Modern International Graphics — Attitude Means Everything
MODERN International Graphics is an FSC-certifed, $15 million, G7 Master Printer with a dozen Fortune 500 clients. But, it’s the way that the company operates—its corporate culture—that is truly exciting for the company’s leaders.
“At Modern, everyone is on board, both management and employees, when it comes to embracing our mission: Perform every day with purpose, pride and a passion for our customers, our company and for each other,” says David Margiotta, president.
“You can judge an organization by what you hear in the lobby. Here, you hear lots of laughter. We have a great attitude, which is what we are all about at Modern.”
And, according to Dennis Castiglione, executive vice president, the company’s 94 full-time employees also share the East Lake, OH-based company’s core values: proud execution, passionate service, innovative spirit, respectful culture and profitable growth.
“Our shoulders aren’t slumped,” Margiotta affirms. “Even in these difficult economic times, we’re not depressed.
“And, we communicate that to our clients. We’re not participating in this recession...or, at least, we’re trying not to.”
“This is a time of tremendous opportunity,” contends Castiglione. “With less and less people within companies to do the work, we become more important than ever. It’s critical that our clients stay engaged with their customers. We help them solve their business problems and grow their businesses as their media and marketing specialists.”
Castiglione notes that 12 of the company’s top 20 clients started out as buyers of commercial printing, but grew into other media products, particularly cross-media, variable data digital printing and various Web-based portal solutions, such as asset management, document creation and print procurement.
“We’re not exactly recession-proof, but we’re definitely standing strong,” adds Margiotta. “Our Web-to-print solutions make it extremely difficult for our competition to compete with us. They can’t steal our clients because our customers need us and the solutions we offer. We not only design their Websites and e-applications—we maintain them. Therefore, our business and our customers’ businesses are intertwined.”
Modern’s client roster includes Matrix Essentials, L’Oreal, Redken, Sherwin-Williams, Philips Electronics, U.S. Food Service, the Cleveland Clinic and Progressive Insurance, among others. Its Website includes customer testimonials describing how Modern’s print, marketing and media solutions positively impacted their businesses and bottom lines.
“We defy other printers to displace us with customers where we’re truly marketing partners. Our direct mail, personalized URL and e-marketing campaigns are integral components in their ongoing programs,” Castiglione proclaims.
“We became an integrated media solutions provider long before it was fashionable or even advisable,” he continues. “When some pundits were recommending that printers stick to their core competencies, we were already gambling on our instincts and using primary market research, which told us that, to prosper or even survive, we needed to skate to where the puck would be—that is, to offer services that customers might not even realize they needed yet.”
Those broader service offerings have blossomed into several niche markets for Modern, including financial/banking, food service, healthcare, home décor and personal care/beauty products.
One peek at Modern’s sophisticated Website is proof of its integrated services. Margiotta’s image in a still photograph comes to life and starts talking to viewers in a dynamic, interactive display of Modern’s vast e-media/marketing capabilities.
Walking across the home page, Margiotta offers a virtual tour of the company’s offset and digital printing offerings, as well as its Web-to-print services (featuring Modern’s proprietary Web-based service eNCOMPASS), cross-
media, bindery and finishing, fulfillment and mailing solutions.
How Do They Do It?
Modern’s arsenal of press technology includes three six-color Komori sheetfed offset presses and a pair of Xerox digital production presses (one of which is a new iGen 4 model installed last December).
Another substantial differentiator for Modern is that it’s a unionized operation. Modern International Graphics was created in 1991 when International Printing, merged with Modern Impressions (both union shops), and the newly formed company maintained its union status, setting Modern apart from other printing operations, and also presenting an opportunity.
A good example of this is the healthy amount of business Modern obtained by being a union printer that is also green—two requirements to obtain work from various candidates in the 2008 election. The company printed a considerable amount of political material on a national level and, on the state level, printed a wide range of election materials for candidates in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
“We also realize the importance of having management and labor on the same page, embracing the same mission and purpose, and having as much common ground as possible,” notes Margiotta. “We make it a top priority to keep an open-door policy with all of our employees, ensuring that everyone is on board with our corporate culture.”
Modern’s corporate culture that shines during turbulent financial times. In a tough economy, it’s important to create opportunities and continue selling communications solutions, Margiotta stresses, especially when those services include Web portals that “decommoditize” printing and make it a component of a broader range of offerings.
“Those who continue to listen and stay close to their customers in tough times are the ones who will survive. If printers wait for the market to set the table, organizations like Modern will steal their meal,” he concludes.
“We take calculated risks to build offerings that are difficult for competitors to replicate in the short- term, and that put us in a defensible position with our customers in the long-term.” PI