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Thursday, May 3, 2007

Thanks for the Boom Times

Back in December 1980, I founded Plum Grove Printers with one printing press and my own two hands to work it. 26 years later (some of them pretty lean times), we're growing at an explosive rate and I thank you -- my friends and clients -- for your continuing trust in our quality printing products and services.

From New Production Facility to New Personnel -- A Growth that Goes Deep

In 2006, we grew by over 12% from 2005, and so far in 2007 we've increased our Chicagoland business 28% (!) and 14% overall over our 2006 numbers. It's a growth that touches every part of our operations and is keeping us very busy.

Plum Grove Printers has been adding staff and production space to keep up with demand -- we doubled our sales personnel in 2006, as well as increasing full-time customer service, production, and information technology staff. We plan to break ground on a new 15,000 sq. foot production facility in late-2007, more than doubling our Hoffman Estates campus to 24,600 sq. feet.

How do We Hack it in an Age of Cheap-O Copy Stores?

We are a marketing-oriented printer and understand the importance of quality, consistency, and fair prices to you. The majority of our staff has been with us for over 10 years, so we know how to dependably provide printing that's on time and right. We have a world-class design staff, and a personable, service-oriented ethos.

There are more important things than printing, though, and responsible citizenship is our prerogative. This year we formally instituted a 'green-friendly' program to make us one of America's most environmentally-friendly printers, and we continue to discount printing for religious organizations and charities. Currently we are aiding the Little City Foundation with its book drive; drop your old books at our office, with our drivers, or at the other locations listed here.

The Amazon.com of Printing & Direct Mail

In 2006, we diversified our products to offer advertising specialties, increased direct mail, and, most substantially, new web resources that will be the future of the firm.

We want to change the way people buy their printing, to give them the convenience and control of online purchasing. With www.PeterThePrinter.net, and the dozens of custom printing and marketing products we already offer online, we want to become the Amazon.com of printing & direct mail. We hope to enjoy the growth of Plum Grove Printers long into the future.

Thank you for making it all possible, for bringing me a long way from that cold evening in 1980.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Stamp That Lasts Forever

The Post Office is my business partner. Every month we mail a million postcards, letters, and magazines for our clients, and if one gets lost, you know who gets the blame. I sometimes feel like a farmer, who has the weather for a business partner.


Big Changes In My Partner’s Business

The price of stamps has been steadily increasing: 13 times in 32 years, and set to rise again from 39 cents to 41 cents. With the cost of gasoline and transportation, and the automation of so many transactions, it is not a big surprise that the Post Office needed to increase rates.

There are some common sense reforms hiding behind a price increase: stuff that costs more to deliver will be charged more money. My Postal Partner continues to invest major dollars in machines to improve productivity, speed the mail and enhance service. From now on rates may go up every year by a little bit (FedEx and UPS go up by 3% or 4% every year like clockwork).

To decrease the impact of these small increases on consumers, the Post Office is introducing a First Class stamp that's valid forever. Making its debut on May 14th, a Forever Stamp purchased in 2007 (for 41 cents) will be sufficient to mail a letter in the year 2012, 2050, or beyond (when the price of letter stamps will be 41 dollars). The days of plastering your letter with 1-cent stamps to meet the latest stamp price are over.


You Can Minimize the Postal Increase Bite – and We can Help!

Here are a few things you can do:

1. ListScrub™ your mailing list – it’s dirt cheap and pays for itself in postage savings – and we guarantee it. Visit http://www.PetersListScrub.com/ for information.

2. Design Your Mail Piece to Automate. The Post Office says, “We’ll give you big discounts if you give us a piece of mail that runs through our machines.”

3. Make sure the address you are mailing to really exists. My Postal Partner says, “Give me a good address and I will give you a big discount.” Some postal costs have gone up by fractions of a penny – and one of the categories of mail we have huge volumes in has even gone down. Visit my partner’s website at http://www.usps.gov/ for lots more information. Or give us a call at 1-866-PETER-02 -– we’re glad to help!


Happy mailing,
Peter