Wow, 2012 has been a busy year so far, and having to cut the grass just helps to raise the bar. A new sales representative, an expanded digital department, a long standing paper store closing are just at the top of the list changes, and now this unseasonably warm weather just makes me (don’t know about you…) but I just want to get outside and paddle a river. I’m thinking 2012 will be a memorable year.
First off, I’d like to introduce our new sales representative (who will also be working some business development situations), Bonnie Shields. Bonnie has spent the last couple of years in sales and is a fairly recent graduate of Bowling Green State University in Visual Communications. One of the things to really impressed me about Bonnie was her ability to listen a lot. Of course we’re full of ideas, but the best solutions start with listening (to you) and understanding the desired outcome. If Bonnie happens to call you, take a little time to talk to her and tell her about yourself and your company.
Big talk around town, and it’s a reality…..the Xpedx paper store is leaving…..Xpedx will still service the Dayton area, but they will be doing it out of Cincinnati. Do we hate it….yes, do we understand…yes. They have raised a lot of criticism as they’ve been very slow to share their plans with their customers (us included), but our new sales representative just finally stopped in and introduced himself and I think he will work hard for us. A real sign of the changing times, as printers we used to have at least 10 choices as to where to purchase paper, but with all the consolidations and closings, we are down to just a –….Xpedx, Ariva (formally RIS), Millcraft and Stearling. None are as easy to deal with as in years past, the items they stock are way down and they all enforce minimums, but hey, its 2012 and ‘ the way it is. I think the Xpedx store closing is going to hurt small printers more than most people think, just because they can’t go pick up those small orders they used to and will probably get clobbered by minimums. I’m glad we have a fairly large orders going out every night so as to avoid them. This year will tell a lot, its one of those “not so visible” things that could have a big effect on the smaller segment of the market.
We’ve just completed construction of our digital room, a climate controlled environment for our digital department that is our fastest growing area. With the addition of a much more robust variable print package, our second digital press and a strong commitment to training and the way we think, we are poised to continue to take on new, more complex projects as well as finding new ways to solve old problems. Why climate controlled? Digital, even more than offset runs a lot better when the temperature and humidity level are controlled, not as much moister (or lack of), as well as controlling the static…these things just slow things down. And we all know that one of the determining factors of the new market is getting jobs done on time or sooner. I think this will be one more factor (although behind the scenes) that will continue our commitment to change with the market.
Its going to be fun to write some case studies on new projects we do. We’ve got a few on the drawing table now, and a lot of these are not just print jobs, they are campaigns or projects with a lot of pieces. Don’t get me wrong, this digital department kicks out little jobs like 50 color sheets as well as it does a complicated project, versitality is just a cool thing. To end with (and as we’ve said before), 2012 is going to be an exciting year….(more to come!).