In part two of the Good2Go Conference Series, Caitlin Roberts Sullivan, President of Furbush-Roberts Printing Co, and Vivian Brachmann, Owner of Advanced Litho, join Deborah Corn to discuss how Good2Go helps them save time and money, avoid costly printing mistakes, streamline internal and client communications, and improve customer relationships. (Transcript and PDF Download below)
Mentioned in This Episode:
Caitlin Roberts Sullivan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caitlin-sullivan-1781501a/
Furbush-Roberts Printing Co: https://www.maineprinters.com
Vivian Brachmann: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vivian-brachmann-354bb63/
Advanced Litho: https://www.advancedlitho.com/
Michael Reiher: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelreiher
Good2Go Getting Started: https://www.good2gosoftware.com/learn-good2go/
Good2Go Pricing: https://www.good2gosoftware.com/pricing/
Good2Go Proofing Solution: https://www.good2gosoftware.com/online-proofing-for-print/
Good2Go File Submission: https://www.good2gosoftware.com/file_upload_for_print_production/
Good2Go File Submission Demo: https://www.good2gosoftware.com/progressiveprint/
Deborah Corn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deborahcorn/
Print Media Centr: https://printmediacentr.com
Project Peacock: https://ProjectPeacock.TV
Girls Who Print: https://girlswhoprint.net
Print Across America: https://printacrossamerica.com/
[0:00:00] DC: This podcast conference is supported by Good2Go Software. With no integration or implementation required, Cloud-based Good2Go Software provides advanced services for job onboarding, online proofing, and streamlines customer communication in the process. Starting at just $50 a month, this affordable, no-hassle solution is perfect for small and medium-sized print businesses. Good2Go offers a 14-day free trial and includes live setup and training at no charge. Schedule a demo, sign up for a free trial, and in 15 minutes, you are good to go. Links in the show notes.
[0:00:44] DC: It takes the right skills and the right innovation to design and manage meaningful print marketing solutions. Welcome to Podcasts From the Printerverse, where we explore all facets of print and marketing that creates stellar communications and sales opportunities for business success. I’m your host, Deborah Corn, the Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse. Thanks for tuning in. Listen long and prosper.
Hey everybody, welcome to Podcasts from the Printerverse. This is Deborah Corn, your Intergalactic Ambassador. We are here with episode one of our Good2Go Software Podcast Conference. In the first episode, we are going to be speaking about taking command of client communications. First, let me introduce Michael Reiher to everybody, the President of Good2Go. Hello, Michael.
[0:01:35] MR: Hi, Deborah. Nice to be here today.
[0:01:38] DC: Nice to be here with you as well. Thank you so much for joining in the podcast from the Printerverse Podcasts Conference family. Why don’t you tell everybody what Good2Go Software is?
[0:01:50] MR: Sure. We’re a platform or a service that’s going to help printers take command of their client communications. We allow them to collaborate with their clients. We allow them to do it in such a way that it keeps everything organized and eliminates the chaos that goes on in most print environments on a day-to-day basis. We help them keep their sanity.
[0:02:15] DC: Well, peace of mind goes a long way. Trust me on that one as a print buyer. Okay, so when you and I were discussing how to formulate these podcast series, we definitely established that, probably, hearing from vendors might not be the best process at the moment and the better thing would be, the more authentic thing would be to ask some of your early adopters to jump on the podcast and share their story with everybody.
You identified a few of your customers who would be perfect for that. Our first interview is actually with Caitlin Roberts Sullivan from Furbush-Roberts Printing. She is the President of that printing company. She’s the fourth generation, and just celebrated her 24th year, which we’ll discuss in the interview. But why did you invite Caitlin to share her story?
[0:03:12] MR: I invited Caitlin because she represents a huge segment of the market. They are a nice family-owned business serving a regional market. This is something and she does her work like a lot of printers still. She’s a great example for a lot of customers out there, that should be able to relate to what they do and how they work.
[0:03:36] DC: Yeah. She’s very representative of probably the largest segment of the market. They don’t have a million people working there. They need help without investing in giant enterprise systems. Let’s listen to the interview and thanks so much for inviting her. I thought she was amazing. Here we go, everybody.
[0:03:56] DC: Welcome to the Good2Go Podcast Conference Series. The first episode is called Taking Command of Client Communications. Our first guest is Caitlin Roberts Sullivan of Furbush-Roberts Printing Company in Bangor, Maine. She is the fourth-generation President of Furbush-Roberts Printing and just celebrated her 24th anniversary in February. Your LinkedIn profile says, “I love working with clients, helping them with their print and marketing needs, and creating lasting relationships while doing so.” Welcome to the program Caitlin.
