Commentary & Analysis
Free Special - Shelley Sweeney, VP and General Manager, Service Bureau Division, Xerox
By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: November 1, 2002
Shelley Sweeney, VP and General Manager, Service Bureau Division, Xerox Conducted by Molly Joss November 1, 2002 -- Earlier in the week Mark Waxenberg, Vice President and General Manager for Xerox’s Monochrome Business Unit, filled us in on what his division was going to be doing at XPLOR. To get an update on how the show is going and to learn a little more about Xerox, we asked Shelley Sweeney, Vice President and General Manager, Service Bureau Division, to answer a few questions from the show floor. WTT: Tell us a little about your job at Xerox and your responsibilities. Sweeney: I am the VP/GM for the Service Bureau Sector for the Graphic Arts Industry. In this role I have responsibility for marketing and customer partnership programs for this strategic sector of the Graphic Arts industry. Xerox has charged me with the overall go-to-market strategy for the segment, including market analysis, identification of key business opportunities, sales coverage, product and solution requirements, marketing plans and customer engagement and relationships. The Service Bureau sector is very strategic for Xerox and includes direct mail agencies, data processing firms, and laser printing service bureaus. Those print providers involved in transactional and direct marketing applications. This sector is one of five industry sectors that make up the Graphic Arts Industry for Xerox. WTT: Shelley, you’re at XPLOR now. How has the show been thus far? Sweeney: I am very pleased with the XPLOR show this year. The sessions that our customers participated in were incredibly well attended and have been very educational and insightful. The Xerox booth has been very busy and Xplor attendees have been engaged in discussions about the market and various products and solutions from the vendors. All of the customers that I have met with have been energized by the people and the solutions that we are showcasing. WTT: The economy is continuing to have its ups and downs. How has the economy been for your customers in the service bureau sector? What are they telling you about their challenges in the next year? Sweeney: It seems that both our customers and other industry professionals feel that they have experienced the worst that the economy has dealt. They are now looking for both solutions and support that will see them through the remaining difficult months ahead and position them for growth in the future. We are seeing our customers through these rough times by helping them use their existing investments intelligently with a focus on agility in their markets. Service bureaus and direct mail houses must be flexible and discover new ways to augment the customer service they have offered in the past to find new opportunities. WTT: How has the postage increase affected your customers or your customers' customers? Sweeney: The postage increase has caused many organizations to become more selective about what printed materials are being sent out. My customers have expressed that their clients want communication and marketing activities to be very targeted and the postage increase has only amplified this practice. This is great news for service bureaus and direct marketing firms since it leads to very personalized and shorter run pieces that have established business improvement results. A significant number of specialized direct marketing firms have experienced growth from this increase due to the targeted needs of their customers and also the capabilities that they have in their solutions. In addition, all service bureau establishments have specialized capabilities and techniques to enable the greatest postal discounts. WTT: What announcements related to your division were made at XPLOR? Sweeney: We’ve had quite a few announcements happen at Xplor, including our Invisible Control Marks Solution that will help optimize throughput speed, improve design flexibility and reduce finishing errors. We also announced enhancements to Xerox’s DocuSP print management software and improvements to DocuTech and DocuPrint production printing systems. Finally, Xerox formed a DocuColor User Group which will feature educational opportunities, business development tips, best practices and product support information. WTT: Anything else you'd like to share? Sweeney: It is a wonderful time to be in the service bureau business, the changes in the economy, the need for nurturing client relationships and the proven impact of cross marketing activity put the Service Bureau providers in the drivers seat. They currently own the customer data (billing and statement data), understand variable printing and direct marketing and have moved into the full color marketplace - it is very exciting!