SunDance began as a small, family-owned business, but has quickly grown into Orlando’s premier, multi-channel printing and marketing solutions company. Their mission is to solve customer problems with exceptional services, offering branding, strategic planning, and much more – guiding clients to customized solutions for their business. Sundance is Florida’s first certified green offset printer and are environmentally conscious throughout their facility from recycling to the solvents used. They have invested in the latest technology and training to help keep most of their services in-house, resulting in greater quality control and turnaround times.
Over the years, the company has mainly operated as an offset printer, but by consistently monitoring industry growth and potential, they realized they needed to diversify their services to stay competitive, meet their goals, and increase revenue. In 2019, they hired a consultant and invested one million dollars in equipment to help them jump-start their packaging and labels division. Their goal was to become the leader in packaging by 2024 in their region. This, coupled with their already successful printing arm, was going to set them up for long-term success.
Then 2020 came and COVID hit. Since tourism is the largest client base for printed materials, SunDance lost millions in revenue due to travel restrictions and demand declined rapidly for their products. They decided to switch gears and fast track training and operations for the packaging division in order to make up this lost revenue. Even though Bradley Berberich, SunDance’s director of special projects and cost analysis, had over 35 years of industry experience, he knew the company couldn’t compete with the packaging competition oversees, so he decided to get some outside assistance.
That’s when he reached out to Maria Hill, project manager for the Southeastern Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (SETAAC), which is a federally funded program housed out of Georgia Tech that provides matching assistance funds to firms experiencing declines due to import competition. Through the initial conversation, Hill and Berberich discussed how to support the training they needed to gain in-depth knowledge for the new packaging product lines and generate customer leads for new projects.
Through the matching assistance funds SunDance received, they have been able to:
- Increase revenue by 32 percent.
- Complete eight projects including targeted digital marketing campaigns, SEO optimization, and developing companywide trainings on pricing strategy, nomenclature, and leadership growth.
- Generate leads that account for 51 percent of new business, and over two million dollars in revenue from 330 new clients.
- Identify markets where they can be successful and create new services that allow them to combat foreign competition.
- Increase employment by 25 percent and maintain low employee turnover.
- Streamline workflow and revamp their manufacturing process.
SunDance continues to work with SETAAC and is well on their way to becoming a leader in the packaging industry. They attribute many of their successes back to the SETAAC cost-share funds; affording them the ability to devote the time and money needed to properly set-up their new infrastructure and generate business leads to achieve their company goals.
Berberich said, “SETACC was instrumental in our success – every single thing we learned opened the door to more that we didn’t even know we had to learn. I would highly encourage other manufacturers to participate in this program”.
The Southeastern Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (SETAAC), a federally funded program, housed out of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) at Georgia Institute of Technology, is supported by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, and provides matching assistance funds to firms experiencing declines due to import competition.