Print opportunity in non-profits

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are 1,507,231 tax exempt non-profit organizations in the U.S.   Though digital marketing has certainly become a norm for this vertical market, print based marketing and other documents are still in high demand.

Top five types of nonprofits consumers are giving to:
1. Church/Place of Worship (50%)
2. Local Social Service Organizations (45%)
3. Children’s Charities (37%)
4. Health Charities (35%)
5. Animal Rescue/Shelter/Protection Charities (25%)

Frequency of direct mail communication

  • 7% send direct mail monthly
  • 27% quarterly
  • 30% twice a year
  • 14% once a year

Source: DMA

Integrated address labels can be used with the donor request process to drive responseintegrated rates.   These are often incorporated into a larger direct mail kit containing other promotional literature.

Integrated cards may follow once a new member has been acquired.   These may have single or multiple cards on a single document.   The cards may be barcoded for tracking and scanning at the point of entry at a zoo, museum or other venue.  Additional print can follow a membership drive such as parking permits which may be window decals or hang tags.   Integrated cards and labels are available in laser cut sheet and jumbo roll formats based on the equipment used by the mailing house managing the mailing campaigns.

Though the amount of donation does grow between January and December, mailings are not necessarily seasonal in nature.   The type of non-profit may dictate a primary marketing time frame and frequency.

Types of non-profits

  • Public Charities
  • Foundations
  • Social Advocacy Organizations
  • Professional and Trade Organizations

(More information on types of charitable organizations is available from the IRS website)

Now may be the best time to explore print opportunities with non-profit groups in your area.  The year end holiday season is often a key fundraising time.  For more information on print opportunities in the non-profit vertical market, visit the Markets Served area of our website.

Flesh Co listed in top 400 printers

Now in its 33rd Year, the Printing Impressions 400 provides the industry’s most comprehensive listing of the leading printing companies in the United States and Canada ranked by annual sales volume. The listings include company name and the location of the head quarters; parent company, if applicable; current and previous year’s rankings; most recent and previous year’s fiscal sales; percentage change; primary product specialties; principal officer(s); number of employees and manufacturing plants; as well as the firm’s complete range of in-house sheetfed and webfed digital and analog printing process capabilities. Financial information for the PI 400 rankings was provided voluntarily by privately held and employee-owned firms, read more…

Source: PI

Tips for marketing print services


Our good friend, Patrick Whelan of Great Reach Communications, had some great tips for marketing printing services.  With his permission, we wanted to share those with you.

6 Easy Tips to Help Market Your Print Services

With many printing companies continuing to cut back on sales and marketing efforts, closing, merging, downsizing, etc, there’s a tremendous opportunity for companies to win new business and build loyalty with existing clients. But you have to be positioned to take advantage.

Start building and strengthening sales relationships today by utilizing meaningful content. Outbound communications such as newsletters and postcards, social media outlets like Linkedin, and inbound strategies that utilize web content are all highly effective ways to increase sales success.

  • It’s all about the customer experience.  Don’t view your marketing efforts from the standpoint of marketing. View them from the standpoint of the customer.
  • Effective marketing starts with a strategy and a plan. Don’t wing it. If repetition isn’t at the core of your marketing communications strategy, your efforts will fail.
  • Too many organizations get bogged down by taking a committee approach to producing marketing materials. Trying to create something perfect often becomes an excuse for doing nothing.
  • The average person can only keep 3-5 brands per category in memory. If you want to introduce your brand for consideration, another must be pushed out of consideration.
  • It takes at least 5-8 points of meaningful communication to convert a prospect to a customer.
  • Develop a series of [information?] touch points and deliver them to your contact list in a repetitive manner. The good news is that most CRM and contact management programs can easily facilitate a strategy of repetitive communications.

Our thanks to Patrick for allowing us to use this information.

New Label Resource Guide

Label Resource GuideFlesh Co has added a Label Resource Guide to the Sales Support area of our website.  The downloadable guide is designed to help distributors understand the various types of labels, materials, adhesives and printing systems used in the label application market space.    The guide includes a questionnaire that can be printed out and used during a sales call to gather the proper specifications.  The Label Resource Guide can be downloaded at

Flesh Co also added a Common Paper Caliber guide and Paper Comparison chart, both available for downloading.

Flesh Co provides top quality, affordable business forms and labels in cut sheet, continuous, unit set and jumbo roll formats.  Value add capabilities include variable barcode image printing, integrated cards and labels, label/form combinations,  pocket forms, custom label products and a full-service bindery. Flesh Co is FSC® and SFI® Certified.  Questions on the company capability should be directed to the sales team at 800.835.0098 or by email at

Randall Lewis Honored with PIA Managing for Improvement Award

Randall Lewis

Randy Lewis, GM

WARRENDALE, Pa. — March 7, 2017 — Printing Industries of America (PIA) has recognized Randall Lewis, VP of manufacturing, The Flesh Co., as the 2017 recipient of the Managing for Improvement Award. The PIA award is bestowed each year on a manager in the printing industry who demonstrates the ability to create real and lasting improvement for his or her company.

