PRINTING United Alliance is grateful to serve its members who make such significant impacts on the printing industry. Through our membership spotlights, we continue to recognize our members, and help our community get to know their peers professionally and personally. The following is a Q&A with Stanley Valiulis of Interstate Graphics in Machesney Park, Illinois.
Please provide a brief history/background on your company.
Interstate Graphics was started in 1986 in the Rockford, Illinois region by the Norwood family. In 2021, the family sold the business to me and my wife, Ali. Prior to Interstate Graphics, I was involved in the retail display and fixture industry for 18 years. Since retail makes up a good portion of our customer base, I have the opportunity to utilize my prior experience and build upon established relationships. Admittedly, I’m still on the uptake of certain aspects of the print industry, but we have an extremely knowledgeable team with long tenure. We have 35 employees involved in digital and screen printing as well as finishing, fabrication, and fulfillment.
Are there markets/industries outside of your traditional offerings you are looking into adding (or have added)? If so, what?
I think that we are just touching the surface of our current customer base. Knowing you can grow within your current customers or segments is a strong place to start. We are seeing the most growth in our finishing and fulfillment services. We can really streamline our clients’ projects by combining our standard print offerings with fabrication and assembly. Also, being able to kit product from a variety of vendors to produce a final offering has been a huge value to our customers.
What would you say have been your company’s biggest accomplishments and challenges?
Since we purchased Interstate Graphics, our team has focused on improving our infrastructure to support growth. We have opened new portions of our ERP, redesigned the floor plan of our shop to improve efficiencies, upgraded our IT infrastructure, and invested in additional space. We also added an Onset X3 HS in 2022, which has been a game changer, and plan to invest in additional equipment over the next 24 months.
What are your future goals for your operation?
We just had our first off-site as a company. At that meeting, we decided to focus on being an operationally excellent company. Practically speaking, this means we need to reduce waste in the forms of time, cost, space, and extra work. Eliminating these barriers to efficiency will help us better meet our customers’ need for competitive pricing and quick turnarounds. We are also looking to establish a sustainability plan to help do our small part in effecting positive change.
Why did you decide to join PRINTING United Alliance? What resources do you plan to utilize?
In my past experience, industry groups were a key place to gain expertise, exchange ideas, build relationships, and foresee industry trends. Even in our short time with PRINTING United Alliance, the information provided on industry economics, HR, and sustainability has been very helpful. I am also excited to attend PRINTING United Expo for the first time in 2023 to continue to learn more about potential capabilities we can add to improve our offerings.
What activities or hobbies do you enjoy in your free time?
Ali and I have been married for 20 years and have an eight-year-old son named Carter. We love to travel. The last couple of years have made travel difficult, so we look forward to making up for lost time. I enjoy playing golf but admit that it gets a bit difficult to get out which has negatively affected my handicap. One of the reasons we bought Interstate Graphics was to get me off the road for work. Being home each day to spend time with family has been a huge benefit of owning a local company.
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