DESJARDINS: Yes. We’ve had a lot of success with this unique printing model because print technology is changing very rapidly, and publishers are facing prohibitive capital costs to keep up. Instead, they’re turning to us, handing over the physical production of their product to a printing expert, who makes such investments regularly. That way, publishers can concentrate on their strengths—content and product development—while we focus on ours—providing greater deadline flexibility, more color capability and, ultimately, a superior-looking printed product.
And papers like the New York Times and The Globe and Mail have profited from this arrangement with us. The Globe, in fact, was named the top large circulation daily in North America for print quality by the International Newspaper Color Quality Club.
So yes, now that we’ve perfected our model in Canada, we’re turning our attention more to U.S. publishers to expand it further. There are many papers we’ve identified that are the right size to make our model work well for both parties. We’re currently in talks with most of the major U.S. newspaper publishers.
PI: Do you also anticipate growing your existing position and success within the U.S. direct marketing services sector?
DESJARDINS: Yes, and again, in two ways. As always, we’ll look for good acquisitions that fit our stringent criteria—the company must have good management and a compatible culture, be profitable and growing, provide synergies, and be accretive to our earnings in Year 1. Our internal M&A department is constantly looking at opportunities.
But, we’re also looking to expand our products and services in direct marketing organically. We’ll be growing our fulfillment, database and MailGard capabilities in the years ahead.
PI: As a relatively low-margin, high capital-cost industry, what skill sets will be needed to operate a successful graphic arts operation going forward?
DESJARDINS: The main skill set is more of a personal characteristic—flexibility. With our industry changing so rapidly, we need people who can think creatively, react quickly and learn constantly. We ensure we have those people aboard in two ways.