Going Down?

Adding Value

In contrast to those business owners who are reducing expenditures or devising tighter budgets, Henry Evans is investing more money than ever to improve services for customers of Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Advantage Printing Specialists Corp. (APS). "The likelihood of an economic downturn is real," contends Evans, 31, "so we're positioning ourselves [appropriately] to meet the current and anticipated needs of our existing and future clients across the country. Advanced technology and value-added services provide the marketing edge we need in an increasingly competitive arena where virtually everyone is offering quality printing at competitive prices."

Because clients, too, will be negatively impacted by economic pressures, Evans is making APS more valuable to them. "Our new technology not only introduces Web site, online and OCR [optical character recognition] ordering capabilities, it presents clients with detailed reports on purchases," he says. "And we provide summary billing for clients with reduced accounting or administrative staffs."

The 7-year-old multimillion-dollar company, which has upgraded to be Y2K-compliant and meet government standards for electronic commerce (ANSI X-12 compliant), produces and distributes printed materials and promotional products as well as detailed accounting reporting. APS has offices in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Dallas and is scheduled to penetrate the El Paso, Texas, and Boston markets somtime this year. "This technological conversion represents a substantial and expensive investment," Evans admits, "but one that allows us to take advantage of a business downturn for our competitors. We anticipate working harder and capturing greater market share even in a poor economy"--should the economic roller coaster be headed in that direction.

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This article was originally published in the February 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Going Down?.

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