Nahan’s Use of Renewable Energy

Author: Melissa Fransen, Marketing Manager

From purchasing raw materials to efficient manufacturing processes, Nahan considers the environment in our decision-making process across company initiatives. We are committed to being a responsible, environmentally conscious printer.

Renewable Energy Provider

Nahan utilizes Xcel Energy as our energy provider for our 300,000 square foot headquarters, located in St. Cloud, MN. Xcel Energy is leading the way in renewable resources. Xcel Energy is 25% renewable now, is headed to be 60% renewable by 2030, and 100% carbon-free by 2050.

Renewable Energy Breakdown

There are a number of renewable resources that Xcel utilizes for its power supply including wind and solar. See below for a breakdown of energy sources. Right now, in the Upper Midwest (where Nahan headquarters is located), 54% of Xcel’s power supply is carbon free, which is higher than the national average.

To learn more about Xcel Energy’s economic, environmental and social initiatives, watch this short video or view the full report.




Energy-Efficient Devices

Nahan puts an emphasis on utilizing energy-efficient devices in our facility. Some examples of this include using VFD’s (Variable Frequent Drives), Premium Efficiency Motors, and we are in the process of changing some of our lighting from fluorescent to LED. In addition to energy savings, LED lighting emits less heat and reduces the load on HVAC systems.  When Nahan makes decisions to install and update equipment, energy efficiency is always something that is top of mind.

Find Out More

Nahan is committed to being a responsible, environmentally conscious printer and we want to help create a healthier future for our employees, our customers, our communities, and the world. The use of renewable energy resources is just one example of how Nahan is committed to the future. Check out our Environmental Commitment blog to find out other ways that Nahan is working to protect the environment .

Contact us if you have any questions or would like additional information.

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Printing 101 Series – Coatings

Author: Melissa Fransen

For the first-timers to print or those just starting to consider what a printed campaign can do to drive your digital marketing efforts, this blog is for you! In this blog, we will discuss coatings.

Why do I want to use a coating on my piece?

A coating adds protection to your piece to get through the mail in good shape and is strongly recommended, especially if your piece has heavy ink coverage. Coatings can also be used as a design element.  Applying a coating can change the final appearance and tactile experience.  Multiple coatings can also be used to create special effects or draw attention to a specific image.

What is the difference between coatings?

There are three main types of coatings: UV, Varnish and Aqueous.

  • UV coating is a VOC-free (when cured) liquid coating that can give incredible gloss, textures, or gloss dull effects. It cures by exposure to UV light.
  • Varnish is an ink; it can be Gloss, Satin or Dull. 
  • Aqueous is a water-based coating; it can be Gloss, Satin, Dull, or Soft Touch.

There are a lot of variables that impact which coating will be best for your printed piece.

Variables can include things such as paper type, ink coverage, desired outcome of the final product, and more. Our experienced Sales Team will guide you through the entire process of choosing the best coating for your printed piece for optimal results.

Request a Sample Pack

Let us show you some samples of different coatings to give you ideas for your next marketing piece. Request your sample kit today.

We are Here to Help

Our Sales Team is here to help guide you. Contact us to learn more.

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Printing 101 Series – Binding

Author: Melissa Fransen

For first-timers to print or those just starting to consider what a printed campaign can do for your marketing efforts, this blog series is for you!  We’ll call it our Printing 101 Series and we’re just getting started! We’ll be adding Printing 101 topics each month and if there is something we can help you learn about, let us know. We want to tailor our Printing 101 series to you!

Without further ado, let’s get started on the first topic – Binding! At Nahan, we primarily bind booklets or catalogs two ways: 1) Perfect binding and 2) Saddle Stitching.

Perfect Binding

Perfect Binding binds the book together by gluing folded pages (signatures) to form a spine. The below photo shows an example of a perfect-bound catalog. Perfect binding creates a nice, polished look for your catalog and is a great option for high-impact branded marketing pieces and larger page counts. For a perfect bound project to be successful, we typically suggest a minimum of approximately 48 pages.

Design Tip: How do I setup the cover? Your Account Manager can calculate the spine thickness for you. The cover files should be set up as a 2-page spread including the spine amount. A hinge score is almost always necessary and applied 1/4” away from the spine on both covers and is included in the final size of your front and back covers. A knockout is required for the entire spine plus 1/8” into the hinge score (either side of the spine) for the inside front cover and inside back cover. (A knockout is the removal of part of an image or colors so glue, ink jetting, etc. can adhere to the paper).

Saddle Stitching

Saddle Stitching binds pages that are folded, nested, and then stapled together with wire staples. Saddle-stitched jobs are generally a cheaper option than perfect binding. They typically focus on a lower page count and this option is often selected for longer-run projects.

