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Marquis Book Printing is using its recent acquisition of Georgetown Terminal Warehouses as a first step in its long-term plan to integrate book printing and distribution services to better serve the Canadian publishing market.
This goal has been part of the company’s strategic mission and vision since its 2018 acquisition of Toronto-based printer Webcom Inc., says Mike Collinge, Marquis executive vice president and general manager of GTW.
“There’s an opportunity to bring world-class supply chain solutions, which can integrate manufacturing and distribution to help publishers and retailers improve on some of the challenges we’re now facing with our supply chains,” Collinge tells Q&Q. “For a small market like Canada, we really believe we can bring technologies and expertise together to help publishers get books to Canadian readers more efficiently, in a more environmentally conscious way, and with better responsiveness than many Canadian consumers are used to.”
Collinge says the acquisition of Georgetown Terminal Warehouses will give Marquis the opportunity to pursue things like print-on-demand for backlist or end-of-life titles. With Georgetown’s location just west of Toronto, the focus will be primarily on the English-speaking publishing market and distribution channels.
Georgetown Terminal Warehouses operates an 80,000 square foot facility in Georgetown, Ontario, and about 50 employees. Collinge is leading a 100-day plan to bring the companies together. Marquis will have more detailed plans for developing a “world-class solution for Canada” once that initial transition period is over, likely in September, Collinge says.
Marquis plans to keep Georgetown’s existing distribution clients, and also offer existing clients of both companies the opportunity to work with Marquis for both printing and distribution.
“One plus one, in this case, can equal more than two,” Collinge says. “The benefits of manufacturing integrated with distribution can provide a publisher with more value than two single functions separately.”
Georgetown Terminal Warehouses president and CEO Brenda Sisnett says the acquisition makes sense, given the two companies’ shared friendly culture and concern for employees. All of Georgetown’s employees are staying on under the new ownership, she says, “doing the same thing that they were doing last week.”
For Sisnett, who first came to the company her father started as a customs brokerage in 1971, the acquisition also comes at a time when she was looking for a change.
“When I was finished university, my dad asked me if I would please come and help him for three months,” she says. “That was 51 years ago, and I’m still here. I think it’s time for a change for me. I had no idea I would be here for so long, but books are a fascinating business.”
Sisnett and her husband, Larry Sisnett, will be staying on at GTW for the transition for up to a year. For now, she will continue to represent GTW at the twice-annual Book and Periodical Council meetings. The Sisnetts also operate a custom broker, Elliott Custom Brokers, which was not included in the sale to Marquis.
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