OneTouchPoint: OneTouchPoint Expands Integrated Marketing Services; Building a Multi-site Platform
Business growth can’t be guaranteed, but it can be engineered. As OneTouchPoint expands its network of hubs for integrated marketing execution services, it has more in mind than just adding technical capability and production capacity.
The company, print-based but offering its clients many other options for B2B and B2C communication, is building a multi-site platform on a template that combines centralized management oversight with locally tailored customer support.
This acquisition-driven model has broken OneTouchPoint out of the traditional commercial printing mold and is transforming it, in the words of its CEO, Chris Illman, into a multichannel marketing organization that is moving forward as “one company, one brand, and one go-to-market.”
OneTouchPoint’s industry lineage stretches back more than 80 years, but its latter-day profile is strictly 21st century.
Its operations revolve around UConnect, a cross-platform content creation and management system that lets OneTouchPoint customers deliver their marketing messages in whatever formats — printed or electronic or both — that best suit their audiences and their objectives. The company’s portfolio of marketing execution services also includes supply chain and direct marketing support, as well as services that help enterprises manage their data and optimize their document processing.
All of this takes place across a production network that now spans seven sites in five states, with Wisconsin as the home base. In late 2016, added to the group were FuseCreates, a printer and mailer located in Denver, where OneTouchPoint has had a presence since 1989; and PrintManagement in Cincinnati, which was folded into one of the earlier acquisitions (Berman Printing) in 2007.
Arizona and Texas are also home to OneTouchPoint facilities. Generating $150 million in annual sales, the company employs more than 800 people and serves thousands of clients.
Since the industry’s recovery from the recession, strategic growth by acquisition with the help of private equity capital has come back into vogue. This is primarily how OneTouchPoint has broadened its footprint, but Illman cautions that doing it simply to get bigger would be a weak rationale for expansion.
While adding new accounts, processes and manufacturing locations is important, he says, the first thing to look at in an acquisition target is the potential of its customer base for the business as a whole.
His leading question is, “Can we help to cross-sell or upsell that base with our value-added services?” That’s one part of the proposition. The other is making sure that the value of local relationships will continue to be recognized. To achieve this, adds Illman, “we allow all of our geographies to serve our clients uniquely” under the unified OneTouchPoint brand.
Acquisitions in the Southeast and in the Tri-state New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania region could be next, according to Illman. If they happen, the task will be to integrate them into the network as smoothly as the locations that preceded them.
Joni Diderrich, president of the Midwest division, and Steve Henck, VP of operations, say it is a matter of tying the sites together in a common workflow that enables incoming jobs to be processed uniformly and, in the case of national accounts, directed to whatever node of the network is closest to where the finished product is needed.
The backbone of the workflow is EFI’s Monarch ERP (enterprise resource planning) software, which integrates with the UConnect marketing management system. This puts all of OneTouchPoint on the same page operationally, but never at the expense of customers’ individual preferences and needs.
“We don’t standardize to standardize,” Illman notes. Everything must support “quickness and entrepreneurialism” at the local level so that customers throughout the network can be served with the responsiveness and efficiency to which they have grown accustomed.
Although the focus of what clients want from OneTouchPoint is shifting, direct mail and other kinds of printed output remain fundamental to its business.
Its principal vertical markets are healthcare, financial services and insurance, which rely heavily on personalized communication in print and digital form; and manufacturing, with its continuous need for product documentation. Retailing and associations are other sectors that make good use of OneTouchPoint’s ability to create and disseminate information rapidly.
Helping to make this possible is UConnect, which plugs thousands of customers at 250 sites directly into OneTouchPoint’s array of creative and production services for marketing campaigns. With UConnect, clients can specify whatever they need, from printed marketing collateral to cross-media messaging, and deploy these assets to the channels of their choice. UConnect also handles fulfillment, digital asset management and inventory.
With its browser interface and secure, cloud-based processing, UConnect makes it easy for OneTouchPoint’s customers to order their direct mail pieces, brochures and other items in Web-to-print transactions — which is precisely what increasing numbers of them are doing. Because it is modular, it also encourages the purchase of additional services. Users can begin with one module and install other functions as their needs evolve.
