Quebecor World Direct–Building Business, One Client at a Time

As monumental as the mission was, centralizing the company’s internal operations was only half the challenge. The second problem Quebecor World Direct faced was what to do with all those customers who belonged to six former competitors and who were now combined into one, huge client base.

The question, Graham notes, was: How could Quebecor World Direct create a customer-based strategy—a single, unified platform—that would satisfy the market demands and needs of the all those clients?

The answer, he says, came in the form of a unique business strategy. “In many ways, the printing industry still operates like it’s in the 1950s. It’s production-driven,” Graham explains. “Fortune 500 companies implemented a market-driven approach years ago. And they are successful because they’re market- not production-driven, which is how the printing industry operates.”

Typically, printers build their businesses, specialize in certain printed products and force the market to buy those products, adds Bob Barthen, QWD’s vice president of Non-Imaged Products. “We do business the other way around: We build our plants and equipment around market needs. We are market- not manufacturer-driven. This is a very important distinction.”

Since QWD’s creation in 1997, Barthen says all of its activities— mergers and acquisitions, equipment purchases, management decisions and business operations—have proven that the company is dedicated to its mission of market-driven operations and customer-focused business.

“What makes us so unique,” Barthen notes, “is that we see what the market needs, and we build equipment, products and services to meet those needs.”

To prove this point, Quebecor World Direct recently restructured itself into three product lines:

  • Personalized Products;

  • Non-imaged Products; and
  • Games, Premiums and Specialty Print.

Executives say the restructure will benefit QWD’s customers because the company’s emphasis is now on sales and marketing (vs. the manufacturing/production process). Changes in the marketplace, as well as in the needs of customers, will dictate the focus and direction of each product line.

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