Best Buy Retail Leaders, Printing Pros
By anticipating the needs of its company, Best Buy's Print Solutions Group has become one of the top in-plants in the retail business.
By Mike Llewellyn
BEST BUY Corp., based in Eden Prairie, Minn., opens between 50 and 70 new stores every year, according to Rick Neumann, director of printing for the company's Print Solutions Group (PSG). With each grand opening representing $35,000 in new print and fulfillment business each year, on top of the corporate and insourcing work PSG already provides, it's little wonder the 110-employee in-plant ranked 15th on IPG's Top 50 list.
In fact, PSG's process group is charged with staying on top of those new stores, anticipating what printed products store management will require. Neumann says that department is just one example of the way PSG attempts to conform the way it does business to the specific needs of a big-time retail operation like Best Buy. The result is an in-plant with an annual operating budget topping $14 million.
PSG has come a long way since its founding in 1991. PSG Director Rick Fiebiger was there at the start, and he says that when the facility first began handling print orders, the shop had just two A.B.Dick presses and a Challenge cutter. PSG now takes up a total of 90,000 square feet with its printing and fulfillment divisions.
Fiebiger says the company's plan for PSG was to have a print sourcing department to handle print buying for the entire company—whether that meant printing in-house or outsourcing.
"We're a little different than most in-plants," he says. "We looked at the industry and saw in-plants competing [with commercial printers] for work."
So instead of building an in-plant that has to struggle with outside competition to survive, Fiebiger explains, PSG, as a print sourcing department, handles the responsibilities of being a print buyer as well as a print provider.