519 8th Ave New York, New York 10018
Phone: 212.290.2542


Printech Business
519 8th Ave New York, New York 10018
Phone: 212.290.2542
Email: Graphics@printechny.com


Start Spreading the News:
Printech Finds Success in the City that Never Sleeps

By Shelley Gabert

While other printing companies make their exodus out of Manhattan, Printech Business Systems Inc. is committed to staying put. The eight-year-old firm started as a one-machine copy shop and has grown into a successful, medium- sized digital black-and-white and color printing business. Last year, the com- pany outgrew its space on West 32nd Street and doubled its operations in a move to Midtown Manhattan, a few blocks from Pennsylvania Station.
"In the past three years, we have grown by leaps and bounds," said Frank Passantino, president and partner of the company with Marc Zaransky. "We have doubled our employees from 25 to 50, and our sales have tripled."
Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the company handles short-run digital printing with quick turnaround, and offers in-house finishing capabilities and variable-data mail merge in black- and-white and color.

Small Beginnings
The firm started out with six employees working out of a 900-sq.-ft. fadility but it quickly took off and the partners

moved to the sixth floor of a 100-year- old building on 32nd Street. Mr. Passantino estimates that the company grew from doing 10 to 15 jobs a day, to 35, to currently upwards of 50 for its trade and commercial clients, including banks, brokerage firms, hospitals, and healthcare and insurance companies. The firm also works with many non- profit organizations, producing pam- phlets and saddle-stitched booklets. Printech prints on 11x17' and CD cover stock, as well as on large poster board for banners and flyers.
"In the past, we could track our jobs efficiently, but with the increased work processed each day, we needed a plant designed for our larger workflow," Mr. Passantino noted. "We also needed more storage space for the boxes of collateral material we used for jobs completed over several months."
To accommodate this growth and the expanded service offerings, the company took over the third floor of a 25- story building at 519 Eighth Avenue, between 35th and 36th Streets, in January 2004. While it was a major move, which required months of transition and organization, the firm has

finally settled in and the operation is running smoothly. "We really love our new, bigger layout and our new neigh- borhood," said Mr. Passantino.

"We received tax incentives to stay within Manhattan, but we would stay here anyway."

Frank Passantino

While its old 6,000-sq.-ft. operation consisted of a large, open-loft environ- ment, the new 15,000-sq.-ft. space con- tains a glass-enclosed room to house the graphics department, and two different staging areas.
In the move, the company modernized equipment, replacing the Xerox 6180s it purchased in 2001 with three four-color 6060s. The firm also bought a 2045 four- color unit, and added bindery equipment.
The new space houses a kitchen and maintains a client room complete with pool table, large-screen television, and other amenities. The firm had planned to hold an open house for clients, vendors, and friends earlier last year, but major, exterior building renovations put it on hold until this summer.
While Messrs. Passantino and Zaransky both live on Long Island, being in Manhattan is ultimately about better servicing their client base. "Many of our companies want to physically proof jobs, so we need to be dose to them. It is also more convenient for us to service all of our clients' deadlines by being in close proximity to them for pick-ups and deliveries," Mr. Passantino explained.
As an overflow site servicing bro- kers, securities dealers, investment bankers, and mortgage banks, the com- pany routinely take on jobs that their clients' in-house graphics facilities can- not handle. Jobs that come in late on a Friday afternoon and must be deliv- ered first thing Monday are the norm.

Opportunity Knocks
"We rarely say [that] we can't do something," said Mr. Passantino. "We also have a basic vision of what our clients want, and we go to them with new applications rather than waiting for them to ask us." They have had this philosophy from the very beginning, as well as an ability to size up the market and capitalize on opportunities.
Both men worked their way up to being top salespeople for a leading copier company before they considered opening their own firm.
"We saw traditional printers were slacking off, leaving the city, but print-

ing consumption was going up, so we saw an opportunity for our kind of company," Mr. Passantino explained. "Years ago, clients were printing 1,000 brochures, which they used for a long time. Now, with information changing so quickly, they are running them more often in smaller amounts. We have also invested in the latest digital technology and developed a sophisticated graphics department to stay one step ahead of the competition."
Certainly, there have been bumps in the road, but they have weathered the economic ups and downs, as well as 9/11. While there was a lull in the econ- omy after the tragedy, the lower inter- est rates provided a boon to financial companies involved in real estate deals. The documents involved in these deals meant more work for Printech.
Today, the company is one of only a few printers in the area to produce prop- erty booklets, which include as many as seven different tabs and sub-books on site surveys and other topics organized in 4" binders.
Printech also created an FTP site for its financial clients, which allows a firm to view content from a remote site that can then be downloaded right to print. Printech also hosts Web sites for its clients. "Not only do we print docu- ments, but we charge a monthly fee for our clients to have their documents accessible on the Web site. This part of our business is growing by 15 to 20 percent," Mr. Passantino noted.

Sharing Nicely
While commercial accounts make up the bulk of Printech's business, the firm has used its extensive contacts, induding with facility management companies, to develop a strong trade business, which now accounts for 25 percent of its sales. Early on, Mr Passantino saw that tra- ditional, commercial printers would take on some of the same services that Printech offered. Rather than be competi- tive, he wanted to form mutually benefi- cial allegiances with them.
"Our trade business has remained an important and steady part of our business," he pointed out. "What is different is that as more printers want to be a one-stop shop for their clients, they would rather handle a job and make a small percentage by farming it out to us because they remain the pri- mary client contact."
With more growth on the horizon, the partners continue to be committed to their clients and their course, despite poor industry predictions. "Every year, we hear that paper cousumption is going down, but we are doing more clicks than last year," Mr. Passantino said. Down the line, the company will con- tinue to develop business in the New York Metro area-it is the top priority. "We received tax incentives to stay within Manhattan," said Mr. Passantino, "but we would stay here anyway. This is our home, and this is where we have built our business, and where we will grow it even more in the future." PN

Shelley Gabert, a freelance writer, can be reached at shellg@mindspring.com.

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