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Supplier Global Resource Magazine March/April 2012 : Page 53

High Expectations Frank Flanagan is CEO of F&M Expressions Unlimited, a Mahwah, NJ-based company that specializes in heat-applied graphics. How does a company succeed in the promotional industry? Stay innovative and keep your customers in charge of the process, says Frank Flanagan, CEO of F&M Expressions Unlimited, which has been doing just that for almost three decades. By SARA LAvEndUSkI W hen it was originally established as FEM, F&M Expressions Unlimited, based in Mahwah, NJ, focused on the souvenir apparel industry. Now, 30 years later, the team is the largest manufac-turer of screen-printed plastisol heat-transfers in the country and meets the demands of multiple markets, including national and international apparel manufacturers, the uniform and custom screen-print market and the promotional products industry, and fulfills a growing demand for tagless labels. “Truly, we’re neither a supplier, nor a distributor, nor a dec-orator,” says CEO Frank Flanagan. “Rather, we allow almost anyone who is in any of these categories to quickly, successfully and cost-effectively control the decoration process by providing them with the best in heat-transfers. We provide cost-effective capabilities that cannot be matched in the industry, and we never compete with our customers.” Flanagan says that, because of the combined experiences of the team at F&M Expressions, they have a record of suc-cess with creating unique designs for their clients. “We have an extraordinary ability to analyze a complex design and to turn it into a logo, typically applied in seven seconds or less when a cus-tomer is finishing a product in their own facility,” he says. “We also specialize in a highly detailed four-color-process plastisol heat-transfer, what we call our Freedom line, and ink systems that allow our customers to transfer our products onto count-less materials that cannot otherwise be printed successfully.” For the promotional products industry in particular, Flanagan says he and his team are especially adept at custom heat-applied graphics for all kinds of materials. “We were the first to create the cheapest and best polypropylene graphic for nonwovens,” he explains. “We also offer a polyester-specific graphic material that, when properly applied, at our specification, will not bleed or allow the migration of pigments into the logo.” The team also offers graphics for nylon products, from shorts and bags to umbrellas and countless T-shirts. Flanagan explains that the heat-transfers they create, to be applied to various materials, can be produced as either spot or process transfers. “Spot color plastisol transfers, which feature one color mixed and matched and then printed, are traditionally reserved for just vector artwork, like Al, CDR and files, among others,” says Flanagan. “We offer them for all the above materials, including nonwovens and polyester.” Likewise, the four-color process was branded “Freedom” because the team has the controls in place to print either vector or raster by using a proprietary CMYK to recreate a virtual Pan-tone palette. “This allows our customers to price jobs regardless of the number of colors and ensures nobody will have to eat setup fees, which is a Freedom exclusive,” says Flanagan. The 110 employees at F&M Expressions also work together to make sure the delivery process is quick and reliable. “All pro-motional orders ship within two days, and our new one-color program ships the next day,” Flanagan says. “All products are cost-effectively made here in the U.S., and due to our capacity, we can sell finished transfers at minimum quantities that are less expensive than having someone directly print the job.” Ultimately, F&M Expressions prides itself on giving custom-ers the best product with the best service. “We plan on transform-ing the industry,” says Flanagan. “Right now, it often tolerates restrictive screen-printed products or unreliable, inconsistent, imported direct prints. We want the industry to expect products with consistently excellent edge definition and far superior and less restrictive art specifications. Furthermore, we want all of this to be achieved in seven seconds in a smaller area than your typi-cal desk. Basically, we want to help our customers to know their decoration costs and to control their production.”  Sara Lavenduski is a staff writer for Supplier Global Resource magazine. WWW.SUPPLIERGLOBALRESOURCE.COM MARCH/APRIL 2012 53

Company Spotlight: F&M Expressions

Sara Lavenduski

How does a company succeed in the promotional industry? Stay innovative and keep your customers in charge of the process, says Frank Flanagan, CEO of F&M Expressions Unlimited, which has been doing just that for almost three decades.<br /> <br /> When it was originally established as FEM, F&M Expressions Unlimited, based in Mahwah, NJ, focused on the souvenir apparel industry. Now, 30 years later, the team is the largest manufacturer of screen-printed plastisol heat-transfers in the country and meets the demands of multiple markets, including national and international apparel manufacturers, the uniform and custom screen-print market and the promotional products industry, and fulfills a growing demand for tagless labels. <br /> <br /> “Truly, we’re neither a supplier, nor a distributor, nor a decorator,” says CEO Frank Flanagan. “Rather, we allow almost anyone who is in any of these categories to quickly, successfully and cost-effectively control the decoration process by providing them with the best in heat-transfers. We provide cost-effective capabilities that cannot be matched in the industry, and we never compete with our customers.”<br /> <br /> Flanagan says that, because of the combined experiences of the team at F&M Expressions, they have a record of success with creating unique designs for their clients. “We have an extraordinary ability to analyze a complex design and to turn it into a logo, typically applied in seven seconds or less when a customer is finishing a product in their own facility,” he says. “We also specialize in a highly detailed four-color-process plastisol heat-transfer, what we call our Freedom line, and ink systems that allow our customers to transfer our products onto countless materials that cannot otherwise be printed successfully.”<br /> <br /> For the promotional products industry in particular, Flanagan says he and his team are especially adept at custom heat-applied graphics for all kinds of materials. “We were the first to create the cheapest and best polypropylene graphic for nonwovens,” he explains. “We also offer a polyester-specific graphic material that, when properly applied, at our specification, will not bleed or allow the migration of pigments into the logo.” The team also offers graphics for nylon products, from shorts and bags to umbrellas and countless T-shirts. <br /> <br /> Flanagan explains that the heat-transfers they create, to be applied to various materials, can be produced as either spot or process transfers. “Spot color plastisol transfers, which feature one color mixed and matched and then printed, are traditionally reserved for just vector artwork, like Al, CDR and files, among others,” says Flanagan. “We offer them for all the above materials, including nonwovens and polyester.” <br /> <br /> Likewise, the four-color process was branded “Freedom” because the team has the controls in place to print either vector or raster by using a proprietary CMYK to recreate a virtual Pantone palette. “This allows our customers to price jobs regardless of the number of colors and ensures nobody will have to eat setup fees, which is a Freedom exclusive,” says Flanagan.<br /> <br /> The 110 employees at F&M Expressions also work together to make sure the delivery process is quick and reliable. “All promotional orders ship within two days, and our new one-color program ships the next day,” Flanagan says. “All products are cost-effectively made here in the U.S., and due to our capacity, we can sell finished transfers at minimum quantities that are less expensive than having someone directly print the job.” <br /> <br /> Ultimately, F&M Expressions prides itself on giving customers the best product with the best service. “We plan on transforming the industry,” says Flanagan. “Right now, it often tolerates restrictive screen-printed products or unreliable, inconsistent, imported direct prints. We want the industry to expect products with consistently excellent edge definition and far superior and less restrictive art specifications. Furthermore, we want all of this to be achieved in seven seconds in a smaller area than your typical desk. Basically, we want to help our customers to know their decoration costs and to control their production.”

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