executive perspectives: Through the Years
Ahh, the '90s—a simpler time when like, you know, Hanson was a household name, video guides were a thing and AOL was king. And, in 1997, a guy named Fred Collins began his career in print as the new business development manager for a supplier then known as The DFS Group.
The big wheel of business has turned a million times since then, and shifting consumer habits, along with a crippling recession, claimed many casualties. While we may not hear "You've got mail!" or "In an MMMBop, they're gone" as often, the same cannot be said for "You. Unlimited," the tagline of the recently rebranded DFS. Collins, who assumed the role of company president in 2008, doesn't take his success for granted. So, what's the key to his longevity? A consultative approach.
"It is very satisfying to me when I meet with customers to understand their pain points and offer solutions," Collins said. "I'm pleased that many of DFS' top major accounts today are accounts I helped land, and many are growing with us."
Read on as Collins shares his thoughts on the industry, DFS' rebranding efforts and the future.
Print+Promo (P+P): How do you set goals for yourself? For your business?
Fred Collins (FC): I enjoy strategic planning with my leadership team. We look at the current situation and trends, identify growth opportunities and then define strategies and tactics to achieve our plans. I believe in SMART goals: Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
P+P: How does the economy continue to affect the industry?
FC: I'm pleased that DFS continues to perform better than industry trends in terms of core products, like checks and forms, and that our W2P program continues to achieve high double-digit growth. In both a good and sluggish economy, marketing is critical to driving activity and something we know resellers struggle with. That's why we launched myDFShub.com this year. With a library of online banners and microsites, personalized marketing materials, plus a powerful email tool backed by Vertical Response, it's giving our resellers a free and easy way to better market themselves. Feedback, so far, has been fantastic.