Winchester Printers: Old School, New Profit Tricks
Online storefronts is one area in particular where the potential for growth is unlimited. Winchester has also purchased around 10 URLs with the express purpose of putting together targeted business-to-consumer sites.
"The days of printing contracts are long gone," Casella remarks. "These sites help lock in a customer a little deeper as opposed to using a conventional printing procurement site. When you have someone locked in to a busines-to-business site, you basically are guaranteeing the quality of the print output, the turnaround factor, and the ease of ordering and personalization. That customer becomes comfortable with what you're producing, which in turn allows you to build on that relationship."
Of all the things Winchester Printers does well, the curious note is that marketing its own capabilities is not on that list. Chris Hottle's hope is that his shop can take some notes from P.T. Barnum and deliver its message to the potential customer base. Again, given its growth into areas such as variable data/digital printing, wide-format digital output and Web-to-print offerings, leveraging the needs of other printers is one path toward growth that the company is eyeing.
Ron Hottle points out that even though his printing plant is filled with employees who boast 20-year employment service pins—including some who began their careers there as teenagers—they are unfazed by the onslaught of new technology offerings. In fact, the workers embrace the challenge.
"We're in a customer-driven industry," Ron Hottle concludes. "You can have a customer walk in today with a job request you've not seen before and ask you if you can produce it. We kind of lie to 'em and say 'yeah', then go out and quickly buy the equipment to do it." PI