“We determine a due date for a job and then the work is sent out in parallel to the different departments,” he continues. “As long as we make our deliverables, we don’t centrally schedule the activities in between. We believe in enabling managers to manage.”
Everything is tied together at the top, in the client data, Walther says. In addition, a custom-developed business management system is used throughout the organization.
DME’s ownership structure and financials are also factors in its ability to invest so heavily in tools, facilities and people.
Partners in Its Success
Like its customers, the company is very particular about the vendors with which it chooses to do business. Panaggio considers Xerox and XMPie, which sells the company’s variable data software of choice (PersonalEffect), to be partners in DME’s efforts to develop the potential of digital printing and variable data.
“We want an unfair advantage from our vendors,” Panaggio says. “We want their top salesperson, their most creative people and their best technicians on our account.
“We try to talk to our customers in the same terms—that DME is an unfair advantage for them,” he continues. “No matter what level of service they might get from somebody else, we’ll try to beat it.”
That philosophy is part of the explanation for the breadth of in-house capabilities the organization has developed. “We’re so service oriented, our phones will ring at any time of day or night,” observes COO Kathy Wise. “You typically can’t find that same level of responsiveness if you outsource.”
Wise says the company made such a big commitment to digital color printing all at once because that was the direction it needed to take its customers. “We knew we needed digital color capability to produce great products, and that business would flow in as a result. Making that initial investment showed our confidence in the capability, so our customers would feel confident in it too,” she explains.