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A Work on Your Business, Not in Your Business
TGI is breaking the mold with new innovations, new partnerships and a new HP printer.
“Our breadth of services is a heck-of-a-lot more than just printing,” said owner Jack Glacken. “We want to be perceived as a company that understands strategy and marketing, not just digital printing. We still do offset, we do large format, but we’re also building micro-sites and websites.”
Glacken, who started as a proofreader in 1977 and worked his way up to president, is leading the company through yet another revolution that includes web portal development.
One client enlisting TGI’s new services is a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company.
“We’re developing some software that we’ve never done before, so we’re breaking out of the mold that way. Once that’s done, we’re secure on the whole print end. All the printing they need done will be put up on the site that we built for them,” said Rick Elfreth, who manages TGI’s sales effort in its facilities in Philadelphia and Parsippany, N.J.
“The last thing we talk about is the word ‘print.’ We’re doing a good job of that. We’re not talking about print, we’re talking about what you need and the solutions to get you there,” Elfreth said.
“Another thing we’re doing that’s broke us out of the mold is facilities management,” Glacken said.
TGI set up equipment and staff in a financial company’s facility in Greensboro, N.C., and took over the printing operation.
“We do almost 300 orders a day, working with their fulfillment people. We print on demand coming off a marketing portal. That’s been a win-win for the financial company and us. That’s something that no one else is doing and we’re trying to do more,” Glacken said.
Another pharmaceutical company realized they were regularly throwing out 300 to 400 skids of out-dated print literature. The company hired TGI to take over the fulfillment and printing and make it an on-demand facility, Glacken said.
“We were one of 14 guys on the East Coast chosen for that,” Glacken said.
“It’s achieved their goals,” Elfreth said. “Upper management has talked very highly of what we’ve done.”
In September, TGI was anticipating delivery of the HP Latex 3000 Printer. Glacken suggested TGI could be the first printer to use the 3000 in the U.S. “We’re certainly one of the first on the East Coast to own one,” he said.
“We’ve always has a large format department. Now, we’re revamping that whole department. We’re really pumped about the new printer. We’re getting our sales and production staff really excited about it,” Glacken said.
He explained why the company decided to invest in large format.
“You’re not competing with the electronic world in large format. With print, you’re competing with email and the web. We don’t think print is going away. But, large format is high visibility. Of course there are digital billboards and digital signs, but there are still many reasons to have large format,” Glacken said.
The 3000 will enable TGI to target new business, namely retail.
“Before, we never really could compete, price-wise. This machine can put us in that field,” Elfreth said.
When TGI leaders were deciding on the purchase, they turned to Dscoop for advice. Glacken said he tapped Chris Petro, another Dscoop member and printer who has an older model of the HP 3000.
“What’s better than talking to somebody who’s actually thrown down money?” Elfreth said. “He’s here in the real world. He’s the guy going into the debt, like you. He’s sweating like you’re sweating.”
“I love sales reps; we have six of them. A sales rep will tell you something, but when you hear it from a guy who is actually laying down some currency, that’s pretty powerful,” Elfreth said.
Of course, Glacken has a soft spot for Dscoop; he’s one of the founders.
“There’s a lot of business we wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for Dscoop and my friends at Dscoop. Forget the business, when you’re talking about problems and issues … It’s a great organization and it’s huge to be a part of it,” Glacken said.
“It’s nice to bounce off some ideas: where they’re coming from, how they’re doing it,” Elfreth said. “That’s the biggest takeaway from Dscoop: the people. Hearing real world stories. They’re in the same battles you’re in every day.”
Glacken makes a point of attending all of the Dscoop conferences.
“I was in Europe last year. The world is getting smaller and to know people from every country, especially in Europe, it’s great. I’m heading back in two months,” Glacken said.
Elfreth just attended his ninth Dscoop conference in the U.S.
“Before, printers never shared anything, they never talked to anyone. I think in this evolving world with technology, you need to talk. You need to have people involved in your decision making,” Elfreth said.
“We’ve always taken a lot people to the Dscoop conference,” Glacken said. “We brought 14 to the first one. We’ve always had double digits. And we’ve never missed one.”
He compares attending Dscoop to a corporate sales retreat.
“I always feel re-energized after a show. It’s great to get some of your sales staff, production staff, technical staff to come. Everyone is going to different sessions, learning different things. We all share with each other afterward. It’s just great,” Glacken said.
“And you meet other people and everyone else gets talking. Our sales people are talking to other sales people. Our production people are talking to other production people. Owners are talking to other owners,” Glacken said.
Elfreth said those connections are important in furthering your business.
“Reach out to the people that are in the business. That’s valuable,” Elfreth said.
Glacken added, “Work on your business, not in your business.”