Investing in Technology and Partnerships Proves Successful for DPRINT's Rising Star Lane Hickey-Wiggins
Despite the mainstream mantra of “print is dead,” anyone who works within the commercial printing space in any capacity knows just how incorrect that statement is. It will continue to evolve and prosper, driven by technologies like inkjet printing on all kinds of substrates, interactive print, big data, and expansion into brand-new applications. It may change and adapt, but printing will never disappear.
As such, commercial printing will need leaders to help drive that change and spearhead the adaptations that will need to occur. As the next generation, those future leaders bring new energy, new excitement, and new ideas that can — and will — shape the future. But who are they? What are their backgrounds? How did they discover print?
To answer some of these questions, Printing Impressions put out a call to the industry at large to nominate some “Rising Stars in Commercial Printing.” The eight people profiled are already making an impact, and have big plans for a long career in printing. Here is a closer look at one of the remarkable individuals — still in the early stages of their career — and where he plans to go next.
Lane Hickey-Wiggins, President and CEO | DPRINT, Lakeland, Fla.
Lane Hickey-Wiggins, 30, has a family history in printing. While her mother is still the owner, Hickey-Wiggins is running operations as the president and CEO of DPRINT, and is the third generation to step into the 80-year-old business. Print might be in her blood, but Hickey-Wiggins wasn’t entirely sure she wanted to make a career out of it, getting her degree in art history before returning to the company.
“It’s not necessarily entirely relatable,” she says, “but I get to use the creative knowledge that I gained in this business.”
That knowledge comes in handy, with Hickey-Wiggins running the day-to-day operations, while also tasked with planning for the future. She is helping to shape the strategy of what DPRINT will look like in the future, with trends like convergence and changing customer needs weighing heavily in her decisions.
“Right now we’re looking at who we are as a business, and where we’re going,” Hickey-Wiggins says. “It’s critical to always be evolving, to stay current with the trends, and to be able to talk to customers. We’re looking at things like what we sell, how we sell it, and who we market to. These include more efficient interfaces with customers who are looking for one-stop shops, and how to speak to that demand.”
Getting Smarter, Not Just Bigger in Size
Hickey-Wiggins notes, however, that she doesn’t necessarily see her company growing in size, but rather getting smarter about how it does business. Ensuring that she has the right technology in place to serve many of her clients’ needs — both right now and what they’ll need later — as well as creating the right partnerships and relationships to ensure she can fulfill requests that can’t be done in-house, are two of the big pillars Hickey-Wiggins sees for future success. She wants to see the operation get more efficient across the board, making better use of its resources and investing in smart ways.
In fact, the ever-changing quality of print is one of the things that gets her the most excited about this industry. “It’s always evolving, and I can learn something new every day.” And although DPRINT has embraced digital technology, more than half of its business still comes from screen printing — keeping an element of creativity and craftsmanship that she loves.
“It’s super creative, while also focused on change and forward movement,” she notes. “It’s a fast-paced industry, and I thrive on that. I always want something new to learn, something to try, a new piece of equipment to check out, etc.”
But for Hickey-Wiggins, success isn’t just about growing her own business. She is also passionate about helping other women find success in the business world, by serving on several boards and panels, including being part of SGIA’s Women in Print Council.
“One of the things I’m extremely proud of is being afforded the opportunity to use my position as a female executive to further other women in the industry, and women in business overall,” Hickey-Wiggins says. “The ability to serve on SGIA’s board of directors was a pivotal growth point for me — it allows me to increase my knowledge base and participate in pertinent industry discussions with other executives. Additionally, it’s been really exciting to see the growth of SGIA’s Women in Print Alliance, of which I am a founding council member.”
Overall, Hickey-Wiggins is excited about what the future holds, both for her personally and for the printing industry in general. “It’s incredibly important to always maintain a position of growth cultivation and learning,” she points out. “Watching from when I was a child growing up in a print shop to now, it’s an entirely different industry. It’s important to focus on what’s next, and how I can get there from here. Growth doesn’t have to be in dollars alone — growth can be recognized in so many different ways.”
Toni McQuilken has been writing and editing for more than a decade. Her work includes B2B publications – both in print and online – in a range of industries, such as print and graphics, technology, hospitality and automotive; as well as behind the scenes writing and editing for multiple companies, helping them craft marketing materials, write press releases and more. She is a self-proclaimed "tech geek" who loves all things technology, and she knows that she is one of a select group of people who get to do what they love for a living.