The Form House — Tops at Tipping
No Job Too Tough
Currently, The Form House employs 350 innovators, many of whom have been with the company for decades. Both Carr and Crisman, for example, have worked at The Form House for more than 35 years.
Like their co-workers, Carr and Crisman relish the tough work their employer throws at them. They realize that the tougher the work, the more captive the business. "If it were easy, everybody would be doing it," Crisman notes.
In 1994, The Form House's unique business drew the attention of the Pentzer Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington Water Power, a publicly held utility in Spokane, WA. The arm of Washington Water Power that invests in well-run companies, Pentzer purchased The Form House in March of 1994.
Pentzer's interest in The Form House doesn't surprise McGinnis. "We're in a niche market with long-term customer relationships," he says.
Loyal customers keep The Form House running three shifts, five to seven days a week. The company's clients include household names such as Proctor & Gamble and McDonald's, printing giants such as R.R. Donnelley & Sons and World Color, and publishing leaders such as Time Inc. In fact, Time Inc. helped mold The Form House into its current shape.
When The Form House first opened in 1952, the business specialized in finishing one-time carbon forms—hence the name, The Form House. Then in 1958, Time Inc. asked The Form House to tip a two-page insert to a signature for a regional advertiser. The company suddenly had a new service—and a new direction.
A Cohesive Business
Today, gluing is what The Form House does best, but the company is still branching into new areas. The Form House has beefed up direct mail offerings with fulfillment services and a Scitex ink-jet printer. Furthermore, the company recently became an authorized 3M distributor for Post-It notes, providing the firm with yet another sticky product to sell.