Add On To Print Sales
Distributors find increased profits through service programs.
Distributors can add to their sales of printed products by offering other services to meet the changing needs of their clients. Advances in technology, downsizing and tightening office space provide distributors with the opportunity to offer lucrative services such as warehousing, graphics design, distribution and Internet business solutions.
One distributorship that has taken advantage of this opportunity is the Atlanta-based FIA Corporation. The company's major products include forms, envelopes and commercial printing, but customers have also a multitude of services to choose from.
In addition to printed products, FIA offers warehousing, on-demand print and supply, forms design, Internet ordering, distribution, pick-and-pack fulfillment, in-house graphics, product delivery and shredding services.
President Brad Dorsen stayed ahead of the industry trends by starting distributor services in the late 1970s and warehousing—which took off in the mid 80s—in 1978.
"It started with a customer who wanted to order a larger quantity of items, but didn't have the space. We stored the extra boxes in a back corner of our office and it mushroomed from there," he explained.
The company has moved three times to acquire additional space as the need for warehousing grew. Noted Dorsen, "We now have two warehouses totaling 12,000 sq. ft. We can also lease additional square footage at a discount when we need it."
FIA began distribution services a year after it started warehousing. "We grew from a couple of boxes to handling approximately 50 packages a day," Dorsen said. Today, the company uses three vehicles for distribution, in addition to UPS and Milan Freight Line.
In 1978, increased demand also justified the establishment of an in-house graphics department. "We were using an outside graphics typesetting service, but if there was a typo, we would have to send it out again," Dorsen noted.