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Mimeo combines print and planes

Got a rush printing job? Mimeo has a place next to Fed Ex CEO Adam Slutsky wants to build a pile of paper to the stratosphere. New York-based Mimeo is achieving growth in a market--document printing--that's supposed to be dying. In 2005, the company, which specializes in online orders, printed more than one million documents on behalf of its clients. If piled up into a stack, the 2005 output would have measured 65,000 feet into the air. "That's 45 times the size of the Empire State Building," Slutsky said. The company, still private, pulled in about 40 million in revenue last year and is profitable. This year, the stack will be substantially higher. (The upper stratosphere starts at 82,345 feet.) At the moment, it prints about 2 million pages, contained in about 16,000 documents, a day. The company's business model is based around one of the chief principles of American business: namely, if it's important, wait until the last minute. Law firms, investment banks, real estate partnerships and sales representatives still tend to make revisions to their complex contracts and RFPs (request for proposals) up until the deadline. To get rush printing jobs done, Mimeo clients submit the document over the Internet. Printers and photocopiers in Mimeo's Memphis operation then print the document and load it onto trucks, which then trundle over to the Federal Express shipping dock. Clients can order documents as late as 10 p.m. EST and still get the papers delivered in the first FedEx drop the next morning. Other companies have similar services, but Mimeo says it has tried to make the link between printing and delivery smoother and thereby extend the deadline. "I've got the last (FedEx) pick up in the United States. Two eighteen-wheelers do a pickup every day at my place," Slutsky said. "I can't tell you how many orders come in between 9 and 10 at night."