“A good home for good projects” is how sales and marketing director Samuel Chung sums up Chang Jiang Printing Media, which he established a decade ago. “We are a bit different from other print management companies out there,” he says, “in that we do have our own manufacturing facilities—smaller than most but just as efficient and modern—in Shanghai and Chengdu, which is in Sichuan province, with around 200 and 300 workers, respectively.”
The Chengdu facility is renowned for its hand-assembly work and complex pop-ups, a specialty of Chung, who founded Excel back in the 1980s. “Conventional titles with various types of binding are done in Shanghai,” he says, adding that there are three offices (in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Shanghai) for operational communications and a sales branch in New York to support the firm’s U.S. clients, especially major companies such as Simon & Schuster and Scholastic.
“We work with factories in China as well as those outside of China,” says Chung, who regularly sends staff—from a team of around 50 experts that includes former LSC Communications and R.R. Donnelley people—to those factories to deal with production issues and to train their personnel. “Our partnerships with various factories are not just about getting the highest quality products from them. We train them up on day-to-day communications, service requirements, technical jargon, and transparency issues. Most of these factories have the machineries and the know-how, but they lack experience in dealing with overseas publishers and what these publishers want or need from them. Chang Jiang Printing Media and our in-house experts are on hand to bridge that gap.”
Service is the be-all and end-all, Chung says. “Once an order is placed, our clients expect us to solve all problems that arise during the print-manufacturing process. Not only that, but we have to address paper shortage issues, shipping delays, and environmental footprints. The highest-quality products are not going to impress or thrill the client unless they also arrive on time—every time—and in tip-top condition for launches and the bookshelves. That calls for communications and connections. And given our track record over the years, we have the chops to be the intermediary between the factories and the clients.”
Free training and industry knowledge aside, Chung is all about paying the factories well and fast. “We act as their banker, and in return for not having to worry about payment on day 90 or 120, or cash flow to cover their overhead and raw materials, they pay extra attention to our projects and get them fulfilled speedily,” Chung says. “I call that a major win-win. It enables us—a small outfit on all counts—to compete on cost, quality, reliability, and turnaround time.”