PCI Celebrates 35th Anniversary as It Prepares to Consolidate Into New Facility With New Printing, Mailing Equipment
Postal Center International (PCI) has come a long way from its founding by Arturo and Susan Echarte in April 1984 as an establishment that handled certified mail, parcels and Priority Overnight packages for clients that couldn't meet their USPS pickup deadlines. Now, 35 years later, PCI is the largest transactional printing, postal and mail processing service organization in South Florida, employing 250 workers and generating approximately $80 million in annual revenues.
But PCI is far from resting on its past laurels. It is in the process of consolidating its current PCI operation located in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and its Original Impressions facility (acquired in 2016) in Miami into a new, 225,000-sq.-ft. corporate headquarters location in Weston, Fla., which almost doubles the company's current combined footprint.
The move-in date for the new offices, production and warehouse building — which was once occupied by American Express and is designed to withstand hurricane-force winds and provide backup redundancy for power outages — will be early summer. The new site will feature 32 high-dock doors, a fenced and secured loading area, and an ESFR fire safety system. Electricity is also being upgraded at the single-occupancy Weston building to meet PCI's printing requirements, offices are being renovated, and security touch pads are being installed at all entry points to ensure PCI's SOC 2, Type II certified, HITRUST CSF and HIPAA compliance.
“This is a critical time in our business as we continue to build on the momentum of our steady and record-performing growth year over year,” Ismael Diaz, PCI president, said. “We have a legacy of operating vigor and are committed to transforming the company through new equipment, software and business model updates that not only serve to support our corporate headquarters move, but also increase our capacity and enhance productivity while delivering deeper competitive advantages to our growing roster of enterprise clients.”
PCI specializes in marketing, creative design, Web development, printing, mailing, fulfillment, signage, supply management and promotional materials for clients across a broad spectrum of industries, including banking, beverages, cosmetics, cruise lines, fast food, government, health care and hospitality, among others. Through its family of brands and the founders' Cuban heritage, the company is also a Certified Minority Supplier at the local, state and national levels. (Click here to view a PDF of PCI's second annual Impact Report that shares its highlights from last year, key milestones in the company's history, awards and recognition, and forward-looking updates that articulate its commitment to "Purpose, Partnership and Performance.")
PCI's current $80 million in annual sales marks a double-digit increase from the $70 million in annual revenue PCI reported for the most recent Printing Impressions 400 list of the largest printers in the U.S. and Canada, as ranked by annual sales. PCI was ranked Number 69 on the 2018 list and its new run rate would place it at Number 55. (Click here to view the complete Printing Impression 400 rankings.)
New PCI Printing Facility Designed for Efficiency
According to Diaz, planning for the new facility provided PCI with a blank canvas to design an efficient job workflow — all the way from creative services, production and out the door into the postal stream. With its expanded operations, the company is also seeking to hire more skilled workers, he pointed out.
Several new pieces of equipment are now being installed at the new location ahead of the physical move in order to make sure there is no interruption in production output and to enable PCI's continued growth into new and expanded services, such as fulfillment.
Among the new investments:
- To support its transactional business, PCI added a new six-color, 40˝ Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 102 sheetfed offset press with aqueous coater, which is capable of printing on a more extensive range of substrates. The automated press will also enable a wide range of surface finishing options with decreased dry times, resulting in quicker turnaround times.
- To help support the press, a new Screen platesetter, outputting Fuji CTP plates, has also been acquired.
- A new Screen Truepress Jet520NX continuous-feed inkjet press will be operational in the new location to produce monthly statements, invoices, policies, short-run books, directories and other variable documents. The full-color press also supports magnetic ink for MICR and UV-visible ink. The Jet520NX joins an existing Truepress Jet520 press that had been installed by Original Impressions in 2013. Technology improvements from the earlier model, Diaz noted, make the new press capable of printing on more substrates and at higher quality levels. The new Truepress JET520NX will also feature a Tecnau finishing line, enabling perfing, dynamic perfing, cutting and stacking.
- New Criterion and Apex sorters from Fluence Automation (formerly Bell and Howell) were purchased to meet the high-speed mail processing requirements of clients. The two-tier bins are ideal for processing a wide range of mail types — from postcards to flats — as well as a variety of processes from simple barcode sorting to complex database lookups and image processing. These, along with the company’s existing sorters, can now process more than three million pieces of mail each day.
In addition to equipment upgrades, PCI has placed a heightened focus on further expanding and automating its fulfillment division. The operation was reorganized to improve scalability, quality, cost and redundancy, as well as to support a faster, more effective order fulfillment process. New technologies are also being leveraged for enhanced integration and streamlined execution, as well as to introduce barcoding to improve performance and productivity.
According to Diaz, this includes equipping its forklifts and fulfillment employees with barcode scanners, as well as investments in enhancing and integrating its EFI Pace MIS, PrintStream fulfillment and Web-to-print software workflows.
To salute the company’s 35th anniversary, PCI is hosting an event for all employees that pays homage to its founders’ Cuban history and celebrates the more than 250 associates who have helped to grow the business. The event will run across both its Dade and Broward County campuses today and tomorrow. Employees received breakfast, a celebratory Cafecito toast, Miami-style, and commemorative gifts.
The next company-wide celebration will be to toast the hard work and team effort required for the move and consolidation into the brand-new Weston facility.