BDO: A Gilson Case Study

BDO is a national accounting and professional services firm that provides assurance, tax, financial advisory and consulting services to a wide range of publicly traded and privately held companies. The company, one of the largest of its kind, serves clients through 34 offices and more than 300 independent alliance firm locations nationwide.

BDO Accounting


After its founding in 1910 in New York City, the company opened a Grand Rapids, Michigan office in 1917. Over the years, Grand Rapids became the site of BDO’s internal print and distribution department, churning out everything from business cards and letterheads to audit reports and glossy brochures.

BDO and Growth

In the ’90s, BDO management determined this department did not fit in with its core business, a decision informed by these factors:

  • The growth of the company’s global organization outpaced the capabilities of internal print resources.
  • The internal print shop was outdated, inefficient and costly.
  • Outside vendors had to be used to supplement internal print resources, resulting in inconsistent quality.
  • Using multiple vendors led to inefficient project management and poor coordination between design and print production.
  • The internal distribution system was limited by capacity and commitment.

Gilson’s Solution

At the time, Gilson was one of BDO’s outside print vendors, and we were asked to consult on the transition from internal to external operations. Our solution? We proposed to fold BDO’s print department into our own business – hiring their employees, acquiring their equipment and providing a completely hassle-free conversion for internal customers. We would even adopt the department’s existing phone numbers!

BDO jumped at the opportunity. And Gilson has repeatedly proven the value of that decision:

  • Our continuing investment in new print technology delivers efficiency and economy.
  • As a single print source, we ensure adherence to corporate graphic standards and consistent colors.
  • Our Mindwire technology provides consistent order flow, pricing, distribution and reporting for marketing materials and operational items.
  • Gilson design services serve as a convenient, consistent resource for developing new materials.
  • Gilson mail services distributes printed products efficiently and affordably.
  • Our designated support team provides quick, accurate, focused service.
  • We are able to scale solutions to match the fast pace of their growth.

Many of the world’s largest corporations trust BDO to provide smart business advice. The company practices what it preaches – choosing Gilson was a sound business decision.