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Willie Brennan of Custom Print Now Solutions on Partnering

Published on September 10, 2012

Willie Brennan of Custom Print Now Solutions speaks about how to leverage partners to diversify your business and shares a case study of a printer who needed to build a web-to-print solution for their number one customer.

Hi, it’s Willie Brennan with Custom Print Now Solutions. We build custom web to print solutions for different vertical markets. I'm here to talk today about partnering. If you’re a printer, a print service provider, broker, agency and looking for how you’re going to get into this fast growing, ever-changing technologically crazy, insane business, but you know you need to do it and do it fast or you feel like you’re going to fail we have a—I'm going to talk about a case study with a particular printer who came to us eight years ago and—well I'm sorry, five years ago to build their number one customer a web to print solution for at the time it was 500 dealers and now it’s over 3,000.

So the problem was that the customer needed—well first of all, he didn’t know where to start. He was referred to me from another printer friend. I've been in the printing business over 30 years, so in the Washington metropolitan area and when he asked his printer who can I get web to print solutions from they recommended us. They recommended me. So we went in and did an evaluation together with the client. We signed a teaming agreement knowing that first and foremost this is his client forever and forever that I'm coming in as a solution provider partner. However, there were going to be two companies involved. We were going to represent the technology and the customer service and the production management. He was going to manage the print fulfillment and so forth.

However, he could only handle part of the equation meaning he could handle the digital and the mailing. He couldn’t handle the signage. He couldn’t handle the stationery. He couldn’t handle the electronic delivery of other things and since then there is a lot he doesn’t do internally, ASI, apparel and promotional items and so forth, books on demand. So he can only handle so much. So it turned out to be probably the wisest decision he ever made in his life because he would have lost. He would have not been able to provide—the existing products at the time were just a catalog and a postcard and now we have over 600 templates, 40,000 images. I mean it’s huge. So I have to give him credit for having the trust. However, we knew in order for it to work we needed to sign a teaming agreement. We needed to be able to expand ourselves and grow. The big lesson here is there is so much to know and do with technology. It is all we do. All we do is web to print and it’s—I feel like it’s hard for me to keep up and our people to keep up with everything because everything changes. You’ve got the applications. You’ve got integration. You’ve got security. You’ve got credit card. It’s too much.

So I simply say to people going forward even with customers and well specifically talking to printers, if you haven’t done it yet, if you do, if you look at your customer base and you look at it and you go you know what, I have five customers that really need this, but you know what, they’re probably is not one solution that’s going to fit it all, so bringing in a company like us they can instantly go to their sales people, go out, talk to those customers, talk about the requirements, the need to bring us in, tell them what questions to ask and depending on the customer’s work schedule we’ll tell them how to—as far as with partnering we tell them how to sell it, solve the problem and how to source it, especially if—and help them position themselves because if they don’t do wide format and they only do certain things that we make that look totally seamless to the customer and their end customers.

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