PRESTONE PRESS -- Leading the Way
BY CAROLINE MILLER
In the past two years, Steve Amoroso and his partners at Prestone Press have often taken the road less traveled. It's a philosophy that started when their road led them out of Manhattan and over the Brooklyn Bridge to start Prestone Press in Brooklyn Heights, NY.
Today, this attitude continues to exemplify this $6 million company's commitment to new technology and customer service. It's a commitment that has had a great deal to do with their success, notes Amoroso, Prestone's executive vice president.
Prestone Press was founded two years ago by Robert Adler, a Manhattan-based broker and owner of Prestone Printing. At the time, Adler was ready to cross the divide from broker to full-service printer. However, his expertise lay in the world of print brokering and not with the actual printing.
So, Adler brought on Amoroso and Tommy Politano, executive vice president, from Cedar Graphics. "Robert [Adler] wanted to offer more services instead of just being a broker and a middleman, explains Amoroso. "He was interesting in getting equipment; and Tommy and I always wanted to have our own company. So we put our heads together and came up with Prestone Press."
Joseph Ciaffone, plant manager, and Ira Wechsler, vice president of operations, would also join Prestone Press as partners soon thereafter.
Partners Cross the Bridge
Together the four men, backed by Adler, began to blaze a new trail out of Manhattan and into an up-and-coming area in Brooklyn Heights.
It was a risky decision to open a new commercial printing shop on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge. Would their clients follow them outside of the city? "It's hard to get people out of Manhattan. You have to come across the bridge. For some people, it's like you are asking them to go to another part of the world," Amoroso chuckles.
Pictured with the Brooklyn Bridge in the
background are: Ira Wechsler, vice president
of operations; Robert Adler, president;
Tommy Politano, executive vice president;
Joseph Ciaffone, plant manager; and
Steve Amoroso, executive vice president.
Still, Amoroso and his partners felt that the benefits far outweighed the risks. "We needed a lot of space, and we really couldn't afford the Manhattan real estate prices. Plus, Manhattan doesn't really want commercial printing and other industrial tenants in the city any more," Amoroso reports. While the availability of space and low rent were attractive to Prestone, Amoroso and his partners knew that they would have to go the extra mile to coax their clients out of Midtown. So they brought in planners and architects to design their new operation.
It was a good decision.
"We now have a very nice looking print shop that is very clean and organized. It did cost us money to bring in planners and architects, but we get a lot of business just by our appearance. Our clients rave about the shop and they can't wait to come back," he reveals.
Keeping customers happy is a mainstay at Prestone Press. "We cater to our clients. When there is a press okay, we send a car for them. We make sure there is a nice conference room for them to use. We also make a computer available so clients can go online," reveals Amoroso. "These kinds of perks send a message that we really try, and that our customers are important to us."
It's just this customer-centric business model that has built a client list which includes Maidenform, USA Home Video and Loud Records. "We haven't run into a situation where we are not able to provide a service that people need," he claims.
That service now includes a 24-hour operation with 45 employees. Prestone's equipment arsenal includes two six-color Mitsubishi 16,000 sph presses with in-line coating towers, a two-color Mitsubishi, a CreoScitex Lotem 800 computer-to-plate system, as well as an ever-expanding bindery department. Amoroso and his partners are firm believers in keeping a shop on the cutting edge.
Their willingness to try a new technology has certainly paid off. In fact, Amoroso points to his relationship with Van Son Holland Ink as a prime example.
A Fresh New Start
Amoroso's Van Son sales representative approached him about using Van Son's Quickson Fresh line. The Quickson Fresh line can comfortably remain in the fountain on an idle press for 48 hours, with no loss of press performance, ink flow or transfer.
"At first, we were skeptical because those from the old school would say, 'no way do you do that.' Then we thought, we might as well try it and see what happens," he remembers.
That willingness to experiment proved to be a wise cost-savings decision. Amoroso can now set up his presses for the entire week using the Quickson Fresh, thus saving Prestone time and money spent in consumables.
"With the Quickson Fresh, I can put it in on Monday, and leave it in all week long and not have to wash up the fountains. There's a lot less waste because I'm not taking the ink out and putting the ink in. It also saves me time in the morning during the press makeready," he explains.
The Quickson Fresh also offers Amoroso an additional advantage. Because it is designed to stay in the press, it does not require anti-skin spray. So not only does Prestone save on additives, he also doesn't have to worry about ink breakdown. And he's quick to point out that there have been no quality issues with the ink.
But it's not just the consistency, price and quality of the inks that has attracted Amoroso to Van Son. He is also impressed with Van Son's partnership with X-Rite, which will enable him to take a reading with his X-Rite spectrodensitometer and then e-mail the L*a*b reading to Van Son. Van Son is then able to match an ink from those readings.
"That's going to be of tremendous use to us. I won't have to make a proof and then run it out to them on Long Island. It's going to be much quicker to get our clients proofs, which is important when we are doing packaging jobs—especially our high-end cosmetic packaging work," he reveals.
Business only seems to be getting better and better for Prestone. Amoroso is still amazed when he looks back over the past two years at the growth of the company.
"Since opening, we've grown at such a phenomenal rate. It's still hard to believe."