Design Tip: Total page count must be in increments of 4.  You will need to be aware of your page placement as crossovers (see below) must be designed to retain the lineup of the images across the pages.        

Request a Nahan Sample Pack and Learn More

Let us show you some samples of both perfect bound and saddle-stitched catalogs! Request your sample kit today.

Also, check out our blog on The Fine Art of Finishing Print to learn more about Nahan’s focus on finishing. As an added bonus, we also have a number links included in that blog with some great resources from Sappi.

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Employee Spotlight: Pat Nahan

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Part of what makes Nahan unique is its devotion to being a family business ever since it was founded by Jim and Helen Nahan in 1962. Pat Nahan, the grandson of the founders, is the Vice President of National Accounts and is celebrating his 25th anniversary this month.

Working as a Family

As a teenager, Pat remembers getting his start at Nahan by mowing the lawn, washing windows, and painting. Over the past 25 years, he has invested his time and energy into the family business working in several different roles throughout the company. With his father as Nahan’s CEO, Pat has had to earn respect at the company like every other employee. He is thankful that his father expects the same results from him as everybody else at the company and credits that to helping him grow as a professional. Pat believes that his father expecting results from him has also taught him to treat others how he would like to be treated and to stand on his own merits.

 “The best advice I’ve been given by family has been to never give up. It doesn’t matter if it is on a job we are trying to win or a challenging startup of a new piece of equipment. The attitude of never giving up is what sets us apart.” 

Pat Nahan
Pat Nahan

The Nahan Difference

As a member of our Sales team, Pat explains what he enjoys most about his position is in the ability to help solve problems for people. He likes being able to work together with a customer to find a solution when they are faced with an issue. When asked what made him the proudest, he commented on the company’s ability to reshape and reinvent itself over the years. He believes a significant part of Nahan’s success can be attributed to the team’s dedication and flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions. Over his 25 years, Pat has seen Nahan work through challenges and come out stronger on the other side.

 “The best part about being on the Nahan team is the culture. Everyone here wants to win and have fun while doing it. The culture here is great; it’s one thing to talk about it, but it is another thing to actually have it. I am fortunate to be surrounded by some of the best minds in the industry.”

Pat Nahan
Pat Nahan

Outside of the Office

When Pat isn’t working at Nahan, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons.. He can often be found fishing, boating, or working on his golf game (which he describes as seeing how far he can get the ball into the woods or water). While Pat doesn’t consider himself a machinist, he finds it fun to weld and make new ideas come to life with metal.  He also enjoys spending time with his father racing cars that they work on together.

Pat and his father Mike Nahan celebrating a race car win.

Interested in joining the Nahan family-owned Team? Learn more about our career opportunities. 

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

The 5 F’s of Color – The Challenges and How Nahan Achieves Color Matching

Author: Jim Hesch, Customer Service

Nobody wants purple apples or green faces on their beautifully printed products. Nahan is proud to be a G7 Master Certified Facility and we also have two G7 Experts on our team. Color matching is just one of the ways that Nahan ensures a quality piece on every single product that goes through our doors. Let’s explore color matching and how Nahan deals with challenges regarding color.

Note: G7 is an international standard for ensuring color matching across multiple platforms.

What is the most challenging part about color matching on press?

Well, let’s just say there are many. Some images are a challenge without having to share the spotlight with other images. For example, a fresh cut steak could look inedible if not done right. Often times, the most challenging are the ones you want to look the best.

Which ones are most challenging?

Here are what we like to call as the 5 F’s: Flesh tones, Fashion, Furniture, Fur and Food. These are challenging because if a little off-color, furniture can look cheap and food can look unattractive.  Of course, these images may be your focal point and not getting them right can tarnish your brand.

Color matching

While on their own they may not be challenging, some images can collectively pose serious problems for a printer. Once a color is set on the first press form, all subsequent press forms are then driven by that first form. If there are crossovers, there could end up being some significant compromises.

Note: A crossover is one image running across multiple pages and possibly multiple press forms.

Color matching

How do you deal with them?

First: Prioritize your images and press forms

  • Go to your printer and do a “Press Check,” approving color on press.
  • Consult with your salesperson, look at all the forms and decide which one to start with – probably one with a couple of crossovers.

It is easy to be tempted to start with a form that has a bright color, corporate color or someone’s favorite photo and push the ink to make it pop. However, it is important to be careful with this. The next form may be a neutral and crossover to that first form and you may end up with a spoiled image.

