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Eva-Tone: all services under one roof

Mar 1, 2002 12:00 AM


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All under one roof” could qualify as the unofficial slogan for Eva-Tone (Clearwater, FL). The family-owned printer began in 1925 when founder Richard Evans patented a molded rubber-stamp technology. This led to Eva-Tone's soundsheet product in 1958, “and gradually, we added new technologies to meet customers' needs,” explains Karen Sarno, manager of marketing and advertising. Those technologies span the gamut, from digital prepress, print and bindery services, to CD replication, audiocassette manufacturing, e-business/multimedia development, and fulfillment and mailing operations.

Today, the firm continues to add to its offerings: At the end of 2001, it acquired a direct-marketing agency, Eagle Marketing (originally based in Ft. Collins, CO). And in April, it will expand upon its 20-year-old fulfillment business by opening a new, 120,000-sq.-ft. fulfillment center.

“Our competitors are other printers or replicators of optical media that offer a single-source solution. One thing that sets us apart is that all manufacturing is done here — and clients can manage their entire project at Eva-Tone,” says Sarno.

What diversification advice do you have for other commercial printers?

Explore customers' future needs and plans, and integrate value-added services that help to solidify your relationships with those customers.

Give us an example of a recent cross-media project.

We completely manage the distribution of sales materials for a medical-products manufacturer. All projects go through extensive prepress, then are printed and warehoused. Our e-business/multimedia team developed an online ordering site where the client's sales reps can view materials and conduct research, then submit the order to Eva-Tone for fulfillment.

Tell us more about your e-mail marketing applications.

Eva-Tone Email is an e-mail marketing service that lets our clients send targeted communications. We create a campaign, import the customer's mailing list and message into our e-mail program (purchased from an e-mail software provider), and send the e-mail out.

Our clients can create their own e-mail content, or we can develop it. (For example, if a client wants to create a newsletter, we can create the template, then integrate the copy each month.) One of our IT people usually prepares the data. Our e-business/multimedia department creates the graphics, and develops and manages the campaigns. Afterward, our staff runs detailed reports to provide the client with data about the campaign's effectiveness.

How are you staying state of the art?

In 2001, we purchased a 10-color, 40-inch KBA Rapida 105 perfecting press, began construction of our fulfillment center and added e-mail marketing. We also offer online job and inventory tracking for our customers on our website (www.eva-tone.com), with frequent upgrades for more access to information.

What service would you most like to add?

We currently have DVD5 mastering and DVD authoring capabilities — in the future, we will add DVD replication.

We also plan to expand our e-business/multimedia offering in three areas: (1) new products and services, such as electronic content delivery, digital-rights management and online subscription services; (2) developing online tools, such as online orders/reorders, proofing or billing, to better service our customers; and (3) interacting more efficiently with our suppliers, possibly through collaborative online project-management tools or online purchasing.

How is your company coping with the economy?

Eva-Tone is aggressively pursuing new business that fits our offering, in highly targeted markets. We are also working with customers to expand their use of our services and further solidify our relationships.

Do you have a little-known company fact to share with our readers?

Forty-six of our 450 employees have worked for Eva-Tone for more than 20 years. Many moved to Florida with the Evans family, when the company relocated here in 1979 from Illinois.

Where's the best place to eat in Clearwater?

salt Rock Grill on Indian Rocks Beach.

COMPANY
Eva-Tone, Inc. Clearwater, FL

EXECUTIVE
Karen Sarno, manager, marketing and advertising

YEAR FOUNDED
1925

ANNUAL SALES$45 million

NO. OF EMPLOYEES
450

SQ. FT.
320,000

SPECIALIZATION
One-stop project management: customized projects with all production under one roof