Deliver: Technology Points Way for Production And Print Providers

Digital printing, variable data, high-speed presses – technology is reshaping the print and fulfillment industries. The companies that provide the production and lettershop services that make the direct marketing world go ’round race against time and each other to stay on top of the latest tech trends. Here is a sampling, in alphabetical order, of industry leaders, both the major players and smaller, up-and-coming shops.

Cenveo Inc.

Locations: Cenveo has more than 80 production locations and five advanced fulfillment and distribution centers throughout North America.

Capacity: 14 million pieces of direct mail each week.

Employees: More than 10,000.

Clients: GE, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Janis, Putnam, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Staples, U.S. Postal Service and Vanguard.

Products and services: Cenveo recently installed two HP Indigo 3050 digital presses in its Nashville, TN, facility that can produce highly personalized, full-color mail pieces. The facility also uses the HP Production Flow Server, an integrated software and hardware platform that automates and manages the production workflow process. The company has four more HP Indigos at other facilities.

Synopsis: The company says it provides visual communication solutions to customers rather than individual products. Cenveo was founded in 1993 and has grown through a series of strategic mergers and acquisitions. In 2003, the company reorganized and streamlined its processes. It united the organization under one name in 2004. Most recently, Cenveo acquired Valco Graphics in Seattle and Waller Press, a web and sheet-fed printer in San Francisco.

Web site:

Fala Direct Marketing Inc.

Locations: Melville and Farmingdale, NY.

Capacity: Produces and mails almost 1 billion pieces annually. Facilities total 300,000 square feet.

Employees: 474.

Clients: Insurance, banking, financial, healthcare, telecommunications, travel, entertainment, communications, publishing, retail, automobile and advertising.

Products and services: Fala has invested in equipment and services that support one-to-one message management, including high-speed laser personalization systems, automated fulfillment, response management, variable data digital printing, intelligent inserting and match mailing systems. Whether a feed is from a call center or from interactive media that require a back-end print solution, Fala builds specialized systems for various production requirements including acknowledgment, confirmation, loyalty and reward programs as well as statement renderings and personalized business communications.

Synopsis: Fala (an abbreviation for Fifth Avenue Lettershop Association) was founded in 1916. Originally established to provide lettershop and fulfillment services, it has grown into a full-service direct mail production company. Fala offers a range of services, including direct mail production, print and sorting. It also offers logistics for the consolidation of Standard mail.

Web site:

Fosdick Fulfillment

Locations: Facilities are in Wallingford and Meriden, CT; Reno, NV; and Valencia, CA (drop-ship only).

Capacity: Processes 20 million orders of products each year and receives more than 2 million mail submissions a year. More than 700,000 square feet of workspace.

Employees: 105 full-time and 100 to 150 part-time and flextime.

Clients: Radio Shack, Schering-Plough, Procter & Gamble, Major League Baseball and Webloyalty.

Products and services:, an online direct marketing analysis tool; FF Shop, an integrated online commerce environment; FF Best Rate, a rate-tracking and analysis program; and XpressTrac, an inclusive pricing model.

Synopsis: Established in 1965, Fosdick Fulfillment is a privately held corporation providing comprehensive logistics/fulfillment services in various vertical markets focusing on disciplines such as literature/catalog fulfillment, direct response, retail distribution, promotion support and premium incentives.

Web site:


Locations: Facilities in 170 countries.

Employees: 150,000.

Products and services: The web-fed HP Indigo press w3200, a seven-color press, combines offset with digital printing. It has a print rate of 8,000 8.5-by-11-inch/A4 color images an hour (two-up). The HP Indigo press w3200’s web-handling system welcomes a range of substrates, including the lightest-weight paper stocks common in direct mail. The newly released sheet-fed HP Indigo press 5000 delivers up to seven-color printing, high-definition text and images using HP’s Adaptive Halftoning technology. The HP Indigo press 5000 is designed for midsize to large commercial printers wanting to take advantage of digital printing. For small to midsize commercial printers that require high-quality short-run, on-demand color capabilities, the HP Indigo press 1050 is a six-color digital offset press with enhanced personalization and color management capabilities.