Second: Make sure you are running to strict standards and specifications such as Gracol/G7

The use of real estate on the press sheet can be a challenge since different ranges of colors need to run in-line with each other. Perhaps it is fruit running in-line with flesh tones, or furniture running in-line with jewelry, which makes one image more difficult to hit your desired color.

  • Often there are limited choices as to what you can do about these.
    • You could stop the press and have a color technician mask off and color correct a disagreeable color area, however, this can be very expensive.
  • You could anticipate certain colors being a challenge and run a spot PMS color.
  • Running to a standard helps ensure matching to proof.
    • Make sure if you are supplying a color proof that it has color bars and has been produced to a standard like GRACOL / G7 or FOGRA.

Third: Paper quality is really important

  • Paper grain gives the sheet stability.
    • This can affect registration, which can in-turn, affect color. As sheets distort under the pressure of the printing press, the registration can move. This can cause color to shift and images to slur.
    • A good quality stable sheet will help with critical color matches.
  • If you are using uncoated or matte papers, the right calibration curve for those papers is very important.
    • Your experienced color technician should control this.

Fourth: Presses need to be in good mechanical condition, with repeatable results

  • This may be out of your control, but you can tell if you have chosen a printer wisely by how clean the machine is, or by how much your team cares about their work environment. When choosing, ask about their press maintenance schedule. Often times, their response can tell you a lot.

Nahan as a Trusted Color Expert

Nahan has two G7 Experts and Color Technicians who are here for consultation and will be at press as needed to help ensure premium color. We regularly calibrate our machines to ensure our high standards are met. Our presses are maintained by experienced press crews at regular intervals and we have a full maintenance department to help ensure all the G7 calibrating time is achievable and print results are repeatable.

In the event of a difficult color, our G7 experts can often achieve desired results without color correction, but rest assured, they are here for you if it is needed.

Nahan is a G7 Master Printer which means we have calibrated certain equipment to G7 gray balance & neutral tone curves for proofs, Offset & digital presses.

Interested in learning more about Nahan? Contact us to learn more about our printing services.

Bio: Jim Hesch is the head of Customer Service at Nahan and a certified printing geek. (Always make sure you print with someone who is certified)…

Valuing Safety at Nahan: An Interview with Doug Roob

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Safety at Nahan is our top priority. Operating our business in this way allows us to attract and maintain our amazing employees and serve our customers in the best way possible. Our devotion to safety is made possible by our Safety and Environmental Compliance Coordinator, Doug Roob, as well as Nahan’s Safety Team, comprised of a team of dedicated employees. To learn more about how Nahan ensures a safe environment, I interviewed Doug to get his perspective on safety in the printing industry and how Nahan rises to the occasion.

Doug Roob – Safety and Environmental Compliance Coordinator

Can you tell me a little about your work experience prior to your current position?

Doug: While I was finishing my degree studying Physical Education and Health with a minor in Business Management, I began working part-time at Nahan. The strong “family feel” made me enjoy working here so much, that I decided to stay. While it was a smaller company at the time, it had such a great potential to grow that I went full-time in the fall of 1989. From 1989 to 1992, I handled the production scheduling. At this time safety was controlled by the department managers.

What led you to become the Safety and Environmental Compliance Coordinator?

Doug: As the company was rapidly growing, I was asked in 1992 if I would be interested in taking over safety matters. Since my background is in education, I saw the opportunity to be able to help educate employees on safety and to teach the necessary skills to work safely. I have seen how an injury from unsafe conditions can not only affect the individual but how it affects an entire family. My father was injured on the job while working in construction. He was out for almost two months and continued to suffer from nerve damage. He went through physical therapy to strengthen his right leg after not being to use it fully until he was healed up. His frustration with not being able to work and the effects it had on our family is a memory that sticks with me, and one that I don’t want others to have to deal with.  Helping employees recognize hazards and how to minimize their exposure or eliminate the hazards on the job is what I love to do. At the end of the day, if everyone goes home the same way they came to work I am very happy.  If they don’t, I wonder what could I have done differently. I still love it today.

What are the benefits of a Safety Team at Nahan?

Doug: At Nahan the benefits are many. The team is a link between the employees and Management. Employees bring their safety ideas, suggestions, and input to the Safety Team members who in turn bring those items up during the Safety Team meetings. They then review and discuss those items to find solutions and make recommendations to management to make Nahan more safe. The team is our on-the-job safety advocate. During these trying times with the COVID-19 pandemic, they are amongst their peers promoting social distancing, washing of hands frequently, covering your cough, staying home if not feeling well, and general safety all the time. They help promote the safety culture that is needed for us to be our safest and healthiest.

Are there any stand-out moments that made you proud of the accomplishments of the Safety Team or a particular way they improved safety at Nahan?