[0:04:34] CRS: Hi, nice to meet you.
[0:04:35] DC: You as well. Can you let everybody know about Furbush-Roberts, and what it was like growing up in a printing dynasty?
[0:04:43] CRS: Yeah. Like you said, I’m the fourth generation. I definitely, grew up as – as we were kids, we would come in on Saturday with my dad and play in the office, and play in the stockroom, so that was always a fun childhood memory. Probably, when I was in high school, in those summers, I would work, and I would come and work in the summers. I got my feet wet and that’s when I decided that I really, really thought this was a career that I could get into.
I never had a lot of pressure from my father to join. He was really good about that. It was whatever you wanted to do. I have a sister who decided to go into social work. She went in different directions. Once I decided to work here, I went to RIT in Rochester, New York. Once graduating, I did a small stint elsewhere, because I knew once I came back here, I was here for good. That was great. I learned a lot of things, things I like and didn’t like, and took some lessons away from that. Then when I came back, I started working here.
It was always interesting working when you came in new, working with people who’d been here for so long. Most of the people had been here for like 20-plus years and here I am like 20-something. So, that was interesting, but they were always really good about teaching me the industry, how things used to be, and how things are now. That was years ago. We were talking, stripping, and stuff like that to things that we don’t do now. Yeah. It’s definitely been, it’s fun and even talking to my grandfather years back. I remember him coming in when I started. He would just be like, “Things have changed so much. When I was doing this, it was letterpress.” So, it was unique.
[0:06:23] DC: Well, that’s really amazing. You’ve really been firsthand a major transformation of the printing industry, through your own family, and through your own family business. I mean, what an amazing perspective to have, especially about the conversation we want to have now, which is even moving further along the technology trail, so to speak. When I was looking you up, something that – a feeling that I got reading your material was that you really see value in customer collaboration. What ingredients are needed to create a strong, long-lasting customer relationship?
[0:07:02] CRS: Yeah. We definitely pride ourselves on long-lasting customer relations. We have a lot of customers that we’ve had for decades. We do that by friendliness, helpfulness, communication, and anticipating customers’ needs. That includes asking lots of questions. Do you need an envelope? Do you need this? What is the end result here? Then people keep coming year after year and getting to know them as well.
[0:07:27] DC: Yeah. How do you establish that you’re even open up to be a collaborative partner? Sometimes that’s difficult with customers.
[0:07:34] CRS: I feel like that’s still a conversation. A lot of times things may happen with email or someone just inquiring quickly. Often, I will go old school and pick up the phone and have a conversation. Then we can continue on with emails, whatever, but sometimes just having that conversation, someone caring to ask the questions and going a little bit deeper makes them realize that, “Oh, this person actually is thinking further ahead than I am.”
[0:08:00] DC: Yeah. I would – I have to echo what you say. There were a million times in advertising agencies that we awarded the job to the printer that came back and asked us a question about it, or said, “Does it have to be this size? It could be just a tiny, a little bit smaller, we could do a lot more thing – stuff for you.” I agree. I applaud that you do that, coming from a print customer.
We are here to talk about taking command of client communications, just to establish a background and a parameter for our conversation. The pandemic has been given credit for pushing digital transformation in the printing industry, and that transformation touches, for example, e-commerce, production workflow, the type of printing offered, and how quickly it can be produced. It also transformed customer communication in some major ways with remote working offices open two days in, three days out, or vice versa. Some offices are now only doing four-day work weeks and so on. There has really been a rise in email communications.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I literally go insane when someone sends me a question in an email with an unrelated subject line, because then I know, I can’t find it if I’m searching to try to find an answer to a question in an email chain. Managing print jobs by that system through email chains when people are answering at different times and in different parts of the conversation has really created some major challenges for the printers to address post-pandemic. As I mentioned, our discussion today is focused on taking command of client communications, and looking at improvements to streamline email communications is a great place to start. Let’s just establish some of the challenges you were facing regarding the influx of email communications.
[0:10:03] CRS: Absolutely. I think you’ve got to get on with the wrong subject lines. I can’t tell you how many times, but that’s trying to find emails with the wrong subject lines. I’ve actually, sometimes when I went back to someone, changed the subject line, because I know, and I’m probably going to mess them up, but I know that I’ll – in two weeks’ time I’m going to be looking for this email and I’ll never be able to find it.
