(left to right) Jean-Paul Nataf, CEO, Boss Litho, and Marke Baker, MHIA.
Boss Litho Inc. has achieved impressive growth in less than three years in existence. The printing company’s CEO, Jean-Paul Nataf, is justifiably delighted because he knows that not every fledgling print shop makes it, let alone sees its sales leap to $12 million in such a short span of time with only 35 people and two shifts of eight hours each.
To give City of Industry, Calif.-based Boss Litho even more room to expand into lucrative, though competitive, markets, Nataf has installed a new Mitsubishi Diamond 3000R convertible perfector with dual UV coaters. Nataf is confident that the eight-color, 40-inch press will add several million dollars to Boss Litho’s annual revenues.
“The Diamond 3000R is an amazing press,” Nataf said. “We just finished a project for 100,000 catalogs — 16 pages plus covers — in two eight-hour shifts. That’s one example of the kind of productivity we expect from this press. It can do so much for us.”
In fact, Nataf believes that the Diamond 3000R will help Boss Litho hit the $20 million mark within a couple years.
Nataf, who has been in the graphic communications industry since 1985, always had confidence in his ability to sell printing jobs. In September 2010, when the national economy was still finding its footing following the protracted downturn, the longtime print broker was preparing to launch Boss Litho. Nataf acquired the assets of a floundering commercial printing business with which he had established a broker-printer relationship.
“I was a big customer of the printer,” he said. “They were in financial trouble and about to default on their loans.”
After changing the firm’s name and moving its equipment to a new, 37,000-square-foot facility, Nataf started to do what he does best — sell.
“I have no sales force other than myself, and I bring in $1 million worth of print volume a month,” Nataf said.
Since the economic downturn, most large sheetfed printing companies have either gone out of business or downsized tremendously. This puts Boss Litho in a position to satisfy a unique niche in the printing industry.
As Nataf explained, “We are one of the few companies left that can provide high page count, sheetfed quality, short- and medium-run catalogs with very fast turnaround speeds. The addition of this new press will only further enhance these capabilities and even allow us to compete on some potential web printing projects.”
With 40 employees, the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and G7 Master Printer certified operation specializes in commercial and packaging printing, especially premium-caliber work for the fashion industry.
“The fashion industry demands faithful color reproduction with sharp photographs showing precise detail in the patterns and fabrics,” Nataf observed.
Services other than printing include graphic design, binding, finishing and fulfillment. An in-house photo studio offers comprehensive production services.
The company publishes a Chinese-American luxury lifestyle quarterly called Phoenix International as well. In 2012, Media Industry News named Phoenix International one of the year’s best magazine launches.
“Each issue of the magazine covers travel, dining, autos, home, fashion and society,” Nataf explained. “We print 50,000 copies that sell on newsstands and fill subscription orders. The quality and crispness of the images need to be perfect.”
Boss Litho’s Diamond 3000R makes four-over-four catalogs and publications more visually compelling. The perfector prints and coats both sides of the sheet in a single pass thanks to inline coaters before and after the sheet-reversing unit. Nataf opted for a full UV machine: one interdeck UV module after every printing unit and UV curing lamps after both coaters.
“This is a unique press,” Nataf said. “Customers can choose shiny gloss, ‘soft touch’ or matte surface finishes. The sheets are immediately dry as they leave the press and can be folded right away. We used to outsource commercial web printing for a major clothing retailer. Now we are able to print longer runs directly for this customer very competitively.”
The press can print different stock up to 12 points in the perfecting mode. It easily handles paper, uncoated folding carton board and nonporous substrates (such as plastics and synthetics) up to a thickness of 24 points when converted to straight printing.
It took six weeks to set up the new machine.
“Mitsubishi’s service was amazing,” Nataf said. “Two technicians stayed with us full time during those six weeks to make sure that all was running as it should and Boss Litho’s press operators knew what to do.”
There are numerous opportunities for high-quality packaging printing, Nataf noted.
“We already have begun working with a new customer that wants to print foil packaging,” he said.
The window of opportunity has opened on calendar printing, Nataf added.
“UV inks are a little more expensive, but the higher productivity from printing four-over-four offsets the cost to the customer,” he said.
In addition to the $3.7 million investment in the Diamond 3000R, Boss Litho has two other presses, including a six-color, 40-inch Mitsubishi D3000LX and a six-color, 40-inch perfector. In the digital arena, it operates dye sublimation printers.
“The biggest challenge for us is to develop a broad clientele to put our many capabilities to the best use,” Nataf said.