Doug: The Safety Team has a few new members and I am happy with the passion each one has for safety. The willingness of the team to listen to the employees about their safety concerns and the willingness to help in any way they can to help improve safety is so great to see. They are willing to take action if need be and to work with the leaders and employees if asked. We have started a new program that the team is very excited about. The program consists of Safety Team members making Safety Observations weekly of their peers. When the observation is over, the Safety Team member meets with the individual they observed and discuss the great things the employee is doing safely and things they can do differently to stay safe. I see great things coming out of this program going forward with this group.

How can safety benefit Nahan’s customers?

Doug: The benefits of safety and a safe work environment carry over to the improved quality of service and a satisfied customer. When you have a safety culture that stresses safe work practices and having a clean/safe work environment, it carries over to a work behavior of paying attention to detail and to the quality of products being produced while completing jobs to the satisfaction of the customer without worrying about being injured. The employees can truly focus on the customer’s needs and expectations.

Here are our amazing and dedicated Safety Team members!

Thank you, Doug, for telling us about how the Nahan Safety Team works for the good of our employees and clients. We appreciate all that you and your team do.

If you are interested in working with great people like Doug, view our career page for current openings.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Questions to Ask When Selecting a Print Partner – Part 2

Author: Jim Hesch, Customer Service

It can be quite daunting, challenging, frightening and overwhelming to pick a print partner when you have never printed before. It is common to have many questions. That is why we have developed a list of questions to ask to help make this process easier for you.  Last month, we shared the first set of questions to ask in part 1. In this blog, we will address additional questions to ask.

You may not choose Nahan, but we would like to help you choose wisely.

(Also, here is a link to our FAQ’s page, which contains some useful information).

Environmental Commitment

Location

Technology / Data / Security

Oooh, technology is the part I like. You guessed it, I am a printing geek. I’d love to tell you about some of our new things at Nahan.Jim Hesch

We love new toys, things that go faster, do better, do more. Our new CLIDE 2.0 was purchased specifically to do the work our customer needed, (plus it is cool).

(CLIDE means custom digital imaging, it is an integrated folding gluing line that can create complicated folds with tip-ons or clean release cards with imaging / ink jet)

New Toys

The quality of our new in-line ink jet on the web press is second to none, our new inserters run at blazing speeds, our new CLIDE line has incredible flexibility for self-mailers with special folds and attachments. Mike, our Warehouse Manager is especially proud of our new Semi truck. We have also invested in two new high-speed Stitchers in the last 3 years and are pursuing automation and efficiencies today as you read this.

Questions to Ask When Selecting a Print Partner

Interested in a sample pack? We would love to send you one!

My name is Jim Hesch, head of customer service, 40 year veteran of print and never done learning…

Nahan Employee Spotlight: Kristine Ferguson

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Nahan is proud to have a driven and talented team working towards our common goal of being the best in the printing industry. I had the privilege to get to know Kristine Ferguson, a dedicated employee of thirteen years, and the leader of the Accounting Department at Nahan. She shared with me what she enjoys about being a part of the Nahan team, as well as a peek into her life outside the office.

From Saint Cloud State University to Nahan

Kristine credits her interest in accounting to the classes she took her senior year of high school. At the time she was planning on studying to be a veterinarian, but after talking with one of her teachers became more open to the idea of changing her major. The summer after her senior year she changed her mind and decided to pursue a study of accounting. In 2002, Kristine graduated from Saint Cloud State University with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting. After graduation, Kristine began working in the Accounting Department of a company in Avon, Minnesota. After a few years in that position, she joined the Accounting team at Nahan – where she is now the leader of the Accounting Department and has been a part of the team for an incredible thirteen years. Last year, Kristine also celebrated earning her CPA license. Kristine says her favorite part about working at Nahan is the people. She added that throughout her career, the lessons she has learned that stand out is the importance to never stop learning and to keep an open mind.

“My favorite part is the people. We work together as a team and are always striving to do better.”


Kristine Ferguson, when asked her favorite part about being on the Nahan team.

The Importance of the Accounting Department

To keep a smooth operating business, a detailed account of where and why money comes and goes is vitally important. Managing the cash flow is an essential part of a company to keep a close eye on its financial health. Keen attention to detail and knowledge of financial laws is key to leading the Accounting Department, and Kristine does an incredible job!

Beyond Nahan

When she’s not at work, Kristine enjoys spending time with family and friends. She especially enjoys watching her kids play sports and spending time on the lake during the summer. Her most favorite place she’s traveled to are the Outer Banks in North Carolina, which she has visited twice. In the future, she hopes to visit Ireland for its natural beauty.

