In 1928, Philip “PJ” Green opened PJ Green Advertising Service in the garage of his home in Utica, New York. Eighty-eight years later, Rick Green and three of his sisters represent fourth generation ownership of the integrated marketing company, www.pjgreen.com, which has grown dramatically and has diversified into the publishing world.
Advertising is a fast-paced business and continues to play a role in the multi-dimensional company that operates from three upstate cities and employs 75 people. Offering creative, data, promotional and mailing services, PJ Green, Inc. produces over 10 million marketing pieces annually while specializing in quick turnaround work. All of it is cut with a pair of Colter & Peterson paper cutters, including a 32” rebuilt Baum machine that was put into service in early 2016. The six month report card indicates it has earned more than a passing grade.
“It cuts all day and is exceeding our expectations, so we are very happy with its performance. We bought this machine on Bruce Peterson’s recommendation and it is helping us achieve our annual 10% growth rate,” remarked Jeff Lloyd, PJ Green’s Building Maintenance Supervisor. Lloyd has witnessed many changes during his 39 years with the company, and he believes the relationship between his company and C&P has proved beneficial.
“We’ve known Colter & Peterson for about 12 years and they also service our other cutter, a 32” Challenger. The first machine we bought from them was another 32” Challenger, which we used every day for almost 12 years and retired after purchasing the Baum. The Challenger is a very good machine for framing and the Baum is perfect for molding. Both cut really well but the Baum is finer and more precise. That is very important for the type of work we produce.”
PJ Green once printed bulk rate advertising circulars and promotional items on offset presses. Today, it continues to turn out bulk mail work by handling personalized pieces for colleges, but has evolved into the digital world with the purchase of two HP Indigo 7800 presses.
With a presence in Syracuse and Albany besides Utica, the focus is on local businesses. They churn out post cards, business cards and other like work for non-profits, political organizations and a nearby racetrack casino. The Green family also prints a monthly penny saver newspaper it purchased in 2001. The New Hartford Town Crier has a circulation of 13,000.
“We do everything from minimum amounts in the hundreds for the non-profits to up to 700,000 direct mail pieces at a time. We run two shifts five days a week, but our busy season is almost here. From September to December, we’ll go around the clock seven days a week,” said Lloyd. “Our goal is get it out the door in less than a week. Many times our customers spread out their mailings so we print the job, warehouse it and then parcel the rest until it is ready to drop in the mail.”
Lloyd’s staff of 18 employees comprise the Detached Mail Unit, which includes design, press and finishing talent. Operating from 44,000 square-feet of space in Utica – plus additional warehouse space – the crew also is responsible for the on-site U.S. Post Office. Six of the operators are trained to work with the Baum and Challenger paper cutters, and Lloyd says the different features on the Baum have not gone unnoticed.
“The Baum came with its own air table. We’ve never had one but it is making our guys more productive. It is easier for them to get work ready for the cutter, so we are experiencing quicker turnaround in the finishing area. Since the air lifts the paper, there is also less wear and tear on the operators. We cut to specs so the programming feature is a huge time saver. The system memorizes the sequences and simply recalls the setting to where it needs to be to make the cut.”
Lloyd said servicing the customer is a critical component to PJ Green’s success. In turn, he is quick to recognize how well they have been serviced by Colter & Peterson over the years.
“When we have needed service, they respond quickly. We are very happy to hear their opinions and their parts department is wonderful. When we need something, they have it,” indicated Green. “We do all our maintenance in-house and only call C&P when we need them. When we had a problem with the Challenger that was replaced earlier in the year, they had the Baum up and ready for us in less than a week. At the time we were on the tail end of the busiest part of the year for us, but the response was so quick we didn’t lose any production time.”