Recognizing Talent from Within
David Crandall, VP of Operations
How long have you worked for Vision Graphics/Eagle:xm?
I have been here for 17 years. I started out here in an entry level customer service position as a project manager. For each account manager, there were two project managers, similar to the account manager/account specialist structure that we have today. I remained in that position for about a year and a half. The company was in an expansion stage at that point. Eagle:xm had been acquired right about the time I was hired by a national conglomerate of printing companies. We were growing and a position was created for purchasing. I took on the challenge of defining this new role. About four years later I tried my hand at sales for a while before deciding I was more geared toward production. I then took a short term role doing some special estimating projects. After that I was promoted to manager of the fulfillment activities and did that for about eight years.
How would you describe your primary job functions in your current role as VP of Operations?
My role consists primarily of supporting and leading the other managers and supervisors in production, helping them manage their workload, schedules and process improvements. I look at ways to make improvements to the overall manufacturing process to increase production capacity and improve efficiency. I also function in a large way as an intermediary between sales, customer service, upper management and the production team. Communicating back and forth the different projects we are working on and anything we are doing to improve efficiency or meet client demands.
What are some of the challenges this industry faces today and how does Vision Graphics/Eagle:xm meet those challenges?
The modern environment in printing is such that companies are buying less print and doing more electronically. There is less print purchasing taking place and that creates competitive pressures in the marketplace. Part of my role is to figure out from a manufacturing standpoint how to meet the needs that clients are presenting to us all the time. They need their print materials faster and they need them less expensively. As a company we figure out how to meet those demands in such a way that we are not sacrificing quality. That builds customer confidence and they allow us to continue helping them with their print and marketing needs.
Keeping those challenges in mind what are some of the factors that makes Vision Graphics/Eagle:xm stand out from its competitors?
We are very flexible. Being a medium sized, but privately owned company, we have one plant in Denver, everybody is here. We are able to respond quickly and flexibly to customer needs, whether it is schedule or looking at different ways of costing a project or IT or database needs. We have our own in house departments to help us with those things. Those tools allow us to respond whether the customer need is for speed, cost, or ease of ordering with an online portal. We don’t have to call corporate or work with a division in another part of the country. It is all right here. That gives us an advantage over a lot of our competitors in the marketplace.
On a more personal level, what is it about this company that has made you want to keep working here?
There are several reasons that I like working here. I can always find new challenges and I thrive on that. There is something new every day. Printing does not stay the same. Client demands, the jobs we create, and the technology we use to find new marketing solutions from both a manufacturing and marketing perspective are constantly advancing. That kind of dynamic gives me more energy in my work. The people I work with are also great. We have a phenomenal team here and that’s a big thing. We work together well and it’s a pleasure to serve every day with this team.
Of all the projects that you have worked on here what stands out in your mind?
When Vision Graphics and Eagle:xm started the process of merging about five years ago. That was a massive undertaking. It was not a takeover. It was truly a merger where we combined two companies that were both functioning extremely well in their space in the marketplace, Vision having a strong presence in the commercial print space and Eagle having a strong presence in mailing, data analytics, and custom fulfillment. Over the last five years we have worked diligently to bring us together as one company. Today we are one team, in a single location, running on a single system, serving the same great clients.
I have been personally fulfilled through my active role in bringing the teams, and systems together. Figuring out how to do the estimating and the job processing of both types of business into a single channel for management of those jobs was a significant moment for us as a company. This has allowed us to do unified scheduling, unified estimating and to manage the overall workload in a more efficient and accurate way. That was a significant achievement for the company and I was happy to be a part of that process.
Is there anything else you would like to highlight about your position here or the company in general?
The diversity of projects that we do here is really one of the most exciting things about this company. As the VP of Operations I find myself dealing with estimating, fulfillment, the pressroom, mailing, the design department, database marketing, IT systems issues, staffing and scheduling opportunities. It provides me with plenty of challenges, but it also provides a full spectrum of marketing services to our clients that are all in one place. It is fun and challenging all at the same time.