Velocity Marketing Asset Management

Author: Elaine Neiss (page 1 of 3)

Cisco’s Top 5 Business Imperatives for 2016— Something for HR

Author – Walt PazderskiWalt blog image

In the past I have expanded on ideas advanced by Cisco’s own Tom Filep (a very accomplished professional) who wrote about Five Strategic Insurance Business Imperatives for 2016.

If you look at this Top 5 Imperatives list, you will quickly see it is NOT just for the insurance business.  This list applies to ALL businesses with growth plans.

Tom’s Top 5 Imperatives:

1) Digital Strategy

2) Security

3) Collaboration

4) Talent Acquisition and Retention

5) Business Outcome Approach

Previously I talked about Collaboration.  Let’s look at another Imperative:  Talent Acquisition and Retention.  Tom reported that the surveyed business leaders indicated these are the important questions top of mind:

— How do we ensure diverse views are represented?

—Who are the business leaders of tomorrow?  Are they in-house?

—HOW do we attract and retain top talent?

—Do we have the capabilities and vision to capture the interest of tech-savvy millennials,  not just as a stepping stone to a better job elsewhere, but for a long-term career?

Clearly, HR is squarely in the middle of the conversations around these questions.

Attracting and retaining top talent is all about engagement.  People are engaged when they are receiving perceived value and/or when they are interested.   HR professionals know how to leverage salary discussions and monetize the value of a benefits package.  They know how to romance those special perks (Casual Friday, Pizza Tues, a Sun Spa on the roof…)

So what do you do when you have extended the very best package the organization can offer, played up all the perks, are almost at the point of agreement, but it does not seem quite enough to swing the candidate to your side?  If only there was a little more to offer…

One simple, inexpensive, yet powerful idea that will potentially provide more (a LOT more):   CAPTURE AND MANIFEST THE PASSION AND EXCITEMENT OF YOUR GROUP.

Great, but how does one do THAT?  Permit me, via personal experience,  to explain one way to accomplish this.

Early in my career I was looking for my next opportunity (the telecom bubble blew up in my face—company stock price went from $67.00 a share to $0.62 a share overnight).  I interviewed with a number of companies and narrowed the list to two.  One was “AT&T” (a role with strong compensation/benefits, a book of business waiting for me, and a realistic growth roadmap in place and operating smoothly).  The other opportunity was “bigdough”…

Exactly!  bigdough was a startup dot com that survived the implosion.  I would be employee #38 (there were only a handful of the previous 37 still remaining), have NO book of business waiting for me, and a roadmap that said I would have 60 days to prove my value or would be asked to relocate my desk….to anywhere else that was not bigdough.  Oh, to further excite me, the initial upfront money and total benefits package was inferior to the other opportunity.  And there was the issue of brand recognition.

However, the decision was more difficult than the above comparison might have you believe.  There was something about bigdough that greatly interested me.  Bill, the CEO was very passionate.  He was guiding a very diverse and talented group using a few key business principles and a fair amount of feeling his way along.  I saw the possibility of being part of something VERY exciting and rewarding….IF it worked.  Having just come out of one industry collapse, I was not inclined to risk that “IF”.

After 2 days, I was still considering, but was 99% sure that in 24 hours I would be accepting the better paying, better defined, better… almost everything position.

Then the Fed-Ex box arrived.  In the box was a hand written card from Bill saying something like (I now wish I kept it—-ahh…the folly of youth):

Walt—I know you will be a strong contributor wherever you go.  I hope you will join us and help build something great.  Bill

The contents of that box included a hat, a coffee mug, a mouse pad, and T shirt, and a sweat shirt—all with what many say (quite emotionally at times) is the GOOFIEST logo…EVER!!!  Nice try, Bill, but it will take more than $30 (delivered) worth of goofy chochkies.

There are those that will argue that was all it was, a box of goofy chochkies worth $30.  Nothing more, nothing less.  But they would be missing what was actually represented here.

This box represented a business leader excited by his vision, saw in me someone who was also excited by that vision, and could help him actualize that vision.  This box was Bill going out on a limb and communicating his passion directly to me.  This box was a direct way for Bill to connect with me to unashamedly say:  Walt, I LOVE the idea that bigdough is.  I am going to work like hell to make it great.  Come help me do that, what do you say?

What DO you say to an invitation like that?  Especially since I did see the possibilities….IF it worked.

The point is, as an HR professional you can set up programs that will take the passion of your senior leadership (and if they do not have that passion, or are reluctant to actually show it, you have a whole different set of problems) and communicate it in relatable ways to potential hires and established employees.

It is important to realize you can not settle on just one way to communicate, for obvious reasons. If your programs are organized and run properly, they can have a HUGE impact at relatively nominal cost.  The ROI is off the charts.

Effective, low cost ideas can include:

  • A well crafted Cross Media System—properly designed and run this will provide you with several forms of communication built into a single, integrated program!
  • A relevant, vibrant Recognition & Reward Program—it can be the element that sways those on-the-fence;  it can reward accomplishment in ways perceived very meaningful by the recipient.  It can be built into something worth mentioning next time you find yourself romancing those perks…
  • Clear and Understandable Communication of Available Benefits— be careful not to confuse what is clear in the mind of HR and senior management with what is clear in the mind of your “average employee”.  There are ways to design communication to insure you ARE clear…crystal.

