Toof merges with American Digital

By David Ward, San Diego, Thursday 10 January 2013

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Two Memphis-area printers, Toof Commercial Printing and American Digital, have merged with the intention of taking advantage of the city's role as a packaging/cargo hub.

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Toof was established during the US Civil War more than a century ago and in an interview with PrintWeek, Toof COO Rick Smith explained: "We’ve been predominantly an offset printer though we have been doing some variable data through a partnership with a Louisiana company.

"But for the most part we knew what we didn’t know so rather than build out a digital offering internally we decided to look at merger - and American Digital is the largest privately held digital operation in this part of the mid-South."

Smith added that American Digital has an exceptional client list that includes Fortune 500 companies that are headquartered both in Memphis as well as other parts of the US.

As part of the deal, American Digital will retain its individual brand as a division of Toof and its 17 employees and equipment will be moved to one of two Toof facilities in the Memphis area sometime in the coming months.

Kim Webb, owner of American Digital, will remain in his role as president of that division. In a press release, he said: "I believe that a customer’s communication and marketing efforts can be greatly enhanced utilizing the combined print technologies of the new company.

"These two companies believe that these changes are particularly important in an economy where every marketing or communication dollar spent must provide the best return on investment possible."

Smith added that the combined company will evaluate its equipment needs following the integration of their operations and may do some trading out or upgrading of presses later in the year if needed. Toof has a number of sheetfed analog presses from Heidelberg and Mitsubishi as well as a heat-set press.

The deal will allow the company to increase its offerings in areas ranging from direct mail to wide-format. While best known for being the home to Elvis Presley’s Graceland, Memphis plays a key role in the US cargo industry as it is both the headquarters and main hub for shipping giant FedEx.

As such it offers plenty of spot-printing and fulfillment opportunities for printers working with mail order customers, Smith said, adding: "We don’t call ourselves a packaging printer, but we do some - and we also do quite of bit of fulfillment here.

"We have a surgical instruments client who can get an order as late as 10pm, have us provide the manual and other printed material and the then drop his product at FedEx at one in the morning and have it delivered by 8am to anywhere in the country."


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