One on One with David Torok
But you knew it’s not about “If you buy it, they will come.” You had customer demands driving your investments in offset and digital technology, correct?
Yes, and it’s very interesting to look at what’s resulted from that. What ends up happening in today’s world is the customer who gives you digital work eventually gives you offset work, and offset customers will give you digital work – there is this synergy between the two. Our biggest digital customer three years ago is now our biggest offset customer. Our biggest offset customer three years ago is now our biggest digital customer.
That flies in the face of predictions five years ago that digital is going to take work away from offset.
No, they really complement each other. When we talk about hybrid printing, it’s a combination of offset and digital, and that is a big reason our sales have grown 50 percent in the last three years.
What kind of vertical markets are you serving?
We’re doing work for the banking and insurance markets, the retail market, a major utility, and a hospital.
Isn’t there a hill to climb in terms of finding good people to sell digital printing?
This has been the hardest thing of all. We have tried everything: getting offset people to sell digital; hiring digital people to sell digital; hiring from outside the business, people with a background in selling equipment who understand long cycle times for a sale.
Today we’ve evolved into a team-selling approach. We identify our target customer and connect to him through top management. You can’t rely on the print salesman to go out and identify that this bank, hospital, or retail operation is a great opportunity for Padgett Printing. We’ve got to be able to learn as much about the business as we can, and go in there and team-sell them. And now by the way, here’s my techie who can talk to your techie about tab-delineated files and the latest coolest sequel server till they’re blue in the face. Know what that translates to? We’ve tied in to you through our IT group, we’ve used our IT as a competitive advantage, and now it’s very painful for you to leave us.