Manufacturing Month: Five Questions with Quad/Graphics

Manufacturing Month 2016

To celebrate Manufacturing Month 2016, we are spotlighting several Saratoga County-based manufacturers and the work they do. First up in the blog series is Quad/Graphics. Quad/Graphics (NYSE: QUAD) is a leading printer and marketing services provider with locations across the United States and around the globe. Their focus: helping brand owners market their products, services and content more efficiently and effectively across traditional and digital channels.

What do you manufacture?

Quad/Graphics has been a proud Saratoga County employer for more than 30 years.

Every day you see and touch – and even hear and smell – our products. Quad prints many of the magazines, catalogs and direct mail advertising pieces you find in your mailbox. We also print the majority of the retail advertising inserts that ride along in your Sunday newspaper. We also design and manufacture those paperboard cutouts and displays at the grocery store as well as oversized floor graphics, high-end packaging, scent strips on printed perfume ads, videos that leap to life off a printed page using a mobile app, and more.

In essence, Quad is in your mailbox, on your kitchen shelves, in your favorite retail stores, on your mobile devices … everywhere you are.

Who are your customers and where are they located?Dan Frankowski

Quad has thousands of clients, including publishers Condé Nast, Harlequin Enterprises Limited, Hearst Magazines, and McGraw-Hill Education, and marketers and brand owners such as American Eagle Outfitters, American Girl, Best Buy Co., Charter Communications, ConAgra Foods, CVS Health Corporation, Eddie Bauer, Hanesbrands, Walgreen Co., and Weight Watchers International.

Among the magazines and catalogs we print at our Saratoga Springs plant include The Economist, The Atlantic, Nature Conservancy, Air & Space, Smithsonian, People, Sports Illustrated, Popular Science, Dover Saddlery, LEGO, Best Made, and Lord & Taylor.

What does your ideal workforce look like?

Our workforce reflects our corporate values.

We are hard-working, fun-loving, can-do people who want to be more and do more. And, together, we recognize we can do more than as individuals apart.

We believe in taking time to invest in relationships because chances are if you don’t like someone it’s because you don’t trust them. And if you don’t trust them it’s probably because you don’t know them. So taking time to invest in the relationship is crucial.

We value doing the right thing as well as doing things for “the rose” – our word for excellence.

We also value innovation and growth. We dare ourselves to think differently … to ask “what if” and “why not?” … to experiment … to find new sources of growth.

Above all, we value people. It’s not some corporate speak. It’s real. Innovative, growth-minded people are crucial to keeping us a breakaway company.

Our employee base includes individuals who are new to the workforce (e.g., high school graduates) as well as experienced machines operators, apprentice and journeyman tradesmen, customer service representatives, IT professionals, and more. We even have medical professionals who staff our onsite primary care clinic, QuadMed.

We are an attractive employment option because of our career advancement opportunities, including our Accelerated Career Training program, which fast-tracks employees into production leadership positions, and our Registered Apprenticeship Program, which allows employees to learn a trade while they earn a living wage.

What’s the biggest challenge you currently face?

Our biggest challenge is finding employees. Competition for talent is tough and, currently, we have more than 50 job openings at our Saratoga Springs location. In order to attract more interest in our company, we recently increased our starting wage, increased our night and weekend shift premiums, created more flexible shifts, and expanded training and accelerated career advancement opportunities. We are also offering existing employees a referral bonus. We offer more than a job; we offer a career. We are doing all we can to promote the incredible opportunities we have at our company.

What makes Saratoga County attractive as a business location for you?

Quad has been a proud to operate in Saratoga County since the mid-1980s when we built our plant in the W.J. Grande Industrial Park. Interestingly, Saratoga County was the company’s first expansion outside Wisconsin (where we got our start). Our company’s founder, Harry Quadracci, said he chose Saratoga County because it is a great place to raise a business … and a family. Many of the materials we print are time sensitive, so having convenient access to population centers up and down the East Coast is critical. Of course, the area provides great resources for a business, including rail transportation and job-ready employees.