Going the Extra Mile
for the average consumer, the phrase “industrial printing” recalls images of smokestacks, machines of frightening complexity and robot-operated plants processing paper through the long night. However, the business of commercial printing has many facets. Between any two companies, there are vast differences in product and procedure, even when filling almost identical consumer needs. But, there are also great similarities. Specifically, the way to look at the process, from project inception to delivery, so every aspect of the commercial print industry can be analyzed simultaneously.
Regardless of a commercial printer's niche in the industry, it is unlikely that “caring” would become a befitting word to define success. But, why not?
Businesses that last provide necessary and top-notch service to clients. The key: the relationship is symbiotic. Clients cannot survive and be competitive without commercial print solutions. For the distributor of commercial print products, this way of thinking just may lead to increased sales and a stronger client basis.
Kim Sanders, sales executive at Eagle Web Press in Salem, Ore., agrees with this, insisting that being a distributor requires more than just making sales. “It’s not a matter of simply selling the job; you have to follow it all the way through.” For Sanders, this means being an integral part of the process, checking the production and making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. But, things don't always run smoothly.
In any business, especially one such as commercial printing, which relies on machines and computers, problems are inevitable. For a distributor, it is important to be prepared for issues and to let clients know problems can come up. This much honesty may seem frightening when trying to make the sale, but it is good business. “Each customer has different things that are important,” said Sanders. So, if a client's priority is color, speed, quality or delivery date, then put extra effort into this crucial objective, particularly when problems occur. Sanders recalled instances when, due to a machine being down, her company had to split the job and have sections printed by another company. She, herself, drove one shipment to the client to meet the deadline. In other cases, to save time when problems arose, she explained it was necessary to skip the proofing process or glue a binding instead of stitching it, when on-time delivery was the priority.