Lessons from the Top
Last year, Keith S. Walters, chairman, president and CEO of Midlothian, Texas-based Ennis Inc., encouraged members of the industry to promote printing as “not only a solution for customers, but a more cost-effective solution than newer technologies.” What significance would this advice carry and, more importantly, how would it affect Ennis’ future success?
The proof is in the numbers. Once again, Ennis clinched the top spot in Print+Promo’s Top Suppliers list with annual sales totaling slightly above $517 million. In addition, the company put forth an impressive showing in Promo Marketing’s Top Promotional Products Suppliers list (published in July 2012), taking the number-two spot with $550 million in sales.
Walters and his staff have been busy making big moves and savvy investments. On Feb. 10, 2012, Ennis closed on its acquisition of the assets and business of PrintXcel and Printegra from the Custom Resale Group of Cenveo. Sales from both companies were approximately $80 million annually and the purchase price was $40 million in cash plus assumed trade liabilities. According to Walters, these two new acquisitions added nine new locations and several new products, and gave Ennis the opportunity to partner with many new distributors.
However, Walters remains far from complacent and intends to focus on potential benefits of this transaction in 2013. “We want to have all of the new manufacturing locations operating on our systems,” he said. “The systems available to our newer locations allow them to become a part of the Ennis network and allow them to capitalize on the strengths of Ennis.”
Another priority for the new year revolves around Ennis’ apparel division. “For our apparel division, our top priority is to move past the historically high cotton costs of the last year or so and return to a historically manageable raw material marketplace,” Walters commented.