Offset Printing: Spin in a New Direction

Disc Graphics knows first hand that differentiation is always a critical attribute in a competitive environment. In an era when vinyl records still reigned supreme more than 40 years ago, Disc Graphics was launched as an in-house print shop, producing disc labels for New York-based record company Pickwick Intl.

By the mid-1980s, current CEO Don Sinkin arrived at Disc with a vision that allowed a transition to diversify the company's product offering to include general commercial printing, labels, corrugated mini-flutes, folding cartons, and specialty packaging — a path that assures continued success.

Today, with more than 200 employees at its Hauppauge (Long Island), NY, facility, Disc is a competitive force in the industry, penetrating a variety of markets such as beauty/personal care, consumer, pharmaceutical, and of course, entertainment and media packaging.

“[The product expansion] was a clear vision and strengthened the company in terms of the products that we sell,” says Margaret Krumholz, president and CFO. “And fortunately Don had that foresight because now, 25 years later, there is not much music work left. So we continue to do very well.”

Customer Service Begins Within

Just as important as the capabilities and products it offers, Disc takes pride in the superior customer service it provides — to internal and external clients.

“We really strive for extraordinary customer satisfaction and that passion is through the core of everyone that works here,” Krumholz describes. “Every chance we get, we try to match that up with how we are approaching things, how we are doing things, and how we train people.

“We went through training on how you answer the phone; even how you answer the phone for an internal customer,” Krumholz continues. “We are very big believers that everyone gets treated with respect.”

A 40-in. Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 102 press is delivering the productivity and reliability Disc Graphics required of its latest offset printing investment.

The energetic work environment that Disc has created for its employees and clients has not gone unnoticed. In 2008 and 2009, the company received Best of the Best Workplace honors from the Printing Industry of America.

Krumholz comments, “It really does speak to how we cooperate with employees, our customers, and our community. It's a very lively, positive environment. And it definitely helps productivity, too.”

Keeping a Competitive Edge

Specific to the printer's success in the high-end packaging market, Krumholz explains it has been important for the company to remain ahead of its competitors with technology in the 40-in. format.

“We had updated nine or ten years ago on the large-format side, but on the 40-inch side, it had been about seven years since we had updated our technology,” she says. “We had an eight-color press we felt we needed to replace, and we wanted ultraviolet [UV] capability. We also wanted to be able to print on plastic [and offer] lenticular printing.”

To update and increase capacity beyond its six-color Heidelberg Speedmaster press, Disc once again turned to Heidelberg for a Speedmaster CD 102. The eight-color, 40-in. press features interstation UV capabilities, in-line UV and aqueous coating, and the latest print-on-plastic technology.

“The productivity, throughput, reliability, and quality of the new technology just leapfrogged us to a new dimension in terms of our capabilities and what our productivities are,” Krumholz says.

A critical dynamic to Disc's success has been its customer relationships. She says the company recognized early on that having cutting-edge technology like the Speedmaster CD 102 more effectively serves customers, which remains the company's primary goal.

“We really strive to meet the customer's needs and requirements, and that gets back to the equipment you pick to help. What tools do you have in your toolbox to ensure that you are meeting those commitments? If you choose tools that are not going to be reliable, you won't be able to drive extraordinary customer satisfaction, and you won't have the edge over your competitors.”

Krumholz says the company remains focused on that commitment when investing in equipment. This was a driving force behind its investment in the Speedmaster CD 102.

“That press really has made us very competitive. More than that, it has allowed us to stand by the commitments we have made to our customers.”

From printing record labels to creating dazzling high-end packaging (and much more), Disc Graphics has combined its commitment to customers, state-of-the art equipment, and proactive thinking to differentiate itself and take it on an evolutionary ride that it will strive to continue for years to come.

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