A Balance of Technical Prowess and Human Skills Leads Premier Graphics to 50% Growth Rate
Topping the annual honor roll of the Printing Impressions 400 are its “Fast Track” companies: those with significantly higher rates of year-over-year revenue growth than the majority of other listees. One of the six exceptional strivers are profiled here.
Their stories reaffirm that whatever else may be said about the state of the printing industry, its enterprising business-people still know how to make money in ways that revenue leaders in any other industry would be the first to recognize and endorse.
Although it always seems a bit facile to search for “common denominators” in distinctive stories like these, our “Fast-Track Firms” do exhibit some shared traits of excellence.
One of them, surely, is staying locked onto customer satisfaction as the ultimate objective of everything that happens in the planning and the execution of a job.
Another is scrupulously measuring all steps of execution to make sure that the objective is being upheld.
Not as tangible, but no less crucial, is leadership: engendering the kind of pervasive enthusiasm that inspires pride of accomplishment as it spurs everyone in the organization to make the next job even better than the one that preceded it.
These are best practices that all printing businesses can emulate, and by publishing these exemplary vignettes, that is exactly what we are encouraging all of our readers to do. We salute the Fast-Track companies and to all of the other enterprises joining them on the 2019 Printing Impressions 400 list.
PREMIER GRAPHICS, STRATFORD, CONN.
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $21.3 Million
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $14.2 Million
Percentage Growth: 50%
In the 10 years immediately following present management’s takeover of the company in 2001, Premier Graphics derived a good deal of its growth from absorbing other companies — 12 merged or acquired in all, says Sean M. Huban, chief revenue officer.
But he points out that now, Premier Graphics owes its galloping pace of expansion to its ability to handle “tremendously large projects” in printing and mailing, while meeting the strictest possible requirements for quality, speed, and, above all, accuracy.
Over time, says Huban, Premier Graphics has evolved from a commodity provider to a one-stop source of transactional print and marketing communications materials for the health care, insurance, not-for-profit, media, and educational segments. Much of the output — statements, invoices, explanation of benefits (EOB) documents, subscriber welcome kits, and direct mail — comes from high-volume production inkjet equipment supported by systems for in-line finishing and intelligent inserting.
In a HIPAA-compliant facility like Premier’s 85,000-sq.-ft. plant, says Huban, there’s no substitute for the kinds of technology that enable the company to achieve an accuracy rate of 99.997% for HIPAA communications. He notes that in 2018, Premier produced 50 million such pieces meeting that ultra-high requirement.
In mid-2019, Premier boosted its capacity by adding the second of two HP T230 color inkjet web presses, supplementing an HP T240 HD press installed two years earlier. Post-print assets include in-line finishing equipment from Tecnau and BlueCrest Epic inserters.
The company also uses cut-sheet digital presses from Konica Minolta and continues to operate a 40˝ Mitsubishi offset press with UV and aqueous coating.
While technical capability is important, Huban is quick to acknowledge that, “at the end of the day, our advantage is our people and their commitment to our culture of continuous improvement.” The staff of 125 includes 25 recent full-time hires, and anywhere from 25 to 50 temporary workers may be added during peak seasons.
All of their effort is focused on customer satisfaction. Huban points out, for example, that each client is assigned a dedicated account team so that interactions will always be with the same personnel. An internally developed job tracking system overseen by the company’s four-member IT team lets customers monitor the progress of their jobs at every stage.
The surest indication of growth at a printing business is the expansion of its sales force — something else that is currently taking place at Premier Graphics. Huban remains confident that, with its formidable balance of technical prowess and human skills, Premier Graphics will continue to rise to the kinds of challenges “we’ve accepted and succeeded with that our competition couldn’t.”