The Fong Dynasty
Of course, with an investment in Optronics, it's no surprise that we invested in two Aurora platesetters, which serve up plates for our new 40˝ Komori press with auto loader. When you tie that with our Aurora PlateSetter, you have a very powerful on-demand system. We are able to mount plates faster, and the press is quicker to set up: We've accomplished makereadies with as few as 50 sheets. This allows us to print 3,000 to 4,000 sheets cost-effectively. So, we use the Komori for clients who desire print-on-demand color within four hours, or our DocuTtechs for black-and-white work.
In China, we recently opened a new, 55,000-square-foot printing plant. It mirrors the computer-to-press workflow of our plant in San Francisco, with the Aurora platesetters and the Komori press. Its all-digital emphasis is truly revolutionary in China. As a showcase, it supports our distribution efforts, and it has been operating exceptionally well.
PI: You mention distribution. What about your distribution efforts? What's new with your other businesses regarding opening new sales channels and promoting greater revenue streams?
Fong: Several years ago we opened five regional sales offices to represent manufacturers of American-made printing equipment. These offices—in Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Southern China—market equipment to printing plants throughout Asia.
Headquartered in Hong Kong, the Fong Brothers Graphics Division is contributing excellent revenues for the company. Optronics is turning around very nicely. The sales and marketing group is forming strong strategic and distribution alliances. We're also working on some intriguing engineering innovations that the industry will see as time progresses.
PI: What are your thoughts regarding the impact the Internet and e-commerce will have on commercial printing?
Fong: I'm a true believer that printers need to embrace e-commerce and the Web to conduct business. It's the way we all are going to manage business in the future. In fact, we organized a Web business five years ago, and formally created a new division for Fong Brothers, our Web Group, a couple of years ago to provide strategic marketing and design based on the Web requirements of our customers.