[0:10:23] DC: I do the same thing. I just have to tell you. I switch it up. I’m like, “I don’t care. I need to find it later.”
[0:10:29] CRS: Yes. Another challenge is sometimes who’s email? We have multiple customer service people and sometimes, did you send that quote or proof, or did I? Who’s email is on and who’s CC’d on it? That kind of thing.
[0:10:44] DC: Yeah. You make a great point. Sometimes people are having secondary conversations in the email chain that don’t have anything to do with, is this job approved? Needless to say, it is a traffic jam in productivity and moving forward in time management. In everything, way, shape, or form, just searching through the email box. If you take all the inbox, if you took all that time, is it an hour a week? Is it two hours a week? Is there a tangible time money cost for your business when jobs are submitted or managed and most importantly approved via email? Did you find that time was money and costing you money?
[0:11:29] CRS: Yeah. There’s definitely time in hunting some of that down. I also think sometimes there’s like with the proofs, but also multiple. Here’s a project that’s like six pieces. Here’s piece one. A week later, here’s a piece – I mean, that takes a lot of focus in time, money, and effort in organizing some of that would be certainly helpful.
[0:11:48] DC: Does that also span the responsibilities of multiple people in your print shop? Do emails get forwarded to other people to answer in some cases? Then you’re bringing more people into the email chain conversation?
[0:12:02] CRS: Sometimes. Less so – like in our organization, we’re small enough that we can talk to each other, but often outside the organization. Next thing you know, somebody else has roped in and proofs have to go to a third person and blah, blah, blah. Yes.
[0:12:18] ANNOUNCER: Print Media Centr provides printspiration and resources to our vast network of print and marketing professionals. Whether you are an industry supplier, print service provider, print customer, or consultant, we have you covered with topical sales and marketing content, event support and coverage, these podcasts, and an array of community-lifting initiatives. We also work with printers, suppliers, and industry organizations, helping them to create meaningful relationships with customers and achieve success with their sales, social media, and content marketing endeavors. Visit printmediacentr.com and connect with the Printerverse. Print long and prosper.
[0:13:05] DC: At what point did you hit the wall and say, “Okay, we need to look for help” And more important, because it’s such a niche thing. Did you even know what type of help that you needed?
[0:13:19] CRS: I know we needed something, especially when we got another customer service person trying to find out whose email it is. Then if this person was away, or out, or on vacation, or what have you, did the proof come back to them? Do I need to open their email to find out what’s happening? It’s just juggling and someone saying, “I think it came back okay.” Then, “Well, did you move it on or did it stick and suck in limbo somewhere?” That’s when I was like, “There’s going to be a better system out there to organize.”
[0:13:51] DC: I’m assuming you had a Management Information System (MIS) system, right? Do you have an MIS system in place?
[0:13:55] CRS: Yeah. We have a printer’s plan.
[0:13:57] DC: Okay. This problem could not be addressed by your MIS system. Is that correct?
[0:14:02] CRS: No. My MIS system does not do proofs.
[0:14:06] DC: Okay.
[0:14:07] CRS: Or at the time it does. I don’t think it does. It’s starting to now, but it’s actually very costly and it’s part of a larger system –
[0:14:16] DC: Okay. You were specifically looking for a solution that would help you for the communication when a job was ready for approval processes. Is that fair to say?
[0:14:27] CRS: Yes. Keeping those organized, especially when it gets busy.
[0:14:32] DC: Exactly. Around the holiday season, for sure. Okay. You knew you needed something, you weren’t sure what you needed, and what you needed was pretty specific to a singular problem you had at the moment that your MIS system was not capable of resolving. You found Good2Go, I believe, through a webinar from the printing industries of New England. Is that correct?
[0:14:59] CRS: That is. Your memory might be better than mine, but I remember finding it. Yes.
[0:15:04] DC: Okay. Well, rumor has it. That’s how you found it. You saw Michael make a presentation, I’m sure. Then you saw a demo. You thought, “Okay, this is what I need.” How has Good2Go helped you take command of your customer email communications and to further strengthen yourself as a print partner in the process for your customers?
[0:15:28] CRS: What we liked the system, one because it was straightforward. It was pretty simple and easy to use. I found that our customers find that it’s easy to use. I mean, it’s button-approved changes, but it’s not – it makes it very clear to them what they need to do. Also, the other thing that was great is if somebody approved something and I wasn’t sure, I could actually easily go back and say, “Was this approved or was it not approved?”
