In a previous blog post, you learned about the approach to Customer Service that Director of Operations, Terry Colosimo and her team bring to each project. But do you know Terry?
Terry started as a manufacturing assistant at Greenwood Publishing, reviewing final repro before sending it off to the printer, checking blue lines and distributing printer copies. Within just weeks of being hired, she was invited on her first plant tour. “Within my first month at Greenwood, I got to visit two printing facilities and a composition house. I realize that I was very fortunate to have that opportunity and absorbed as much information as I could. I have spoken many times about how those plant visits taught me so much about the importance of defining workflows with the whole process in mind, and the value of customer service—lessons that helped me throughout my career.” It was during this time that Terry was first introduced to Westchester, who was then a vendor for Greenwood. “There were only a few vendors that I could say provided consistent quality and service and Westchester was one of them. I remember working with Sue Grenier, who was my CSR at the time, as well as having conversations with their graphics team about halftone scanning. They were mentors for me, not just vendors. They helped me better understand my needs as a publisher.
As a production editor on several titles, Terry was able to fully understand the editorial process. “Though I did act as editor on some book projects, I was more drawn to working with my print and composition vendors. And so it evolved to where I was often the liaison between our production editors and our vendors.” Terry’s responsibilities also extended to print buying for journals as well as building out their POD program. All these roles gave a good foundation for Terry’s current position at Westchester, because she understands the needs of production managers at publishers, as well as how best to work with vendors to get those needs realized. “I learned how to set up workflows, and manage QC, staff, and schedules. Having been on ‘the other side of the desk’ helps me to know what clients want and expect from a vendor.”
Terry joined Westchester in 2002, leading the Quark department. “I remember thinking, Quark? I know nothing about Quark.” She learned about pagination and design, which having worked at a publisher tied in well with her other experience. As her role at Westchester grew, she developed trafficking and transmission procedures to move files to our India-based offshore composition facilities (starting in 2004) and was instrumental in mirroring the processes, training, and all our procedures in India. “We’re unique in this industry in that we own our offshore typesetting operation, having acquired one that was already a great shop. By bringing our US office’s protocols to India, we mutually established mirrored processes so that we both understand how each operation works. It’s been over a decade of success since then, as we work as partners, not a mothership with an offshore vendor.” This was done through working collaboratively on checklists, SOP’s, workflows, and making sure QC was matching the level we had stateside even though thousands of miles away.
In 2014, Terry started handling more of the operational management, working with sales and client expectations, customer service, and setting up new accounts with both the Editorial Services and Composition Services teams. As Westchester launched its India Direct Offshore Composition Typesetting offerings in 2015, she was involved in establishing protocols for that operation, working in collaboration with our teams in Chennai and New Delhi. She realized that workflows are continually evolving based on the needs of today’s publishers, and took the opportunity to help Sales establish protocols for onboarding that start with a call with members of Westchester’s management and each new client. This gives the client a sense of partnership across the company. “Everyone works together and does whatever needs to be done to make sure the jobs get completed to the customer’s requirements. Everybody pitches in, regardless of traditional job title, to get the work done—whatever it takes. It’s a very collaborative process with the client, rather than talking at them about how this should work to keep our costs down like many vendors do.”
Terry visits our offices in India regularly. “I have just come back from what I think is my 11th visit.” This is of bidirectional value—she learns more and more from our staff in India each trip, and also works to make them feel comfortable with the projects we’re onboarding and handling. “We’re all part of the group, and it’s important to be inclusive, mindful, and respectful when working across time zones and cultures, to make sure everybody is at the table and successful. We have long term employees who have grown and pivoted their skillsets as we’ve added more capabilities and different types of accounts.” It’s through this empathy, ability to listen, and come up with solutions that Terry helps create an environment for our clients, for our US-based staff, and our offshore staff, where we’re all part of the same team, and ensuring success on each project.