Heatset Web Printing -- Dead Set on Heatset
To promote such a high level of customer service, Hickory has an "open-door/open-ear" policy.
"I'm an absolute believer in team playing," says Sand. "The staff is constantly advising me on how to produce a better quality product, how to do things faster, how to do things cheaper. We encourage them to make suggestions. Hourly workers on the floor are the best ones to suggest improvements. They do the work day in and day out."
Sand says the key to good business is to hire good people.
"Craftspeople are getting fewer and farther between," he claims. "We've hired managers, technicians and press operators from all over the country. Our plant is in North Carolina, but there is a lot of cultural diversity in our operation."
Cultural diversity is one thing. Operational diversity is another. What about potential problems that affect the printing industry as a whole, such as the ever-looming possibility of a paper shortage and the price increases that can result?
These types of situations need not be disastrous. If printers are prepared for potential problems—such as a major paper price increase and the cutback in page counts it causes—they can continue to grow their business despite seemingly overwhelming odds. A "disaster recovery" plan might help solve the problem at hand.
Prepare for the Worst
Printers should re-evaluate the lessons learned in past situations and come up with ideas on how to avoid them in the future, says Sand. For example, if there's a paper shortage and a customer wants to take his business to radio and television advertising, printers could have a sales strategy in place that would promote the use of print, despite the disadvantages of the shortage.
Why would a customer want to absorb the increased cost of paper? What value or benefits does the printed product provide that radio or television doesn't? The answers could be used to sell customers on keeping their promo dollars in print.