Wholesale & Retail In-plants-
Parent company mergers, diverse products and a focus on color printing for the public eye seem to typify in-plants in the wholesale and retail trades.
Dean Sutera hits the nail right on the head when he comments on the importance of in-plants in the wholesale and retail markets.
"Because of the wide variety of printing that is needed by the retail environment," says Sutera, manager of the corporate print shop of Fred Meyer Inc., in Portland, Ore., "in-plants for retail operations are a lot more justifiable."
Retail companies like Fred Meyer need everything from large, four-color signs to small flexo labels. And they're much better off when they have an in-plant that can supply all of these items.
Overall, wholesale and retail in-plants like Sutera's seem to be doing well, judging from a number of IPG interviews. Several recent mergers and acquisitions by their parent companies have boosted their workloads, all but ensuring their long-term survival.
Because their printed work is subject to the eye of the general public much more frequently than the work of in-plants in most other industries, wholesale and retail in-plants must be sticklers for quality and consistency. An off-register sign or product label could effect a customer's perception of the quality of the company's products.
The amount of four-color work being done at wholesale and retail in-plants is also on a growth curve. Some shops are using their color capabilities to lure even more work.
One of the most visible and colorful jobs at Fred Meyer's 25-person in-plant is a 22x28˝ sign done on 18-point board. Printed on a two-color Harris press, the four-color signs are displayed in all Fred Meyer stores, which span the West Coast.
"We're able to do it much, much cheaper than outside sources," boasts Sutera, who has managed the in-plant for 23 years. "It is one of the main cost-saving avenues."