Ann Arbor Book Printer Adds Second Facility Amidst Changing Industry

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tEdwards Brothers Malloy, a book printer and binder based in Ann Arbor, is splitting its operations in two locations as it moves its fulfillment and digital print operations down the road to a 100,400-square-foot building now dubbed Ann Arbor West.

tThe company’s headquarters at 5411 Jackson Rd. will remain at the nearly 200,000-square-foot Ann Arbor East, which employs nearly 400 people, says Donna Coleman, the company’s director of marketing. The move follows the merger of Malloy Inc. and Edwards Brothers Unite in 2012.

t“(Before the merger), we had our State Street location, and when we merged Malloy, we ended up with two very similar facilities in the same city,” Coleman says. “We were constantly shipping stuff back and forth, and it didn’t make a lot of sense, so we decided to consolidate those two operations. And as we were doing that, we realized that the one facility on Jackson road just wasn't big enough, especially with the growth we’re seeing in our digital print and fulfillment operations.”

tColeman says the move is one way the printer — which has nine digital centers throughout the U.S. and United Kingdom — has kept up with a changing industry. “It used to be that publishers would print long runs, like 10,000 or 100,000 books, and they’d sell orders out of inventory. They didn’t think too hard about how long that inventory sat around. Well, that’s no longer the case. And as the industry changes, we've responded.”

tWhile the printer still uses offset printing for large orders, Coleman says it’s not uncommon for a publisher to print 1,000 books, a number better suited for digital printing.

t“As you can imagine, if you're printing more often in smaller quantities, that requires a whole different shipping and fulfillment operation, and that’s what we have going on at the Ann Arbor West building,” says Coleman, noting that the company prints and stores inventory for about 200 customers, which include both major publishers as well as self-published authors.

tWhile the fulfillment operation has already completed the move to Ann Arbor West (it took 52 truckloads, Coleman says), the company is waiting on electrical and Internet connections before it moves its digital printing operation. Coleman says she expects the move to be completed by the end of July. 

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