HGI Co. — Completing a Triple Play
This major book publisher was wooed away by Asian pricing years ago. Recently, it had been encountering increased service, delivery and communication problems.
"We didn't give up on the business and think that it was impossible to win work back from Asia, even given the initial pricing advantages," Sikora recounts.
The publisher was keen to bring the work back to the States, but the move needed to make business sense. Being able to get advanced copies produced digitally, "green" book options and a higher level of communication were parts of the winning package that HGI put together, according to Sikora.
The secrets behind the company's success are definitely not so secret. Faust believes that "it's all about people" and stresses the importance of "listening to customers." What makes the difference is how, and how well, HGI executes its business strategies and management philosophies.
"Success comes from providing added value to customers. But it has to start with the employees," the company's top exec asserts. At HGI, that means providing a comprehensive benefits package and stressing continuing education and safety. Regarding clients, HGI reps spend a lot of time listening to--not selling--them to ensure the printer can satisfy their short-term and, perhaps more importantly, long-term goals, according to Faust.
Sikora likes to refer to himself jokingly as "manufacturing's worse nightmare" in terms of pushing to meet a market segment's full range of product and service needs.
Keeping It Personable
Both technology and the human touch are used to keep a close connection between the company's bases of operation. Employees have been encouraged to interact from the beginning, with the entire Hi-Liter staff given an opportunity to tour the Inland plant at the time of the acquisition. Similarly, Inland and Plus Digital employees were bused down for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Hi-Liter's new Euroman press. Individual visits are also made, such as a CSR from one plant spending the day at the other to see the equipment, talk with staff and share best practices.