SOI Commercial Print: Getting Back to Business
The recession leveled the playing field for commercial printers. Companies that sold on price alone closed their doors, leaving their competitors in a better position for the future. However, that doesn't mean the surviving companies have it easy. In today's print world, with customer demands changing rapidly, it's time to deliver or step down.
"In 2012 and beyond, print providers will need to get to market faster, increase automation and embrace color—all at market-competitive prices," said Gordon Klepec, vice president of sales and marketing for Portland, Oregon-based Wright Enterprises. "That's a tall order to be sure, but the companies that can keep pace with technology, deliver value and remain relevant to their customers will prosper."
Todd Eldridge, executive vice president of Strongsville, Ohio-based Dupli-Systems, agreed. "Don't be afraid of change. The industry is definitely changing, and you have to be willing to change with it," he said.
Richard Ghelerter, president of Jacksonville, Florida-based Apex Color, learned to embrace change years ago. In 1974, Apex Color was founded under the name Apex Business Forms. Ghelerter branched out into commercial printing in 1998, but things weren't taking off as he had hoped. Like any smart business owner would do, he made some modifications that would reflect what his company was all about.
"By 2000, I realized that we were struggling trying to launch our high-end contract color commercial print shop with the name Apex Business Forms. So in 2000, I branded a new logo and became Apex Color," Ghelerter recalled. "In the year 2000, most of our customers were business forms distributors and sold little-to-no commercial printing. Marketing/advertising and design companies were not taking us seriously."
The change paid off. In fact, Ghelerter's business forms background has proven to be a nice complement to the commercial print side of things.