Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Printing Impressions HERE
Connect
Follow us on
Advertisement
 

Wallace?A Commercial Success

February 1998
If you think that you can't grow in a mature market, then your paycheck doesn't come from Wallace. The business forms-cum-commercial printing giant knows how to make a stagnant niche look like a bonanza.

Up until recently, Wallace drew the bulk of its business from forms, a segment that the company estimates is dropping 4 to 6 percent annually. But you would never guess that from Wallace's sales.

"Our market share is about 6 percent of the forms market as a whole," explains Bob Cronin, president and CEO. "And when you have the value-added differentiator that we have in a marketplace, you can grow even though the market itself is declining."

And what a differentiator it is. According to Cronin, Wallace has changed the way people purchase forms.

In 1993, Wallace unveiled the Wallace Information Network™ (W.I.N.™), a software tool designed to give buyers all the data necessary to make better-informed ordering decisions. "It's essentially a PC database program combined with some extensive PC-based report writing and analysis tools," notes Brad Samson, director of public and investor relations.

W.I.N. Wins Customers
W.I.N. works like this. The software, once installed on the customer's computer, connects to the Wallace Customer Servicing System (WCSS), a massive mainframe that contains every scrap of data concerning the client.

By accessing WCSS through W.I.N., a customer can manipulate and evaluate a variety of information. The client can check on shipping, quantities, items in stock, orders, usage trends, and so on, then break the data down by region and/or product. The print buyer can even see how one job affects another job.

"W.I.N. is a tool that gives customers better control because they get more information," Samson says. "They gain more control over the purchasing and managing process of printing."

Instead of micromanaging a single job, the W.I.N. user can examine the details for all jobs quickly and easily. This saves time. And money. Lots of money. W.I.N. adopters have reported cost savings between 15 to 20 percent within the first year.

W.I.N. proved so successful on the forms side (332 users and growing), print buyers soon sought a similar tool for managing commercial printing. This presented a quandary. Wallace could provide the software, but not the manufacturing. The company lacked the production capacity to keep up with increasing commercial demands.

The acquisition of companies such as Moran Printing and Post Printing relieved some of the pressure, but Wallace recognized that purchasing printers piecemeal wasn't a wise longterm strategy for building a strong commercial printing division.

 

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: