First Edge Solutions has acquired Print1 Direct, an Atlanta-based provider of print-on-demand, direct marketing, and document output services. With a growing national network of sales offices in San Diego, Chicago, and New York and production facilities in Milwaukee, Phoenix, and now Atlanta, First Edge has become one of the top companies in the country able to affordably roll out a client’s multi-channel national distribution strategy.
“The expansion creates opportunity in a challenging market and better positions us to negotiate national contracts with suppliers to drive down costs for customers. The acquisition combats the shipping challenge that comes with national distribution as gas and oil prices continue to rise, and we can help our fortune 1000 to mid-size clients reduce national supply chain management costs,“ said First Edge President and CEO, Robert M. Kraft. “Strategically, this gives us a competitive advantage of a national production platform, along with a healthy roster of clients.”
Integrating into First Edge
One thing that attracted First Edge to PRINT1 Direct was the strength of its management, and those leaders will continue to help drive the company. PRINT1 DIRECT owner Bob Irvin has been named Senior Vice President of First Edge’s new southeast region.
“It’s a case of two plus two equals five,” said Kraft. “They have a first class print facility with good clients, and we’ll add value to their operation with our proprietary software, processes and technology. As a multi-channel expert, First Edge is especially strong in applying our data management discipline and skills to both marketing and business-critical applications. From an IT standpoint, by the end of Q1, we will have upgraded our new facility to theHIPAA/PHI standards that operate across our platform. With a unified platform, their customer base can immediately benefit from First Edge services and innovations such as Ordernet.com (proprietary web2print platform), eGencee.com (proprietary e-commerce direct marketing platform), FE Agency (full service marketing agency), and Meet-Meme.com (proprietary social media platform).”
Cross-country Job Routing and Workload Optimization
According to Kraft, “The redundancy is ideal from the standpoint of capacity management and utilization. We can optimize multiple shifts across production facilities in Milwaukee, Phoenix and now Atlanta. As a result, we can offer the best distribution costs and plant capacity utilization. It’s also important for our quality standards, because if there is ever an interruption at one of our facilities, such as from bad weather for example, we can route work through the other sites and ensure we make every drop date.”
It’s About Data, Not Print
“With its own software and programmers, First Edge is driven by IT and not what’s on the plant floor, and that’s exciting to our employees,” said Bob Irvin. “Our team is eager to move forward with the technology integration. Adding the data management component gives us the ability to take our services to a new level.”