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ISS Defies Economy with Expansion

Shirley, MA – In the midst of a national economic downturn, one local company saw the need to expand its facility and to add services and employees.  ISS (Image Software Services) moved from its former location in Devens to a new location in Phoenix Park, a renovated mill turned light industrial and office complex in Shirley MA.  Founded in 1992, Image Software Services sold computer floppy discs and moved quickly to providing innovative and cost-effective methods to produce, duplicate, and distribute information.  The company expanded its services in 2007 by including digital printing, which now represents about 30 percent of the business.  ISS is owned by Harvard resident, Jeff Schwarz, who purchased the company in 2004. 

This most recent expansion includes the addition of in-house graphic arts services headed by Geralyn Miller and a new sales representative, Jim Viola.  Schwarz credits his success with his community involvement and marketing strategy of cultivating business in the local areas.  His company’s ability to print or duplicate any quantity makes ISS attractive to businesses of all sizes, especially those whose needs are for low quantities.  “From one to infinity…” says Schwarz! 

Another successful business tactic was Schwarz’s decision to get involved with the EcoStar program, an environmental achievement program that encourages programs for pollution prevention, waste reduction, water and energy reduction, and the use of environmentally friendly products.  He explained, “I was impressed with the EcoStar program because of its emphasis on sustainable business practices.  This was one of the first times I saw a connection between what was good for business and what was good for the environment.” 

ISS  was able to immediately reduce its waste stream costs by 50 per cent without adding labor.  Now the company recycles about 95 percent of its waste, including paper, cardboard, and CD/DVDs – which amounts to 4 ½  tons of paper, twelve tons of cardboard, and about 3,000 CD/DVDs a year.  Some of the changes include reusing incoming packaging, adding mobile recycling bins near the printers, and sorting waste for recycling instead of disposing of it in a large trash compactor.  Designated an EcoStar Achiever in 2007, ISS has continued to reduce waste, recycle more and expand its community involvement. 

The question remains, why has ISS been able to expand at a time when others are downsizing or going out of business entirely?  Perhaps it is their customer-centric marketing or their community-mindedness or the relationships they’ve formed through their involvement with the EcoStar Program.  “It’s not any of these,” explains Schwarz, “It is the combination of all … and a little bit of luck.”