Oh yes, I did join bigdough and Bill was right.  We built something great.  Now you know the rest of the story….

What customers think – the good, bad, and ugly

By Jim Stiles, CEO

For quite some time now we have run a program of generating surveys for a quick response from our clients asking if they were satisfied with the product and service they received on their last order. The feedback we received has been excellent and we greatly appreciate the responses. Sharing positive feedback with the staff goes a long way with helping to keep our staff positive and letting them know their hard work pays off. Recently, in a large survey response we were overwhelmed with positive feedback which clearly showed we are the BEST supplier in the industry. Well, I am a realist and understand no company is that perfect. We are all still human and not SUPER Velocity Print Solutions who can print at the speed of a bullet, bend steel with our paper cutting machines, or even stop a locomotive to make a job happen on time. There has to be clients who did not feel fully satisfied with our services. Unfortunately, not all clients are willing to say so and it is those I worry about. After all, if I just gave positive feedback to my son and never commented on how he might improve on something how would he ever learn?

I am sure that not all clients are comfortable complaining to the business because perhaps they feel their complaints will fall on deaf ears or they will be labeled as a complainer or perhaps it just wasn’t worth the trouble. One big thing stopping negative feedback I’m sure is that the client does not want to throw a sales person or customer service representative under the bus. To that point, I do not know of many professionally run companies who hang staff from the rafters if a little professionally presented criticism came in from a client. Any business needs criticism and constructive feedback to grow and improve their products and service levels. The little things matter. Did we keep you informed through the process? Did you have to wonder at any point where your job was or when someone would get back to you? Was the invoice timely and accurate? While it is just fantastic to receive positive feedback it’s really the small things that possibly annoy or take up your time that a survey is trying to unearth and provides the most valuable feedback to a company.

Custom promotional products – from sourcing to fulfillment to shipping

Our team excels at custom projects. We recently handled a special project for a Fortune 500 client to create a series of gifts for an executive leadership training series. This involved sourcing a stylish custom box that featured a debossed logo, as well as custom foam inserts that would not only protect the product, but have an elegant presentation and ship safely both domestically and globally. There were different themes based upon which country and location the leadership class took place. Some of the gift items included personalized letters, branded leather luggage tags, engraved brass compasses, commemorative coins, acrylic branded paperweights, and imprinted magnifying glasses as well as other items. Our promotional team and account manager sourced all the products and handled the print, packaging, fulfillment and shipping to over 50 locations globally. So, if you have a unique project and are wondering where to start or what vendor to contact … give us a call. We’ll be happy to assist and work with you to coordinate all the details so that your project exceeds expectations.

Velocity Print Solutions to centralize manufacturing

Albany, NY

Velocity Print Solutions a Northeast Regional provider of print related communication services, headquartered in Scotia, NY has announced plans to centralize their production facilities. Velocity will be moving its smaller lithographic printing operation located in Middlebury, CT to their larger Albany, NY (Scotia) production facility. Velocity will be retaining a sales office in CT to house customer service and sales personnel. A six color large format 40″ lithographic press with automation and coating capability will be moved to the NY facility and will complement the existing offset and digital printing offerings.

Customers asking for higher volume print quantities more suited for lithographic than digital will be pleased to learn we can now offer all this in one location. Project management will be streamlined with the variety of presses all in one location as well as fulfillment, mailing and shipping services. In addition, the corporate office in Scotia will be adding positions for press operators, production and sales staff.

Jim Stiles, CEO states that:

“This consolidation will put Velocity in a much stronger position to compete in the marketplace. Our wide variety of print related services that we currently offer will be complemented by the new services we intend to add in the near future.”

Custom flash drives – a success story about branding

Here is a short story of how we helped one of our customers prepare for a Symposium in Las Vegas.

Kevin, our Central NY Account Executive, was contacted by the ESD Association (Electrostatic Discharge Association), headquartered in Rome, NY, to assist them in sourcing products for their upcoming symposium which was being held in Las Vegas. They were looking for buttons, a tote bag and most important, a flash drive that they could load with all the technical sheets pertaining to the symposium. All items would need to be imprinted with their logo or other message and these would be distributed to all attendees at the event.

Kevin, with the assistance of our crackerjack promo team, sourced a very slick looking 1GB Jaguar Flash Drive (pictured) that would be perfect for their needs.

It was imprinted on both the cap and the sides of the drive and then all the data was uploaded for them. When complete all the products were shipped directly to our customer for a successful event!

The moral of our story? Don’t just think of us as just your printer. Yes, of course that is our core business but we are very much solution oriented and love to partner with our clients on all their marketing needs. We can simplify any event you may have. From printing registration packets, conference binders, training manuals, name tags, lanyards, posters, banners, gift bags, giveaway items, etc. … You name it and we’ll find it for you. Our production team can package everything for you and our shipping crew can ship directly to your event location to save you the hassle of transporting yourself.

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