The Reno market has snagged another "Big Boy" to set up a manufacturing plant.
Mass-customization printing company Cimpress, best know in the United States for its brand Vistaprints, is making Reno its Western manufacturing and distribution hub. The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) made the announcement at a press conference Nov. 7.
"It's one of the Big Boys," Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of EDAWN, said during the press conference.
"The fact that they opened their first U.S. plant here in the Reno says something," Kazmierski said referring to the area's increasing reputation as the place to set up manufacturing, logistics and technical operations.
The new 72,750-square-foot facility at 9250 Red Rock Rd. will be Cimpress' first U.S. manufacturing operation, supplementing its North American plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
"Reno is an outstanding location for us from a logistics aspect." Lawrence H. Reid, vice president plant development Cimpress, said in a phone interview with the NNBW.
While the Ontario plant - Cimpress' largest facility - serves customers in the East and Midwest in a timely manner, providing three-day fulfillment to areas west of the Rockies is more challenging, Reid said. "It's difficult to do that consistently."
Reid also noted during the press conference that the region's lack of red tape as a secondary reason that put the area at the top of its list above Las Vegas and locations in Utah, and Arizona.
"You are doing it right," he said.
Initially, the Reno plant will manufacture large-format products such as banners, posters and lawn signs, he said, with plans to start operations before the end of the year. Every six months or so, it will add additional products until the plant is in full production in two years.
Founded in 1995 in a one-bedroom apartment in Paris, the now Netherlands-based company makes customized print, signage, apparel, gifts, packaging and other products. It now operates in 19 countries.
Cimpress makes its products affordable through a proprietary combination of software development, e-commerce, graphic file processing, content creation, marketing, production technologies, customer service and manufacturing.
"They may look like a printing company, but they're also a tech company with 200 patents," Kazmierski said.
Last year the Cimpress customized more than 46 million unique items across a wide variety of product categories. For its fiscal year ending in June 2016, Cimpress reported $1.8 billion in annual revenue.
"The average customer order is $40," Reid told those gathered for the EDAWN announcement.
"The core of what Cimpress is about is supplying small businesses," he said. "For 20 years, we've made customized affordable products in small quantities.
"If you print it, most likely, we make it."
It's Vistaprints brand, primarily sold is the United States is 100 percent internet based, he said.
"The growing and competitive nature of mass customization has changed the printing industry when it comes to quality, affordability, and delivery to customers. Cimpress' plan to continue expansion in North America by setting up its first U.S. light manufacturing operation in the Reno area will give them the added resources to more quickly service their customers in the Western U.S.," Kazmierski said in a press release. "We are excited to welcome Cimpress and the addition of these quality jobs to our community."
Cimpress plans to hire up to 150 new employees over time for the Reno plant to fill a broad range of permanent, full-time positions including plant manager, supervisors, production and shipping operators, human resources and accounting managers. The average wage for Cimpress plant workers is $21 per hour.
"I am excited to welcome Cimpress to northern Nevada as a new economic partner for our region's growth and employment market," Reno City Councilman Paul McKenzie, representative of Ward 4 where the facility will be located, said in a press release. "With over 17 million customers worldwide, Cimpress' future is bright and we're happy to have them as our new neighbor."
Business partners involved in helping Cimpress identify it's new home in Reno included Cory Hunt from the Governor's Office of Economic Development, Kidder Mathews' staff Michael Hoeck, Michael Nevis, Dave Simonsen, Steve Kucera, Panattoni Development, and Alston Construction. The company first approached the Northern Nevada Development Authority, which referred them to EDAWN as a better fit.