Folderprinters > Blog > Professional Grade: MINUTEMAN PRESS OF PALM DESERT

Professional Grade:

Busy print and promotional products shop counts on
Folderprinters for printed custom presentation folders.


May 19, 2022

Minuteman Press Palm Desert Store Front

Storefront of Minuteman Press of Palm Desert.

Within the commercial printing industry, turning thick sheets of paper into a folding cover with pockets is a specialized field that requires several steps after printing ink on paper. To accomplish this, machinery designed specifically for that purpose are employed. Needless to say, it makes the entire enterprise capital intensive. It is therefore little wonder that very few printing companies have such capabilities, and that majority choose to outsource the fulfillment of orders that they get for presentation folders.

As a leading national manufacturer of custom presentation folders, gets numerous orders from other professional printers — trade printing orders.

In an effort to serve them better, and win over even more of the trade, we approached several companies that have entrusted us with fulfilling their folder job requirements, to learn more about their business. We’ve decided to share our discoveries regarding this matter in a new section in our blog that we’ll call “Professional Grade.”

In this first installment of 'Professional Grade', we feature Minuteman Press of Palm Desert.

We can turn our product around very quickly. Using your company as an outside service provider has helped tremendously on certain projects. Also, we do what we can to make our customers happy.

— Melissa Clark

As part of the nation’s number one printing franchise, Minuteman Press of Palm Desert gets their good share of orders for presentation pocket folders. We interviewed Business Manager, Melissa Clark to gain valuable insight.

FOLDERPRINTER WRITERS: How long have you been in the printing industry and how long have you been a Minuteman franchisee?

MELISSA CLARK: We have been a Minuteman Press franchisee since April of 2002, which makes us part of the printing industry 20 years.  Additionally, we employ staff that have been in the business since they were toddlers. Sherri Winslow the owner came from an Accounting background and also worked for the State of Washington Gambling Commission for 20 years.

FPW: How many employees does your company have?

MC: We have a total of six team members.

FPW: What services or products do you offer?

MC: We offer all printed products, signage, posters, blueprints, mailings and promotional products

FPW: What do you believe to be your competitive advantage over your competition?

MC: We can turn our product around very quickly.  Using your company as an outside service provider has helped tremendously on certain projects.  Also, we do what we can to make our customers happy.  

FPW: Which items do you print in-house, and which do you outsource?

MC: We print most items in house.  We have two digital printers, an offset press, a sublimination department and all types of bindery equipment.  Some signage and more complex print such as — presentation folders — jobs are outsourced.

FPW: Who are your customers? Is there a particual industry or niche on which you are focused?

MC: We do business with all types of customers.  No niche really.

FPW: Do you design the folders?

MC: We do provide in house design on folders, as well as for other items.

Minuteman Press Palm Desert Staff
The Minuteman Press of Palm Desert Team

FPW: How has Folderprinters been helpful? Were there any problems or challenges that Folderprinters helped you solve?

MC: You have great customer service.  You keep your promises.  You communicate with your customers on jobs throughout the process.  Your turnaround time cannot be beat.

FPW: Were you previously working with a different folder vendor before working with Folderprinters?

MC: Yes, we had been working with another vendor until we found you, and your promise of a quick turnaround. We haven't looked back since.

FPW: What was your experience using the website?

MC:  Your website is easy to use. It features lots of product options from which we always quickly find what we need.

FPW: How did you find the Folderprinters order process?

MC: Proofing is always easy. The online payment system is great. Your deliveries are very nicely packaged, and we love how you shrink wrap them, which makes it so easy to check count. You are our go-to place for folders. We are very pleased.

We presented this to Folderprinters President, Sam Sowlaty, and talked with him to get an even deeper perspective on this sub-industry.

SAM SOWLATY: Your basic premise is correct: the folder manufacturing business is indeed capital intensive. What with all the requisite machinery, entering the fray is a rather prohibitive business proposition . Which is why only a handful of companies are in it, and the reason other commercial printers turn to us. However, to be competitive and remain a leader in the industry, we need to embrace and implement an aggressive and forward-thinking approach and strategy. An approach that involves investments way beyond the basics.

For example, when we started Folderprinters, we operated two large offset-litho presses, the industry standard and staple. However, those machines were designed for large quantity runs. As the demand for lower quantity folders orders increased, it didn't make good economic sense to utilize the large presses. To address this, I authorized the purchase of a large format digital press that featured the latest inkjet technology, and specifically built for short runs. So new was the technology then that we were one of the first few companies to install it in the entire US.

Further proof of our pragmatic adoption of new tech is reflected in our finishing equipment. Years back, we had just two traditional die-cutters, which were supplemented by other machinery to complete the folder assembly. A few years later, we stepped-up to automated gluer-assembly machines. Today, we have units fitted with a rotarty die-cutter that can accomplish the entire process (die-cut, glue, fold assemble) in one step.

This forward-thinking philosophy has served us especially well in this current climate of supply chain instability. The standard practice for printers had been to procure stock assigned to specific customer orders as they came in; however, this global disruption has resulted in severe paper shortages. To ensure that we never run out, Folderprinters (owing in part to our strong relationships with vendors) has been snapping up paper wherever we can get them, in anticipation of future usage, regardless of whether or not we have current orders.

Of course, the goal in all of this is improved efficiencies resulting in better prices and the ability to deliver and fulfill our promises to all of our customers. Which is why professional printers like Minuteman Press trust us.