By Scott Heeter, President of Heeter
My partner Tim Thomas and I want to provide you with a mid-year update on the activities, investments, and additions to the company.
Last year we wrote to you about the transformation going on at Heeter over the last few years. We are starting to see these investments pay off, and we are excited to share this update.
Strong Start to 2018
Historically the first half of the year has been an operational challenge. In a typical year we print 40% of our volume in the first 6 months. And the imbalance can be even more dramatic if we look at busiest versus slowest months. In the past several years, we will do more than twice the volume in our busiest month compared to our slowest month. It can be a challenge to manage those peaks and valleys but we have an excellent team that works together to ‘stay lean’ in the slow months and bring ‘all hands on deck’ in the busy months.
That said, I am very pleased to report that the first half of year has been stronger (+8-10%) than previous years. We were a little nervous heading into 2018 because we knew a couple sizeable pieces of business were not going to reoccur. But a strong effort by our sales team to grow existing business, generate new business with a number of long-term clients, and add net new business helped make Q1 & Q2 strong. To all of our clients (new and existing), we are grateful for your business and look forward to continuing to build the relationships between our companies.
During the spring we also learned that we won a contract to be the primary print supplier to one of our longstanding casino customers with locations around the country. We also went through comprehensive RFP processes with some of our largest accounts, and I’m pleased to report that we were able to not only retain the business but expect additional, new pieces of business to follow.
It Starts with Our People
Obviously, everybody loves more sales, but that’s only a portion of the good news. The more exciting development is the continued evolution of our company; in this newsletter, you’ll read about the cool things that are going on at Heeter.
We have such a great group of people who work hard to make the company and our customers successful. So throughout the year, we take little breaks as a company to spend some quality time with each other. You’ll see a bunch of photos and details about the fun events we do throughout the year: costume contest, holiday parties, March Madness, etc. We laugh, eat, have a beer, play games and recharge our batteries. Everybody here plays a critical role in meeting customer demands and these fun events are great opportunities to get the whole team together for some fun.
Achieving Notable Certifications and Milestones
Early this year we received our SGP certification from the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership – a prestigious award recognizing our continued adoption of environmentally sustainable best practices. Heeter is one of only a few dozen companies in the entire nation to achieve our industry’s highest level of environmental sustainability. And we are the only facility in Western Pennsylvania to enjoy this distinction. One of the cool things is that we didn’t need to make many changes to our existing business practices in order to receive the SGP Certification as we’ve been ‘green’ all along.
Another significant milestone was reached this spring when we completed our SOC 2 Audit with “Very Favorable” results. We were audited in the areas of security, availability and confidentiality. We’ve been working towards SOC 2 certification for the past 5 years and our IT team did a fantastic job making sure our data policies, procedures, training and documentation were best in class. The AICPA audit report is available for our customers and prospective customers to view so you can gain a high level of comfort when sending us your critical data.
Investing in New Equipment
Back in late 2015 Heeter became the first commercial printer in the United States to install and operate the new Ricoh VC60000 roll-fed inkjet web press. It delivers Heeter the speed, print quality and high-volume productivity demanded by our customers. Printing Impressions did a story on Heeter’s 2.5 years of experience with this press. We have inserted the article into this mailing.
In addition, we invested significantly in new bindery equipment this spring.
Well Positioned for a Successful Fall
As you’ll see throughout the newsletter, we’ve been pretty busy. I want to personally thank the 100 employees at Heeter for their hard work and dedication in helping us accomplish so much. And I’d like to express my appreciation to our customers for their continued trust, loyalty and commitment to our company.
The second half of the year will undoubtedly be very busy. We know we have the team, equipment and right processes to deliver on our brand promise of being your comprehensive, secure marketing partner.