Profile: Having A Ball At PrintGlobe
Using the descriptor “fun” to define a company is certainly subjective, but when browsing the Instagram profile of PrintGlobe, an Austin, Texas-based distributor, there’s hardly a more fitting adjective.
From photos of employees enjoying outings and holiday celebrations, including a Halloween party complete with full costumes, to office pranks—someone tied a red balloon to a storm drain, playing off of the 2017 remake of Stephen King’s It—to supporting local businesses by not only featuring promotional products in action, but savoring the food, entertainment and experiences provided by these businesses.
It seems the team is proud of what they do—and they take the time to thoroughly enjoy all the industry connections they’ve made. So it’s no wonder PrintGlobe—formerly Corporate Communications of Austin (CCA)—was named to the Austin Business Journal’s list of 50 Best Places to Work, among other accolades, including making Inc. magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies list for six consecutive years. The company has also appeared on the Austin Business Journal’s Fast 50 list, twice, for being one of the fastest-growing companies in Austin, Texas, and was honored on Fortune’s Inner City 100 list of fastest-growing inner-city businesses.
Surprisingly, the company’s start wasn’t necessarily planned, but like most good things in life, it was stumbled upon serendipitously. Dan Steinborn, PrintGlobe’s founder and CEO, earned a degree in journalism from the University of Texas in Austin in 1993, but it was a class in graphic design that he took during summer school, on the cusp of graduation, that would pave the way for his future in promotional products. After college, he didn’t follow the tract of his degree, but sought jobs as a graphic designer, where he helped create branding materials for new and small companies. After being laid off in 1995 from his role as a designer and ad salesman for a local community newspaper, Steinborn saw a clearly paved opportunity to start his own business, and launched CCA.
Over the next five years, CCA continued to grow, offering graphic design and offset printing services to Austin businesses. The company first gained customers using a Yellow Pages listing, before accessing a much larger online community following the explosion of the internet in the late ’90s. Preparing for disruption, the company rebranded as PrintGlobe, and a year later, launched its first version of an online superstore. “The internet seemed well-suited to offer an expansive catalog of promotional items that a customer could sort through far more efficiently than sitting at a conference room table for hours looking at catalogs,” says Steinborn, recalling an experience he’s repeated countless times.
And sticking to its origins, PrintGlobe was awarded a U.S. trademark for its slogan, “The Printing Superstore,” which remains the company’s mission: to provide customers with a one-stop shop that extends beyond promotional products to include a comprehensive list of services, like offset printing and business printing products, apparel, signage, trade show display products and even rubber stamps.
(Spring) Cleaning Clients’ Warehouses
The Austin-based distributor offers customers a one-stop shop for promotional products and much more. Aside from its products and services, PrintGlobe offers a rather unique capability—managing clients’ inventory, warehousing and product shipments, which includes same-day shipping. A new offering, PrintGlobe’s purchase of a new headquarters building in January 2019, spanning 43,000 square feet of space, includes a climate-controlled warehouse, onsite fulfillment and order management staff. “Company stores have been most successful with customers who need widespread distribution, brand control and whoever wants to take advantage of volume pricing for their entire organization,” says Jamie Dickens, CAS, vice president of sales, who has been with the company since 2004. “They’re also great for culture, safety and award programs, and a great solution for companies who have a widespread workforce. Nonprofits find company stores valuable for creating simple-to-use fundraising campaigns, and savvy marketers use them to promote popup or flash sale events.”
The new headquarters also includes an open concept graphic design studio, two glass-enclosed conference rooms and multiple open breakrooms, communal gathering spaces and a second story loft. And with a reputation for fun, PrintGlobe, of course, incorporated it into the new space. “We also have a full-size music stage, complete with stage lighting and special effects, which were immediately put to use by Dan's band—he plays bass in the cover band Blazin Kane—the night we moved into the space for a ‘housewarming party,’ attended by our team, neighbors and local supporters,” says Dickens.
And speaking of fun, PrintGlobe does a host of activities to integrate its team. “PrintGlobe’s collaborative and team success culture has been a huge part of our identity, going all the way back to when our team had less than 10 associates. Now, it’s more important than ever that we celebrate every win as a team win,” she says. Every Tuesday is “Breakfast Taco Tuesday,” which Dickens describes as an “an easy way to show the love.” Monthly sales records are celebrated companywide, usually with catered lunches from Austin’s Franklin Barbecue, and weekly sales goals earn Friday happy hour, where all team members—from the sales floor to the warehouses—gather to toast everyone’s hard work.
Every year, PrintGlobe also gathers its departments together over a few weekends to produce a short film. “We’re talking green-screen special effects, help from award-winning makeup artists and some very legit costume rentals,” says Dickens. The film is premiered annually at a private movie theater during the company’s annual holiday party. “So far, we’ve produced a zombie movie, a Star Wars parody and a new take on the 1960’s Batman and Robin TV series.”
Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.