Brian Kelly, Print Account Manager at ADD Systems, joins Brian Cohen, ADD Systems Multimedia Specialist and host of ADDcast, to discuss how the printing services industry has evolved over the last few decades; fuel-industry specific trends; how often organizations should evaluate their print needs and spend; and how the Print Services Offering at ADD Systems can help make ADD clients more successful.
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Brian Cohen: Welcome to ADDcast. I’m ADD Systems Multimedia Specialist, Brian Cohen, and today we’re joined by Brian Kelly, Print Account Manager for ADD Systems. Brian, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today.
Brian Kelly: Sure, Brian, glad to be here.
Brian C: Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the printing business?
Brian K: Sure, Brian be happy to. I graduated from Manhattan College with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration. My first job after graduation was with a print manufacturer. This is where I learned the technical side and also the business side of the print industry. I am fortunate enough to have sustained my career for 20 plus years in the print production environment. Over the past few decades, I have coordinated all print department operations, including sourcing, purchasing, procurement, and cost analysis. One of the most important things I’ve learned over that time is the importance of establishing and maintaining successful relationships with clients and vendors.
Brian C: Excellent. Can you talk about how maybe the printing business has changed over those two
decades that you’ve been in the industry?
Brian K: Sure. Well, one of the biggest changes I’ve seen is the shorter lead times required by customers, which is actually enhanced by the digital print field. A lot of customers throughout the years would normally have a standard lead time of say, 10 to 15 work days, where now things are normally produced in three to five days. This is done by digital print, which is on an elevated color cutting machine as opposed to being on press where, on press, you have a lot of setup and drying times and different things that take a lot longer than a typical digital print machine, which actually pretty much prints, and you can cut and box and ship on the same day.
Brian C: Now Brian one of the challenges in the print industry has always been lead time, so how do you address that with your customers?
Brian K: My approach, Brian, is to always communicate with customers the lead times at a time of a price quote. I offer options on different types of paper that might save them on lead times. Also, we have generic forms that we stock here. These forms are generic and could ship in one to two days to help the customer satisfy their print knees, while their custom order is being printed.
Brian C: Excellent. Do you see any printing trends that are specific to maybe, let’s say, the fuel industry?
Brian K: one of the biggest trends that I’ve noticed is a lot of customers are now going to thermal printers and thermal rolls. Thermal paper comes on a roll, and it’s quite economical. A lot of the thermal printers are now being purchased for a lesser price, and also using these thermal printed rolls, they’re getting a much more cost effective process for their company. So in order to kind of enhance some cost savings for our customers, I’ve been in the process of kind of introducing the thermal printers and also the thermal rolls, which are a part of my product offering.
Brian C: Now can you talk about your typical customer that you deal with on a day-to-day basis?
Brian K: Well, as far as typical customers go, I have quite a vast experience in the industry. I’ve dealt with industries such as education, health care, financial information, and retail. As I’ve been a member of the ADD team, I’ve been servicing the commercial bulk fuels, heating oil, propane, HVAC, also petroleum lubricants, distribution and also the convenience store industries.
Brian C: What are some of the most popular printing needs that you’re seeing in today’s environment?
Brian K: I think one of the big ones is eco-friendly print materials, meaning customers are going green, so there are a lot of different options that we can offer as far as recycled paper and also with soy inks, which is a plant based ink. So there are plenty of options for green companies, and that seems to be a trend going forward, and we do have options to service green customers.
Brian C: Now Brian, I’m sure you’re aware there are countless online printing services that you could find just anywhere on the web. What sets a service like yours apart from those online services?
Brian K: I think what sets me apart is that I have a very customer-oriented approach, and, with me here at ADD Systems being the print account manager, you will have a live person and/or consultant to speak with any time needed, so, instead of placing your order through a web-based site where you’re not really dealing with a person, you’re not really getting advice and guidance, you’re going to be able to get that with me. Like I said, a very hands-on approach, and I’m a phone call or email away at any time to help with your printing needs.
Brian C: So looking into your crystal ball there, Brian, what do you see for the future of printing services?
Brian K: In the future I see a lot of customization and brand awareness. Here at ADDs we offer a lot of customized products, where you can have your logo and your brand advertised through our products. Sometimes people use generic products, but we always encourage customer and brand awareness, and me, as the account manager, I will make sure that your brand will be consistent throughout every product we produce, and you retain that color consistency and the quality consistency.
Brian C: In your expertise, Brian, how often do organizations truly evaluate their print needs and their spend that goes towards it?
Brian K: Well, I normally feel they wait too long. I mean, people get set in their ways, and they kind of just keep repeating the habits of ordering and ordering, where they perhaps might not be getting the best price or the best deal, or even the best turnaround time. So part of my role is to be in touch with customers and talk to them about their print needs, their print spend, and what their goals are. And I’m here to update them on what we can provide and to help them out in terms of cost savings and also lower lead times and also a high quality product.
Brian C: Now, Brian, if someone has a question for you in regard to their company’s specific printing needs, how would they go about getting in touch with you?
Brian K: I’m located in the Flanders, New Jersey office, which is our headquarters. My direct phone number is 973-584-4026 extension 1365. For emergencies or any time to call, my mobile phone is 201-874-8448, and my email is Kellyb@addsys.com.
Brian C: Brian, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today.
Brian K: Oh, it’s my pleasure, Brian.
Brian C: To keep up with the latest happenings at ADD Systems, visit us at addsys.com/blog or connect with us on social media by following ADD Systems on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. If you have any questions about ADDcast, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com. Thanks for listening! Have a great day!