Inserts East: FSIs Fuel Continued Success
Grocery store circulars, fashion flyers, furniture and appliance advertisements. One usually thinks of these as smaller parts of a larger whole, like a daily or weekly newspaper. But, for Nicholas Maiale and his crew at Pennsauken, NJ-based Inserts East, these free-standing inserts (FSIs) are shining stars themselves.
FSIs are a specialty at the 25-year-old printing company, which has avoided printing glossy magazines and newspapers in order to excel in this genre. "We have never lost focus of our niche market and core product offerings," Maiale says.
Inserts East started in 1989, when Maiale's father, Gino, was offered the opportunity to purchase Able Printing, which he had been managing since 1972. At the time, the younger Maiale was working alongside his dad and 22 other employees. The company was providing print services for a select few local retail accounts.
Today, Gino Maiale is retired, and his son is at the helm of a 200-employee operation. Large, national grocery and retail chains regularly turn to the company for FSIs.
The plant's close proximity to major metropolitan areas on the East Coast—eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and New England—makes Inserts East a logical choice for retail customers that require tight turnaround times.
In order to handle the printing volume, the 150,000-square-foot facility operates with a 24/7, 365 days per year production schedule.
Nine total heatset web offset press lines pump out free-standing inserts, such as tabs, broadsheets, glued booklets and single sheets. A new 36˝, eight-unit Goss V-30 heatset web press will become operational this summer. In addition, by 2016, the company will have updated or replaced all of its current ink controls with new Perretta color register and control systems.
Inserts East is also taking environmental responsibility seriously. In November 2013, it achieved Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. "There are many clients and prospects who want to know that they are doing business with a company that is sourcing its paper responsibly," explains Maiale.
In addition, its recycling program successfully recycled more than 9 million pounds of combined paper and cardboard waste and over 70,000 pounds of aluminum in 2013. Each year, the bar is set higher and higher. Low-flow plumbing fixtures and energy-efficient fluorescent lighting have been installed, and it is company policy to use low volatile organic compound (VOC) cleaning solvents.
Inserts East has also installed a Megtec regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) to provide greater efficiency and VOC control for its printing operations.
Inserts East's success comes at a time when many other area printing businesses are shutting down. Less than two years ago, AFL Web Printing closed two plants in Voorhees and Secaucus, NJ, reportedly laying off nearly 50 workers. And a direct competitor, Vertis Communications, acquired by Quad/Graphics in 2013, has closed numerous sites nearby, as well. Direct mail printer DGI Services laid off more than 600 workers after it claimed "industrial sabotage" at its facility in Swedesboro, NJ, as the cause of its demise. Ultimately filing for bankruptcy, some of DGI's assets were later acquired by IWCO Direct.
In addition to picking up new customers after these plant closings, Inserts East was also able to provide jobs to some of the laid off workers. For example, Terry Shockey, plant manager at Vertis' Kansas City plant, joined Inserts East as director of production.
So how does Inserts East remain stable in an era when many printing establishments are consolidating or going out of business? Maiale attributes his company's success to flexibility, quality print products and a great team. "We have continued to hire the most talented folks in our industry," he says. "I have worked with many of them in the printing business for more than 30 years. I've watched their children grow up and, in some cases, come to work for the company that their fathers started with."
"I am proud of the men and women that we employ," he continues, "and I want to make sure that we are providing them the opportunity to grow and prosper." PI