Range Printing will double its size by next summer in a building expansion following the family-owned company's growth has carved out its own niche.
Cramped for office and production space, the print and design company is adding 18,000 square feet in a $1.2 million expansion project with Bercher Construction Inc., Baxter. The addition is expected to create a more efficient work flow, room for additional projects and the addition of 15 to 20 jobs in the next few years. This is Range Printing's third expansion in nine years.
Steve Sundquist, Range Printing chief executive officer, said the facility is just out of room. Storage space is utilized in other facilities.
The expansion will increase production areas and warehouse capabilities. The Sundquist family has owned and operated Range Printing for almost 40 years through three generations.
Range Printing lists core services as design, pre-press, printing and bindery. In 2000 and 2001, the printer received more than a dozen national awards for design and print excellence.
The business that began around a dining room table years ago now has national and international customers.
The work is automated as computers move designs to state-of-the-art Heidelberg printers. There is even a machine that swirls a spiral binding into booklets.
Workers and machinery in the production area trims, binds and packages items for shipping. With shipments across the nation, Sundquist said the loading dock facilities are now inadequate for the growing business that employs 38 people. Loading docks will be added in the expansion.
Expansion plans include a new entryway into the main office. Dan Heid, Bercher's designer for Range Printing, saud the entry will combine glass, steel, stucco and concrete columns to "create a modern industrial feeling."
Dave Demcho (left), a pressman, spoke with family owners Steve Sundquist, Range Printing chief operating officer, Shawn Sundquist, general manager, and Judy Sundquist, at the printing company on Madison Street in Brainerd's Industrial Park. (Dispatch Photo by Renee Richardson)
Range Printing designs catalogs, calendars, brochures and newsletters.
The expansion will allow the printer to handle more projects in the mid-range niche it has carved out.
Sundquist said a key to the growth was to get into a niche, build a reputation and then grow steadily by buying pieces of equipment that expand printing options. And he said Range's growth is helping bring money into the area economy.
Customers are located in far-flung locations in Ireland and England. Sundquist said one client he has had for seven years is someone he has never met in person.
"We do it by fax, Internet and phone," he said, noting those technology advances opens up the client base to include the world. And he said some printers were concerned earlier that the Internet would be a negative on their businesses. "The Internet really has helped."
Word-of-mouth helped the printing business grow, including clients in the Twin Cities area. Range Printing was founded in 1968.
Shawn Sundquist, general manager, said the growth area is in projects Range works on from start to finish.
"With this expansion we are going to complete the loop," he said. "... With this expansion we hope to bring on sales people. This is going to be a really nice expansion. I don't think it will be the last."
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