SHAPCO PRINTING — BROTHERS BOUND BY INK
Shapco spent its first three years in what was known as the Edison Building in downtown Minneapolis. They had one major account, printing carbonless forms and brochures, which Joel says held their business together.
“Initially, we were only able to print relatively simple, two-color jobs,” he recalls. “Our largest press was 23x29˝.”
The operation eventually moved six blocks to its current location. Shapco Printing is now home to 113 full-time and 12 part-time employees. The main building is 53,000 square feet; they also rent a 30,000-square-foot facility two blocks away, which is used for pick-and-pack and fulfillment. The company outsources all of its deliveries.
Shapco owns the main building outright, along with all of its equipment. “We like to be on the cutting edge, but not the bleeding edge,” notes Joel Shapiro. “We are a fiscally conservative company.” Last year was a banner year, with sales reaching $26.4 million for the 24/7 operation.
“We are very serious about meeting customers’ objectives,” he adds. “My brothers and I don’t leave the plant until the commitment is made.”
Shapco now produces annual reports, direct mail, lithographic prints, art books and catalogs. Its pressroom features two eight-color, and two six-color, 40˝ Komori Lithrone presses; two five-color Ryobi presses; a five-color Heidelberg GTO; and a two-color Hamada, all with aqueous or UV coating capabilities. The company uses Heidelberg’s Prinect Printready 2.0 workflow.
One of Shapco’s most recent additions is a seven-color HP Indigo 5000 digital press, installed at the end of 2005. “It gives us the capability to provide variable data printing, and puts us in the short-run color market,” Joel Shapiro says. “Now we are trying to find work for it.”
Shapiro says that he looks at trade publications, goes to industry shows and relies on vendors to stay on the cutting edge of technology. He adds that the company strives to stay middle-of-the-road on pricing, yet offers top-quality products and service to create value.