There are systems that it needs to move forward, but if something breaks in that system, I can go back and easily see if this has been approved or not, as well as, reminding the customer that you still have a proof out the automatic reminder 24 hours later was great because sometimes we would tend to proof and then somebody would – you would get busy and forget to follow up, until we would have a meeting and say, “Where’s this job?” Now automatically, if they get an email. I have it set, till it’s 24 hours later. I don’t have to do anything. If they look at it and I can see if they’ve looked at it, if they’ve approved it, it gives me a lot of autonomy in there and choices.
[0:16:35] DC: Just in case people don’t know how the system works, there’s a dashboard, correct? Are you communicating with it? Can you explain that a little further for everybody, please?
[0:16:42] CRS: Yeah. Basically, I could go to this dashboard and I can upload my files. Then put a little a blurb, “Hi, Cindy. Here’s your proof.” I try to make it personal so that they know what they’re looking at. Then I hit send and it immediately goes to the customer. They look at it and they can hit. I think it’s approved or make changes. Then there’s a box there for them to make comments. Even if it’s approved and they still want to say, “Actually, I need 500 more.” They can make that change right there. Then that gets communicated back to me, both actually on an email and I can go on the system on the dashboard and look there as well and see them.
[0:17:25] DC: The system also in a way forces a streamline of communication, because you send it to the customer that you need approval from. Then they handle their email communications within their teams, or through the platforms, or devices, or whatever they’re doing, so you’re still getting a singular voice back to you, which is I mean, certainly, it sounds better than what you were doing before.
[0:17:54] CRS: Yes. It’s also helpful – well, like I said, those big buttons are helpful because sometimes you would get an email back with the words, okay. After I hadn’t perhaps written the question of like, “Do you like it this way or this way? Here are both options.” And I get, “Okay.” It’s nice that it’s like definite approved, definite changes, less gray area when someone makes a comment.
[0:18:19] DC: It’s saved you time, obviously. Time – saving time is saving money and you get more things on the press and in and out of your print shop. Win-win for everybody, especially the customers, because I mean, I was a customer, I don’t want to go through email chains either and find the – am I looking at the latest proof? What was the change? I don’t know what the art director said to art directors ago, as they’ve switched. I’m sure it is equally as pleasing to the customers. Have you spoken to them about their feelings about using the system?
[0:18:52] CRS: Yeah. Actually, a couple of customers actually wrote to me separately, just saying, “I love this new system. It’s streamlined. It’s super easy.” They thought it looked fancy and I checked. It was very well received, I should say.
[0:19:05] DC: Yeah. I mean, have you – I speak to printers about this sometimes and it’s funny. You guys invest in technology to make your customers’ lives easier and to get their work in and out expedited and correct, which is your job, but you don’t like to share that you have invested in technologies that help them do that. I’m going to challenge you to tell all your customers about the new process, because what it does is it transforms you from a printer to a modern printer, right? Which is exactly what you have experienced yourselves before generations of starting with, it could have been a letterpress of a certainly offset printing in your place. Now it’s moved on to digital and anything else you might be doing over there, but it is certainly a modern-day print shop.
The thing that makes it more part of the technology world is having access to platforms like this. I want you to scream it from the rooftops and see if you don’t get some more customers who are like, “Wow, this makes my life so easy for me. I really wish that – I’m only going to send my jobs to you from now on.” Okay. Obviously, you benefit, because you’re the owner of the company, your customers benefit. What about the other people who work for you? Have they noticed a productivity improvement? Have they made any comments about, whether this is working for them better than the old system?
[0:20:34] CRS: Yeah. I think it’s easier for them to find. Also, it was not hard for them to learn on our end here. Like I said, it was very user-friendly. They were able to save time in the same sense of searching for emails and following up with people who have not responded to proofs. It automatically, like I said, it automatically sends that out. I think for sure it saves them time, as well.
[0:20:57] DC: I want Michael to adopt it so that I can use it like when I send out proposals and I forget to follow up with people. It would be very handy. Okay. You have answered this question in our conversation, but just to sum it up for everybody, and because this is a Good2Go sponsored podcast. There are still printers and listeners out there who are managing their workflow by email, proofing approvals, and communications, why should they start their solution searching with Good2Go?
