Quick-Observe Firm Hera Printing is ‘At all times on the Verge of New Know-how’

At the top of the annual roll of honor for the Printing Impressions 350 are the “Fast Track” companies: a sample of companies with significantly higher sales growth compared to the previous year than other providers. We presented six outstanding artists.

It is important to remember that the year-over-year sales figures reported by PI 350 companies are for the most recently completed fiscal year and the one immediately preceding it. This means that in 2020 – for the majority of companies reporting calendar fiscal years – we are providing comparisons between 2019 and 2018 that do not reflect the economic impact of COVID-19 on the industry, although almost every participant experienced its impact at some point during Year.

However, we believe the 2020 PI 350 will remain an accurate index of business strength and structural diversity that the printing industry will continue to show once the pandemic is finally behind it. We hope that profiles like the following, the attributes that put printing companies in the fast lane, are constants in the industry. They are always available for other companies to copy. In sharing these great stories, we encourage everyone who reads them to do so.

We congratulate Printing Impressions’ 350 fast track companies in 2020 and wish all the best print shops who made the most of a difficult year.

Hera Printing, Santurce, PR
Last fiscal year revenue: $ 11 million
Previous fiscal year sales: $ 6.5 million
Percentage growth: 69%

When Luis Garcia, an entrepreneur and aficionado of Greek mythology, opened his first store, a magazine stand in a post office that he called Zeus. He named his next company Hera Office Supply in honor of Zeus’ wife and Queen of Olympus.

That was in 1978 and today the gods keep smiling at the printing business that Hera Office Supply eventually became. Hera Printing is run by Luis’ son Ricardo L. Garcia and is one of the best-equipped and versatile print service providers in Puerto Rico. The company is growing both organically and through acquisitions and, as Ricardo Garcia says, is “always on the verge of new technologies” that allow it to offer its customers more options.

Hera Printing was the first Latin American printing company to look for new solutions America Acquires Highcon High-End Finishing Equipment in the Form of a Highcon Euclid Digital Cut and Crease System; and from Scodix, which provided a Scodix Ultra Pro digital enhancement press with foil. The company also operates two HP Indigo liquid toner presses. large format digital devices from EFI VUTEk and Mimaki; conventional foil stamping and stamping units from Kluge; as well as Heidelberg offset printing machines and reprinting machines.

Knowing that Hera Printing has these capabilities, other printers and brokers come for help with work they are not equipped to do. The diversification of the technology mix has also expanded the customer base, as shown by the expansion to large format issues.

The addition of large format “gave us a big boost,” says Garcia. “Most of our customers made large formats. They just didn’t do it to us. “The technology also proved a boon during a week-long lockdown on the island in response to COVID-19. Hera Printing continued to be an essential company, using its large format equipment to produce barriers, signage, stickers and other items to help contain the spread of the virus.

Small business friendly

The company’s customers, located entirely in Puerto Rico, include banks, healthcare providers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and creative agencies. According to Garcia, Hera Printing also pays special attention to small businesses and startups that they want to work with as a personable “silent partner” as they grow.

“We can offer people alternatives in order to have a great product at a very moderate price,” he says. In the case of a start-up, this could mean offering an initial price that is designed to hold on to budget for the time being, and adjust billing later when the client’s finances are stronger.

This is how Garcia observes, “They grow with us.” Relationships deepen when customers know their printer is always ready to tell them, “We have it, we make it happen, and you can focus on the parts of your business that need the most attention.”

One mindset in the printing industry is that customers are process independent and therefore it doesn’t matter how their work is printed. Garcia disagrees. “We want the customer to understand the complexity of the process,” he emphasizes. As the market for print has changed, the experience of buying print should be “personalized for you” rather than just a generic transaction with a disinterested vendor.

Another growth path for Hera Printing was the acquisition of a supplier of office supplies two years ago, which is now called Hera Envelopes & Forms. This branch of the company, run by Luis Garcia and one other son, Miguel Garcia, regularly produces work streams on an area of ​​50,000 square meters. Plant that is separate from commercial operations and housed in its own area of ​​36,000 square meters.

Protect them

The Hera Group has a total of 100 employees. According to Ricardo Garcia, all the necessary protocols are in place in the plants to protect the workforce against COVID-19: mandatory wearing of masks, temperature controls, staggered lunch breaks, protective barriers and restrictions on customer visits.

Garcia notes that the pandemic has led to a surge in mailings the company produces for the Commonwealth’s unemployment department. Bank customers are also increasingly using direct mail to keep customers informed about pandemic-related matters such as deferred mortgage payments. Garcia believes that this additional business, coupled with an overall boom in Puerto Rico’s economy through an expected inflow of federal aid, will continue to drive Hera Printing’s growth even in a year overshadowed by COVID-19.

Whatever the fate of Olympus, the company that Luis Garcia named after a goddess will continue to rely on world-class manufacturing services and uncompromising customer service to keep up its forward momentum. Ricardo Garcia sums up: “At Hera Printing we don’t just print. We only print in quality. “