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Fastest Growing Printers:Only the Beginning at Genesis Press.

Jun 1, 1998 12:00 AM

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How did our 19th- fastest growing printer get its name? Genesis Press founder and CEO Larry Kudeviz is neither a fan of Phil Collins' old band nor does he consider himself particularly religious. In 1991, however, the former New Yorker had an opportunity to come to Florida and open his own shop--"It was a new beginning for me," explains Kudeviz, and hence the name.

The Hialeah Gardens, FL-based printer, however, undeniably knows something about being fruitful and multiplying. From $2.65 million in sales and 25 employees in 1995, the shop grew to 44 employees and $4.9 million in 1997. What's the secret behind its fast growth? "We do only what we do best," responds Kudeviz. "We have a niche--short-to-medium run book publishing for corporate, publishers, trade, music and healthcare customers.

"We were specializing in short-to-medium run publications before it was in vogue . . . we saw in 1990 that the short-to-medium market would be taking over. People don't want to spend their money on inventory--there's a real cost associated with books sitting on your shelves."

Appropriately enough, one of Genesis' biggest customers is Zondovan, a publisher of religious books. "A typical run is between 1,500 to 3,000," submits Kudeviz. "Normally, when you think of a trade paperback, you think in terms of runs of 50,000. But when you can efficiently do runs of between 1,000 to 5,000 you develop quite a name for yourself."

The company has also benefited from the boom in managed care. "We're a big supplier to the healthcare industry--you know, all your PPO and HMO directories," relates Kudeviz. "That's been a major avenue for our growth. Nobody else is doing this kind of work in our market."

In terms of capabilities, Genesis offers single color and multicolor printing with full bindery services. In the pressroom you'll find a Heidelberg Web two-unit press, a MAN-Miller two-color 38-inch perfector, a MAN-Miller 40-inch perfector and a Heidelberg Kord single-color press. "We generate a lot of business with four little presses," laughs Kudeviz.

Genesis is currently in the process of buying a four-unit web press. Expansion is another possibility--a second location is being considered.

Also, the South Florida printer is a beta site for the Kodak Polychrome Graphic's IJP 1000 platesetter. "Because we do so much black-and-white and spot color work, Kodak Polychrome thought we would be a perfect test site," explains Kudeviz.

"The principle behind this machine is really simple--you could think of it as being similar to a large laser printer," Kudeviz continues. "It certainly increased our workflow, because we don't have such a bottleneck in the prep department anymore."

Kudeviz also credits the growth of Genesis to its employees, proudly noting that 10 of the original 13 employees hired in 1991 have remained on board. Genesis offers competitive benefits and a relaxed, family-like working environment. Employees are encouraged to consider how their efforts will impact their co-workers. "The people in the prep department look at the pressroom as their customer, the presssroom looks at the bindery as their customer. We all look out for each other," reports Kudeviz.

Part of the Genesis service philosophy is helping clients save money. Kudeviz cites the example of a catalog customer--although the catalog was not graphics-driven and had a very short shelf- life, it was printed on 50 lb. offset paper. "When paper and mailing costs skyrocketed, we suggested the client consider switching to newsprint. Between the IJP, the paper and the mailing, we saved them thousands of dollars."