Friday, December 30, 2016

Gee Whiz - Reprographers are Resilient (comments on Reprographers in the Tampa Bay FL Market Area)

By my count, there are, today, approximately 20 print-center locations in the Tampa Bay FL market area that provide “blueprinting” (or, I should say “plan and spec” printing) services to customers in the A/E/C Industry.  (I am not including shops like Fedex Office and other office-print service providers, such as Staples and Office Depot, since they have never been, and still are not, real players in the plan-printing marketplace.)
Although A/E/C plan printing volume is still well off its heyday marks reached in 2006/7 – and is not expected to ever recover to what it once was - the number of A/E/C print-center locations has not significantly declined since the heyday, and I kind of wonder, what the heck are reprographers doing to stay in business – is there enough plan-printing business to go around (or, possibly, has large-format color display graphics been the savior for all?)
These two factsa) virtually all of the reprographers who were in operation back in 2002-2007 are still around, still in business, and b) virtually all of the reprographers who were around back then are probably (most probably) printing less today than they used to print (I’m speaking of plan and spec printing work) back thenpoint out the resiliency of companies in the reprographics community.
A few of the reprographers in the Tampa Bay market area have reached, or will shortly be reaching, their 50 year anniversaries!  Amazing.  I kind of wonder how they’ll be doing 20 years from now.
Here’s a brief rundown, company by company.  (I may have missed some; corrections are welcome.)
Tampa Blue Print
(celebrating over 50 years in business):
-       one location in Tampa
-       same owners also own a Fastsigns franchise in Tampa
“We are the oldest reprographics shop in town.  We are a certified small and woman owned minority business enterprise.  We are locally owned, so the money that you spend with us stays in the local community.”
Tampa Blue Print is owned by Andy and Theresa Keaton.  Andy Keaton is related to the owners of Xact Supply, a Tampa-based seller and servicer of reprographics equipment.  In Theresa’s LinkedIn profile information (see below), you will learn about how Tampa Blue Print came to be owned by the Keatons.  In addition to owning and operating Tampa Blue Print, the Keaton’s also own and operate a FastSigns franchise in the Tampa market.
From Theresa Keaton’s profile on LinkedIn:
“I started in the reprographics industry back in 2005 when my husband Andy and I purchased Xact Reprographics. In 2007, we decided to purchase FastSigns on Fowler Avenue. Andy left Xact to run Fastsigns while I took over the helm at Xact Reprographics.
At the beginning of the downturn in the economy, we decided that we either needed to grow or close up the repro shop. The opportunity to purchase Tampa Blue Print revealed itself, so in 2008, we purchased Tampa Blue Print. Although it was a struggle to make it through the downturn, I am happy to say that both companies are doing well. In August of last year, we moved into a beautiful new facility that has become our new forever home. It has allowed us to greatly increase our productivity and workflow. The new facility is very assessable with great visibility and parking. My team and I could not be happier.”
City Blue Digital Imaging
(2017, apparently, will mark the 50th anniversary of this company’s founding):
- one location in Tampa
“In 1967, Henry Lewis founded the City Blue Print Company in the Channel District of Tampa, Florida with the goal of fulfilling all of the professional printing needs of local businesses and beyond. Today, under the name City Blue Digital Imaging, we continue to research and implement the newest in digital printing technology to provide the most compelling and advanced signs, trade show displays, and specialized printing services.”

Shawn Scalise is CEO of City Blue Digital Imaging.  Per LinkedIn, Shawn joined City Blue in March 2015 (so he is still a relative newcomer to the reprographics business, but note that he had prior experience in the offset printing field.)

Rapid Blueprint
(now over 45 years old):
-       three locations in Tampa Bay area (Tampa, Brandon, St Pete)
-       one additional location in Sarasota
-       sister companies include Group Z and Digital Imaging Services
Rapid Blueprint says that it is the “largest” reprographics company in the Tampa Bay Area.  That may be because it operates more locations in the Tampa Bay Area than any other reprographics company in that area, or it may be that Rapid’s sales are greater than all other reprographics companies in that area (Blog Publisher’s Note:  I doubt that the latter is the case.)
Rapid’s web-site indicates that the company is now over 45 years old.  Quite a number of years ago, Rapid’s original founders retired and sold Rapid to Chris Zametz (who is the current owner.)  Chris operates other Florida-based businesses, including Digital Imaging Solutions (primarily an equipment reseller and equipment servicing organization and Group Z, a large-format digital color enterprise.
Rapid Blueprint operates locations in Tampa, Brandon, St Petersburg and Sarasota (Sarasota is about an hour+ south of the City of Tampa.)
According to Rapid’s web-site, “the people who work at Rapid are your friends and neighbors”; Rapid “is not a big out-of-state corporation.”

Jiffy Graphics (formerly Jiffy Reprographics)

(this company was founded many years ago, not sure when, but I think sometime back in the 1970’s):

-       one location in the Tampa Bay Area (actually, it’s in Clearwater, FL)
-       apparently, now has sister companies who are involved in marketing, graphic design and printing

Jiffy was purchased by Bob Roperti sometime around 1989.  Bob finally sold Jiffy early in 2016.

Echo Blueprint

(this company was founded about 45 years ago):

-       four locations in the Tampa Bay Area (Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Hudson, Wesley Chapel)
“Echo Blueprint has been serving Florida and the Tampa Bay Area for over 40 years. With 3 generations of family ownership and operation, we know what it takes to provide top-notch customer services and top-quality results.”

ARC Document Solutions

(inasmuch as ARC acquired TRS, we can say that this operation is now about 32 years old in the Tampa market area):

-       three locations in the Tampa Bay area (Tampa Westshore, Tampa Downtown, and St Pete)
-       many locations across the U.S. and several international locations

LDI Reproprinting

(I don’t recall when LDI franchise locations were established in the Tampa Bay market area; I think that happened sometime around 2006):

-       two locations in the Tampa Bay area (Tampa and Clearwater)

New Age Reprographics

(now about 8+ years old):

-       two locations in the Tampa Bay Area (Tampa and St Pete)
-       one additional location in Orlando

Alex Prieto, former manager at National Graphic Imaging (NGI) Tampa, left NGI to found this company.  He did that with a partner, but that partner is long gone.  I worked for 10 years with Alex (when I was with NGI). Alex is an outstanding person with top-rate customer service experience.  Reportedly, New Age recently added two HP PageWide 8000 XL wide Format systems to its equipment arsenal.

ABC Imaging

(since 2012 in the Tampa Bay Area)

-       one location in Tampa
-       many locations across the U.S. and several international locations

Pasco Blueprint Co.

(I have no idea when the above company was founded)

-       one location in Tampa Bay area (in New Port Richey, FL)

Reprographers “gone from the Tampa Bay Area scene” (since I retired from NGI in December 2007):

Gone in name only –

National Graphic Imaging (NGI), which was founded in 1986, was acquired by ARC and operates under the ARC name.  (Prior to ARC’s acquisition of NGI, NGI was the largest reprographics operation in the state of Florida.)

Tampa Reprographics Service (TRS), which was founded sometime around 1984 (by Jack Dunn, Dunn Reprographics, Detroit, MI) was acquired by ARC and operates under the ARC name (its operations were combined with NGI’s operations)

Gone (went down for the count) -

Florida Reprographics (FR) was founded by Chris Charles sometime around 1982/3.  FR was a victim of the Great Recession; the company went Chapter 11 and was subsequently liquidated.  I think Chris Charles currently works for ARC in the Tampa area, although I could be wrong about that (LinkedIn has him at NewAge Repro)

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