[0:21:30] CRS: I thought, it’s easy to learn. I will say that the price is really good. We found that some systems are super expensive, so this one is very affordable. It definitely saves time, having all of our proofs in one area. I can go to the dashboard and see everything. It saves time, saves money, saves confusion, and saves lost proofs. Definitely, worth looking into.
[0:21:53] DC: Excellent. Well, thank you so much for your time. I will put links to Caitlin and her company in the show notes, so everybody can go visit and connect with Caitlin.
[0:22:05] DC: That was really a fantastic interview. I appreciated that Caitlin really was focusing on making sure that to establish stronger customer relationships make the process easier for them.
[0:22:19] MR: Yeah. It was really exciting to hear that. Not only was it useful for her and her employees, but her customers were able to get a benefit out of it. We’re really enjoying it, which I’ve heard that the mother Good2Go users, as well. That’s really exciting to me because that’s helping printers build that relationship with their clients. That’s a great thing.
[0:22:42] DC: Yeah. I didn’t even think about half of the things that she was talking about, as far as all of a sudden three other people are brought into the email chain to make comments about things or somebody from the outside. It’s totally true. I’ve been in emails where somebody didn’t answer like for three days and 30 other emails have come and they’re answering questions from two times ago. Her example of okay, as being the only answer. Then leaving it up to the print service provided to decipher what that means. That okay meant nothing. They have to go back and get the okay.
[0:23:21] MR: I think all of us can relate to those situations. I know myself. I’ll go nuts sometimes like, “Where did I put that email?” Then you find out, it’s like not even there that the information came in. It came in as a text message or phone call or whatever. Those are the issues we deal with and if you’re keeping that stuff organized and keeping it consolidated, especially when it comes down to the artwork as you’re onboarding it and you’re going through that process of revisions and getting final print approval. Boy, just think of how much time you can save, especially if the whole organization is in on it, and then –
[0:24:01] DC: Yeah.
[0:24:02] MR: That way when someone’s out sick, that’s another point that you’d brought up. Someone’s out sick for a day, or a week, or whatever. Who picks up the slack? Who takes up those communications from that person? Having a centralized system to be able to do that saves tons and tons of time.
[0:24:20] DC: Yeah. I mean, she just brought up so many great points. Something that she did mention that I just want a little more clarification on for our listeners is, so you can integrate with an MIS system or you don’t have to. How does that work?
[0:24:33] MR: Yeah. Actually, she’s a great example of a client who’s using Good2Go independently of their MIS and just taking care of business with proofing and print approvals. Using Good2Go the way we designed it. Now we also designed it so it could work along with an MIS. We do have the capability to integrate Good2Go and those customers who are looking to get our proofing integrated with their MIS can contact us and we can tell them more about that.
[0:25:05] DC: Okay, so I mean that really is the call to action here. Just go to the website, book a 15-minute demo or it’s very quick. Do you want to mention anything about the pricing structure, because she did bring it up?
[0:25:17] MR: Sure, sure. I mean, our Good2Go subscription starts at $50 a month for a single user, going upwards to five users at 150 and 10 users at 250. We can really address the needs of just about any size printer out there.
[0:25:33] DC: Excellent. Okay. I’m looking forward to our next interview which is starting right after this message.
[0:25:39] FEMALE: Print shops are busy and managing your print approvals can be a nightmare when they’re sent through email. Information can get buried in client changes missed causing chaos internally and hurting client relations when deadlines are missed.
[0:25:52] MALE: Good2Go helps printers manage the chaos by keeping print approvals organized and accessible throughout the entire organization.
[0:25:59] FEMALE: As a cloud solution, users just drag and drop files onto the Good2Go interface. Put in the client’s email and send. From there, everything is tracked and accessible to the entire organization.
[0:26:11] MALE: Clients never need to log in or create an account to review and approve a document. Plus, if they have changes Good2Go provides online markup tools to clearly communicate the corrections.
[0:26:21] FEMALE: With Good2Go, any size printer can be sending online proofs in a half hour or less. Starting at only $50 a month, cost is never an issue.
[0:26:31] MALE: Visit good2gosoftware.com to learn more. Get a personalized demo and sign up for a free trial.
[0:26:37] MALE/FEMALE: Now, you’re Good2Go.
[0:26:39] DC: Welcome back, everybody. Michael, our next guest is Vivian Brachmann. She’s from Advanced Litho. She’s going to discuss some unique issues she had with onboarding jobs.
