PSDA is excited to welcome Independent Graphics Inc. to the fold. We recently had the opportunity to talk to Lou Ciampi Jr., president of Independent Graphics, about his passion for the printing industry, why he decided to join PSDA and what Independent Graphics is all about.
Tell us little bit about Independent Graphic's background.
My father founded Independent Graphics Inc. in 1980. When I came on board as a full-time sales rep in 1986, we had five employees, and we were basically a two up spot color printer. Since then, we have morphed into a 30-person outfit with a five-color, 29" press that runs three shifts, 24 hours a day, five days per week; a state of the art 14" x 26" Igen; and very capable finishing and mail departments.
There is a long story of how we grew from 1986 to 2016, but it is a common one: incredible leadership from the patriarch of the family, Lou Ciampi Sr.; a lot of hard work by great employees and family members; loyal clients — many of whom have stuck with us through thick and thin — and vendors who not only were great suppliers, but educators on best practices and procedures.
While working in the bindery during college, I swore I would never work for my dad or go to work in the printing industry. How did that work out for me? I am so proud of what we have accomplished here, and we are poised for even more growth and success in the future.
What brought you to P2P? Why did your organization decide to join PSDA after this event?
I really had a great time at P2P. It was educational, informative and fun. It is incredible to have the opportunity to network with such an array of talented people from so many different arenas of the print, direct mail and marketing business. I met a lot of companies with family businesses whose dynamics are similar to those at Independent Graphics and decided to join PSDA immediately. If I had known how quickly opportunities would be put in front of us, I would have joined sooner.
What do you hope to get out of your membership with PSDA?
I want to meet smart people, because you can never know enough of them. You can never get enough education; you can never have enough contacts; you can never have enough friends in the business.
"We are all in this together" is a phrase we use here at Independent Graphics. It means that we are here for our clients (and their clients), as well as our friendly competitors, our vendors and our friends in the community. By leveraging our membership in PSDA, we hope to improve the way we do business so we can offer a better product to our clients and they can make more money. The better our clients do, the better we will do!
We are delighted to be a part of your group. Independent Graphics is a family-owned and operated printing and direct mail company that partners with distributors to deliver products efficiently. We are not the guys you call for the "cheapest" price; we are the guys you call when the "cheap" vendor cannot deliver the goods. And we pride ourselves on that.
What is your favorite aspect of this industry? What are you most passionate about?
The deadline, the crunch, the insanity. The ability to help our distributors solve problems for their clients. We recently delivered a program book that was picture perfect: a beautiful five-color cover with foil and black ink text pages saddle-stitched. However, there was a legal issue with some of the verbiage in the text pages. Fortunately, we were able to take the covers off without damaging them, reprint the text pages and re-bind within 24 hours. The client had the books in time for its program. A problem turned into an opportunity. When the client called in a panic, I had my doubts about removing the stitches from the cover without ruining it, but the team pulled it off without a hitch. Send your rush order; call us with your problem. Experience is having a lot of people who have been doing their job for a long time. We've got experience.