Compass Capital Partners

DeWese--The Survey Results Are In!
June 1, 1999

In my March 1999 column, I included a print salesperson survey and promised to send a magic "sales power" paperweight to everyone who completed and mailed in the survey. I hope I never weaken and make this kind of offer again. The mailman has been bringing in bags of surveys, and I am bone-tired from wrapping these little boxes. Furthermore, in a post-column wave of euphoric largess, I decided to send every survey respondent a Sean McArdle audio tape and my book, "Now Get Out There and Sell Something!" So, this whole stupid survey idea has cost me a bunch of money, and I had to tabulate

DeWese--Try Hypnosis - Sell Like Magic!
May 1, 1999

This column is way out on the edge. It falls in the category of "experimental prose." It has not been approved for general use by any government agencies. As a matter of fact, if you are . . . 1. pregnant; 2. suffering from high blood pressure; 3. wearing mittens to prevent thumb sucking; 4. wearing mittens to prevent scratching your eyes out; or 5. wearing a straight jacket . . . then, you probably should excuse yourself from this column now. Come to think of it, if you are reading this from a hospital bed, ring the nurse button now and have this magazine incinerated with the medical

DeWese--No News Is Good News
April 1, 1999

The printing industry never gets any publicity in the national media. Television, magazines and newspapers ignore us. It's as if commercial printing didn't exist. The graphic arts industry gets no attention or respect. If I'm not mistaken, we are something like the third largest employer and the seventh or eighth largest industry in terms of the dollar value of our production. I think I'm about right. You can look it up. The technology sector gets tremendous coverage on television and in newspapers. Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Sun MicroSystems and all those Internet companies get lots of press. Cocktail party conversations abound with tales of fortunes

DeWese--Time for Some Self-analysis
March 1, 1999

I don't know about you, but the Gallup people have never, never, never called me for my thoughts on any national issue. I have never been polled by anybody. Not "CNN," Time, Newsweek, USA Today—nary any national media pollster or political party pollster has called me. Hey, I'm in the phone book. I've even got an e-mail address. I file and pay my taxes every year. I'm a registered Republican voter. I've got credit cards, and all the catalogers have my name and address. I'm not hidin'! The pollsters can damnsure find me! No one has asked me to rate the president's performance or that of

Consolidation--The Ties That Bind?
February 1, 1999

Consolidators, independents discuss merits of selling the business to a roll-up company. BY ERIK CAGLE To sell or not to sell? A difficult question with no easy, or clear-cut, answers. The last 15 years have been marked by considerable growth in the commercial printing industry. That growth has been bolstered by awe-inspiring advances in technology: computer-to-plate, offset press automation and digital prepress advances, which have all streamlined production processes and decreased turnaround time. By building a better mousetrap, printers large and small have made their industry highly competitive. While the National Association of Printers and Lithographers projects industry growth in the 4 percent range

DeWese--Brand Loyalty Works In Printing, too
December 1, 1998

I was eating a Boar's Head smoked turkey sandwich and, although I'm an investment banker and supposed to read The Wall Street Journal at lunch, I was, in fact and as is my habit, reading the label on my jar of Kraft mayonnaise. The same can be said for the Cheerios box at breakfast and Rita's tabasco sauce label at supper. I have been reading the label since I developed a fierce loyalty to Kraft at age six. That was more than 50 years ago. There should be a law that every deli and sandwich shop have Kraft mayonnaise available as an option to

DeWese--Drowning in Decrees
November 1, 1998

Along with several other people, I was inducted into the printing industry's Soderstrom Society last month. I haven't read the Soderstrom Society by-laws yet, but I'm sure that membership gives me broad powers. For example, I now have the power to ban things in the printing industry that I don't like. Be it ordained and decreed that all print buyers henceforth shall purchase printing based only on quality and service. This means that "price" will no longer be a consideration. Printers are inherently honest people, who would never gouge buyers, so why all the fuss over a few dollars? Furthermore, I proclaim and demand that

DeWese--Something to Say About M&A
October 1, 1998

This is column number 154. One five four! They don't call me old Rhetoric Breath for nothin'. It also marks my 14th anniversary writing for Printing Impressions. By the time you read this column, a whole bunch of people, including yours truly, will be in Chicago at GRAPH EXPO. I'm being inducted into the Soderstrom Society during GRAPH EXPO, and, if I'm not mistaken, you will have to start calling me "Sir Mañana Man" or maybe it's "Lord Mañana Man." The Soderstrom Society is kind of like being knighted or something, I think. There's lots of news as I write this. By the time you

Midsummer Lull Ends With New Flurry of Activity
September 1, 1998

HOUSTON—The heat of midsummer seemed to have slowed the ongoing acquisition fever in the graphic arts business, but as summer winds down and executives return from vacation, a new spate of acquisition announcements has arrived. Consolidated Graphics, based here, led the pack, signing letters of intent to acquire five new companies. Four of the new acquisitions—McKay Press in Midland, MI, Royle Communications in Sun Prairie, WI, Graphtec in Annapolis Junction, MD, and Printing Corp. of America in Baltimore— were acquired in one transaction led by Radnor, PA-based Compass Capital Partners. Only days later Consolidated signed another deal to acquire Bloomington, IL-based Metropolitan Printing Service. Upon

DeWese--Hats Off to Receptionists At Printing Companies
September 1, 1998

Shut your eyes tight and imagine that you're in the grand ballroom at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. You and everyone in the audience are elegantly garbed in formal attire. You have come to attend the fifth annual Mañana Man's Receptionist Hall of Fame ceremony. Tonight, four new nominees will be inducted into this prestigious society of printing company employees. If you're a regular reader, you will remember that I created this recognition five years ago to honor the folks who greet your customers by phone and in person. They are the people who frequently create the first impressions that lead to new accounts. They