Ted Ford, President
Tell us a little bit about your company.
Knepper Press is a commercial printer that has been around since 1873. We offer a wide range of printing including magazines, catalogs, direct mail pieces along with fulfillment, warehousing, and lettershop services.
When did you first hear about GAA and when did you join?
I heard about it about 10 years ago from John Braceland, the Managing Director of GAA. Once I talked to John and realized what the upfront cost was and the potential payback I didn’t wait long to join. It’s a very modest investment for a large return which for us averages $60,000 annually. GAA does all of the work in terms of putting together the deals so effort on the printer’s part is minimal. It’s really a no brainer.
How has your experience been since joining?
I have served as President of the board and have had the chance to work closely with John Braceland for several years. John is very up-front and well organized.
Do GAA programs overlap with some of your existing vendor programs?
We have been able to use GAA programs to augment our existing contracts over the years. When companies become a GAA member, they aren’t required to use all of the programs, so printers can participate in programs as needed based on their business. One year you may participate in the ink and not much paper. Or another year, you may gravitate toward using GAA papers. Overall, the savings programs are icing on the cake from GAA. As I see it, there are really two ways to participate in programs; you can either run your business as usual and take advantage of GAA savings with existing purchases or you can work to make adjustments to purchases in order to maximize the benefits from GAA. I will typically let the company conduct business as it makes sense and GAA programs are an add-on.
Have you experienced problems with vendors?
GAA isn’t try to get as much as possible from the vendors so their programs are a win-win for everyone involved. We’ve never seen any backlash with vendors from being in GAA and there have been NO issues with prices going up to compensate for the savings. GAA is always finding the right level of rebates with the suppliers.
In your opinion, what makes GAA unique?
The uniqueness of GAA starts with the people that started it - a group of printers. John Braceland has done a great job at being organized and communicating back to membership on the programs. The GAA model is transparent and easy to use for Knepper. There’s absolutely no effort. Whether we get $25,000 or $50,000 in rebates, it’s extra money that we didn’t have before.
Words of Wisdom to someone looking to join
If you're not in a group, it makes sense to join. It’s extra money in your pocket and it’s a way to interact with other printers outside the region. John is an industry veteran and makes himself available as a sounding board to see if other printers have faced similar issues that we may be facing. If you’re a member of another organization, is that organization the right fit for your needs? Look at constraints and how different groups and organizations maximize savings. I would wholeheartedly recommend GAA to any printer considering membership.
Any closing thoughts?
The connections I’ve made through the organization have been beneficial and have provided opportunities to learn from peers who aren’t competitors. The annual meeting is also very educational with good speakers.