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Fastest Growing Printers:Knowing What it Takes at Chapel Group

Jun 1, 1998 12:00 AM

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Just in the past 18 months, the Chapel Group has acquired two new manufacturing and fulfillment sites, several tons of new equipment and more than 100 new employees. It's all part of the Moorestown, NJ-based company's commitment to keeping a step ahead of its competitors by solving clients' changing needs, often before they're even articulated.

"If you had to describe Chapel in one word, it's responsive; responsive to customers' needs, by first recognizing them and identifying them, and then by working hard to provide solutions that will create an advantage in the marketplace," testifies E. Ross Feehrer, president and CEO of Chapel, which placed third in American Printer's Top 50 Fastest Growing Printers list. "Customers need more than a printer today--they need a company ready to help them satisfy their marketing communications needs as they evolve. We do it all, from concept through fulfillment."

Examples of customer concerns Chapel has answers for: "Are you wondering if it's time to send a CD out with your corporate identity kit?"; "Are the components of you direct mail programs as cleverly and efficiently packaged and distributed as they could be?" and "Do you need the hassle of a web run for your smaller catalog jobs considering the speed of today's newest sheet-fed presses?"

This knack for knowing how to increase clients' profits has paid off for Chapel, too, with sales jumping from $12 to $40 million in the past three years. In that same period, the staff has more than doubled to 230 employees with the acquisitions of DePalma Printing (Ridgefield Park, NJ) and F.N. Burt (Buffalo, NY), one of the country's best known custom paperboard packaging companies.

Of Burt's role in Chapel's continued expansion, Feehrer says, "The company's award-winning package design, construction and finishing ability will complement our printing and fulfillment projects. The ability of the its design and production staff to constantly challenge themselves to develop new products and processes makes them a perfect fit for us."

>From Chapel's modest beginnings in 1935 as a letterpress operation printing customized stationery for local businesses, the sheet-fed commercial printer is now an industry leader with a client base extending from New England into Florida and a product and service list offering a comprehensive package of marketingcommunications material.

Serving both the corporate and retail market with accounts primarily reflecting the pharmaceutical, manufacturing, insurance, cosmetics and publishing trades, Chapel products include sheet-fed commercial and archival printing and design and production of packaging. It also offers bindery, stamping, diecutting, and gluing and fulfillment services.

Chapel's innovative approach of "total-concept selling" provides an overall concept for product launches and test-marketing of products including packaging and enclosed samples.

"What we're selling is a ways and means to get a client's message across and make sure they have a winner," says Monica Genda, vice president and sales manager. "It's sort of soup to nuts. We'll design it and print it. We'll track it. We'll do the fulfillment and database management.

"Most printers our size are just that--printers. They're given the information and they print it and deliver it. But we've taken that a step further, doing everything from packaging and mailing to fulfillment and collating. We like to think of ourselves as one-stop shopping."