CPrint International finished its fifth year of exclusively serving printers that are already in the printing industry. Despite the economic news, we are proud to have assisted five printers in selling their businesses and numerous others in their pursuit of prosperity. CPrinters, as a whole, are in a powerful position to thrive as the economy begins to turn.
A major change for our organization is that I took over as president of CPrint International from founder Tom Crouser. This move is one of many to assure that CPrint will live forever to serve its affiliates for years to come. Additionally, we added to our professional staff while many others were downsizing.
As we go forward, it is my job to assure that CPrint evolves as the industry as a whole evolves. At CPrint, we continue to conduct original research to identify industry trends; sometimes years before independent printers realize the necessity. This allows CPrinters everywhere to continue to sell based on differentiating factors other than price.
In our view, the key to ongoing success is education. And in 2009 we added to our CPrint University online training center, which had more than 75 training courses that are available 24/7 to both owners and workers. Additionally, we conducted 100 hours of residential training in 2009 on sales, general management, and production. This further allows our affiliates to be on the leading edge of changing industry trends.
The print shop of tomorrow will not be like the print shop of today and printers must prepare to monetize processes that they never have before. And because we are continually testing new marketing methods ourselves, CPrint is in a great place to help printers through these exciting times. We look forward to continuing our pursuit of helping printers prosper!
Rich Lowe, COO
2009 was clearly the most challenging year for the printing industry in any of our careers. The combination of the recession and the changing nature of the printing and communication industry made for the “perfect storm.” Just about everyone experienced the same thing. Simply put, the printing business model has been challenged and the need for change is here.
Business for our networks has certainly improved in the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010. But over the last 18 to 24 months many customers have found alternative ways to communicate internally with their organizations, and they have found alternative ways to market to their customers and prospects.
Our focus is to transition our centers to providing printing and marketing services while we maintain revenue from our traditional printing products. We do not expect this transition to take place overnight. It is going to take conviction and commitment on our part. We have started by training our franchisees and their teams to deliver the expanded products and services our customers are demanding, while continuing aggressive marketing efforts to communicate our new product and services offering and remaining consistent in our consultative sales approach with our customers and prospects.
Many people ask us why we think we can transition to providing printing and marketing services to our customers. My answer is simple. We have been print providers for more than 40 years. Our quality and reputation are well known in the community. We are local and have the ability to understand customers’ specific needs and deploy programs quickly. We have spent many years creating direct mail programs that have helped our business customers reach their objectives and we are prepared to continue to do that for small and mid-sized businesses in the future. Our customers need us. We will grow our businesses by providing more value to our customers from new products and services that compliment our traditional printing products.
We know we have to change. Change is not the issue—our owners have adapted to many changes since they first opened their doors. The issue is how fast we can change. We have already started the transition and our franchisees are up to the task of finishing the job.
Bob Metzger, Chairman & CEO
As a weakened economy continued in 2009, the impact was felt by many of our center owners as they experienced some very challenging issues. We are extremely proud of the effort taken by our owners to cope, and in some cases prosper, with the challenges of doing business in a down economy.