Synopsis: HP provides a range of HP Indigo digital offset color presses that can produce high-impact, one-to-one marketing solutions with offset quality. These printed pieces typically have personalized text and graphics that reflect the buying history and individual needs of each recipient. Each HP Indigo digital press is part of a complete end-to-end solution featuring a robust digital front end and an assortment of solution tools and finishing options.

Web site:

IWCO Direct

Locations: Chanhassen and Little Falls, MN.

Capacity: 120 million packages each month; 750,000 square feet.

Employees: 1,050.

Clients: financial services, insurance, retail, travel and software.

Products and services: IWCO Direct offers integrated creative, printing, promotional plastics, envelope printing and converting, mailing and logistics management services. In January, the company opened a new high-speed mail processing and technology center in Chanhassen with high-speed bindery lines, cutters and card affixers.

Synopsis: Founded in 1969 as Instant Services Inc., the company installed its first web press in 1976 and became Instant Web Inc. It became The Instant Web Companies with the acquisition of United Mailing Inc. in 1977 and Victory Envelope in 1981. In April 1999, James N. Andersen, as president/CEO, and Peter S. Karle, as executive vice president and chief financial officer, were brought in as equity partners to transition the three independent companies into one entity. In February, IWCO Direct was acquired by private equity firm Citigroup Venture Capital and the company’s existing senior management team.

Web site:


Locations: nine print-production facilities in Hartford, Lomira, Pewaukee, Sussex and West Allis, WI; Martinsburg, WV; Oklahoma City; Saratoga Springs, NY; and The Rock, GA. It also has a nationwide network of imaging centers, photography studios and sales offices. The company has an international presence through partnerships in Argentina, Brazil and Poland.

Capacity: 8 billion periodicals, catalogs and direct mail pieces annually.

Employees: 12,000 worldwide.

Clients: magazine, catalog, direct mail and retail insert markets.

Products and services: Quad/Graphics provides solutions to raise response rates and enhance revenue while optimizing clients’ mailing dollars through its Quad/Direct Marketing division, offering expertise in data services, design, prepress, press, finishing and mailing. The company continually upgrades its manufacturing platform to improve the quality, cost and immediacy of ink on paper.

Synopsis: Since its founding in 1971, Quad/Graphics has grown to become the largest privately held printer of commercial products in the world and the third-largest printer – public or private – in the Western Hemisphere.

Web site:

Quebecor World

Locations: The direct mail division’s major facilities are in Atlanta and Effingham, IL. Operations in North Haven, CT; Oberlin, OH; and Enfield, CT, specialize in direct mail component and marketing collateral production.

Capacity: The Atlanta and Effingham locations can produce 4.5 million pieces a day.

Employees: more than 37,000 worldwide.

Clients: All major industries including publishing, financial services, telecommunications, automotive and direct marketing agencies.

Products and services: The Atlanta and Effingham operations are direct mail mega-facilities designed to provide complete production services from the data stages through mailing. They can produce everything from traditional mail packages to complex personalized in-line finished packages. Ninety percent of the manufacturing, except for conventional envelopes, is done in-house. Sophisticated inkjet imaging technology lets Quebecor apply variable messages in up to 16 locations on a single printed piece in virtually any font or color with resolutions of up to 240 dpi.

Synopsis: As one of the world’s largest graphic communications companies, Quebecor World offers a range of printed products and services, including pre-media, list and mailing services, advanced inkjet imaging, fulfillment and continent-wide shipping and distribution. Quebecor World was formed in 1999 from the merger of Quebecor Printing, which began in 1965, and World Color Press, which was established in 1902. Other product lines include high-security promotional games, trading cards, plastic gift cards, printed packaging and lenticular products.

Web site:

R.R. Donnelley & Sons Inc.

