This week for Printer Profiles, we chatted with Cammie Swegman of iPresort. IPresort, previously known as Total Fulfillment, is a mailshop in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Over the years, they have evolved into a distributor of presorted mail and marketing materials, specializing in affordable mailings of 500-500,000 pieces. Cammie was kind enough to be a part of our first Twitter interview, a novel idea for us both.
Tell me your background, how you got started in this industry. Did you grow up involved in print?
My mom was editor at a small newspaper. She also had to do some of the reporting and I got to meet musicians and other interesting people when she would take me. I used to love watching the big presses. I also love the smell. I think it’s in our blood because my son got a journalism degree.
Sounds fun! Your son was probably exposed at an early age as well, I would imagine. Sandy Hubbard told us printers needed to recruit kids young, before they dislike getting dirty or choose another profession.
Yes, I agree with her. I read your great profile on Sandy and was surprised at things we have in common. Young people are the future of everything so that includes print. The trick is how do we get them excited about it?
Good question. So did you start out your career in print?
Yes. I started at a small shop running multiliths and AB Dicks. Then I did darkroom work and burned plates. I loved the process. There’s something gratifying about seeing something evolve onto paper. Like magic. But with more hard work than waving a wand. That was back in the days when layouts were done with wax and little rollers. I didn’t do that part. Oh, and blue pencils. I’m not a patient person so I liked seeing the end product in a relatively short period of time.
I think there’s something to holding a book in your hand while reading it. I haven’t been able to embrace digital book technology
eReaders are great for traveling but at home I love to hold a book, too. Can’t get author autographs on eReaders.
I agree the results are more tangible. I watch Google analytics for results, very different from having something physical to show
True for me, too. Although, Google Analytics are fun in their own way. I think I’m lucky to be able to enjoy both. I see tangible things are making a come back. I just read that many still prefer news in print.
I can relate to that! Tell me about iPresort.
Thanks for asking! We started in 1993 as Total Fulfillment. We couldn’t get the URL, so we went with iPresort. It was well before iPhones, etc. At iPresort we are primarily a mail shop. Shaun started the company after being on the buying side of print and fulfillment. We used to do POS & literature fulfillment and get a lot jobs from print shops and print brokers. When printers added mail to their list of services, we started handling print, as well. But years ago I worked in small print shops.Our customers kept asking if we could handle more and more of their mail and mail was more profitable so we did less fulfillment. These days we also do managed email and custom WordPress plugins.
Nice to grow from demand like that. I noticed that you’re based in Dallas. How far does your business stretch?
Yes, but with the help of local meet up groups and events, we’ve pumped up our online SEO and have customers from all over the US.
Awesome, good for you guys! What is your role at the company?
I do a little of almost everything. I run tabbers, inkjets, clean bathrooms, I do customer care and social media. I don’t run equipment as often these days but I still manage jobs.
That is quite the range! Is it a small company?
Yes, we are a small company. Most of our customers are small companies, although some are national, and we can relate to them.
Personally, I’m a big fan of local businesses working together. There’s a huge push right now for local businesses here in Oregon. Is it the same way for you?
Yes. We just attended a meet up about improving local search results for that very reason. The majority of our customers are local.
How have you noticed print evolving over the years?
Of course the obvious change is digital print. We can now customize individual mail pieces like never before.
How so? Give me an example.
Print and technology are hand in hand, so both are always changing. I don’t think the Harry Potter newspapers are far-fetched.
Wow, that just blows my mind! I’m saying this as Chelsea, not as MyBinding, but I’m slightly print illiterate, so I had no idea that was even possible!
You mean the Harry Potter newspapers?
That is just amazing to me, everything that can be done. Sandy shared similar things with Tarragon and I
Really shows how technology supports print and vice versa. You always hear that ‘content is king’ but really ‘data is king’.
‘Content is king’ is definitely the motto in my world but data backs up the content.
And if you have customer data you can really fine tune campaigns, can’t you?
Tune in next week for an inside look at the world of Jamie McLennan.