Dscoop Member Spotlight: DME's Connect Workflow Platform Results in 35% Time Savings
SAN ANTONIO — March 25, 2016 — Dscoop, the largest digital printing user group in the graphics industry, today shares an outstanding member story as an inspiration for other printing operations around the globe. DME, located in Daytona Beach, Fla., is well-known for its history of innovation and as an early and very successful adopter of variable data print and omnichannel campaigns. Over the past five years, the company has been working to perfect its DME Connect workflow automation platform.
“Our DME Connect platform is designed to automate processes for both us and our customers,” DME President Kathy Wise explains. “Everything today is about being efficient and automated. We are working to move as much business as possible to DME Connect, although we understand there will always be part of the business that is high touch, that you can’t or don’t want to move over. The automated portion of our business is growing every month.”
DME has made significant investments in DME Connect primarily because of the consumer side of the business where they are producing personalized wrapping paper and greeting cards, among other things. “But it has B2B implications as well,” Wise comments. “We have very customized boutique portals for customers where they can put their own collateral. On both the B2C and B2B sides, it has made it very easy for us to do the fulfillment because we don’t touch the order until it comes out of the printers.” DME has been exclusively using digital printing technology since 2005.
Wise reports that DME’s growth, although slower than it used to be in past years, is still in the 10 percent range. “We are focused on becoming more profitable,” she says, “as opposed to focusing on top-line growth alone. 2015 was a really good year for us and we hope that continues. We have lots of new opportunities bubbling up both on the DME Connect side and for our marketing services.” DME Connect has resulted in at least 35 percent time savings for the company. “There is no way we could do the volume of jobs we do without it,” Wise adds. For customers who prefer not to use DME Connect, the company’s customer service reps take orders and enter them into the system. Orders are then automatically aggregated and batched to run together as one long job. “The bottom-line gains from this approach have been incredible,” she says.
Print Communications Still Critical
Print plays a significant role for Wise and her customers in omnichannel communications. “Email is an inexpensive way to touch customers,” she says, “but it’s not as effective as it used to be. We are always looking for new ways to touch customers. In addition to unique and eye-catching print pieces, we use the Web, personalized URLs and social media. Video is also becoming a bigger portion of what we do. The mix is changing and you have to keep up with that.”
DME Founder Mike Panaggio, who is still involved in the business, also founded DME Sports to pursue his passion for sports and for helping to develop kids through sports activities. “Mike took over one of the buildings on our campus,” Wise explains, “and built professional basketball courts that also convert into volleyball courts. It has all of the state-of-the-art capabilities of a professional sports center, including live streaming video. Kids from around the world come to his sports academy for six months to learn basketball and other sports skills while attending online schooling. It’s a fabulous operation and we are doing marketing for that as well.”
Wise points out that while social media is a great tool for attracting kids that are graduating from high school, the communication mix is all over the place depending on who is being targeted. “If we are working with an older crowd,” she says, “it will still primarily be print.”
Looking Toward the Future
As Wise looks toward the future of the company, she is exploring new sales channels and new vertical markets. “We have a history of building up verticals and selling them off as we did with our automotive business,” she remarks. “We’ll continue to reinvent ourselves that way using our marketing services and technology skills in new and different ways. Relevant messaging is part of our DNA, and it has applicability beyond the areas we are working in today.”
Participation in Dscoop has been an important source of inspiration for Wise and her team. “I don’t think there is another organization in our industry even remotely like Dscoop,” she relays. “I learn so much from my peers, not only about what they are doing or what is working, but also their failures. There are lots of different ways to put the puzzle pieces together. The other thing I look forward to is being in the Solutions Showcase with an opportunity to speak with HP and partner engineers so I can discuss their products and services at a deeper level than I can with sales people. I always leave the Dscoop conference extremely energized about the future of the industry.”
Wise and some of her team members will be attending Dscoop San Antonio in April. For more information about the Dscoop conference and to register, visit www.dscoopsanantonio.org.