Locations: More than 600 worldwide, including North America, South America, Europe and China.

Capacity: According to the company’s 2003 annual report, which predates the Moore Wallace merger, R.R. Donnelley handled more than 20 billion print and mail pieces annually.

Employees: 45,000.

Clients: Mainly serves the publishing, healthcare, advertising, retail, telecommunications, technology and financial services industries.

Products and services: Commercial printing, forms and labels, direct mail, financial printing, print fulfillment, business communication outsourcing, logistics, online services, digital photography and content and database management.

Synopsis: Founded in 1864, R.R. Donnelley became the world’s largest printing company last year when it merged with Moore Wallace. Its annual sales top $7 billion.

Web site:

Transcontinental Direct USA

Locations: 11 in Philadelphia, two in Dallas/Fort Worth and one in Los Angeles.

Capacity: 5 billion mail pieces a year. More than 1.5 million square feet of workspace.

Employees: More than 2,500.

Clients: financial services, insurance, telecommunications, pharmaceutical and travel and leisure industries.

Products and services: high-speed laser and inkjet personalization; nationwide commingling; variable imaging on the Kodak Versamark VX5000; database, list and fulfillment capabilities.

Synopsis: Transcontinental Direct offers direct marketing services including database design and management, high-volume direct mail, traditional and electronic fulfillment, web/litho printing, statement printing and processing, customer loyalty programs, commingling and permission-based e-mail. It processes more than $600 million in postage annually. In February, the company acquired JDM Inc., a move that doubled Transcontinental Direct’s direct marketing production capacity from 2.5 billion to 5 billion pieces annually and resulted in the company becoming the largest direct mailer in its category. Transcontinental Direct’s Mail-Gard division is a print-to-mail disaster recovery and business continuity services provider. Transcontinental Direct is part of Transcontinental Inc., the seventh-largest printer in North America and the fourth-largest print media group in Canada. Montreal-based Transcontinental Inc. reported revenue of $1.7 billion in 2004.

Web site:

Vertis Inc.

Locations: Chicago; Chalfont and Bristol, PA; Rochester, NY; North Brunswick, Monroe Township and Newark, NJ.

Capacity: 1 million to 27 million mail pieces a day; 796,000 square feet combined at all locations.

Employees: 6,000.

Clients: Ad agencies, automotive, consumer packaged goods, durable goods and manufacturing, financial services, fragrance and beauty, food and grocery, nonprofit, healthcare, media and publishing, newspapers, retail and technology.

Products and services: The company recently installed five Xeikon 5000 presses.

Synopsis: Vertis emerged in July 2000 from the consolidation of several brands in advertising and marketing services: The LTC Group, TC Advertising and Webcraft. In January, Vertis acquired Elite Mailing and Fulfillment Services Inc., a full-service lettershop and mail presorting facility in Bellmawr, NJ.

Web site:

Xerox Corp.

Locations: Facilities worldwide.

Employees: 58,100 worldwide, including 32,100 in the United States.

Products and services: The new DocuTech 128/155/180 Highlight Color systems run at 128, 155 and 180 pages a minute, respectively. They are designed for various print-on-demand and publishing applications. Xerox expanded its digital color printing line with the DocuColor 8000 Digital Press, an 80-page-per-minute model that offers a new level of performance between the 60 ppm DocuColor 6060 Digital Press and the 100 ppm Xerox iGen3 Digital Production Press. The DocuColor 8000 is the latest addition to Xerox’s line of digital production presses.

Synopsis: Xerox’s Production Systems Group provides color and black-and-white products for production publishing, transaction printing and enterprise-wide printing. From total document solutions and services to production workflow and systems integration, Xerox’s offerings help print providers simplify work processes, attract new business and better manage print jobs from the initial order to the final invoice.

Web site:

Scott Hovanyetz covers telemarketing, production and printing and direct response TV marketing for DM News and To read more Deliver articles visit

Related Posts