By Roy V. Flesh II, CEO
The Flesh Company first opened its doors for business in 1913. Our company's history is one of which I am extremely proud, and I'd like to share this fascinating story with you.
A Home Run
During the summer of 1913, my grandfather and namesake, Roy V. Flesh (known as R.V. to his many friends), closed a rather large sale. R.V. was a salesman by trade, and an excellent one. To reward himself for closing the sale, he took the afternoon off and attended a Cardinal baseball game. The next day, when R.V.'s boss asked him where he had been the previous day, R.V. told him he had gone to a baseball game. "Well I wish you hadn't done that," his boss said. "We could have used you around here." R.V. was disappointed by the lack of gratitude his boss displayed, and shortly thereafter, he decided to leave his sales position and go into business for himself. He named his new sole proprietorship The Flesh Company.
A Tradition Begins
From the beginning, my grandfather established three principles that have guided The Flesh Company to a long history of success:
Stay on the cutting edge of new technologies.
Always provide customers with the best service our industry has to offer.
Stand behind every order we produce, thereby providing customers with total peace of mind.
R.V. was a visionary, and his three principles guided him throughout his career. Soon, his young company grew into a thriving business. The Flesh Company blossomed in the 1920s and continued to do well even during the Great Depression years of the 1930s. R.V. ran the company through World War II. As the war concluded, The Flesh Company was poised for a new chapter in its history.
Leading The Industry
The year 1946 was a pivotal one for our company. First, my father, Royal S. "Scud" Flesh joined the company. Scud had delayed his business career to serve in the Army during World War II. With the war over, Dad was able to join the company. Also that year, we teamed up with eight other companies to form the National Business Forms Association, which evolved to become the Document Management Industries Association (DMIA), and is now called the Print Services and Distribution Association (PSDA). As a charter member of PSDA, The Flesh Company has attended every Annual Meeting since the association was founded. Both my grandfather and father believed that when manufacturers and distributors share their knowledge and expertise, each becomes stronger; as a result, our entire industry benefits. Time has shown that their vision was correct.
A New Era In Manufacturing
During the 1960s, my father realized that computers were going to revolutionize business. He could see that with the growth of computers, continuous forms were going to become a huge part of our industry. That's why he made a key decision: The Flesh Company would specialize in the production of custom continuous forms and checks. At the same time, Scud and longtime business partner Bill Lawrence saw the growing need for a strong manufacturer of unit set forms. In 1968, they and two additional partners established IMI Business Forms. Bill was one of the most knowledgeable manufacturing experts in our industry. As chief administrative officer of IMI for many years, he played a key role in the growth of the unit set segment of our business.
In 1998, The Flesh Company and IMI Business Forms consolidated their sales and manufacturing operations at our facility in Parsons, KS. The move was praised by customers across the country. We increased our full color print capability and added digital variable imaging driving our growth into barcoding applications such as chain of custody documents where image quality and accuracy is critical. We have also added eight color flexographic print capabilities for producing labels, cards and tags supported by our strong sales and production team. As with our forms division, we added inline variable imaging for label applications used in warehouse and distribution. This also allows us to generate label and cards that will be affixed to business forms all under one roof.
For over 100 years, The Flesh Company has symbolized ingenuity, integrity and innovation. We pride ourselves on our ability to leverage corporate power using family principles and look forward to continuing our rich tradition of excellence well into the future. As the fourth generation of family, my daughter Jillian is walking in my footsteps and those of her grandfather and great-grandfather. She understands the value in maintaining the company’s core philosophies while also recognizing the need to constantly innovate by exploring new products, advanced production technologies and efficient internal processes to support our customers. Our industry is a challenging one, but with quality leadership, proven business practices and our family principles, we will continue to be a leader in business forms and label manufacturing while remaining focused on our greatest asset….our customers.