Tri-State--Reinvent and Refocus
After Frank completed college and joined the fold, Tri-State began to target print brokers who didn't possess their level of capability and invested in high-speed Xerox duplicators, which were expensive to operate. He set up a distributorship and sought out distributors at various trade shows such as the Printing Northeast Expo. Those distributors resold Tri-State's copy work to their clients and Tri-State packaged and labeled the work under the distributor's name. It was the beginning of niche marketing as they targeted their brokered work throughout the Northeast.
"The brokers needed very fast turnaround time or needed to know more information about their project, how to sell their project, and they needed some tools," Campagna states. "In our brochures we help teach them how to sell high-speed copying. In doing so, it developed a strong, bonding relationship between us and our clients. It helped build that market for us."
It was around this time that Campagna spotted the need for a printing operation that could address the independent and self-publishing book market. Tri-State greeted this audience with open arms and instructed these fledgling authors on how to acquire ISBN numbers and bar codes, as well as how to market their books. Campagna educated himself through seminars and became a student and, eventually, teacher of the industry. It became yet another tier in Tri-State's host of products and services.
This ushered in a line of modern sheetfed offset printing equipment and capabilities: Sakurai presses equipped with automated plate changers, digitally controlled ink/water balance and perfecting capabilities. Automating the various book binding lines—perfect, comb and saddle stitching—shortly followed. An imagesetter was also installed to allow fully imposed film.
The automation allowed Tri-State workers to do the jobs of multiple people, thus maintaining costs and a competitive edge. Soon, Tri-State kept the entire package in-house by adding book covering capabilities.