturing plant and putting it back together until you live it. We had excellent mechanics, riggers and electricians around us throughout the move.”
New Home, New Press
The first major investment the company made in its new facility was a six-color Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 sheetfed press with coater.
“In the Delaware Valley area, there are only a handful of printers operating an XL 105 press,” notes Michael Henry, Independence general/plant manager, who expects the press to increase production output by 50 percent. “The XL 105 has dramatically reduced makeready time and increased production speeds with superior print quality results. This machine will allow us to stay ahead of the curve for the foreseeable future. It’s a great position to be in.”
Marc Adamucci is excited about the new press’ capabilities, because in the few months since its installation, the company gained a significant workflow improvement.
“We produce in one shift on the XL 105 press what one of our older Speedmasters produces in two. It’s really doubling what we can do,” he explains.
The company currently operates three Heidelbergs, one of which is the new six-color Speedmaster XL 105 with coater. Its web pressroom includes an eight-color Sanden and a six-color Didde.
Since moving into its new facility, the company has also updated its proofing system, with a DuPont Cromalin piezo drop-on-demand ink-jet printer. Independence also added Heidelberg’s Prinect software to its existing 100 percent digital workflow.
“One of our greatest challenges today is the turnaround time expected from clients. We’ve expanded our front end in proofing and workstations with the fastest machines on the market to ensure proofs are done as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Marc Adamucci notes.
The company entered direct mail printing in the 1980s. Today, Independence can do a complete package in-house.
“In direct mail printing, we do a lot of credit card solicitation and insurance work. When we started with direct mail, we generally concentrated on sheetfed direct mail and then we realized there was a large opportunity to do that work on a web because it was personalized,” Tony Adamucci says.
Today, the 55-employee operation serves a wide variety of industries—such as advertising agencies, educational institutions, marketing agencies, financial institutions and hospitals—from New England through Virginia.
An environmentally responsible company, Independence switched to vegetable-based inks in the 1990s. The company has always recycled its paper and offers customers high-quality recycled paper alternatives. In addition, it is currently in the process of becoming FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certified.
By creating one-, three- and five-year plans, Independence management has addressed and will continue to address problems they feel the industry faces today, such as faster turnaround and less lead times.
“Everyone needs everything immediately, which is why we have and will continue to make investments to keep up with what clients expect,” Tony Adamucci points out. “Our workflow has improved tremendously.”
“We have never been the type of company to grow rapidly, but very slowly, and I think that’s how we maintain our high quality and customer service levels,” adds Marc Adamucci.
Celebrating 60 years in business, the Adamucci family has shown that a passion for printing runs in the family.
“This is a very exciting time for our company,” Marc Adamucci concludes. “We’ve positioned ourselves to move ahead toward our next 60 years in business.” PI