These Printing Impressions 400 Companies Reported Tremendous Growth
It’s been said that everyone’s eyes sparkle while the sun is shining, but most people would agree that 2015 represented a somewhat overcast campaign for the commercial printing industry. Consistency has been a hallmark ever since the industry slowly began to emerge from the 2008-09 recession—call it consistently inconsistent.
While many firms still found themselves under cloud cover this past year, there are still shining examples (groan) of businesses that have managed to defy the trends by mixing one-part ingenuity with two parts of innovation and investment. That’s three I’s, if you’re keeping track. The result: a ledger of black, rather than red.
If you want evidence that the I’s have it, check out this trio of printers below that have posted solid year-over-year gains, randomly gleaned from of our annual Printing Impressions 400 listing of top companies in the United States and Canada, as ranked by annual sales. So pull up a chair, grab your highlighter and check out what were some of the driving forces that enabled these companies to emerge from the year in even better shape than before.
Primary Color Systems
Costa Mesa, California
MOST RECENT FISCAL YEAR SALES: $64.5 million
PREVIOUS FISCAL YEAR SALES: $56.5 million
CHANGE: +14 percent
Primary Color Systems touts itself as a global visual solutions company that produces superior marketing products and solutions. Formed in 1984, it has dedicated itself to becoming a quality provider of innovation, automation and technology, quality and service.
The company’s primary clients include the retail, restaurant, experimental marketing, out-of-home and trade show verticals. Primary Color Systems prides itself on providing turnkey services across all premedia, print, display and Web-based technologies to enhance marketing execution.
Also among its toolbelt of solutions is the ability to analyze traditional workflows and recommend improvements, plus the development and implementation of modern, systems-driven solutions.
Some of the factors behind the company’s 14 percent sales boost are the expansion of its in-house design and fabrication capabilities, as well as its marketing automation division (PRIMARYCONNECT) and new Asia Pacific operation. On the equipment side, Primary Color Systems picked up two 16-ft. EFI VUTEk roll-to-roll LED wide-format printers.
According to Vincent Randazzo, CEO of Primary Color Systems, the business is committed to emerging technologies and state-of-the-art equipment to support its customers’ needs for low-cost solutions, faster lead times and improved quality,
“Primary is fully immersed and committed to continuous process improvement initiatives,” Randazzo says. “It is our firm belief that in addition to providing innovative and cost-effective solutions, we need to continually drive waste down (costs and lead times) in order to pass them on to our customers and to remain competitive and relevant in the market.”
MOST RECENT FISCAL YEAR SALES: $45.3 million
PREVIOUS FISCAL YEAR SALES:
CHANGE: +35 percent
Although this full-service, single-source direct mail provider has been in business for more than 40 years, it has balanced organic with M&A growth. One of its most recent deals was the 2014 move that brought Sisk Mailing Services of Stevensville, Maryland, on board.
The company’s printing capabilities include sheetfed, roll-to-roll forms, four-color digital, envelope production, postal optimization, lettershop and commingling services. In tandem with a sister facility in Moorestown, New Jersey, which also boasts production and commingling capabilities, EU Services churns out a staggering one billion pieces per year.
The company provides direct mail to an array of customers in the fundraising, agency, insurance, telecom, financial and publishing verticals. EU Services has been able to add new clients and expand its work with existing customers via expanded capacity and capabilities in printing, personalization, inserting and mailing.
Among the key pieces of equipment installed by EU Services: high-color forms presses, and high-speed inserting and affixing gear. CEO Clif McDougall anticipates a healthy dosage of technology additions in 2016.
“We will continue to invest in inkjet digital presses, high-speed bindery and additional commingling equipment and automation,” McDougall notes. “EU Services is also focusing on implementing and developing various Kaizen [continuous improvement] projects and completing its ISO certification.”
The YGS Group
MOST RECENT FISCAL YEAR SALES: $36.5 million
PREVIOUS FISCAL YEAR SALES: $29.5 million
CHANGE: +24 percent
The former York Graphic Services was purchased by Jim Kell in 2002. The chief executive quickly grew the company well beyond its prepress and printing roots, culminating with the 2014 addition of a new facility in Seattle. YGS went after trade association publications initially, then blossomed into a full-service publishing partner to hundreds of associations and publishers. In 2007, the company rebranded as The YGS Group, complete with a full-service communication strategy and marketing agency.
The YGS Group’s comprehensive product and service menu now consists of digital and mobile marketing, social media strategy, media sales, content sales and licensing, editorial development, brand strategy, event marketing, marketing automation, mailing and fulfillment. On the printing end, the firm provides offset, digital, wide-format and signage solutions to support its customers in a variety of market verticals.
According to Kell, strategically cultivated growth opportunities and a direct focus on talent recruitment played a considerable role in the company besting its previous year’s sales by an impressive 24 percent.
“We attribute this growth to our talented employees, who work diligently and creatively every day to deliver exceptional customer service and the highest caliber of outcomes in customized print, marketing, content and publishing solutions to help support our clients’ growth,” Kell remarks. “We are intent on being part of the vision and future of each client. We have adapted with their changing needs. We have continued to invest in our facilities, our capabilities and our people. It’s that unrivaled focus on our customers’ successes, which fuels our growth and drives our corporate culture.”
The addition of the Seattle plant (a.k.a., YGS West) has enabled the company to create a multi-point distribution system, redundant capabilities and additional capacity, with offerings in marketing, offset, digital and fulfillment services. The YGS Group opened another Pennsylvania plant this year (onsite support for a corporate customer) and plans are already in place to expand facilities and obtain new offset, digital and finishing gear next year.
As much as anything, though, Kell notes The YGS Group is focused on how it can create a better organization that responds consistently and unfailingly in quality and innovation to the customers’ needs and requests.
“Perhaps our most important investment has been and will be in the people that we seek out and incorporate into our team to become part of our vision, which then becomes part of our customers’ continued growth,” Kell points out.
“Like any growing organization, we do have investment initiatives for our workers, equipment and facilities to build a sustainable company that can change and adapt to our clients’ needs. Going back several years, we began working to create and implement employee training and development programs.
“We will continue this focus,” he adds. “Our goal is to invest in the next generation of employees to help develop future multi-skilled operators, professionals and leaders.” PI