“One person that has inspired me and that has been on my mind lately is my grandpa. He had an ability to truly connect with people. He always had a smile on his face and a story to tell. He and my grandma opened their hearts and home to others, including doing foster care for children in need.  I am grateful to have had such a caring and wonderful man as my grandpa.”


Kristine Ferguson, when asked to share about someone who inspires her.

Thank you, Kristine, for being a dedicated Nahan employee. We admire your work ethic, passion for achieving goals, the way you support your team, your drive to make change, and how compassionately you treat others in our company. You are part of what makes Nahan unique.

Interested in joining the Nahan Team? Learn more about our career opportunities.   

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Five Benefits of Print Marketing

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

To be successful in advertising a product or service, it is not a question of which medium of marketing is best – print or digital – but how to combine their benefits. Both print and digital marketing methods are an essential component of an integrated marketing mix. Ignoring one method means ignoring part of the population and potentially part of your target market. As a printing company with over 50 years of experience, we’ve seen our fair share of print marketing materials and how they have impacted the world. Today, we’re sharing the top five benefits of print marketing and how they improve your integrated marketing mix.

Brand Recall

When consumers open their mailbox and receive a piece of direct mail or a catalog, they are able to physically touch it and open it – tangible attributes that are not available in digital marketing. Research has shown that the effects of tangibility impact brand recall. Consumers are 75% more likely to recall a brand after seeing it in a print ad, as compared to 44% for a digital ad (Adstream, 2018).

Greater Open Rates

A consumer’s email inbox is likely to be cluttered with many promotions, updates, and announcements – with more being added continuously. In all the clutter, many email marketing campaigns will not be opened (Pulcinella, 2017). Receiving a beautifully designed print advertisement in the mail stands out to be opened right away.

Increased Attention

The images on printed marketing materials are more saturated than those viewed on a computer screen. The mix of more attractive colors and the sensation of touch leads to keeping the reader’s attention. Most emails if opened, are quickly skimmed and disregarded. Consumers are more likely to take their time in deeply and thoroughly reading printed material (Nelson, 2019).

Repeated Exposure

As mentioned above, many emails are simply deleted once opened. Printed materials have the ability to last longer. A catalog that is placed on the kitchen table is more likely to be seen multiple times than an email in a consumer’s inbox. On the Internet, so much is fighting for the consumer’s attention. Ads disappear as quickly as they appear, rendering many of them unseen (Twose, 2019). Materials that are printed have higher durability and the potential to be seen more frequently.

Consumers Trust Print

Professionally printed marketing materials come across as more trustworthy than online ads that can appear like a scam. According to a survey completed by Marketing Sherpa, 82% of Americans trust newspaper and magazine ads compared to only 39% who trust Internet banner ads (Burstein, 2017). Using printed materials aids in being viewed as a trustworthy and professional business or organization.

The facts are undeniable – print marketing is a must to have a promotion reach its potential and be viewed by its entire target market population. Interested in learning more about printed materials? Visit our website or contact us to find out how you can get started.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

References

Adstream. (2018). 8 things print advertisers need to know in a digital age.

Bursetin, D. (2017). Marketing Chart: which advertising channels consumers trust most and least when making purchases. Marketing Sherpa.

Nelson, R. (2019) 4 reasons print advertising is still important. Outreach Media Group.

Pulcinella, S. (2017). Why direct mail marketing is far from dead. Forbes.

Twose, D. (2019). Marketing Knowledge.

Employee Spotlight: Dawn Volante Brown

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Nahan is fortunate to have a team of dedicated and passionate employees, one of whom is Dawn Volante Brown. A devoted employee for over twenty-one years, Dawn is currently the leader of the Planning and Estimating Department. I had the privilege to get to know Dawn and find out not only what led her to Nahan, but why she is here.

From the Education Field to the Printing Industry

In the 1990s, Dawn was beginning her study at Saint Cloud State University as an elementary education major. During the summer of 1998, she took a job at Nahan as a part-time front desk receptionist, providing sales secretary support in-between semesters. Six months later, Dawn moved into the Customer Service Department as a Production Coordinator. It was in this position where her exposure to the printing industry truly began. Over the years, she has experienced several roles in Customer Service including Customer Service Representative, Account Manager, Account Executive, Customer Service Shift Leader, and Department Leader. Currently, Dawn leads the Estimating and Planning Department. The opportunity to work in a variety of roles has given her the unique experience of viewing Nahan and the printing industry as a whole from many perspectives.

“The best work advice I received was given to me by mentor Bev Hugo. It wasn’t spoken but observed.Treat others in the manner in which you would like to be treated. We are all here with a similar goal. We will each achieve the best success in working together.” 

