Find New Ways to Integrate With Customers
At the State of Tennessee’s Division of Printing and Media Services, Tammy Golden has found that growing customer relationships by gradually providing them with more services has been a successful strategy.
“We print the inserts for all the office/building signage for all state office buildings,” explains Golden, assistant commissioner of Document Solutions. “That grew into managing all the art for the walls. And now it’s grown into us being responsible for the inventory and installation of all the signage for which we are printing the inserts. It just seems to keep growing, little by little.”
The real estate division had previously been responsible for purchasing and installing the wall art, Golden says, using a labor-intensive process. But as the in-plant has steadily taken over that work, it has simplified the ordering process.
“There is an online ordering process for agencies to use for new employees or one-offs,” she says. “It’s templated and very easy to use. When agencies are being moved from one location to another, the real estate division gives us the list of changes, and we have an automated process to get the signage printed and ordered. These moves are happening frequently, due to more agencies implementing work-from-home and reductions in square footage needed.
“It is a new revenue stream, which is great,” Golden continues. “It also exposes us to new customers that may bring additional business, and the entire end-to-end process is streamlined and automated.”
Because of the efficiency the in-plant introduced, the overall cost for these signs has decreased, saving the state money without needing to upgrade equipment or hire new people.
Golden advises other in-plant managers to “get to know other support teams in your organization and see how you can work together to provide support to the parent organization.”
You might be surprised at the pain points the in-plant can reduce without much effort. This will not only free up the other division to focus on other tasks, it allows the in-plant to add new lines of business, while proving to the parent organization just how invaluable its services really are.
“Any time we can embed ourselves into the infrastructure of state government, it reinforces the value we can bring,” Golden says.