American Printing of Rhode Island — Putting Clients First
Superior customer service also means being flexible, as well as fast. And Carroll credits his firm’s flexibility with helping it grow in a difficult environment.
See a Chance, Take It
“One of our customers, a grocery store chain, was having difficulty with a complex signage project that involved small quantities and extremely quick turnaround times,” he explains. The project required multiple steps: printing on mylar, mounting on styrene, affixing brackets on the rear of the sign so it could be mounted on store shelving, and packing and shipping the assembled signs to multiple locations.
“We had very little experience producing such highly customized signs ready for interior display, but we saw an opportunity to solve a customer problem and just jumped in. And, we now have a thriving business producing retail signage.”
Coordinating efforts with related vendors, such as distribution firms, is a key part of any fulfillment activity. But if the customary “hand-offs” don’t work, Carroll is resourceful and will find a way. An example: As a private pilot, Carroll once flew his plane from Providence to LaGuardia Airport to deliver just-printed collateral for a new product that was being promoted on the TV show “Good Morning America.”
Carroll’s earlier experience as a print broker has given him invaluable insight into the marketplace. On the one hand, he saw the equipment, capabilities and service levels of virtually every printer in the Providence area. And, on the other, he saw the needs and expectations of customers. But, as a broker, he was repeatedly disappointed with printers who promised one thing and delivered something less. So he became a printer.
His first major equipment purchase was a two-color Hamada C2248 press, which led indirectly to another key to his success: Hire only the best people. Carroll asked several sales representatives who they considered to be the best operator of the equipment. He then approached the consensus favorite with a job offer. He was told, “No thanks; I’m happy where I am.” So, Carroll waited and kept the job offer open—for three years!