STRINE PRINTING — THE PRINTER’S CANDY STORE
Two other noteworthy observations: For a printing plant, the place was remarkably clean. Secondly, they must have hidden any dead-eyed-fish employees on staff, for everyone seemed upbeat and interested in their jobs. It was as if Tony Robbins was stroking the Heidelbergs and Susan Powter was spearheading the hand assembly team.
Back in his office, Kornbau permitted himself a slight grin as he gestured toward a Rambo-esque picture of himself on the wall, touting water-pumping munitions. It was taken recently at the company picnic.
“Out of 375 employees, we had 325 people sign up to come,” he says proudly. “What does that tell you about our company?”
It didn’t take a signup sheet to know that people love working at Strine Printing and, if the tour hadn’t confirmed this, one of the final stops cinched it. Strine’s quality control room stood as a shrine toward what workers can accomplish when they give their best effort. Shelves and shelves of product bombarded the senses: packaging samples, trading and greeting cards, large-format displays, point-of-purchase/point-of-sale items. It was easily the commercial printer’s candy store.
“When it comes time to roll up our sleeves and get the job done, we’re pretty much a team,” Kornbau says.
Strine Printing is nestled in York, PA, the heart of Amish country. Founded in 1947 by Walter Strine, the business has grown to $78 million in annual sales on the strength of the aforementioned categories, as well as the production of annual reports and brochures.
Its three-pronged attack of large- format printing, package printing and digital printing has kept the company in forward thinking mode, far away from the “alternative media” traps that have cannibalized the commercial printing sector.
While this sheetfed printer largely remains a commercial operation—roughly 60 percent of its business falls under that umbrella—its future is clearly cemented in progressive printing. In order to reach that goal, Strine Printing hasn’t been afraid to invest in newer technologies, according to Pat Strine, chairman.