SMC: How is technology changing your business?
PK: It is amazing how technology has changed the printing industry in so many ways. Much of our business can now be conducted online, including order placements through our online storefront. Customers can request secure private access to a catalogue of their own items, which allows them to place orders anytime. We can also manage a buyer’s print inventory through their catalogue.
In the next six months, we plan to increase our productivity and efficiency by installing a new management information system. This set-up will automate the transfer of information throughout our print facility and provide us with tools to determine profitability in each area of the business. It will also provide us with real-time data of all the production within the facility.
SMC: What is the key to staying successful in this industry?
PK: Staying on top of emerging trends is essential for success in the print industry. Those who let their machinery age and never invest in the company are the first to disappear from the landscape.
Building customer relationships is also critical to staying ahead in the game. Without our clients, we have nothing. We go above and beyond for our customers every day, doing our best to provide them with products that exceed their expectations.
Further, as a company, we believe it is important to give back to the community. Throughout the year, Oil City Press provides print donations to many non-profit organizations that offer amazing services to Calgarians, including Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, Easter Seals Alberta, and YWCA of Calgary.
SMC: What are the future plans for your business?
PK: The largest area of growth for our company has been in the signage and installation departments. We aim to continue to invest in the latest and best technologies to stay current with market trends and cater to all of our customers’ signage needs.
SMC: How has COVID-19 affected your business? Are there any tips/best practices you can share to help industry professionals get through these difficult times?
PK: The global pandemic has presented many new challenges that businesses have never experienced before. It has been difficult, and we knew we had to act quickly to ensure the safety of our employees. We immediately reduced the number of staff members within the office at one time. Most of our employees have been working from home. We are also staggering working hours for administration and customer service workers, and we are keeping our production employee numbers
to a minimum at all times.
Social distancing practices have been implemented and high-touch surfaces within the office are cleaned multiple times throughout the day. Our office has also been closed to anyone who is not an employee.
We have been hosting virtual meetings with our clients and offering no-contact curbside pickup for all orders.
Sadly, on April 22, 2020, we lost our president, Ron Kletke Jr. (the second generation of the Kletke family) to COVID-19. When the virus hits close to home you realize even more the importance of keeping everyone safe during this time. Ron was incredibly proud of the business and loved telling everyone he met about the wonderful projects we were working on.