In this week’s My Side of the Dot, Jeff Stallings, co-owner of Print NW, the seventh largest commercial printer in the state of Washington, discusses the company’s innovative efforts to get its brand out there.
How and when did Print NW get its start?
Print NW was started in 2001 by a group of people after being let go from a large printing company due to downsizing. A small $1 million dollar printing company was purchased with the dream of getting to $10 million in revenue and providing 100 quality jobs.
Where are you based?
How did you come up with the name, Print NW? Why did you choose to abbreviate the “NW” as opposed to spelling it out?
Print NW was originally owned by the Dammeier family and when they sold the printing company in 2000. Quebecor printing didn’t want the name. So when we restarted the company we went back to the family to ask to have it. We wanted to keep the name short also.
A lot of people might not realize it, but the printing industry is all about technology. Can you talk a little about how that has evolved over the years and what you’ve had to do to keep up?
I think printing is about three things: technology, diversification of services, and customer service. Our average order size continues to drop so we need automation to keep up with the volumes and continuing to reduce the number of touches through the entire process. We have invested no less than $400k per year for 10 consecutive years in equipment and technology.
What are some of the services your company provides?
We have a lot of services but rally around five product groups: printing, corporate identity, packaging, signage, and mailing.
What are your goals for Print NW?
Double our size in the next five years.
I saw that you were nominated for “2015 Top Places to Work.” How does that fit within your overall culture and business?
It is a huge honor to be nominated. We have a large diverse group of people ranging from assembly workers to accountants. Having a consistent message across everyone that everyone likes is a daily effort.
It also looks like you make a point of being involved with the community as much as possible. Can you speak a little about some of those efforts, and why you commit to them?
Community and people are very important to our ownership team; we believe that in order to service a community effectively, you have to be a part of it in order to find true success. Sometimes printing is viewed as a commodity. Being part of a community is not commodity based; it is a value. We hope our customers feel the same way about us.
So how did you hear about .ROCKS and what made you decide to adopt it for your own company?
I heard about .ROCKS through Taryn Naidu (Rightside CEO). We made the switch for a variety of reasons. One, to be innovative and different. Two, I have been trying for a decade to buy .COM. Three, .NET was not memorable so a lot of our prospects never found us because it went to the other printer named www.printnw.com.
Tell me a little about this billboard.
Printers don’t advertise their brand enough. I feel billboards are a great way to get your brand out there. We decide to launch .ROCKS this way to show leadership in innovative marketing techniques.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
We have three locations in the state of Washington: Lakewood, Bellevue, and Lacey.