Dawn Volante Brown
Dawn with her husband and three children.

The Importance of the Estimating and Planning Department

At Nahan, our customers come first. To keep our customers first, our departments must work seamlessly together to produce each customer’s vision on paper. One of the departments we rely on to make this happen is the Estimating and Planning Department. When clients have talked with their Sales Representatives and Account Executives about their ideas, it goes to this department to start figuring out numbers and how the product can go to the press to be produced. As its leader, Dawn is trusted with the responsibility of running a smooth-operating department from start to finish.

Dawn (left) celebrating the 30th anniversary of Diane working at Nahan.

“My favorite part of working at Nahan has been all of the incredible relationships. Nahan is my extended family. I greatly value the years working with my dad, Donald Krebsbach. He was a Jet Press operator; retired December 2012. It was fun being able to touch base with him when I’d see him (and bring him my leftover lunch).”

Dawn Volante Brown

Beyond Nahan

Outside of being a team member at Nahan, Dawn keeps busy with her hobbies, passions, and family. She enjoys running and plans on participating in a few races this summer. At her church, Dawn is the co-coordinator of the women’s ministry and participates in the worship team. She and her husband have three children who keep them busy by cheering them on at sporting events and their other activities.

Thank you, Dawn, for being a dedicated Nahan employee. We incredibly admire your passion for your employees and our customers. You are part of what makes Nahan great!

Interested in joining the Nahan Team? Learn more about our career opportunities.   

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Questions to Ask When Selecting a Print Partner – Part 1

Author: Jim Hesch, Customer Service

It can be quite daunting, challenging, frightening and overwhelming to pick a print partner when you have never printed before. It is common to have many questions. That is why we have developed a list of questions to ask to help make this process easier for you.  We have also included links to content within our own blogs that address these questions.

You may not choose Nahan, but we would like to help you choose wisely.

(Also, here is a link to our FAQ’s page, which contains some useful information).

Quality and Service

Culture

Strategy

Nahan Mission Statement

To enhance our ability to exceed the needs and expectations of our customers and employees, Nahan is dedicated to producing a quality product and providing dependable service through continual improvement

Our Values

Nahan Values

Stop back next month for Part 2, where we will explore other questions to ask, including questions about environmental sustainability, technology, and more!

My name is Jim Hesch, head of Customer Service, 40 year veteran of print and never done learning… I learn the hard way, so you don’t have to 🙂

The Partnership of the Printing Industry and the Postal System

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

To explore the relationship of the printing industry and the postal system, I needed to get expert insight from Nahan’s Postal Logistics Team. I had the opportunity to talk with Nahan’s Postal Logistics Manager, Gary LaBarre, to discuss the importance of the two entities working together for a common good. Gary’s career in print and logistics is a major asset to Nahan. After graduating high school, Gary started working at a printing company, unknowing that it would become his life-long career as he worked his way up in the industry, spanning forty-eight years. Gary has worked in the postal logistics division for forty-five of those and has dedicated over ten years to Nahan.

From the Press to the Consumers

A beautiful new catalog just rolled off the press, eager to be placed into a consumer’s hands to be used for its purpose. Before it can end up in a consumer’s mailbox, however, it must go through the postal system. As a result, the printing industry must have a relationship with the postal system to be able to take a finished product to its final destination – the people. Gary’s wealth of knowledge about both the printing industry and the postal system make him an excellent resource for brands that are new to the world of print.

“At Nahan, our goal is to get the best postage price possible and to get it to the consumers at the time they want it – not too early or too late.”

Gary LaBarre , Postal Logistics Manager at Nahan

In the next few questions and answers, we explore the logistics of working with the postal system to minimize cost for our customers.

1. There are various ways that a finished product can be shipped to a consumer. Three of the most common methods include co-mail, commingle, and drop ship. What are the differences between these methods?

  • Co-mail – This method is used for catalogs and flat-sized pieces. Multiple jobs are put together in one shipment, the idea being to enhance the pre-sort, which gives the customer the lowest postage price and deeper delivery to the USPS.
  • Commingle – This method is for letter-sized pieces and follows the same logic as co-mail. The shipments are intermixed with other customers to save money on postage in addition to deeper delivery to the USPS.
  • Drop Ship – This method consolidates pallets with other pallet jobs and then delivers it to postal facilities around the country.

2. Out of the three methods mentioned above, why is each beneficial to the customer?

  • Co-mail and commingle are beneficial because of their lower postage rate and delivery to the post office. If a customer has a smaller quantity, drop shipping would not be cost effective.
  • Drop ship is beneficial due to its low postage for large, geographically concentrated quantities, as well as the ability to hit a tight in-home window.

