The acquisition marks another milestone in Hooven-Dayton’s growth strategy, says Christopher Che, president. In the past three years, HDC has grown by almost 100 percent. The company purchased four new presses to meet the demands of the exponential growth, but found it difficult to find skilled press operators. “We felt that Benchmark was a good fit to expand our capabilities, capacity and scale. They bring with them skilled people, presses, products, technologies, and room to expand the operation to second and third shifts. The addition of Benchmark will greatly accelerate our strategic growth initiative, expand our geographic footprint, and allow us to be more competitive in some markets.”
Che says Benchmark’s leadership and employees have done an outstanding job creating a solid company. “HDC is strategically building a larger, stronger, more agile and innovative business with room to grow,” he observes. “The new company will be positioned for improved, consistent, and stable top-line growth and a sustainable value for the short and long term.”
“We are appreciative of our loyal customers, some of whom have been with us from the beginning,” notes John Miller, CEO of Benchmark Graphics. “I am confident that the level of expertise and experience that HDC brings will compliment and enhance our core services. The integrated resources will provide our customers with unique benefits and an expanded mix of quality and service.
“Our employees should be enormously proud of what we have built, their dedication and the knowledge that they bring to the manufacturing process has enabled us to build a well positioned, diversified printing company and is the fundamental ingredient to our success,” adds Miller. “The new combined company will provide our existing employees with opportunities for advancement and create new positions as capacity expands. HDC and Benchmark are highly complementary businesses and together we can become an industry leader.”
This week the company begins executing the planned integration of the two companies’ operations, networks and customer service to ensure a smooth transition. Management of the combined company includes executives from both organizations: Che remains president and CEO, and Miller is vice president, technology and business development. Others include: Denise Smith, director, corporate development and diversity; Robert White, vice president, sales and marketing; Steve Hill, corporate controller; Jeff Spahr, director of operations; Bruce Nicholson, operations manager; Ron Miller, Richmond plant manager; and Leann Jones, senior customer service representative and office manager.
Hooven-Dayton had been sending its overflow work to Benchmark in the past, Che says. Today, the combined operations bring HDC’s work force to over 100. The Benchmark facility adds 27,000 square feet of space to the operation, along with eight flexo presses.
The sales bases of the two companies were different, Che notes. “Most of ours are Fortune 1000 companies. Benchmark was strong in the middle market and with a brokerage base.” Annual sales of HDC are now above $30 million.