PI 300 Fast-Track Firm: Johnson & Quin Transforms with High-Speed Inkjet Technology
Even though the broader business effects of the COVID-19 pandemic brought challenges to printing companies of all kinds — the spikes of different variants, supply chain challenges, staffing shortages — the broader trend has been positive. Printing, in its many roles, is back.
For some, the speed of growth between the rather calamitous 2020 and the suppressed, skeptical hope of 2021, was profound. For a variety of reasons, some establishments had a very good year indeed. The focus of our series of fast-track profiles is to understand why certain printing companies performed so well, and how — as high performers — they view the printing industry moving forward. For this reason, Printing Impressions presents its 2022 Fast-Track companies that appeared among the 2022 Printing Impressions 300 list of the largest printers in the U.S. and Canada, as ranked by annual sales. Click here to access the complete list.
The summary of Johnson & Quin that follows recognizes this company as a “fast- track” firm that has been committed to growth, expansion, and exemplary performance.
Johnson & Quin | Niles, Illinois
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $39.8 Million
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $27.1 Million
Percentage Growth: 47%
Johnson & Quin is an old company (founded 145 years ago) with a young, nimble trajectory. Andrew Henkel, the company’s president, describes it as a “full-service direct mail production company in the Chicago area.” Work done primarily includes envelope packages, produced at high-volume, and often with a high level of complexity. Almost all the work is comprised of ongoing campaigns — weekly or monthly job delivery for a wide range of industries.
Asked how Johnson & Quin saw such strong performance during 2020 to 2021, Henkel credits a five-year initiative during which production was migrated completely to high-speed color inkjet technology. To illustrate the level of this transformation, the company currently operates four SCREEN Truepress inkjet lines, along with associated high-speed finishing units.
Growth also came from switching to a highly targeted sales effort. “The thing that really moved the needle the most was honing in on what we do best — not trying to be everything to everybody.” He says the company’s prospect base was very large, “and we cut it down so they were the companies we could serve the best.”
This included evaluating expected quantities and stocks used. Within that effort, Henkel says Johnson & Quin was able to secure several new clients just before the pandemic hit. These companies, he says, initially went into hibernation, but then “kicked up their volumes,” as the shutdowns waned.
Looking toward the future, Henkel says he is hoping for “modest increases in volumes in the coming year, and increases over the next five years,” perhaps to a point where Johnson & Quin is fully maximizing both its facility and its equipment. Expected growth in volumes, he says, will come from a mix of existing clients and a continued push for new business.
Like many in the direct mail printing space, Henkel says paper and envelope availability is a continued challenge. “With paper costs increasing and postage rates going up, the volumes may decline.” That said, he adds that response rates for direct mail are good, and it remains a relevant marketing and customer communication method. “For some customers, direct mail is their primary method.”
Henkel believes printers today should pay strong attention to security — particularly as it relates to data management — as well as to business continuity and disaster recovery plans. He says that having witnessed the severity of data breaches at other companies, disaster recovery is not only “an added value. It also helps us sleep at night.”