The Flesh Company Turns
Print+Promo (P+P): What does it feel like to be at a company that's celebrating its 100th anniversary? What does it feel like to be running one?
Roy V. Flesh II (RF2): It's a combination of pride and amazement. When you look back at what has occurred in world history since 1913 and realize that a company started by one man has stood the test of time, and in an industry which has certainly seen dramatic change, it truly is a success story. When my grandfather R.V. started the company, he was a broker selling three products: sales books, tags and envelopes. His biggest challenge was finding quality suppliers and it was not unusual to see him travel coast to coast looking for them.
I do not believe that one person runs a company. I have a vision of where I want the company to move while staying true to my grandfather's core values. I'm blessed to have a great management team and employees who continue to make the vision a reality.
P+P: Your company has survived every modern American recession and depression. Because of that, do you think the company has evolved and nurtured a culture of, I don't want to say survivalism, but you've got this inherited skill and culture of three-to-five generations of accountants, CFOs and CEOs who pass on things like, "This is how we got through the Depression, always do this and this and this," and "This is how we got through the '70s and '80s, always do this and this and this." Does that give you this chain of skill and culture where you're much stronger against historical downswings?
RF2: We started with a firm business foundation built on three pillars that R.V. put in place:
- Stay on the cutting edge of new technologies.
- Always provide customers with the best service our industry has to offer.
- Stand behind every order we produce, thereby providing customers with total peace of mind.
None of these can be accomplished without highly skilled people, from the president to the person who wraps the pallets of a customer's order. With these three core values, we can move through product changes, market erosion and competition from challenging technologies. We do not consider ourselves as business forms printers; we are experts in helping clients manage the flow of information within their client's business. Our history has taught us to watch for opportunities for growth in that information flow industry.