Commercial sheetfed work has become a crucial component for other newspaper operations, as well. For example, North Carolina's Fayetteville Observer-Times was so successful at filling its web presses with commercial jobs, it purchased sheetfed and mailing equipment in order to grow its commercial line.
"We believe that commercial printing is a logical extension of what we do," says Tony Chavonne, general manager of Fayetteville Publishing, printer of the Fayetteville Observer-Times. "We see the commercial printing component as a vital part of the total solution that we offer our advertisers."
With both web and sheetfed capabilities, Fayetteville can offer its newspaper advertisers and commercial clients a wide range of products. On the webs, it produces everything from community college and municipal park schedules to chamber of commerce newsletters. It even prints a biweekly publication from a competing publisher. On the sheetfed end, the company prints everything from business cards to brochures.
Good Business Sense
"Commercial printing makes good business sense for several reasons," explains Chavonne. "Managed properly, it can allow you to more effectively utilize a significant asset with minimal additional overhead costs. It protects existing business relationships and offers new opportunities to develop customers.
"It makes us do our job better with an increased emphasis on quality and efficiency. It leverages the reputation and services of the daily newspaper in a related business field, benefitting both."
Chavonne says commercial printing has aided the core business in several critical ways.
"It has supplemented press time, contributing significantly to fixed costs and newspaper overhead," he explains. "It has also allowed us to solidify our relationship with key advertisers. We're able to offer them a total solution to their needs and help manage their advertising and promotional budgets."
In addition to a sales staff dedicated to commercial printing, Fayetteville also trains its newspaper sales representatives to seek commercial opportunities wherever they exist.