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Key Issues raised by members at the GUA

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  • Key Issues raised by members at the GUA

    Hi GUA Members,

    As promised – here is the list of key issues raised in the bullpen sessions at the GUA Conference. Kevin Joyce, Kodak’s Managing Director of the US & Canada and I, have looked over the summaries of the sessions and agreed on the key issues/priorities.

    As I’ve said – I’ve been impressed with the Kodak team’s collaboration with us to communicate with you. This post will be followed by an update from Kevin on what the region plans to do to address your concerns.

    Here are the concerns you raised in the open Q&A at the conference:

    1.Problems with Sales model or the implementation of changes in Sales organization
    2.Problems with Service operations & communication about plans to improve them
    3.Lack of clarity around professional services – what can Kodak offer to help our businesses thrive
    4.Lack of communication to us about the integration & organization of the region
    5.Lack of clear channels to provide input, to ask questions or to escalate issues

    As I’ve said before please feel free to bring your concerns and challenges to me – Kodak has clearly indicated a willingness to listen, understand and work with us to find solutions.

    Don’t forget to read the update from Kevin Joyce.


    Tom Clifford
    Thomas R. Clifford, Jr.
    Graphic Users Association Past President
    | HC Miller | Director Digital Development |
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  • #2
    Re: Key Issues raised by members at the GUA

    Key Issues raised by members at the GUA (Posted on behalf of Kevin Joyce, Managing Director of Kodak United States & Canada).

    I'd like to provide you with some information and let you know what we are doing in the region to address your concerns...

    #1 Problems With The Sales Model Or The Implementation Of Changes In Sales Organization

    When posed with the challenge of integrating 6 sales forces the primary objective was to minimize disruption with you our customer. How do we maintain our relationship, as well as the technical expertise with the largest portfolio in our business. This is what I referred to at the GUA as the balance between Leverage and Focus. To accomplish this we constructed a sales model that we call “TeamCelling". The Cell consists of a team of sales professionals with complimentary expertise in the areas of Pre-press Consumables, Pre-press Systems, Digital Printing, and High-speed ink jet solutions. The Cell is designed to offer our customer base a wide range of knowledge and help to support your businesses. Within the cell, each sales professional has specific expertise in the areas previously mentioned. As you know the skills sets required to support you on these products is quite diverse. To address this we designed an organization and compensation model that would promote cooperation within the “Cell” such that you the customer could define who you want to work with on your business issues. In some cases customers prefer one contact, in others customers prefer a high level of expertise on specific solutions, and in others you want both. “Team Celling is customer centric where you the customer defines how and who you want to work with.

    This is quite a complex system to set up but if understood should provide the most flexibility to support a customer base that has very different requirements within itself. There are many stages of evolution that the printing industry is in and one strict go to market strategy will just not satisfy your needs.

    While this approach provides a wealth of knowledge and expertise for our customers to benefit from, it also presents challenges due to the size and complexity of the organization. To help address this we will immediately prepare and send out a personalized communication (walk the walk of VDP 1-1 marketing) to each of our customers outlining their key sales and service contacts. We will also commit to providing quarterly updates to our Kodak customers on the progress of the integration and our plans as we evolve the organization to better serve your needs. The challenge is providing the right level of communications to our users and reacting quickly to the needs of our customers. We are consistently working to improve our communications and refine how we communicate with our customer base. The feedback provided through GUA and the results of a customer survey we conducted have provided us with a road map to improve how we interact with our users.

    #2 Problems With Service Operations & Communication About Plans To Improve Them

    While Kodak has not changed the support model for WPE equipment, we have started to cross train the combined service organization to better serve our customers. Within GCG, we have over 900 Field Service Professionals and 100 Application Specialists who service the customer base in the US&C. We have moved aggressively on our support plans and training of the engineers across the portfolio in order to have a single point of focus on your account in regards to service. We continue to look at new tools and systems to better leverage this organization along with a more robust call flow and support through Vancouver. In the future, any support changes will be posted to the forum in order to improve communications. In the interim please send your comments back to Kodak on any recommendations you would like to see us improve on for service.

    #3 Lack Of Clarity Around Professional Services - What Can Kodak Offer To Help Our Businesses Thrive

    Kodak GCG Professional Services’ (PS) primary clients include commercial printers (corporate in-plant), enterprise, and advertising agencies that require expertise in graphic communications business and technical design consulting to optimize end-to-end workflow solutions. To build unique and relevant corporate communications requires the integration and optimization of corporate databases, marketing, print production systems, and business management systems. Kodak, in cooperation with your corporate marketing, print production, and web services IT teams, will design and deliver your multi-media communications needs.

    We believe we have an opportunity to better define Professional Services to the Graphics Market with the help of GUA. Chris Bondy's (Chief technical Architect) Saturday session roundtable on Professional Services was a good first step. Would be interested in hearing more detail on what the GUA would like in terms of services, Kodak's strengths, value, types of services to help them grow, and improve their business. We spoke with Rich Dunklee and he believed that the GUA would be able to provide some excellent feedback. We suggest setting up a few focus group webinars that we would build from Chris' session and better define where we direct our resources moving forward. Any comments?

    #4 Lack Of Communication To Us About The Integration & Organization Of The Region

    We are looking at a mutli- medium communication strategy to interface with our customers. It is no longer realistic to exclusively rely on our direct sales force as the customer interface. We want you to design the process that best works for you by offering multiple information channels for you to select from. Barry Quart Vice President of marketing and I met the day after the GUA to begin working on this initiative. We will update you on this over the upcoming months on what we have learned. Please feel free to provide us your preference in communication strategy.

    #5 Lack Of Clear Channels To Provide Input, To Ask Questions Or To Escalate Issues

    One of the things that we took away from the GUA is that we need to find new and better ways to engage and communicate with you, our customers. We heard that you want to develop a relationship with your key contacts in the Kodak team, understand Kodak's strategic direction into the future, be up to date on "what 's new" in Kodak's portfolio to you to help you succeed, escalate your concerns so that they are heard, and be a part of driving our product directions and strategies into the future. To do this we need to find ways to augment what is already available through the GUA to help us dialog more effectively. We are in the process of creating a survey that will be sent out to the GUA members asking you for ideas on building a new and market leading "Customer Communications Framework". Please look for this survey and take the time to provide us with your valuable feedback on how we can improve, and build the means to create an open, ongoing, and productive dialogue between us.

    Best regards,
    Kevin Joyce, Managing Director US&C
    Kodak Graphic Communications Group