Montgomery Business Journal

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MBJ Emile Vaughn

Delivering on Marketing Services

November/December 2016
By David Zaslawsky 
Photography by Robert Fouts

Davis Direct Inc. CEO Emile Vaughan said that his firm is mainly known locally “as a printer and a mail house, but we’re more than that.”

Much more than that, and one aspect of the firm that sets Davis Direct apart from competitors is what Vaughan calls “fulfillment.” On the firm’s website those fulfillment services are warehouse, ship, track and deliver. Instead of a business storing its marketing materials in closets or wherever there is room – those items can be stored with Davis Direct in its 20,000-square-foot warehouse with racks. No longer can a company’s field representatives come in and grab products and leave with no one knowing what items were taken or how many are left.

“We keep track of materials,” Vaughan said. “We keep track of every receipt; every shipment to every person; and it all goes into this database. We give customers/businesses a way to manage an aspect of their business that typically is not managed with their information systems. What we offer them is control over their physical marketing assets.”

The marketing materials management service is better suited to businesses with regional or national sales representatives, Vaughan said. “We’re not talking about mom-and-pops. These are larger organizations that utilize these services. It works. We have some very happy customers and it works well for us.”

He would like to see the marketing materials management segment grow from its current 10 percent of the firm’s revenue. No competitor has a comparable service to the same degree, according to Vaughan. “I think a difference with us is that when we come out with services they are fully developed – robust services.”

A new service – display graphics – was added when Davis Direct acquired Color Craft and Vaughan projects sales will increase 10 percent to 15 percent. He hopes that new customers using display graphics will also use other Davis Direct services. Display graphics are used by retailers to advertise a product or inside the store windows to promote items.

“It feeds back into the suite of services that we offer, and hopefully (customers) will find value,” he said. Not only will Davis Direct store the marketing materials, but it can produce them and has the capabilities of bulk mailing. “Then it really becomes an attractive set of services,” Vaughan said.

There could be future acquisitions as the printing industry is currently “in a consolidation mode,” Vaughan said. “I’m not interested in going out and buying printing companies. If something fits like Color Craft did with what they had to offer us and who they are – then yes (to acquiring a company).”

That suite of services also sets Davis Direct apart from others, Vaughan said. “You can use any one of our services and that’s the way people know us – through one particular service – and it can be a great value for customers,” he said. “But the real value that you get dealing with Davis Direct is when you use several of the services in combination. We help customers coordinate the mailing as well as the production.”

His customers are marketing and communication professionals as well as advertising agencies. “We’re not a retail-type where we deal with individuals,” he said. “We do marketing and communication-related production and management.”

On the website, it states that Davis Direct will protect a client’s brand. “We make sure that brand standards – and most organizations have a set of brand standards that they need – are followed,” he said. “It goes back to our print standards as well. It’s one of the things that we’ve invested heavily in: color management technology. That gives us the ability to measurably reproduce brand standards, brand colors.”

Number of employees: 
43

Services:
Commercial printing, 

mailing, marketing materials management, display graphics

Years in business:21 under current management

Website:
davisdirect.com

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