In an economic climate that’s been flat at best for the past year or two, Ford Graphics is proud to be celebrating its sixth anniversary of doing business in Bend and is looking to the future to continue to diversify its services and help local contractors.
Ford Graphics is a reprographic company, specializing in document management and print services for the construction industry. It’s a division of American Reprographic Company, the largest company of its kind in the world. Ford Graphics’ major offices are in Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and around 2003 the company started thinking about expanding to Bend.
“We were selected by St. Charles Medical Center to do printing for their expansion project,” said Kaye Kloster, president of Ford Graphics’ Oregon division. “We couldn’t ignore all the building that was going on in Bend.”
The year was spent researching the area and looking for a shop location, and on a very cold January 5, 2004, Ford Graphics’ Bend shop officially opened its doors.
“It was very exciting,” Kloster said.
“It was just a wonderful thing.”
The company brought its full-service printing operation to Central Oregon, including large format printing, spec books, color printing on large and small formats, mounting and document management and pickup and delivery services. In addition, the Bend shop is able to call on its Portland office for support in order to get rush projects done on deadline.
“We offer that as sort of an additional strength,” Kloster said. “I would say, a couple times a month, we will run a job here and ship it to Bend.”
Bend shop manager Jennifer Fishback said the biggest change she has seen since the 2004 opening has been the “leap in technology,” with more documents being sent at the speed of the Internet as digital files.
With its ties to the construction industry, Ford Graphics saw a slowdown
“We have suffered like everyone else,” Kloster said. “Overall, for Ford Graphics in Oregon, our sales are down about 15 percent from 2008.”
But the company has taken steps to stay relevant even in the recession, diversifying the services it offers to include document services for law firms.
“We’ve started working with the legal community in doing document management,” Kloster said. “We will continue to look for other services we can provide.”
Those other services include branching out to provide jobsite signage for construction companies such as HSW.
Overall, Kloster said, the past six years have provided a valuable learning experience for her, giving her a chance to work in a market that’s quite different from Portland. She travels to Bend at least once a month to help maintain relationships with clients.
“I have enjoyed tremendously working in Bend,” she said.
Fishback said the Bend office’s goals for 2010 and beyond are to continue to reach out to the community and spread the word about its services.
“We want to help the construction companies find work, and be successful at it,” she said.
Information: 541-749-2151, www.fordgraphics.com