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Archive for November, 2015

An Attitude of Gratitude

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

In our personal lives, it is said that we should have an attitude of gratitude. This should certainly carry over to our work lives as well. I had an experience recently that reminded me how important it is that we are grateful for what we have and show that by being thankful to those we come in contact with.

Company A is a great client of mine. They partnered with Company B on a recent project. At the insistence of Company A, we were the preferred vendor that Company B came to to produce part of this project. We produced our piece of this project in record time and delivered it as required. We thought that was the end of this interaction until about 2-3 weeks later.

Turns out there was a problem. Because the product was not up to the standards of Company A, Company B was coming back on us to re-do the entire product. This would have been an incredibly expensive proposition. It was decided that a meeting between the three of us would be the best way to problem solve and move forward. I was dreading the possibility of being thrown under the bus and blamed for something that we really weren’t responsible for. I couldn’t have been more wrong.thank-you

Since I feel that the key person in this story saved the day, we will call him “Clark Kent.” I was greeted promptly by Clark when I arrived for the meeting. Though we had never met before, he knew who I was and explained what a valued supplier we were to Company A. He had already looked into our problem and gathered all the relevant information. That is when the unimaginable happened. He accepted the responsibility for this problem. Neither we or Company B were blamed. Company A had had some miscommunication internally and that ultimately led to this hiccup. The calm demeanor and kindness this man exuded was unlike anyone I had ever dealt with.

Having spent 25 years in sales, this may have been a first. All too often people are more worried about who to blame than they are on finding a solution and moving on. It was a game changing moment for me. Why am I telling you this story? I chose to take this interaction to a higher level and not just let that be the end of it.

I got the name and email address for Clark’s boss. I relayed what an amazing interaction I had with Clark and what an tremendous asset he must be to Company A.  Clark emailed me back and thanked me for my gushing accolades about him. He said that in all his years, no one had ever taken the time to thank him for what he does and how he handles himself.

How sad is that? The point of this story is exactly that. Never miss an opportunity to be kind and thankful to customers, vendors or suppliers. Pay someone a compliment. Take a gift basket or box of baked goods to random people that you have contact with. Let those around you know that they are appreciated and that you are grateful for the opportunity work with them. We should always be humbled by the fact that we have a job. Every day is an opportunity to do something great for someone else.

What did you do today to make the world a better place?


Buying with Confidence

Monday, November 9th, 2015

For years I’ve worked to understand what’s most relevant to buyers when choosing their vendors. Early on, I struggled to find anything other than price to sell on. Quality was of importance, but let’s face it, after a lifetime in the printing industry, the majority of printers do comparable work.

That being said, I’ve found a couple of traits that stand out above the rest. First, ultimately is fit! Believe it or not, not all printing companies are the same, some stru”"ggle in certain areas while others excel. For example, we have an 8-color perfecting (ability to print two sides at once) press. If you have a 12 or 24 page publication, for example, it’s likely we’ll be more competitive than a company with a 4- or 6-color press. Not only will we be more competitive cost wise, but we’ll likely have shorter turn times considering less make ready and one press run, compared to two.

Once a need and fit have been identified. Service and accommodation have to be considered. I’m quite certain, when I go to purchase any service or product for my home or car, I’m going to work with those that show an earnest effort and do as promised without too much hassle. As an example, a few months ago I had to have my windshield replaced. I didn’t have anyone in particular to work with so I started calling different companies. Cost was considered and I conceded that the quality would have to be the same. With that in mind, what really stuck out to me was the person on the other end of the phone. There was one gentleman that was extremely accommodating. I asked about having it put in at my office or home. His answer was “my job is to make it easy for you, you tell me where the car will be and we’ll come to you” WOW! SOLD!

Knowing that we meet the aforementioned values, what I find most valued is the confidence in buying from Spartan Printing. We’re a good company, and have been for nearly 50 years. We have quality people with a genuine concern to meet clients’ needs and expectations. All of my clients are busy; what I’ve found to be most important to them is when they give me a job, it’s considered done! I’ll tell you this, if you choose to buy from the fine folks of Spartan Printing, you can buy with confidence that we’re here to get the job done. And we will!