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Good business owners always find a way to maximize their opportunities with changing circumstances. Ron Price, the founder of Midwest Mailworks, did exactly that in order to build his small mail equipment company into the flourishing mailing and printing services firm that it is today.Price had left his position as a service manager at Pitney Bowes in the late 1970s in order to start his own company, Mailing Equipment Services, in Rockford. In the early 1980s, the United States Postal Service introduced the concept of worksharing, which offers reduced postage rates to mailers with certain volumes who prepare, sort, or transport their mail in such a way as to help the Post Office. Ron Price was one of many entrepreneurs who capitalized on this trend by becoming presort bureaus, which specialize in preparing bulk mailings and passing the resulting postage discounts along to their customers. He named his new venture Rockford Presort.Ron's son Doug, the current co-owner of Midwest Mailworks, says that the company grew from there. "After a while, some of his customers asked if he could also do other services for them, such as folding and inserting statements, since he was already doing their mailing for them. From there, he started adding on other services such as mailing lists and warehousing and distribution, so that the service side of the business really took off. He finally sold Mailing Equipment Services in the mid-1980s to focus strictly on Rockford Presort."Today, Doug Price and his brother and co-partner Ron Jr. preside over two facilities, one at 2136 12th Street in Rockford and the other in Rock Island. The company's name (which was changed to Midwest Mailworks in the late 1980s) reflects the addition of its Quad Cities distribution area in northwest Illinois and southeast Iowa.The two facilities, both approximately the same size of 15,000 square feet, and the company's 24 employees offer a full range of mailing, marketing, printing, and fulfillment services such as data management, design services, folding, scoring, perforation, shrinkwrapping, pickup, and delivery. Approximately 200 to 300 businesses, which run the gamut from large manufacturers, universities and hospitals to small restaurants and banks, rely on Midwest Mailworks for their mailing needs.Midwest Marketing also offers marketing campaigns such as its SMARTcast Marketing Systems, an integrated marketing service which involves enabling prospects to respond to an offer on a personalized Website landing page, then allowing their customers to track the results in real time.In 2005 Midwest Mailworks added a full print division which specializes in short-run, full-color items such as brochures, post cards, sales sheets, newsletters, and other marketing materials."Many of our clients still associate us with only mailing because the printing end of the business is relatively recent," says Doug Price, "but now we also provide both offset and digital on-demand printing so that we can truly be a one-stop shop. We can help you design your marketing materials, print them for you in whatever quantity you need, and mail them for you all under one roof. "

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