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Member Spotlight: Alexander's Print Advantage

Posted Wednesday, December 13, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

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Source: Printing Industries of America’s The Mag

By Sarah Sudar, Copywriter, Printing Industries of America

Jeff Alexander, president of Alexander’s Print Advantage, always knew he wanted to have his own business. In the late 1970s, this entrepreneur saw a need for a retail copy center in Provo, Utah. So, with no background in printing, but experience in marketing and public relations, Alexander jumped into the copy business when quick printing was in its infancy.

“I didn’t do any research,” says Alexander. “I just jumped in and wanted to last long enough to make some money.”

The business expanded into four copy centers, and in 1993 he acquired his first Xerox DocuTech and transitioned into commercial print. The company eventually sold the copy centers to employees and transitioned to a single-production-center model, becoming a full-service print and marketing communications firm in the late 1990s.The move to all digital came in the 2000s when Alexander decided to not sell print, but rather sell “product solutions” in which print was the deliverable. This allowed the company to grow outside of Utah into national and international markets and has provided tremendous growth in the last five years.

Alexander saw a need to leverage the Internet and created Divvy, Alexander’s exclusive web-to-print software solution. Divvy helps organizations like franchises or network marketing companies provide outlets or distributors all their operational needs efficiently and in an automated way. Though web-to-print is a household word in the industry, Alexander’s Print Advantage has leveraged it with their outstanding customer service to serve more than 60 corporations with their needs.

In addition, Alexander’s has developed automated nationwide appointment reminders for medical professionals and has become the exclusive printer for a major national wedding and event invitation company for whom they print and distribute straight to customers. Alexander says Alexander’s digital spot foil and varnish on their MGI press has changed the whole game of the invitation industry.

“We help our customers succeed with their customers,” says Doyle Mortimer, senior vice president. “We are not just a print provider but a trusted advisor helping companies make their market better.”

Several years ago, Alexander’s started working with Ancestry.com to print personal histories. Customers of Ancestry.com can upload their own data into the MyCanvas software and create family history books that are then printed by Alexander’s. To enhance the client experience with Ancestry.com, Alexander’s suggested the addition of calendars and family tree posters into the product offerings. The new products proved to be successful, and Alexander’s just recently purchased MyCanvas from Ancestry.com.

Another client of Alexander’s is a technology start-up that allows customers to print photo books from an app. Alexander’s has helped them increase the quality of photo renderings and photo books so they could deliver a better product to customers.

Alexander’s has embraced digital technology not only in its product line, but also has been experimenting with helping existing clients with SEO optimization and blogging. Another way the company has gone digital is through its own marketing initiatives. Alexander’s maintains social media accounts as well as a blog and has a full-time staff member dedicated to telling the company’s story through social media. Though social media has a driving presence in today’s electronic age, there’s still a desire to have something tangible.

“We’ve seen a bit of a swing with people bouncing from exclusive electronic marketing back to print,” says Alexander. “Something tangible, and in their hands, still has a profound effect on buying patterns.”

Also in the digital realm, Alexander’s is working with Day One Journal to take their journaling app from digital to physically printed books.

“Everyone knows that their computer will crash one day, and a lot of people want to physically protect a piece of their past,” says Mortimer.

Alexander says he never thought he’d be in the printing business for more than four or five years, but the constantly changing industry has kept things interesting. He adds that the company’s success depends on discipline, efficiency, adherence to the fundamental principles of accounting, and good business practices.

“They say that the ink gets into your blood and when you’re creating something every day, it gives you a sense of accomplishment,” says Mortimer. “Jeff is so creative, he’s creating all the time, and after all of these years, he still has the passion for what we do.”