A Look at the Innovation Mindset That Drives the PostNet Franchise

PostNet franchise co-founder Brian Spindel discusses 3D printing with CastleInk

PostNet printing franchise owner Dave Thorsen is the first in the country to offer 3D printing. He joined the PostNet family to offer that service and many others to entrepreneurs.

PostNet printing franchise owner Dave Thorsen is the first in the country to offer 3D printing. He joined the PostNet family to offer that service and many others to entrepreneurs.


Innovation has been one of the core values of the PostNet franchise since it was founded in 1993. CEO Steve Greenbaum and President and COO Brian Spindel have built PostNet into an international franchise with more than 700 locations worldwide by always looking for ways to better serve customers and franchisees and by embracing technologies that make a difference in people’s lives.

The B2B-focused printing and marketing company is constantly evaluating new technologies. CastleInk.com, which keeps a close eye on the printing industry, recently interviewed Brian to learn more about PostNet’s move into 3D printing. How does the PostNet leadership team make decisions that could affect the bottom line for its franchisees? Also, how does PostNet determine where to offer a new service? Do franchisees have a say? The interview provides a behind-the-scenes look.

Here are some excerpts:

PostNet President and COO Brian Spindel.

PostNet President and COO Brian Spindel.

Whose idea was it to start the center in Minneapolis, and what was especially attractive about 3D printing?

PostNet has more than 700 locations worldwide and pursues all markets for new locations. We were approached with the idea of providing 3D printing services by Dave Thorsen, PostNet’s new Minneapolis franchisee who is passionate about the business. With an engineering background, he was also enthusiastic about the 3D printing potential for small businesses. Right now, PostNet is in the evaluation stages to learn about potential applications for the service and who would use it. PostNet strives to understand and provide what the people who use 3D printing need. This evaluation period also helps us determine pricing structure and marketing strategy for other franchisees. We are confident that there is a need for 3D printing in the market based on what we’ve seen so far and are looking forward to evaluating the ways this service could potentially be incorporated into our system.

What is the 3D printing setup like, and how will it work? As in, what type of printers are on site, what are the costs, the materials?
If we decide to roll out 3D printing in additional locations, the setup will likely differ from what is currently in Minneapolis. I imagine that for the next few years 3D printing services will be available slowly and only offered in select centers; however, everything is unknown at this point because we are still in the learning process. We are evaluating what it will take to serve the vast majority of consumers. I look at 3D printing like any new technology—take fax or the internet as examples. At first there is a narrow market, the technology is slow, difficult and expensive to use. But as the cost and complication eases and the speed of service increases, the market becomes wider.

Are there plans to open more 3D printing centers down the road if the one in Minneapolis is successful? Are those types of choices left up to the franchisees?
Yes, there are plans to open additional PostNet locations that will offer 3D printing services. Franchisees will not be required to offer it, but if we decide there is a definite need in the market, it will be an option. The option to offer 3D printing will be up to the franchisee.

Learn more about the PostNet franchise opportunity

PostNet offers a full range of digital printing solutions for small businesses, as well as graphic design, direct mail, websites, email marketing and shipping. We have been ranked a top franchise opportunity by “Entrepreneur” magazine for 20 years in a row and have also won consistent awards from Franchise Business Review for franchisee satisfaction.

To learn more, fill out a form to download our free franchise report and start a conversation. Want to learn more first? Check out our research pages for the answers to many questions about the PostNet franchise opportunity, and visit our blog for more franchisee interviews and news. We look forward to talking to you!