1. The Defending Champs
Midlothian, Texas-based Ennis has once again clinched the number-one spot in Print Professional's Top 100 Suppliers list. But despite years of success, the company is far from complacent. In 2011, Ennis managed to outdo itself with annual sales totaling $550 million, compared to last year's showing of $517.7 million.
Keith Walters, chairman of the board, president and CEO, and his busy staff have focused on several key initiatives responsible for increasing revenue over the last year. First, Ennis integrated its newest acquisition, Atlas Tag & Label. "Although Atlas isn't a large operation, they immediately brought value to our customers and shareholders," Walters noted.
In addition, Ennis concentrated on its e-commerce solution, EOS Touchpoint. "We are using EOS Touchpoint to support our customers that don't have online solutions, streamline our interoperability with customers' systems, differentiate ourselves from the pack and change the perception that we just make forms," Walters explained.
Finally, along with Glatfelter, Ennis hosted the 5th Annual VIP Series Conference last August, which was met with great success. Held in three locations (San Francisco, Charlotte, N.C. and St. Louis), the VIP Series is a day of networking and industry-relevant presentations directed toward distributor education.
Walters also believes controlling operational costs allowed Ennis to remain profitable through difficult financial times. More important, it enabled Ennis to offer distributors the most products at the best prices.
Still, Walters is aware of the problems taunting the industry. Ennis wants to ensure customers understand the benefits of its products in what Walters referred to as "the battle against print."
He continued, "There is a campaign against print being executed that most individuals in our industry seem to accept. If we are willing to accept the message that print is 'bad,' we deserve the outcome."