Lewis’s nomination credits him with using his considerable leadership skills to motivate Flesh Co.’s associates, many with long tenure, to embrace Lean manufacturing concepts. The St. Louis-based company is a leader in the manufacturing of business documents and labels. Since Lewis’s arrival in 2003, the company has made major gains in efficiency, quality, capabilities, and teamwork.

He began his print management career in 1985 as pressroom supervisor for a forms company in Denver and subsequently oversaw a variety of forms, direct mail, and fulfillment operations from Virginia to Iowa. When he was hired by Flesh Co. as plant manager, he was tasked with reducing waste and improving cycle time. He implemented a Lean manufacturing strategy and refocused the workforce on waste reduction, problem solving, performance metrics, and making fact-based decisions. His achievements include a 40% decrease in inventories and lowering waste from non-conforming materials and customer rejects by over 60%. He also instituted work cells, cross training, and a new assessment program that emphasizes coaching and talent development. Today the company has over 90% participation in task teams and Kaizen events.

Lewis received his award at the 2017 Continuous Improvement Conference, April 2–5 in Pittsburgh, PA. More information about the conference is available at

Source: Printing Industries of America.

Flesh Co adds new security technology

Flesh Co, a leading manufacturer of business printing, has recently announced the addition of Panto4000 to their security offering.  Panto4000 is a new hidden word technology used in background pantographs to deter counterfeit attacks.  The new covert print technology was added to provide distributors with a higher level of protection for their client’s documents beyond traditional VOID pantographs.   Under the new Panto4000 license, specific pantographs and ink colors are available to further reduce the level of counterfeiting.

“Counterfeiters don’t use old school technology to make a fake check or money order”, says Dee Brown, CDC, Director of Sales for Flesh Co.  “To continue offering the latest security options, we needed to invest in the license for this technology.”  Information and samples of the new pantographs for testing are available by contacting the Flesh Co sales team at 800.835.0098 or by email at

Warehouse and distribution print opportunities


Like many markets, warehousing and distribution has been impacted by the internet.    Common brands like Sears, Macy’s and Electrolux are engaging more and more online shoppers.  At the same time, companies such as Amazon are making online buying the norm.    While many manufacturers have their own distributions locations, some distribution centers produce nothing.  They bring in products, inventory and re-ship on demand.   Regardless of the type of distribution, they all generate print sales opportunities.

It all starts with inventory

Prior to the actual packing and shipment process, products must be manufactured orThermal integrated label brought into the distribution center.  The process of receiving, storing and moving products may use receiving documents, bin labels, skid labels and inventory request forms to mention a few.  Managing the internal inventories so fulfillment can do their job is as critical as the shipping stage.

Many online retailers, or E-tailers, will use cut sheet forms to control the picking and packing process.  In many cases, the pick ticket doubles as the packing list for the buyer.   In other applications, the pick list may be the invoice.  These are excellent opportunities for distributors to help the workflow process by offering integrated label designs.   By including the shipping label with the pick/pack form, both the document and label can be imaged in one print process by the client.    Some distribution centers will use barcoded labels as the first applied label, which will later be scanned for shipment.  Return labels can also be built into the document design to make it easier for the buyer to return a product.

This has several advantages:

  1. Eliminate the printer time associated with printing the label separate from the document.
  2. Eliminate the need for inventorying both a pick/pack form and label stock.
  3. Reduce the number of miss-labeling errors.
  4. Increased customer satisfaction

The Packing process

Orders will frequently have multiple products that are picked then packed into a single carton.    Large distribution centers will have multiple packing stations, all sending their sealed packages to a conveyor system which leads to shipping.  During that process, the shipping label may be auto applied.   This is controlled by a barcoded label applied during the packing process.  The barcode is scanned as the box moves down the conveyor and the scan tells the next printing station what address to image to the label which is auto applied to the package.

On packing lines such as this, time is very critical.  Any time lost, due to poor scans and labels falling off during the conveyor process, can create downtime and packing line backup.   Large centers shipping hundreds of thousands of packages daily work in seconds not minutes.  A form and label design that can save a few seconds per box can generate substantial time savings for the shipper.


  • Laser cut sheet with integrated label
  • Thermal paper with integrated label
  • Variable imaging (1D, 2D, human readable)
  • Multiple integrated labels
  • Standard formats are 8 ½ x 11 and 8 ½ x 14
  • Custom sizes available

To learn more about the warehouse and distribution marketplace, visit our website at to request one of our vertical market kits.   Or, contact our sales team at 800.835.0098.

To see a short video on Warehousing and Distribution Opportunities click HERE.

