Printing Impressions 300 Fast-Track Firm: In Its 60th Year, Liberty Creative Solutions Focuses on Efficiencies
The printing businesses recognized as Fast-Track Firms on the newly published, 2023 Printing Impressions 300 (click here to access the complete PI 300 list) of the largest printers in the U.S. and Canada, as ranked by annual sales, are not all the same. They serve different constituencies in different ways. What joins them is not necessarily what they do and how they do it, but instead their commitment to growth, to expansion, to customer service, and to exemplary sales performance.
Read below why Printing Impressions recognized Liberty Creative Solutions as a Fast-Track Firm.
Liberty Creative Solutions | Tinley Park, Illinois
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $15.5 million
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $9.9 million
Percentage Change: 57%
Angela Hipelius, CEO of Liberty Creative Solutions, describes the company with a mix of history and mission. She shares that Liberty is starting its 60th year in business; and is second-generation, family-owned. It specializes in direct mail services, including the use of variable data to help its customers — which come from the education, healthcare, and nonprofit markets — achieve their goals.
While the company has not changed its general approach over the past few years, Hipelius says it is focused strongly on “refining some of the systems we use to grow.” This includes working on efficiencies throughout the company’s processes and utilizing customer input in the development of its systems. Most of Liberty’s growth, she indicates, comes from doing more for its main clients, and by “nurturing existing accounts and being a trusted supplier for them.” That approach will continue.
Hipelius says while the company has not acquired other businesses as a part of its revenue growth strategy, it has acquired technology. In 2019, it added a Canon ProStream 1000 inkjet web press to its technology mix, which now includes offset, toner-based digital printing, and high-speed production inkjet. Currently, she says the company is looking to install more printing and finishing capacity — something that complements the ProStream.
Asked about Liberty’s future plans, Hipelius says in the near-term “it’s all about automation. Doing more with the resources you have and reducing touches.” Looking long-term, she envisions additional digital transformations for the company, based on where its clients are leading it, perhaps “transitioning out of offset over the next 10 years … and looking strictly at inkjet.”
Further, the company is considering a move into the packaging space, producing customized packaging for the custom kits (which can include inserts and promotional products) its customers distribute. She adds the company does some of this work already; her goal is to increase capacity to do even more.
Printing technology will accelerate, according to Hipelius, through automation, “which will help customers get their ideas to the market faster.” She says staffing will continue to be a challenge for the industry: finding the right people to put into the right places.
Two elements are increasingly important in the space Liberty Creative Solutions serves. The first is data security, for which the company is currently seeking HITRUST certification. Responsibility for customer data is a highly important concern, particularly, for instance, in the medical and financial markets. She also keeps a keen eye on the development of artificial intelligence (AI). While Hipelius admits she is unsure how AI will transform the direct mail printing space, she believes it will, and thus remains poised to add it to the company’s toolbox.