3. Why is timing so important in shipping a finished product?

Depending on what a brand is printing, there can be time sensitive information. For example, a company might be advertising a sale in a catalog or providing a limited time coupon code in a piece of direct mail. If a shipment gets delivered too late, the sale or coupon code will no longer be valid. Conversely, if a shipment arrives too early, customers are trying to order products that are not available in stores yet or score sales that are not set up in the system.

4. What is Informed Delivery? Why should companies sign up for it?

Informed delivery is a free service offered by the United States Postal Service, in which people can sign up to be notified of mail expected to be arriving soon. The service allows users to see a digital preview of their letter-sized mail and packages en-route to their mailbox. Users can access Informed Delivery on any computer or mobile device. It is beneficial to companies from a marketing standpoint. Companies can choose to participate in the Informed Delivery Interactive Campaign and include a link with the image. Companies then receive a summary report of users who clicked on links. While this marketing method is still growing, it is also relatively risk-free and does not eat up a marketing budget.

5. Overall, what is the essence of why the postal system is so crucial to the printing industry?

The printing industry could not exist without the partnership of the postal system. Without the USPS, your eye-catching and action-driving piece would never arrive to your consumer. To be a successful company, you must work with the postal system to deliver the best quality and service to the customers.

Minimized Postage Costs = More Consumer Reach for Your Money

When selling a product or service, no matter how wonderful it may be, marketing is what gets it out there. Print – whether in the form of catalogs, envelope packages, or self-mailers – is a significant contributor to a brand’s marketing strategy. Printing is all about a service that takes a brand’s vision and puts it on paper and makes it a reality. At Nahan, our job is to minimize their postage and transportation costs to allow them to mail as many pieces as possible for their money.

Curious about the current USPS postage rates? Check out our postage rate chart!

Contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Nahan Provides Print & Mailing Solutions for Many European Brands Marketing to US Customers

Author: Melissa Fransen, Marketing Manager

One of the questions that we frequently get asked is if we provide print and mailing solutions to an International customer base that is interested in mailing to the US Market. The answer is a resounding Yes!

In fact, this continues to be one of Nahan’s specialties and something that we feel truly continues to set us apart in the industry. We have quickly become a printer of choice for retailers and agencies alike in the European market.

Nahan Provides Print & Mailing Solutions for Many European Brands Marketing to US Customers

“If you are a start-up or even an established brand looking to market to a US audience and are looking for a trusted print partner, look no further, our team at Nahan is here to become a seamless extension of your marketing team.  We continue to work with so many great people abroad that have become not only clients but good friends, that really trust our Quality & Service.”

Kelly Marthaler, US & International Catalog/Direct Mail Sales Consultant

Commonly Asked Questions

1. We have formats developed for our UK audience and foreign postal requirements. How do we convert our formats to meet the US postal requirements?

Nahan is highly experienced in working with customers to develop efficient size formats for the US postal stream. Weights and size formats that work in Europe don’t always work here in the US. We specialize in adjusting these sizes or format templates to US formats to help minimize cost and reduce postage rates.  Our focus is really on guiding clients closely through the entire process.

2. What about paper? How does this work?

Our team at Nahan is very familiar with foreign paper spec differences and can help transition to US paper stocks that are of equal or greater paper quality and still be competitively priced.

3. With the time difference, can I expect a quick turnaround on quotes?

At Nahan, you can expect a quote within 24 hours or less. We take a lot of pride in quick-turn quotes and communication. You can come to expect the same timely response from our purchasing and customer service teams even when your office is in a foreign country. 

4. What about mailing schedules? How does this work?

Our postal/logistics team at Nahan works with our customers to develop timely schedules based on in-home dates. We walk through this entire process with each of our foreign clients to ensure there is a clear understanding of what in-homes dates work best with each individual marketing plan and how we can minimize cost as well.

5. What about USPS postal promotions, can I take advantage of these?

Absolutely. Our team at Nahan will guide you through the promotions process to ensure you are getting the most cost-effective rates based on your marketing objectives.

6. What about mailing to other markets, such as Canada?

At Nahan, we utilize the assistance of a third party partner to mail to other foreign markets, such as Canada, and do this quite frequently.  We are close proximity to Canada so this is a very close entry point for us.

7. I’m new to this – how do I even start?

Many of our customers that start out with us don’t have experience in expanding their mailing to the US market. No problem at all! We’ll be very happy to guide you through this process so maximum ROI can be achieved.  We want to take the stress of printing and mailing here in the US out of each foreign marketer’s job. 

