Earlier this month, we were pleased to host 88 attendees at our Chanhassen campus for the IWCO Direct Supplier Summit, continuing a tradition that began in 2000. Mary Hyland, vice president of business services, welcomed our guests and reminded them that we believe an important aspect of delivering superior service to our clients is creating productive relationships with suppliers. The Supplier Summit lets us give our key business partners an update on our business objectives, thank them for their support, and share what we will need from them in the coming year.
Supplier Summit Attendees Learned About Our Plans for Growth
Our president, Joe Morrison, shared some exciting statistics about IWCO Direct’s robust growth over the past several years. As part of this growth, we’ve invested millions of dollars in equipment and other capital projects. With these investments and support from our suppliers, we produced 4.1 billion pieces of mail in 2017. This year, we have produced an average of 350 million pieces of mail each month, and just last month, we produced a record 400 million pieces.
Joe also spoke about our key objective for next year, which is to continue to focus on profitable growth. In the coming years, we plan to serve our clients with new innovations along with brick-and-mortar expansions, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships.
Of course, new clients are one of the keys to business growth. Mike Ertel, executive vice president of sales and marketing, gave the Supplier Summit participants details about what kind of clients we’re pursuing and how we hope to serve them. Mike noted that our Marketing Services team has now grown to 20 people to provide our clients with the full spectrum of marketing services and engage with their marketing teams on their overall marketing strategy, along with being a key partner for their direct mail production.
Building on that point, Steve Myrvold, executive vice president of operations and customer experience, spoke about how digital production workflows and enhanced personalization will add to our already industry-leading digital print platform. IWCO Direct 1to1℠, our dynamic content management platform powered by Messagepoint, will play a key role as we continue to create more sophisticated campaigns for clients.
Our Place in the Steel Partners Portfolio
Many of our suppliers were curious about how our relationship with Steel Partners is taking shape. CEO Jim Andersen shared that IWCO Direct has a very prominent place in the Steel portfolio. We’ve written many times about our application of Lean manufacturing and Kaizens, but as Jim put it, Steel’s commitment to these programs is “Lean and Kaizens on steroids,” so we expect to gain even more efficiencies in the future thanks to this relationship.
The summit wrapped with Jim’s insights on the innovation we need from our partners. We look forward to continuing to work with our suppliers to develop new products and services, enhance automation, and build even more efficiency into our operations.
We’re setting aggressive goals for growth and innovation at IWCO Direct, and through the hard work of our employees and support from our supply partners, we know we will achieve them.
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