The Phoenix Group of Companies, a full-service provider of comprehensive printing, packaging, shipping and fulfillment solutions in Philadelphia, announced that its subsidiary Phoenix Lithographing and long-term industrial partner ICS Corp. from West Deptford, NJ, joining forces to create the Phoenix ICS group of companies.
The new partnership brings together ICS, a direct mail organization providing strategic development and creative services, and Phoenix Lithographing, one of the largest private commercial printing companies in the market. The group will benefit from ICS’s expertise in mailing and creative development, as well as Phoenix’s extensive knowledge of print production.
“Our combined resources will create a printing and mailing powerhouse capable of printing more than 75 million pages per day and shipping more than 100 million copies per month,” said Dean Baker, Phoenix CEO and President of the newly founded company, in an exclusive interview with Druckimpressionen. The Phoenix ICS group of companies will offer traditional web offset, sheet-fed offset, as well as toner and inkjet digital printing technologies. Direct mail; Blending services; Data solutions; Fulfillment; and large format advertisement and packaging printing.
“We are truly a one-stop shop for Fortune 500 and medium-sized companies,” added Baker.
The Phoenix-ICS Group of Companies is headquartered on the Phoenix campus at 11631 Caroline Road in Philadelphia, which consists of three buildings with a total of 300,000 square feet of roof space and around 400 employees. Additional manufacturing facilities include the 200,000 square foot ICS facility with 350 employees in West Deptford, NJ; the Phoenix-Veterans Print packaging facility in Woodridge, Illinois; and HighRoad Press, a women-owned leaf printing company in Moonachie, New Jersey, targeting the high-end fashion, fragrance, and retail printing markets.
Each location has its own specialization while providing business continuity and redundancy for the other facilities.
Baker told Printing Impressions that the partnership with ICS will enable Phoenix to sell more direct mail services to its commercial print customers and to offer additional types of print to ICS direct marketers. ICS primarily serves direct mail to the banking, credit, financial technology, nonprofit and retail markets, while Phoenix Lithographing includes finance, pharmaceutical, insurance, consumer brands, telecommunications and high-end art catalogs for auction houses, among others covers.
According to David Neff, a partner of ICS, with seven digital printing machines and around 55 inserters in operation, ICS can print and send four to five million direct mail items a day. The Phoenix Post Factory in Philadelphia now only produces self-mailers, while all letter packages are now produced in the ICS West Deptford facility. In addition to its extensive expertise in IT, data processing, letterhop and blending services, ICS also offers in-house creative and database marketing services that customers can use to increase response rates.
ICS has a strong presence in roll-to-roll inkjet printing, including a full color Canon ColorStream with inline perfecting and die cutting, three Ricoh 5000 MP monochrome models, two full color Ricoh 5000 GPs, and a full color Ricoh VC 40000 press with inline – Perfection and punching.
The Phoenix lithographing facility in Philadelphia has an extensive range of printing devices, including nine (up to eight color models) heatset and nonheatset web offset printing machines with various inline finishing functions, three 40˝ Heidelberg LED UV sheet-fed offset printing machines, HP and Fuji large format printer, two 23×29˝ Fuji J Press 750S inkjet printers, one HP Indigo 7K digital press, and two four-color Xerox iGen-5 presses, a Xerox Nuvera and an iGen 150 printer.
The combined company remains privately owned – Barry Green remains Chairman of the Phoenix Group and Matthew Bastian is the primary owner of ICS – which Neff says will appeal to clients of both organizations who would rather do business with private owner groups rather than the growing number of Graphics companies now owned by outside private equity firms. The Phoenix Group was ranked 41st in the 2020 ranking of Printing Impressions 350 of the largest printers in the USA and Canada and achieved sales of 128.5 million US dollars in the last financial year. (Click here for the full PI 350 list.)
Steve Anello, vice chairman of Phoenix, first came up with the idea of joining forces and worked with Bastian from ICS to bring the parties together. “We are excited that this union enables ICS corporate customers to experience the diversity that the Phoenix The group of companies offers services through our minority-owned companies, ”emphasized Anello. “More and more companies are looking for easy-to-use, turnkey solutions, and few suppliers can provide the resources and certifications we need to meet their tier 1 diversity procurement goals.”
Companies within the umbrella organization of the Phoenix ICS group of companies meet various diversity classifications, including NMSDC (Minority Owned Business), Disabled Combat Veteran Owned Business and WBENC (Woman Owned Business).
The merger is a natural next step in an already good collaboration between Phoenix and ICS, ”adds Bastian. “We have worked together for years to meet the printing and mailing needs of many large direct mail customers and we look forward to continuing our partnership.”
Large customers will benefit from the newly combined functions, said Adam Travetti, vice president of business development and expert in direct mail. “Apparently, executives and procurement teams talk every week about finding qualified, capable diversity suppliers like us.”