[0:26:52] MR: Awesome. Yeah, Vivian is one of my favorite customers, because when they came to us about – that she came to us about three or four months after we introduced Good2Go. They had received our postcard. They showed a lot of interest. Then they like disappeared. Whatever happened to Vivian? Where did she go? But then she came back and when she came – by the time she came back, we had already like implemented a couple of features that she was looking for out of us back when she first touched base with us, so it was really great timing.
It’s like, “Wow, you came back. By the way, you asked for this and we did it, while you were gone.” That was a really great thing, but she really had a problem with her job onboarding. What’s her issue? She had a lot of new employees. They were growing and getting lots of orders in. So, like a lot of printers, they’re really busy. They’re really scrambling. That was her biggest issue was how to fit in bringing on new systems, whether it’s scrambling to keep work going as it is. It’s like in our – it’s hard to explain. It’s like, you know you need the help, but you ain’t got time to get the help.
She ran into that classic problem. We worked with her. We got a couple of her people trained. We started off with baby steps, just a couple of little projects, a couple of little things. We taught them. Then they kept going from there. Now they’re using Good2Go all the time. Now they’re even expanding their use of Good2Go. We’re really proud to have them as a customer. Well, we go ahead, and let’s see what Vivian has to say.
[0:28:33] DC: We are welcoming, Vivian Brachmann. The Co-Owner of Advanced Litho in Lake Forest, California along with her husband Steve. Advanced Litho is a technology-driven company, visually inspired, and prides itself in being a collaborative partner to provide progressive solutions for business collateral and marketing needs from start to finish. Welcome to the podcast, Vivian.
[0:28:57] VB: Thank you for having me.
[0:28:59] DC: Can you let everybody know a little bit more about the work you do for customers at Advanced Litho? Most importantly, how you and your husband have made working together work for more than 30 years?
[0:29:14] VB: Sure. Well, first of all. I’ll hit the topic on my husband and I own and operate Advanced Litho printing for over 35 years. I won’t say it’s all roses, because sometimes it is difficult, but we’ve made it work and it’s been successful. He does the production side and I do the front and the operations. We both have our set, complex job descriptions that we do, but we also communicate.
Communication is important not only in a business, whether your husband and wife, but just in general. There’s a lot of communication to make things go and flow. That’s the same communication that we go forward with our customers, and why we’ve been successful. We do have customers that we currently service that have been with us since the inception of our business in over 35 years. It’s because they are comfortable that we understand them. We communicate with them. Understand the needs that they have to run their business to be successful, as well.
[0:30:21] DC: What are some of the offerings that you bring to the table?
[0:30:25] VB: Well, one of the offerings that I think is very important with at least our client base is that we do custom work. A lot of times there are a lot of online businesses that you can go to and people will say, “Well, I can get it somewhere less expensive.” Well, yes. You can always look online and get something from a big company that you want business cards or flyers or postcards etc. What you give them is what they’re going to print. If it’s wrong. If you have a dot wrong, if it’s off-centered, if something’s blank, they don’t look at it. We make sure we touch and fill our customer artwork. We review it. We understand what they’re looking for. If we see an error, oftentimes more often than not.
Today, I mean we had like five or six errors we found in a customer job that was critical. We look at the jobs and we politely will say, “Hey, we noticed this. Is this correct? Is this the way you want it?” We don’t – we’re very careful about communicating that you don’t want to put them on the defense and saying, “Hey, you did this wrong.” We’ll let them know that we noticed something and we’re just verifying as this is correct. Communication with our customers and understanding the niche of their business, as well, is important to carry on.
[0:31:40] DC: Yeah. I file that under customer convenience and peace of mind. There is no amount of money that can get me off, of peace of mind. To your most excellent point, there was a printer I worked with for years, and years, and years and no matter what agency I went to, I pulled them in with me, because they had quality control, under control. Coming from advertising, we don’t always have quality under control, as far as, we think we’re sending print-ready files into a printer, but surprise. They’re usually not that way. You’ve mentioned communication a few times. You even mentioned it as one of the pillars of why your marriage in and out of the office works. Why is that so important to you? How does that manifest in the biggest sense with your customers?
[0:32:34] VB: Well, it’s important, because if you’re not on the same page and one of the reasons that I’m sure later we’ll discuss why we’re so happy with Good2Go is that the communication can be all over the place. If you have 10 employees, if you have 50 employees and a customer is reaching out to several different people at the same time and you don’t communicate internally, all in one place the job can get messed up. It’s the same, if we’re not on the same page in general you don’t know what direction to go.
