xpedx, Inc.

xpedx Helps Multi-Craft Transition from Printer to Marketing Services Provider

Multi-Craft, a family-owned printing company in Newport, KY, saw how new technologies and customer requirements were shaping its growth opportunities. Recognizing the need for an overhaul of its business model, Multi-Craft called upon xpedx to help with its continued transition to a marketing services provider, with a new paper line that would maximize profitability and create new business opportunities.

Multi-Craft: Then and Now

In the past, sales & marketing director Brad Thiery described Multi-Craft as a “printing company.”  This had been the primary focus ever since Brad’s grandfather started the company in 1955. But Multi-Craft needed a new strategy to meet the demands of customers.

“We saw the impact the internet was beginning to have and knew we had to either embrace it or become irrelevant. We began the process of changing our organization from a printing company to a marketing services provider,” Thiery said. “We added mailing and design to our current offerings, and then followed with digital printing equipment and a rebranding campaign. Those changes caught the attention of xpedx. Through that relationship, xpedx helped us recognize the tremendous opportunities in front of us with the full scale printing solutions they had available to help our business grow. With that support, we started to adopt new technologies and truly invested in our equipment and employees.”

With a new business model came new requirements for Multi-Craft’s house sheet. Increasingly, customers were looking for higher quality and quicker turnarounds at a competitive price. Multi-Craft found those characteristics from the xpedx Endurance line of coated papers.

“xpedx Endurance papers have helped us expand the Multi-Craft business into a wide range of printing applications to meet the marketing needs of our customers,” Thiery said. “More importantly, we have increased our profitability and expanded to new markets without sacrificing the quality, availability or price that our customers expect.”

Quality

For Multi-Craft, finding a paper that would produce a quality image on both offset and digital equipment was an imperative. Inconsistencies on previous house sheets created imperfections when it came to purity of image and color saturation, and Thiery recognized that there was no excuse for poor quality.

“As technology advances, printers can no longer shrug off imperfections as the difference in quality between offset and digital,” Thiery said. “The finished project must look great every time, regardless of format.”

Thiery found that consistency and quality with the Endurance line. He has converted many existing customers to Endurance simply by showing two samples next to each other and notes that “without fail” they choose the Endurance version. Many customers have been so impressed with Endurance papers that they converted other projects to it, resulting in more business for Multi-Craft.

As more projects come in, Multi-Craft has no margin for downtime. Thiery has found that the Endurance papers run efficiently through their equipment, eliminating workflow headaches.

“Whether we are using the gloss or silk papers, the Endurance papers consistently perform well,” Thiery said. “Jams are a thing of the past.”

Availability

It may go without saying that a house sheet has to be available at all times, but with storage space at a premium, availability was a top priority for Multi-Craft when they chose the Endurance line.

“Our customer is under deadlines, we’re under their deadline, and xpedx is under our deadline,” Thiery said. “The whole project depends on xpedx delivering the paper on time.”

Multi-Craft was proud that 99 percent of their jobs were delivered early or on time, so it was important that any selected house sheet would not negatively affect that statistic. Endurance and xpedx did not disappoint, as Thiery reports that Multi-Craft’s record is currently at 99.2 percent for on-time or early delivery. Even a recent job that increased from 50,000 to 56,000 sheets at the last minute was delivered on time because of a rush order called in to xpedx. This dependability has given the Multi-Craft team the confidence to pursue more business opportunities, because they know they never have to worry about inventory.

“The last thing printers want to do is to be forced into pulling a run because they don’t have enough paper or the right type of paper for the job,” said Scott Faucheux, Director, Marketing-Paper, xpedx. “With a robust nationwide distribution network, there is always an xpedx delivery truck nearby.”

Price

Another benefit that Multi-Craft and its customers realized from switching to the Endurance line was a competitive price point. It opened the door for customers to explore new printing options while keeping expenses low.

For example, a local customer faced cost-cutting decisions and was thinking about eliminating the Viewbook that Multi-Craft had printed for years. When the customer’s marketing team saw the quality of the Endurance line at a competitive price, they jumped on board right away. The customer has since used Endurance for other projects, bringing more business to Multi-Craft in the long run.

“This account is a perfect example of what xpedx has brought to our business. We had a high quality product readily available at a competitive price to meet our customer demands,” Thiery said. “xpedx and Endurance have helped us to make our customers look good, which in turn makes us look good. It’s a continual cycle that has resulted in substantial growth for Multi-Craft.”

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