Shopping For More Work At Spartan
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Growth would be an understatement when talking about the changes that have taken place at Spartan Stores' in-plant over its 35-year existence.
The Midwestern grocery wholesaler, located in Grand Rapids, Mich., began its in-plant with just a one-color duplicator used for printing company bulletins, according to David DeWildt, director of printing and design at Spartan.
Since then, Spartan's in-plant has grown into a 36,000-square-foot, full-service print shop, which includes three Heidelberg sheetfed presses, four Goss webs, 43 Macintosh workstations and full binding and copying capabilities. And there are no plans for stopping there, let alone downsizing.
DeWildt projects even more growth and other new purchases in the future. Most notably he sees additions and upgrades in the sign shop, bindery and web offset departments.
Much of the high-volume work is produced on the Goss web presses, which output 6 to 8 million flyers each week. The presses account for 75 percent of the in-plant's annual income. Spartan also designs and prints posters, circulars, shelf cards, store maps, newsletters and ad inserts for its grocery retail clients.
Getting approval for new equipment hasn't been an issue for DeWildt, who hints that management knows that it will be getting a return on its investment when purchasing new items for the print shop. He lists an increase in productivity and a decrease in overtime pay and set-up time as selling points for getting new equipment.
DeWildt says the company officers understand the value of the in-plant to the company and that the shop has been supported by management all along—so much so that when facilities management companies attempt to take business away from the in-plant they are either discouraged by Spartan's upper management or they are brought in to take a look at the operation.
After seeing the size and efficiency of the shop, facilities management teams tend to, "walk away with their tails between their legs," asserts DeWildt.