[0:33:15] DC: Right. I mean, that’s such a great point. I didn’t even think about that. There are multiple people that you could be communicating with a printing company, as well. In the first segment of this podcast, we mentioned that people like to talk about the digital transformation being accelerated by the pandemic. It really also, impacted email communications, especially since we had more remote working.
Even now, we have sometimes people in the office two times a week, and out three times, or vice versa of that. There are corporations now who are just considering only four-day work weeks in the office or in general. That really has increased the use of email in a professional sense to manage printing jobs. You mentioned some of the challenges that you were facing. What are some of the other challenges that you were facing regarding all these email communications coming in, more so from a business sense?
[0:34:16] VB: Well, getting so many emails not just from our customers, but just from the spam or the advertisements. During the pandemic, it did become excessive. It’s a two-fold answer because on one end, we saw that there were so many emails and advertising people just weren’t even opening up their emails. If we sent an email to a customer, they may not see it, because it’s getting lost in their hundreds of emails. On myself, I would come in on a Monday, especially. It has scaled down a little bit, but I get over 500 emails on a Monday. Trying to decide even though you can identify this – we use this outlook, that this is a priority. This is not. It doesn’t catch everything. So, you miss emails. Then their customers, we call them and say, “Oh, I sent you an email and I haven’t heard from you.”
What I’m just leading to is that we saw a need that now a lot of the customers were leaning towards print for mailings again. We scaled our business scene in need of our customers that they were missing emails. In fact, that’s how I found Good2Go is because I got an actual, physical card that I saw and I kept. We started offering more mailing and postcard services and smaller-scale stuff than before the pandemic. We were flexible in that.
Then as far as internally, with the communication, the challenge we had was – because as I touched upon before, so many email boxes. You have your orders. You have your art. You have your shipping. You have your individual personal email boxes. We had to bring in our own employees and train them to, “Okay, when you get an order. This is what you do. It goes to one email box.” If it’s your personal box, you have to forward it, too – we have a box called orders. So, then from there, we assigned a project manager who now enters them into the system and we create job tickets. That’s how we face that challenge.
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[0:37:09] DC: Yeah. I mean, you made such a good point. First of all, if I’m being bombarded by emails and I see an email from a printing company, I might assume that’s a marketing email. If it even makes it into my inbox, it could end up in my spam box and that’s the last place you want to find a proof that’s waiting for approval for three days, in your spam folder. I was also talking to Michael the other day from Good2Go. I was telling him that in so many ways, I use my email inbox like a server. It’s crazy.
I have different folders. I’m now flagging things, in different colors. I asked the guys like, “Please, make me a version of Good2Go, so I can start managing my life.” That’s exactly what you did. You received a direct mail communication from Michael and you reached out. You, I guess started your process with him. Did you go through a demo? Did you have conversations, where you just ready to buy into it, right away?
[0:38:08] VB: Well, we did have a demo. After speaking with Michael, I knew we wanted to buy into it, right away. I think the challenge for my company was that we lost employees. He was very patient with us because I took a while to actually get going. He was encouraging and very helpful. That’s what I loved about it. He also listened. He listened to our needs, that once we finally had the staffing, that we could start transitioning because it’s difficult.
It takes a lot of work to transition from one method to another. It’s not that we didn’t want to do it. It’s just that where’s the time and who’s going to do it. Other things kept coming up, but he was very helpful. He always listened to what we didn’t – let’s say, I don’t want to say we didn’t like, but what we need. We felt that, “Oh, this is what we need for the way that we operate our business.” One of the key things is a job ticket.
He took that. He listened to us. He had to implement it. He wrote a program that we could then go and internally write a job ticket for our customer. Our customer doesn’t necessarily sign in and process the job, but that’s one of our main customers who – they have like 3,300 locations and they’ve been with us for 35 years. It’s hard to untrain that many people that, no, they have to now all 300 of these people sign in, that they can’t just send us the order, so we do process their job tickets for them.
[0:39:43] DC: One of the things like when printers, especially hear that this is a workflow automation tool. They almost like a deer in the headlights frozen like, “Oh, my God. A $75,000 installation that’s going to take 18 months. No. I know I need the help, but I’m not going to deal with that hell, again.” Or for the first time, which is why a lot of printers use Excel sheets. Did you have that deer in the headlight’s moment at all, through the Good2Go implementation? Do we even call it an implementation?
