The Fong Dynasty
As a company, Optronics' management possesses the same innovation and dedication to quality they have always been noted for. We're currently in the process of retooling and rebuilding. Some of these efforts are coming to fruition, and you'll see them shortly.
PI: Where has Fong Brothers found opportunities in printing?
Fong: We find that we're doing a lot more color printing. The Internet has taken away some of our traditional black-and-white documentation business among our Silicon Valley customers, but we've seen many of these jobs converted to full color "instruction sheets."
We're also conducting much more traditional commercial printing: direct mail and marketing collateral. Lately, we've seen more finance and banking business. Our on-demand digital printing capabilities provide us with substantial business, because clients are looking for quick turnarounds. If you treat your customers well and provide exceptional service and speed, you can develop a very strong, loyal customer base from customers seeking digitally printed materials.
PI: What are your thoughts on the paper market? How does Fong Brothers deal with changes in the paper market?
Fong: All printers know that paper prices rise and fall like a roller coaster. In the past, we tried to purchase paper in large quantities and stockpile an inventory. Prices are so volatile and hard to predict that we decided to acquire paper utilizing "just-in-time" techniques. That way, we don't retain a large inventory at any given time. However, paper prices really don't trouble us.
Paper prices are much more important for long-run jobs, such as magazines or newspapers. For commercial printers who focus on shorter-run jobs, it represents only 30 percent of the cost. So, pricing costs don't influence customer loyalty as much as the service we provide for them. And now, we've observed that the industry—even magazines—are negotiating shorter runs. Nowadays, a press run of 10,000 pieces is an attractive job.