When newspaper circulation drops, Joe Colletti, president of Ferag Americas, spies a silver lining. Based since last year at Crossroads Corporate Center, he sells $25 million printing press systems. It seems that when newspapers consolidate their printing operations, he can sell new equipment that takes up less space and prints papers more quickly.

“Planned consolidations create opportunities for our sales organization,” says Colletti. “Publishers need to get more production out of the same space.” Recently he and his 13-person office sold two systems to a Toronto-based publisher and one to North Jersey Media Group in Rockaway. The Star Ledger and the New York Daily News are among his clients for inserting machinery, and Dow Jones uses his firm’s labeling and conveyor equipment.

Colletti’s 10-person office is the North American sales and service organization for Ferag-America’s Swiss parent, WRH Marketing (Walter Reist Holding AG). He claims his Swiss-made equipment is the fastest in the industry, and it can zone down to a personal level. “If the publisher knows your shopping habits, it can put unique inserts into your paper. Our inserting equipment can handle that.”

Swiss manufacturers dominate the printing press market in the United States, but it wasn’t always that way. Until about 20 years ago, New Hampshire-based Goss had the corner on the market. “They got too big and too expensive, and that opened the door to European competition,” says Colletti. Now companies in Germany and Switzerland control 90 percent of the U.S. market. Colletti’s main competition comes from GMA in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which also has a Swiss parent.

A graduate of La Salle University, Colletti and his wife have preschool twins and a six-year-old daughter. He had worked for FMC’s material handling system firm in Chalfonte, Pennsylvania, and came to Ferag-America eight years ago, when the firm had a 100-worker factory in Bristol, Pennsylvania. Three years ago he had to restructure the company and close the factory because it was competing with the Swiss parent. He moved the sales operation to Princeton last year.

“Certainly newspapers are going down in circulation,” says Colletti. “As an industry we need to make advertisers happy and customers happy. We need to change newspapers so they have more local news.”

WRH Marketing/Ferag Americas, 3150 Brunswick Pike, Crossroads Corporate Center, Suite 220, Lawrenceville 08648; 856-842-0600; fax, 856-842-0989. Joe Colletti, president. Home page: www.ferag-americas.com.

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