UConnect helps to generate business for all of OneTouchPoint’s marketing execution services, but no part of the operation gets a bigger boost from it than printing — particularly on the digital side.
The workload is such, points outs Diderrich, that the plants in Wisconsin may process up to 15,000 jobs per month. Henck adds that while high-volume offset produces the largest number of pages, “digital blows it away” in terms of the number of jobs completed: 14,500 of the total.
A mainstay device for the digital portion is an Océ VarioPrint i300 production inkjet press from Canon Solutions America that has been at work in the company’s Hartland, Wis., facility since mid-2015.
OneTouchPoint was the first U.S. printer to install the device, a heavy-duty B3-format (13.9x19.7˝) sheetfed color inkjet press that can print up to 294 letter-sized images/min. or more than 8,500 duplex letter sheets/hr. Henck says the VarioPrint i300’s strengths are its substrate flexibility, its “phenomenal” print quality on uncoated papers, its expectation-exceeding uptime and its impressive throughput.
Direct mail with variable printing is its principal application at OneTouchPoint, along with insurance company literature and similar materials containing variable data and static content. According to Henck, the fact that the VarioPrint i300 can print variably at high speeds in full CMYK reduces the need for preprinted offset shells that must be rerun through digital systems to add variable elements.
Some of OneTouchPoint’s book printing customers, notes Diderrich, have also taken advantage of the inkjet press by using it to add splashes of color to what had been black-only page runs.
All of OneTouchPoint’s production centers follow G7 Master Printer procedures for consistent color reproduction across multiple printing processes, and the company has embraced the ISO 9000 family of standards as its guideline for quality assurance. But, its definition of “print quality” encompasses more than just the fine points of presswork.
Henck believes that quality should be judged not only by how good the job looks, but by how securely and accurately it handles the sensitive static and variable data that it incorporates.
To that end, OneTouchPoint protects data integrity according to standards endorsed by the HITRUST common security framework (CSF), which includes compliance with federal HIPAA regulations for safeguarding medical records. Its Lean Six Sigma document processing services comply with SOC 2 audit requirements for secure data management.
Distributing data in hard-copy form keeps the VarioPrint i300 and the company’s other printing equipment fully booked, and printing is still the centerpiece of the marketing execution support services that the company offers its customers. But, it isn’t the only aspect of the mission that management is paying close attention to.
“We are a commercial printer, and we’re not afraid to say it,” declares Illman. “Print will always have a big role in what we do, but certainly not the only role.” This is in keeping, he says, with the company’s technology-agnostic approach to its customers’ needs. It is also the reason why OneTouchPoint employs 18 IT specialists to devise solutions that are responsive to those needs.
Being responsive means anticipating needs and adapting services to them. Diderrich says this is why managing a customer’s inventory of communication resources includes carefully monitoring patterns of use.
That way, a customer building up a needlessly large stockpile of printed matter could be moved to a more efficient print-on-demand production routine. If email blasts, physical media (CDs and thumb drives), or other channels are the right tools for telling the story, OneTouchPoint is ready to provide them. As Diderrich puts it, “We’re not saying we can only print your stuff.”
It isn’t surprising that the company’s main self-marketing task is making sure that its clientele are aware of the full range of assistance they can obtain from OneTouchPoint. The portfolio includes facility management services for a select group of enterprise clients, according to Illman — who spent 16 years at Xerox, was a VP of sales for the Gartner Group and was the president of the Midwest division of OneTouchPoint before stepping into the CEO spot at the company.
Positioning the complex business as one company, one brand and one go-to-market solution makes for a “cleaner” message and a clearer focus on strategic objectives, he believes. What Diderrich calls “a ton of support” for the sales force, which can include having tech specialists accompany the reps on client calls, helps to assure that the message gets through.
Complex though the machinery behind it may be, the message itself is simple: “We make every touch point matter.” Illman and his team are determined to do that wherever customers put their hands on OneTouchPoint’s menu of marketing execution services.