The Story Behind Bann

4 Generations of experience at your service!

Bann Business Solutions was preceded two generations ago by Bann Printing, Inc. It was a company incorporated by William J. Bann in 1939, grandfather of current owners Michael Bann and Bill Bann. The original Bill Bann was an old fashioned clothes horse who loved a smart hat and enjoyed life as a man proud of his Irish roots.

Bill was succeeded by his only child, Richard, who grew the company to over 100 employees and built a spacious new production plant in Eagan, Minnesota directly underneath a flight path of the Twin Cities’ international airport. He was best noted for his office containing a kitchen where he entertained clients with his gourmet cooking and fun-loving attitude. People wanted him to run for mayor of St. Paul, but he enjoyed his business too much. A typical example of the kind of fun he had: One time he had an employee go on top of the facility’s flat roof and paint in very large letters, “Welcome To Des Moines!” The airport commission did not see the humor in that, so he was fined and forced to paint over it.

Bann Printing was a manufacturer rooted in the production of business forms. It continued to grow into the 1970’s but then the company suffered some internal thefts and alleged infiltration by underworld figures. This dramatic period was during the height of national labor strife, and specifically for Bann, a lithographers strike. Tragically an employee’s life was taken and an undisclosed sum of money was embezzled. These events forced the company to file for bankruptcy protection. Guided by his own code of morality, however, Dick Bann took it upon himself to personally pay back all his creditors. Few could believe it, but everyone got paid.

It was 1977 when Bann became a division of the Stuart Hooper Company, a forms manufacturer based in Chicago. The Bann Division played an integral role in developing what eventually became known as MAP (Management Assistance Program). This program was designed by Jim Breakey and Dick Bann. It was the forerunner of what became known nationally as “Forms Management.”

Dick Bann retired to his lake home in the early 1990’s and the Bann Division was taken over by his son, William. By the late 1990’s the division was a significant profit center for the Stuart-Hooper company at a time when the sale of the total company was made to the Minneapolis-based Holden Company. Bill went to his younger brother Mike, a sales person for Bann, and informed him of the transaction. Bill and Mike agreed to meet with the principal of Holden but after the meeting they knew that it was time for a new start. They officially walked away from all their clients, their paperwork history, and their offices.

It was in early 1998 that Bill and Mike started Bann Forms Technology based in St Paul. Bann Forms was now an independent sales distribution company with no manufacturing capabilities. It was before the boom of the internet, yet many old Bann Clients – perhaps 95% of them – looked for and found the Bann boys. The company grew to become the 73rd largest print distributorship in the USA as ranked by the PSDA (Print Services and Distribution Association) and a ranking in the top five nationally for sales per employee.

In 2008, the company name was changed to Bann Business Solutions to better reflect the diverse product and service lines now offered. Bann still offers a full line of business print and related services as well as promotional and office products. The newest offering revolves around the company’s long time ability to provide direct mail services, but now they are doing it across multiple channels, such as social media, interactive digital marketing, and mobile marketing.

Our story continues today as we now have a fourth generation Bann employed. If we ever get the opportunity to work with you, we know that you will agree with what the Bann story is about – family, fun, hard work, resiliency, flexibility, ethics, quality, and added value!

Here are some testimonials from our customers!