Losing Weight Is A Growing Business
Working for an expanding company that fully supports its in-plant has allowed this digital shop to flourish.March 2010 By Chris Bauer
THOSE LOOKING for a feel-good in-plant story, or to get back on track with a New Year's resolution, should listen up. Medifast, a portion-controlled, weight management program, is quickly becoming a leader in a competitive market. And according to Kent Hunter, supervisor at the company's Ridgely, Md.-based in-plant, MDC Printing, the various in-house services the shop provides are a key to the company's success.
"I feel like I am on the ground floor of IBM," Hunter declares. "The way this place is growing is incredible. The budget is open for the print shop and the management is very supportive."
Last year, Forbes listed Medifast at number 16 on its list of The 200 Best Small Companies, citing sales of $127 million. Medifast Meals come in individual packets and are available in a variety of foods and flavors. They are mixed with water and can be microwaved or refrigerated. They are marketed as being quick and easy to prepare, and as a healthy fast food alternative for people with busy lifestyles.
"The management realizes that we are giving them a 40 percent savings, not to mention the logistical issues of having to go out and buy print, and then moving it here and warehousing it," Hunter notes. "We can print what they need that day and get it out the door."
MDC Printing generates 95 percent of the printed material the company uses, including about 50 different guides, pamphlets, brochures and flyers. The company typically sends out more than 15,000 order forms every week.
"We send an order form with everything," Hunter points out. "Everything that goes out of this building has an order form stuck in it."
In fact, during the phone interview for this article, an in-plant employee walked into Hunter's office to let him know they were out of order forms.
"I know we had 6,000 on the shelf when I got here today, and we've gone through them already," Hunter says with a laugh. "We have a high and quick turnover of work."
Fast Acting In-plant
The Medifast product catalog recently had to be edited to include a newly marketed brownie product, Hunter says, causing the in-plant to jump into action. It produced thousands of updated catalogs and had them ready for the launch of the new product.
Hunter describes Medifast as being a fast-paced, no-nonsense company that expects and gets the best out of its employees. The fully digital in-plant consists of a Xerox iGen3, a recently installed Xerox iGen4, a Konica bizhub PRO 1050 and a 42˝ HP Designjet Z3200ps wide-format printer. The shop is also home to a full complement of bindery equipment, including a recently added used 36˝ Polar cutter.