The power of plant tours

Do you make a habit of touring the facilities of your primary vendors?  Plant tours aren’t just about making a polite visit to say “thanks for doing a great job”.    A tour can be a great way to train new sales representatives as well as refresh your own mind as to the capabilities each vendor has to offer.  A visit can help you understand the manufacturing process from the quoting stage to shipping.

What you should look for

Spending time in the estimating and order entry area will give you an understanding of thepinting press need for accurate and detailed specifications.  Any information left off a purchase order can mean lost time in delivery while the manufacturer’s customer service unit tracks down the correct information.  Seeing their process first hand will also give you an idea of the time required for each process.   Distributors may not realize which quotes could require securing pricing on special materials or components for their project.  Often, the estimating team is waiting for a vendor to supply material pricing and delivery before they can complete their quotation.

Visit with the internal production scheduling team and you will begin to see the thought process behind determining which order runs on which machine.   Most print manufacturers may have multiple presses on which your order could be produced, however, as a business they must also produce in the most efficient manner in order for them to make a profit.   Scheduling cannot be based merely on delivery.   It must include format, size, press configuration requirements, required offline processes and more.

During the tour of the production facility, look for unique capabilities that the manufacturer may have overlooked in their marketing.    It’s not odd for a plant to have a capability that they deem normal, yet could be an added advantage to a distributor.   These may help the distributor design a print solution in such a fashion that is not only more functional for the client, but also harder for a competitor to recreate.    Take time to talk to the operators and other employees.   These are the people who really keep your customers happy.   A few kind words will be remembered the next time they see your company name on a production work order.   The production area is also a great place to look for organizational issues.   Cluttered work areas, rolls of paper in walkways or completed jobs laying in areas where damage could occur, are all warning flags that should garner your attention.


Plant tours should be on your “to do” list each year.   You may need to stagger your visits based on the number of vendors you have, however, laying out a schedule each year for plant visits can be very beneficial.  For new sales representatives, a day in a plant can help them understand what questions need to be asked as well as what applications they will find during their prospecting.  Successful sales people know the value of relationships.   So why not invest a day to tighten your vendor relations?

Form and label design drives efficiency

Form and label design has been around for many years.  They are an effective means of combining a business workflow document with various labeling applications.   There are two primary methods of creating a form and label application.   Affixing the label to the document face or creating a label from the document substrate by using a liner and die cutting process.

Affixed design

Affixed Label

In this format, the base document is normally produced by offset press, typically rotary offset.  The label portion is manufactured by flexography.   During the final stages of production the labels are affixed to the face of the business document.  There are several advantages to form and label designs.  As the document is imaged with variable information the label is imaged as well.   This can reduce the print time since the label is no longer imaged as a separate function.    Because the label is affixed to the form, time may also be saved during the labeling function as the worker does not need to track down or print a label matching the documentation.  This can also reduce the potential for miss-labeling errors.

Affixed labels allow for a variety of substrates to be used outside of the traditional EDP smudge-proof face stock.   Films, vinyl and even synthetics can be affixed to create removable and more durable labels.  Using more traditional label stock also gives the user access to a wider scope of adhesives ranging from static cling to aggressive tire label adhesive.    Multiple labels can be applied or, in some designs, a single label will be die cut to create smaller labels.

A drawback to the affixed design is the fact that the label rests on top of the document.   If the document is imaged using an impact or inkjet printer, there is the potential for the print head to snag on the label.  In addition, imaging using a laser printer may be challenging if the variable data is close to the edge of the affixed label surface.   But for many form and label applications, affixed labels are an efficient solution.

Affixed label applications are normally found in manufacturing where products or package shipments can be labeled during the manufacturing process.  Affixed labels are also used in direct mail campaigns to engage the mail recipient to affix the label to a response card.

Integrated design

An integrated label design utilizes a special liner material which is applied to the back of the document in the area of the label.   The liner transfers adhesive to the back of the specified label area, then the face of the document is die cut to the correct label size.  Inthis format, the stock used for the document is also used for the label.   This can reduce the overall cost when compared to an affixed label design.   Integrated label design allows for imaging on most printers such as impact, laser, inkjet and even high speed digital presses.   Like the affixed label design, efficiency can be improved and a reduction in time as the document and label are printed in one process.  Also, multiple labels can be created by using various die cutting patterns.

Integrated label designs are frequently found in the healthcare industry where multiple labels, each with a matched barcode, are necessary.   Integrated labels are also heavily used in the warehouse and distribution markets where a package label can be incorporated into a pick/pack list which may expedite the fulfillment process.

In either design, a cost justification can be created to compare current process cost using separate form and label products to projected processing cost using an affixed or integrated design.  Whether the best design is an affixed label or an integrated design, form and label combinations are an excellent solution to improve workflow while potentially reducing product marking and shipping errors.  Print resellers can learn more by contacting our sales team or visiting our website at