Just a minute with Russell Gnant, President and CEO Spectrum Digital Services, LLC

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:41 pm

Company Address:

600 Northshore Drive, Hartland, WI 53029

Web site:

www.cdmfg.com, www.spincards.com


Optical disc (CD, DVD, HD, Blu-Ray) printing, duplication and packaging

Number of employees:


Company’s annual revenues:

Next goal is $8 million


BSEE at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, registered professional engineer, State of Wisconsin.


Wife, Sherry; and sons, Justin, Eric and Nicholas.

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past yearω

“We pulled the trigger on a significant expansion to our duplication department. We moved disc duplication into a much larger space, added equipment and capacity, and greatly improved our material flow. We now have 230 CD and DVD recording drives in fully automated towers, giving us the ability to produce as many as 10,000 DVDs overnight if needed. Our ability to respond quickly to customer demands is key to our success, and turnaround time is at the top of the list of demands.”

What’s new at your companyω

“Our continued growth in capacity and capability is opening new markets for us around the country. As a result, we are getting requests for additional products and services. Our compact disc greeting card line, Spincards, that we introduced two years ago has spawned an entirely new product line in custom printing and packaging. We’ve extended our prepress and color printing capabilities to paper and paperboard to meet quick turn packaging requests.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next yearω

“Absolutely. We went to Germany earlier this year to look at the bleeding edge in UV cured digital disc printing. I would expect that by year’s end we will have commercial volume lot-size-one disc printing capability, with no setup costs and print quality and vibrancy exceeding current offset technology. The equipment manufacturers are still working out bugs, and prices need to come down a bit from the current $600,000 mark, but it will get there.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next yearω

“We are recognized around the country for the quality of our disc printing and the strength of our customer service. Companies grow in spurts, and all of the stars are lined up for this being a banner year for us. We are expecting significant growth. There will be days we are running around with our hair on fire, and the challenge will be to remember we asked for it. Now would not be the time to stumble.”

What’s the hottest trend in your industryω

“Shorter run sizes, quicker turns, mass customization. It’s the reason we are so excited about UV cured digital ink jet. Imagine 2000 DVDs, disc and packaging each personalized to the recipient, available in 24 to 48 hours. With a follow-up order for another 200 pieces at the same 2000 piece price. It’s the way the industry is going. Long runs and shelf stock are the way of the past.”

Do you have a business mantraω

“Our mission statement is, ‘Serve the Customer, Serve Each Other, Serve This Place.’ It’s a mission borne of my belief that our individual and collective success and prosperity is a direct measure of our ability to serve. How many different ways can you say, ‘As you sew…ω’”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up toω

“John Yokoyama from Pike Place Fish in Seattle. The fish tossing guys. Their focus is making a difference for the brief period of time they are interacting with customers, whether they buy fish or not. We copied our vision statement from them: “To be World Famous.”

What was the best advice you ever receivedω

“‘It’s not about the money.’ When you chase dollars, you lose focus on what’s important. When you take care of what’s important, the dollars show up in amounts sufficient for your needs. It’s pretty simple and incredibly powerful. The rest is just stuff to feel important about.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your careerω

“Wow, long list. Much of it not printable. One of the funnier episodes was the torment when a general manager who was out for two weeks with kidney stones. We put big rocks in jars full of water and kept them on our desks so we could ‘share stories.’”

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