Meeting the tightest of deadlines and last minute changes on printed items, Minuteman Press in Janesville, WI makes certain that the big player in the global animal feed industry is in line with regulations while getting their products to market on time.
Since the age of 13, Todd Duckworth has been working in printing. He started from the ground up, his hands busy with bindery in his father Leonard’s Minuteman Press franchise, the very first opened outside of New York in 1976 and his developmental years included mastery of all aspects of the business. In fact, the greatest visionary in print franchising, Minuteman Press International founder Roy Titus, was an early influence in his life as his father and Roy had worked together for many years. As time advanced, momentum gathered behind what would become Roy’s entrepreneurial legacy that Todd and the best of nearly one-thousand Minuteman Press franchise owners proliferate as leaders of the modern printing industry today.
Todd reflects on the philosophy of his world-respected franchisor, established by its founder, when he says, “Roy Titus was always looking for everyone to succeed. His intention was to help, but not tell you how to operate your business. So, he gave you the tools and the support and that put you in charge, but with a greater chance of success. Back in the day, he was always accessible and when his son Bob Titus took over as CEO, he maintained the same approach as his father and continues to do so.”
“One of the benefits of being part of the Minuteman Press franchise family is the ability to contact other owners for help with different challenges, practices and advice. No one wants to see anyone fail.” – Todd Duckworth
Todd came into the business full-time in 1986, and over the years, with every unique and time-crunched job that came his way, he proceeded to develop mastery over all aspects of his venture as it transformed into a multi-faceted digital print, design and marketing services center in Janesville, WI. “I began as a child, hand-collating manuals for a customer that we still have to this day. Now, since the time I purchased my franchise twenty years ago, I have since bought out two other local printers.”
The people that come on board to work with Todd are fully vested in the best outcome for each client, beginning with the initial consultation. He is proud of his staff members, some of whom have many years in the industry. He says, “Krystal has been taking care of design and customer service for the past eleven years. One of our former customers, now retired, came on board nine years ago and he takes care of our bindery and deliveries, while Steve, our part-time press operator for the past eight years and Melissa, who spent twenty-five years with the print shop I recently purchased, joined us to work on graphic design and customer service.” The balance of skills and personalities contributes to the smooth functioning of the center.
Todd presents the topic of one of his most valued client partnerships by offering, “One of the things most gratifying as a marketing services provider is to be able to help our customers out when they are frantic about the deadline to get their product to their customer. One such customer for us is AB Vista, an international food product supplier.”
AB Vista is an animal nutrition technology company offering pioneering products and technical services to the global animal feed industry. With its headquarters in the UK, the company employs over 180 staff globally and has support offices worldwide.
Rick Laws worked for a client of Todd Duckworth’s Minuteman Press and when he made his move over to AB Vista, he knew that there was only one place to go to get the best quality print done with accuracy and on a tight timeline, so he called Todd for exactly that purpose.
Todd says, “When Rick reached out to me, we went ahead and did some wide-format posters that helped them launch new products. Now, on more than one occasion, I will get an email or a call asking to get something printed and shipped out next day or sometimes the request is that it’s shipped later the same day. The jobs they order can range from as few as a couple of hundred pieces to as many as 10,000.”
Since the products AB Vista produces are multinational shipments and food-product related, changing regulations were resulting in large costs connected to changing the information on the printing and also wasting supplies. The international animal nutrition company used to print everything directly onto the product bag, but when the FDA and other governing bodies change regulations, that approach was costly and Minuteman Press offered a solution that would save money and make them more flexible.
Todd explains, “Last year, they asked us to create the product label to help them reduce their costs of printing the product bags. We are able to make the changes as they need them for each product run to align with the regulations and help keep AB Vista’s costs down as well.”
Todd and his team continue to support AB Vista as they stay on top of the tight regulations within their industry and get their products shipped where they need to go all over the world. He says, “Meeting their production schedule can be challenging, but it’s also well worth knowing we are getting their product to market. We look forward to a continued, healthy partnership with AB Vista going forward.”
Rick Laws is now the Production Operations Manager for AB Vista, Inc., and his previous experience as a client of Minuteman Press led him to connect on behalf of his new company, a move he is pleased he made. He shares, “We are a very unique and demanding account. We get orders sometimes very late in the day and Minuteman Press reacts very quickly to our needs. We trust them to proof, print and ship our labels to the end user without worry. They are always cordial and accommodating. I also like the can-do attitude and we have collectively come up with solutions to some challenging situations, examples of which include label formats, label sizes and label media.”
Rick sums it up best, adding, “Todd should be very proud of the job he and his team do. They are a pleasure to work with and we are looking forward to working with them in the future.”