United They Stand
In 2002, six suppliers joined forces to establish UnigraphicsUSA. Over time, the membership evolved and in 2008, the group changed its organizational structure, rebranded and formed the Strategic Print Alliance (SPA). Today, six member companies—with 10 plants coast-to-coast—remain aligned by friendship and the business philosophy, "Independent strength. United power."
Spanning across the United States, the six member companies include Apex Color (located in Jacksonville, Fla.), Bradley Graphic Solutions (located in Bensalem, Pa.), The Flesh Company (located in St. Louis), Printgraphics (located in Vandalia, Ohio), Superior Business Associates (located in Greeneville, Tenn.) and Wright Enterprises (located in Portland, Ore.).
These member companies own and operate the SPA and elect the organization's officers, who serve two-year terms. The current officers are:
• President: Dan Adkison, president and COO of Wright Enterprises.
• Vice President: Bob Berardino, president and COO of The Flesh Company.
• Executive Director: David Batson.
• Treasurer: Gerard Winterbottom, CFO of The Flesh Company.
The best way to get to know the alliance is to start at the beginning. Adkison explained the original purpose for the alliance was to leverage business consumables, primarily paper purchases, through preferred supplier partners like Rollsource and Appleton Paper. The alliance has grown into so much more.
"The new executive team at SPA has worked diligently to drive cost reductions in other critical areas including marketing, advertising, trade show expenses and web-based connectivity tools," Adkison said. "I think our member companies would say, however, that the greatest benefits have been the ability to benchmark 'best practices' (including lean manufacturing principles), and to discuss industry trends."
Another selling point may be SPA's ability to offer a national manufacturing and distribution footprint to service customers of all sizes. "Our ability to leverage our consumables spend and exploit our geographic reach gives us a distinct competitive advantage in the marketplace," Batson noted. "Our success is evidenced by our distributor partners' ability to compete head-to-head for key national accounts. With a combined total of 276 years of experience, an uncompromised commitment to the independent distributor network and a track record of stability and financial strength—we are unique in the industry."