Leaders of the Pack
Onward and Upward for Ennis
From a small, rural company serving the cotton industry to a complete printed products manufacturer with 46 production facilities, Midlothian, Texas-based Ennis has been dedicated to serving the wholesale printing industry for 96 years. The company reported more than $559 million in sales for its last fiscal year. Although that figure represents a decrease from the previous year’s $582 million, Ennis still captured the top spot in BFL&S’ manufacturers ranking for the second year in a row.
At the heart of the company’s success is a strategic plan based on growth through acquisitions that fit Ennis’ existing business model and compliment its product offerings, said Keith Walters, president and CEO. For instance, he pointed out that Tennessee Business Forms/Avant-garde (TBF),
Tullahoma, Tenn., and Specialized Printed Forms, Caledonia, N.Y. are both traditional forms companies offering special niche products, such as integrated forms, tags, labels and cards. Ennis had been outsourcing this work to other vendors prior to acquiring the companies.
As for the recently acquired Block Graphics, Portland, Ore., Walters explained the company has a very strong presence up in the Northwestern United States, and Ennis wanted to strengthen its presence in the region. “Block Graphics produces envelopes, and is one of the better envelope converters in the wholesale market,” Walters said. Prior to the acquisition, Ennis only imprinted envelopes. “We didn’t have the capability to convert,” he recalled.
Undoubtedly, the merger with Alstyle Apparel launched a significant growth platform for Ennis. Promotional apparel is its highest-earning product category, accounting for more than 42 percent of sales. Forms follow close behind, generating more than 41 percent, while commercial printing is the third highest product group, driving 10 percent of the business. Looking forward, Ennis intends to focus on growing its label line.
Probably one of the best measures of Ennis’ success is the fact that the company was recognized as a valuable business partner by three of the largest distributorships during their respective annual conventions and sales meetings. Headquartered in Cleveland, Program selected Ennis for a vendor appreciation award in the business forms category, while Indianapolis-based International Solutions for Business presented the company with an industry leadership award. Ennis also received a top vendor award from American Solutions for Business, Glennwood, Minn.
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