Ironside Press — Old-Fashioned Elbow Grease
In October 2007, Forbes made another aggressive investment. He purchased a fully automated, 20? Ryobi 520 GX sheetfed press and, for the very first time, Ironside had the ability to do high-volume, ultra-efficient, four-color printing. "Since then, we've successively quadrupled, if not quintupled, our profits every month."
Attributing much of that success to the Ryobi dealer for central Florida, Shreve Press Service and Sales in Orlando, Forbes says the supplier helped him learn how to maximize the return on the new press. Ironside Press has had a long-standing relationship with Ryobi. Forbes' parents purchased most of the presses they owned through Shreve and have always worked closely with the distributor, especially since the company's first major investment of a Ryobi 524 HX model in 2002.
"But our new Ryobi 520 GX, equipped with both the PDS-E density control and pre-inking options, ultimately redefined our production as we knew it. We are currently reviewing moving up to a Ryobi 756 with coater as a future investment.
"The Japanese have a word for continuous improvement in lean manufacturing--kaizen. From my experience, Ryobi, as a company, has embraced this concept fully and incorporates it into every piece of equipment they manufacture," he notes.
Investing in new technology (especially when the business wasn't making a lot of money) turned out to be a winning gamble. But, it wasn't just high-tech equipment that put Ironside Press on the road to success. In 2005, it began providing additional services such as mailing, graphic design and limited marketing strategy support.
Forbes also feels that being at the helm of a small business provides a never-ending opportunity to learn, to be hands-on and to truly problem-solve. "After losing an integral staff member, I had to learn printing inside and out--not just from a business perspective, but physically making deliveries and running and maintaining the presses."