[0:40:13] VB: Well, no, because I just – I communicated to Michael at the beginning, that we’re going to take slow, baby steps. As far as the cost factor. The cost factor is very affordable and it was a no-brainer for me that this was going to help us. I was willing to as a company, as a business owner, I was willing to try it, let’s say. Anyways, we gave us a trial period, and beyond that I know you can’t just know if a program or software is good for you within one month, or two months, or six months. You need at least a year. It takes time to really build it and to solidify what you’re doing, internally, because there are a lot of changes all over the place. I knew that it was something that we wanted and we’ve been happy with it.
[0:41:02] DC: Excellent. Last question for you. What is some of the tangible benefits that your company has experienced? If anything beyond what you’ve already described. Have you heard from any of your customers that, “Oh, my God. This is so much better.” Or in any comments that they were making about it.
[0:41:18] VB: The one very positive thing is the artwork proofing part of the business. The software that we can now send our artwork and have them approve it. Everything is trapped in the system. I would say for us, we’re still not internally, I’ll be honest. We’re not using it a 100%. We’re still working, it’s a work in progress, pushing my staff, because a lot of times, we’re a smaller business. We have a high revenue volume that we just got to get the jobs out. Sometimes they’ll use the system after the fact. They do always enter their external orders into there, but I’m anxious to just use it a 100% and see where Michael’s going to build it beyond, so we can even do full circle shipping and accounting, and everything in the future. You know that it can have your plugins with the other companies that we use.
[0:42:17] DC: Thank you so much for your time, Vivian. I’ll put a link to Advanced Litho in the show notes. I’m glad you’re Good2Go now. Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.
[0:42:28] VB: Thank you. We appreciate Good2Go. Thank you.
[0:42:34] DC: You are right, Michael. She is really cool and so authentic. I loved how you were able to customize a solution for her job tickets.
[0:42:47] MR: Yeah. That was one of the things they really needed, is they needed a better way to be able to manage all these email jobs coming in. They had a chaotic organization to it. It’s tough when you’re trying to get four or five, six people, all on the same page. Everyone manages their email this way, everyone keeps it this organized. That’s difficult to nearly impossible to do and do it on a consistent basis, so it’s basic. Employees come and go. Sometimes new employee comes in, then you got trained a new dog an old trick.
They needed a job ticket, so we worked with it. We listened to what she wanted. It made sense for all our customers because I started thinking, it’s like, “Boy, what she’s asking for is not uncommon, it’s not unusual. So, let’s do it. Let’s put it on the priority list.” We got it done for. It actually, accelerated some of the development. We already felt like we wanted to do. It was good timing that helped her out, her employees love it.
We continue to make little tweaks to it, even today, to bring it along. That’s one thing as a small company that we’re really proud of is, we really, truly try to listen to what our customers want. We know we can’t give everything, immediately. We have to prioritize like anything else, but I feel like we do a lot for our customers. Everything we do, we do with the knowledge, with requests coming in from our customers. So, Good2Go has really matured in the last few years. All that’s due to what our customers have been asking for.
[0:44:29] DC: Vivian mentioned that they’re not using Good2Go in its fullest capacity. Is this something that comes modularly or does she have everything, she’s just not using it yet?
[0:44:41] MR: They have everything. It’s really a matter of the age-old problem of getting employees to actually get on board and start using and breaking the old habits and moving over to the new. That takes time. That’s something that I really appreciate about Vivian and her crew, is they understand that. She understood that in the beginning, that you can’t inflict change overnight. It takes time. It takes repetitive work on the boss’s part to go in and say to the employees, “No, we need to do it this way.” Because even though that might be a little bit easier for you today, it’s not helping the rest of the company work as a team. That’s really what it’s all about. That’s the way we design the product too, so that the company can work together as a team.
[0:45:30] DC: In a way, it’s cool that she used the most immediate functionality that she needed to get the job tickets under control. Then everybody in her company saw that it was an improvement. So did their customers. That makes it easier for her to make the next improvement, whatever it might be through the software. Well done, sir. Well done, Vivian. Thank you, Caitlin. Thank you everybody for listening. Everything you need to connect with Michael and Good2Go is in the show notes. Until next time, everybody. Good2Go along, and prosper.
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[0:46:07] DC: Thanks for listening to Podcast From the Printerverse. Please subscribe, click some stars, and leave us a review. Connect with us through printmediacentr.com. We’d love to hear your feedback on our shows and topics that are of interest for future broadcasts. Until next time, thanks for joining us, print long and prosper.