Interested in learning more about Nahan’s mailing services? Contact us today! 

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

The Fine Art of Finishing Print

Author: Jim Hesch, Customer Service Leader

Focusing on quality and unique capabilities sets us apart. It’s all in the Presentation.

For the person who, in the end will open your envelope, mailer or book, it is all in the presentation.

Beautiful color, gloss or dull techniques, metallics and foil, or attention grabbing raised gloss UV can certainly grab one’s attention. Using an emboss sculpture die to make a message stand out and look 3D or a tactile coating can enhance a piece, too. A cool fold, pop up, or even an iron cross are tried and true attention grabbers for the end user.

Nahan’s Focus on Finishing

At Nahan, we pride ourselves on the Finishing of our pieces; the presentation, with good quality binding and complicated inserting. Our team is dedicated to make sure the quality of the piece compliments the goal of your recipient, which is ultimately to successfully reach them and get them to open the piece.

“I love working in Finishing, no two days are the same and no two books are the same. It’s the collaboration that makes it fun. I am always learning. Yeah, we are obsessed with going the extra mile.”

– Jim Dombrovski, Finishing Shift Leader

“For those of us who are passionate about Finishing, we get to take a nicely printed sheet and turn it into something cool, and we get to touch it and see it before the customer ever gets to see it.”

– Doug Karls, Trainer

Developing Creative Solutions

We have an incredibly creative team to help you find that eye-catching piece; something unusual or unique and are able to complete affordably. Our capabilities are unique, customizable, and with our creative staff, can be game changers.

In the end, we really like Finishing (first).

Resources

Sappi has a wonderful series of publications that can help you in your creative presentation endeavor.

Check out Bindery Techniques issue #6: https://www.sappi.com/standard-volume-6

Or Issue 4, scoring and folding: https://www.sappi.com/standard-volume-4%E2%80%94scoring-folding

The Neuroscience of Touch: https://www.sappi.com/the-neuroscience-of-touch.

Another fun series in finishing techniques is the Fold Factory, Fold of the Week. Check out their YouTube Videos for inspiration and ideas.

Have Fun, Stay Warm and Tip On…

Our Blogger is Jim Hesch, a manager here at Nahan Printing. Jim has been in the printing trade since 1973 and has a passion for finishing and customer service. 

Is Nahan a Printing or Technology Company?

Author: Pat Nahan, Vice President of National Accounts

As the printing landscape has evolved over the past two decades, we have all seen huge changes in the way we do our jobs.  Long gone are the days of film and even hard proofs in some cases. We have all seen the benefits of other new and exciting technologies that make getting ink, toner or dyes onto your chosen substrate.  All of this is great, but if your printer of choice doesn’t have the IT infrastructure to support your growing needs then are you really seeing the full benefit of what these advancements can do for you?

Digital Workflow

There are many benefits to a digital workflow but the 4 that I feel benefit the customer most are:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Brand Continuity
  3. Speed to Market
  4. Being able to create a truly tailored message to your consumer

Upon entering into the digital printing arena, it became glaringly apparent to us that to take advantage of this new technology we needed to embrace and fully utilize all that these machines could do.  To execute this we had to take a two pronged approach, the first being security. The second focus was being able to adapt to our customer’s unique needs and to mold our processes around those.  Along with this we had to step out of our comfort zone to truly develop technologies that can meet those needs.  

“Looping back to the title now, I feel that we are rapidly becoming a Technology company that is really great at printing.”

– Pat Nahan

Every day we are taking our years of experience with the ‘big iron” of printing and using it to make the new digital presses better.  The amount of technological development and custom programming that we are doing on a daily basis to meet the needs of our customers is constantly expanding.  Processes that were cutting-edge just 5 years ago are rapidly being replaced with new words like, API’s, web interfaces, and custom integrations.  Is your printer ready to help take you to the next level?

Questions to Ask Your Printer

Ask yourself these five questions when you consider partnering with a printer:

  1. What is their programming strength?
  2. Can they do more than just a presort of my data and take advantage of all their digital equipment can do?
  3. What sort of custom integrations have they done before?
  4. Do they have the knowledge to build any sort of return processing or continuity process that I might need?
  5. Are they a printer that thinks they know how to program or a true four color variable expert? 

Contact us today to learn more about Nahan and how we can help with your next project.

Patrick Nahan has over 20 years of print experience and is the Vice President of National Accounts with Nahan. On a daily basis, Patrick shows the “Nahan Difference” to key accounts and has been instrumental in launching Nahan into the forefront of the ever-changing print landscape. When not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys, working on cars, boating and trying to keep up with a hectic youth hockey schedule!