Any member of the C-suite worth his or her corner office understands that change can’t be stopped. It can, however, be managed. Maintaining a long-term vision while whispers of paper fluctuations, political uncertainties and a dying trade grow into screams requires placing a greater emphasis on customer needs. For some, that means pivoting to new verticals. For others, that may involve implementing an acquisition strategy or tweaking product lines.
No matter the method, the end-result always remains the same, which is what unites the leaders of Print+Promo’s 2019 Top 50 Suppliers list. They don’t pretend to have all the answers, but they do have clear goals in mind for both inside and outside the plant.
To give you some insight into what it takes to be a leader in the print and promo space, we spoke to Simon Beltran, president and chief revenue officer of 4over LLC, No. 2 on the list.
What was your company’s biggest accomplishment over the last year?
Simon Beltran: Our biggest accomplishment over this past year was making a strong return to product innovation. We made significant investments in industry-leading equipment, both in press and in finishing, and launched 18 new products. Alongside that, we’ve been investing in product and research development—making sure our customers not only have access to innovative products, but also understand how to market and sell them.
How is your company positioning itself to continue to stand out in 2020?
SB: 4over is positioning itself for larger order quantities and faster turn times, without compromising quality or customer experience. In 2020, helping our customers succeed will no longer mean simply expanding their access to more products. We’re committed beyond that to giving customers the service, tools and technology they need to evolve within and alongside the industry and to become leaders in print themselves. 2020 is also a big election year. Being able to offer personalized campaign printing will be really impactful.
How do you maintain a long-term vision and focus for the company in the face of constant change?
SB: The products and tools are always going to change. Maintaining a long-term vision in the face of that means placing the needs of the market and our customers first. Our vision is to become a destination site for print resellers—not just a place to order products, but a place to access sales resources, product knowledge and applications. It comes down to helping people grow their business, at every stage. And that’s always going to be relevant.
As one of the longest-tenured companies on Print+Promo’s Top 50 Suppliers, what would you say are the attributes that contribute to such a successful run?
SB: Our founder and former CEO, Zarik Megerdichian, was an early innovator and disrupter of the trade printing marketplace. He was a visionary with an entrepreneurial spirit. His motto at 4over was, “Nothing is impossible. Impossible just takes longer.” We want to continue honoring his vision of putting customers first, and sustaining it with constant innovation and investments into our manufacturing and our e-commerce platform.
What is the biggest challenge that people in this industry are facing, and how does your company tackle that matter?
SB: Every few years, it seems we’re battling this notion that print is dead. As an industry leader, it’s incumbent upon us to promote the relevancy of print in a digital world. The strength and proven results from performance marketing (which includes print) are impressive. It’s important for us to lead this awareness, and provide our customers with the best products and services to help them keep their edge. Whether print resellers are looking to reinvent their core offerings, or pivot to new verticals, or compete with bigger brands—4over is building the platform and resources to help them do that with excellence.
Please explain how you and your organization make tough decisions.
SB: Our culture is evolving and we are moving to a very inclusive and accountable company. With locations across the U.S. and Canada, open and frequent communication will be key to creating a culture of extreme ownership. Our executive team is committed to building and sustaining the courage and muscles necessary to make important and tough decisions. We also recognize it’s not a democracy; we’ll have to accept disagreement and commit ourselves to the greater good.
How do you motivate and inspire teams to achieve big goals?
SB: Create the vision, enable and empower the teams, then get out of the way! Knowing how to prepare timely and valuable feedback helps reduce friction and keep everyone motivated. The importance of showing gratitude and celebrating wins of any size also cannot be understated.
How do you decompress after a stressful time at work?
SB: My health and well-being are super important. I place an emphasis on spiritual, physical and emotional health. Thankfully, I have been blessed with a beautiful family, great friends and a love for golf, travel and red wine.
Is there anything you would like to add to give our readers a better sense of your business approach and the industry at large?
SB: Our industry is filled with amazing people and tremendous opportunity. Throughout my career, at xpedx, an International Paper Company, Prisma, Shutterfly Inc. and now 4over, the constant has been the importance of people. One of my favorite quotes is from Harry S. Truman: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Hopefully, we can embody this sentiment throughout 4over.