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 better, both professionally and personally. The following is a Q&A with Alliance member Richard Lowe, president and chief operating officer at Franchise Services Inc.
Can you please provide a brief history/background on your company?
Since 1965, the brands of Franchise Services, Inc. have been serving the needs of businesses throughout the company and around the world. Franchise Services Inc. is the management company for three printing brands— Sir Speedy, PIP Printing, Signal Graphics, and one IT services brand, TeamLogic IT.
Our printing brands serve small to mid-size businesses with printing, signs, and marketing services. Between the printing brands we have almost 200 locations and TeamLogic IT has 275 offices. In total, we have 52 employees throughout the U.S. Our Mission is to help our franchisees and employees to succeed.
How and when did you enter the printing industry?
I started in the industry in 1986 selling Kodak copiers to quick printers in San Diego, CA. I took my first position at Franchise Services in 1989 as the Director of Copies Now, an all copier-based franchise with 85 locations.
Are there markets or industries outside of your traditional offerings you are looking to add or have added? If so, what?
Seven years ago, our sign business was less than 5% of our overall sales. As we looked at the reduction in growth of the printing business, we decided to get into the sign business in a professional way. Now signs are our fastest growing product line and make up more than 25% of our business. As a result, our sign business grew by 23% in 2022.
What would you say have been your company’s biggest accomplishments and challenges?I think our biggest accomplishments have been our franchisee’s ability to adapt to the changes in the printing industry over the past 40 years; from black and white to color, analog to digital, print to signs and marketing services. The innovation needed to make these transitions has been challenging and rewarding.
Of course, our biggest challenge we have faced was the pandemic. I am very proud to say we didn't lose any franchisees during that time. It is a great tribute to our franchisee’s determination and fortitude.
What are future goals for your operation and where do you see your company headed in five years?
Our goal is to adapt and change with the market and grow the business with current and new customers. We see signs continuing to be a be opportunity long term. A lot of effort is going into improving workflow to improve efficiency in production. We are also working with franchisees to improve our overall customer experience, making it as easy as possible for our customers to do business with us.
Why did you decide to join the Alliance and what resources do you plan to utilize through your membership?
Our company has had a history of supporting the printing industry through charity and advocacy. Joining PRINTING United Alliance is a natural extension of our support. I think everyone associated with the printing business should be members to give our industry the best opportunity to overcome all the issues we face in business today. We are very proud that Franchise Services Inc. and all our franchisees are now members of The Alliance.
What activities/hobbies do you enjoy in your free time?
When I am not travelling the U.S. supporting franchisees, I enjoy spending time with my wife, our four children, and two dogs doing anything outdoors.
For more information on Franchise Services Inc., visit their website at https://www.franserv.com/.