by Tyler M. Carey, Chief Revenue Officer
When I worked in legal publishing, staff regularly flew to India to meet with the typesetting vendor that was doing the bulk of our work, to help set up workflows, review processes, and more. And when I joined Westchester, I was told that as we launched our India Direct operation that many publishers would want to come visit our shops in Chennai and New Delhi. Those days of flying around the globe to see that an operation is there, meet some of the managers, and globe trek seem to be declining when it comes to evaluating typesetting vendors — we see more of that effort invested in flying to China and other countries to inspect print runs for our large trade vendors.
But interestingly, visits to our Danbury, Connecticut headquarters have increased in recent years. Is it just because we’re an anomaly as a US employee-owned company that owns an offshore editorial and typesetting operation — instead of the inverse structure most vendors in this space have?
No, I think it’s because of the staff we have like Terry Colosimo, Susan Baker, and Celeste Bilyard. Our US management team act as consultants for our clients, to help ensure that workflows and project plans are being created proactively and collaboratively, rather than on the fly when a big project hits.
“Sales plays a vital role in having regular check-in’s with our clients whether by phone or visiting them, however, having clients be able to speak to your operation or visit your operation is just as vital,” says Westchester’s Director of Operations, Terry Colosimo. “When I worked at Greenwood Press, my most rewarding experiences were actually visiting printing plants or paper mills. I was able to have face to face time with my customer service reps and get a full understanding of the workflow they were applying to my publications.
True, it’s not necessarily convenient for all clients to pop up I-84 to Danbury — much as it may be hard for them to visit Mona Tiwary in our New Delhi office or our managers at our Chennai, India-based typesetting operation. “But, when publishers can have a face-to-face meeting, or at least a video conference,” says Terry, “It helps you set a productive agenda that can be longer than a phone call with a ‘hard stop.’ It also allows for more casual dialogue and an exchange of ideas – which is valuable to both of us, rather than a ‘dog-and-pony-show’ PowerPoint and canned phone call. Recently, we had the EDP manager from one of our university press clients visit to discuss their program. On the agenda were changes to this university press’ XML aggregator. In discussing the new workflow, the conversation naturally veered into other topics, and we discovered that we were able to offer a solution to their issue-assembly process for journals. This type of dialogue would not necessarily happen with a locked 20-minute phone call, or a slide presentation. These visits are as much a learning experience for us as it is for our clients. By listening and asking questions, we are able to better understand their processes.”
“This type of no-cost consulting that Westchester brings to each client relationship helps all parties – sales, operations, and customer service — take part in understanding overall workflows, as well as which projects are most important, challenges, and solutions that a quick call or an order form would not allow for. “These visits and online meetings help solidify our commitment to building a true partnership with each client. And this kind of dialogue is unbelievably valuable for us, as well as our clients.”
Interested in learning more about how Westchester can work with you to consultatively establish the right workflows for your publications? Contact us to schedule a conversation.