Energy boom bring business to family-owned printing company

Efficiency companies aren’t the only ones benefiting from the region’s growing energy industry. Mark IV Office Supply & Printing on South Beeson Avenue in Uniontown is also profiting from the boom — through office furniture.

Mark IV has seen a 10 percent increase in revenue since 2011, according to company secretary and vice president of sales, Clint Dittmar. And it’s been mostly in office furniture sales to energy companies.

The office supply company has helped with the development of new locations and additions to existing locations for a number of energy companies. Mark IV sells a mix of furniture, including desks, conference tables, cubicles, filing cabinets and chairs, said Melanie Staub-Kanche, the company’s treasurer.

Doing business with an energy company is just like doing business with any other business, Ms. Staub-Kanche said. “If they didn’t tell us who they are, I would think they were a lawyers office because they’re using the same thing.”

Mark IV also sells office supplies, educational supplies and does graphic and printing work, but it hasn’t seen much demand from the energy industry for its other services.

Printing is all the business offered when it was established in 1933 under the name Little Printing Company. It wasn’t until Paul and Joyce Staub bought the company in 1979 that it began selling other products and equipment.

“We have quite a few accounts but it’s not necessarily in the graphics,” Ms. Staub-Kanche said. She’d love to pick up some more work in handling things like business cards, letterhead, envelopes, she said.

Ms. Staub-Kanche said after her father bought the company, he changed its name to Mark IV Office Supply & Printing because he wanted to get away from the term ’Little,’ which she said most people associate with small. "We’re not tiny and small. We’re not little,“ she said.

Her father thought of the new company name after he saw a Mark IV Lincoln while he was at a rest stop and connected it to his four children, she added.

Mark IV now has five locations: four in Pennsylvania — Uniontown, Scottdale, Waynesburg and Connellsville — and another in Morgantown, West Virginia, that opened in 2012. 

Mr. Dittmar said Mark IV has worked with 100 or so oil and gas companies, in addition to supplying attorney offices, floral shops, doctors offices and restaurants. “When you look at our customers, we pretty much represent every industry there is out there,” he said.

According to Ms. Staub-Kanche, Mark IV has not developed new marketing ideas to reach potential clients in the energy industry. “That’s almost the best — word of mouth,” she said about their sales strategy. 

Though the business has grown from one location to five in the past 28 years, the number of employees has remained about the same. Mark IV has 21 employees, the majority of which are family members. When they interview potential employees, they try to instill that a sense of family.

“We work well together and that’s what it’s all about,” Ms. Staub-Kanche said. “You can tackle a lot of things if you all work as a team.”

Asked if she thinks demand for Mark IV’s services will taper off as the energy industry moves beyond the early growth period, Ms. Staub-Kanche said she hopes not.

“From the stories that we heard — and I don’t know much about the industry — it sounds like it will be here for a very long time.”

Madasyn Czebiniak: or 412-263-1269. @PG_Czebiniak.

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