Friday, October 08, 2010
BY SHERI MELNICK
For The Patriot-News
Almost three years ago at the beginning of the recent economic downtown, Brian Hess started Envision, a print management company in Camp Hill.
Business has expanded throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Envision recently hired a sales representative in Ohio whose strong background in direct mail should help increase that aspect of the business.
Hess, a Hampden Twp. resident, attributes part of his success to his high standards for selecting vendors that enables Envision to meet the customer’s needs and establish a fruitful relationship.
“One of the reasons we did so well is that customers are so hungry on ways to save money,” Hess said.
When a client consults with Hess for a printing job, he negotiates with printers to get the best price and quality for his client. His years in the industry have enabled him to establish contacts with reputable vendors who have the equipment and experience to provide the best products for the customer.
Hess worked in a small printing company after high school, learning all aspects of the business. He left that printing company to work for Press Enterprise Inc. and later launched the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal in Allentown, a Press Enterprise company.
He left there to work for Journal Publications as production manager.
“I was buying printing, and it gave me a really good insight what print buyers were looking for,” Hess said.
After leaving Journal Publications, Hess returned to Press Enterprise to expand its commercial printing division and then went to work for a Lancaster-based print management company.
After two years, he went out on his own to start Envision. Though Envision started out as primarily a print management company, it is expanding into full service such as layout and design.
“It is basically managing the whole process from the layout and design, copywriting, printing of all the various components, and the direct mail,” Hess said.
One of the concerns voiced by potential clients is a fear that print is dying, Hess said.
“Print is still alive, but print buyers are becoming more aware of their costs and how and where products are distributed. People are more conscious that their mailings are reaching the intended target,” he said.
Envision was named an emerging business of the year finalist for 2010 by Central Penn Business Journal and recently was named to the top 100 print distributors for 2010 in Print Solutions magazine.
The company also has started an “Envision Gives Back” program that provides nonprofit organizations with in-kind donations.
Despite the downturn in the economy, Hess attributes the profitability of Envision to his conservative business management.
Envision was started without any debt and has little equipment to maintain because most everything is outsourced except for layout and design.
“Our approach has always been that our vendors are equally as important as our customers,” he said. “They treat us fairly and we have a good partnership with them.”