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January 9, 2024

Matt Chapman's Team Doesn't Need to Chase After Business

# Technology
# Business Management
# Leadership

Instead, his thriving team at Smartpress is focused on delivering the best possible online print-buying experience to clients.

Dscooper Matt Chapman is a natural leader who's passionate about developing and supporting high-performing teams. He loves when those around him thrive and achieve, and that's exactly what's happening today at Smartpress, the innovative, online printing division of The Bernard Group.

Matt is vice president of Smartpress, responsible for the company's revenue growth and strategic planning. The eye-opening leader in retail visual merchandising solutions operates six facilities in Minnesota, USA, plus a sales office in New York City. HP technology is part of its expanding fleet of large- and small-format presses, and Smartpress also runs a design center with fabrication, bindery, finishing and kitting capabilities.

The company's real magic, though, is mixing technology and teamwork. Clients range from small businesses and independent graphic designers to some of the most recognizable brands in the world. They trust Smartpress for its easy-yet-powerful online print technology, and for its experienced-yet-creative print, IT and customer service staff. Matt and the Smartpress team work to "wow" clients and continually earn their loyalty.

We caught up with Matt to talk about the success of Smartpress in an increasingly do-it-yourself world:

DSCOOP: Thanks for doing this with us, and congratulations to you and your team for the great things happening at Smartpress. Can you share more about your role?

MATT CHAPMAN: I lead the Smartpress business, and support teams that are responsible for marketing, sales and all customer-facing relationships, project management, product development and business strategy. Smartpress is an online division of The Bernard Group, a powerhouse of talent in design, engineering, print, manufacturing and software solutions. Smartpress is a commercial printer, and we have invested heavily in optimizing the customer experience through our online platform. We have a goal to become the largest print-on-demand provider in the U.S. through providing premium-quality products and world-class customer service grounded in corporate social responsibility.

DSCOOP: What business opportunities is your team going after?

MATT CHAPMAN: I don’t feel it’s a good use of salespeople’s time to "go after" new business. I prefer developing a strong brand that highlights your strengths and creating a marketing engine with metrics-driven ROI that can fill the sales funnel with qualified leads. In this increasingly do-it-yourself world, we find more than half of our customers don’t phone, email or use our online chat with our sales team prior to placing their first order. Most customers find Smartpress, not the other way around. This approach allows our sales team to focus more on building relationships with existing customers who want that traditional salesperson experience and partnering with them to grow their business with us. 

"Most customers find Smartpress, not the other way around. This approach allows our sales team to focus more on building relationships with existing customers who want that traditional salesperson experience and partnering with them to grow their business with us."

DSCOOP: What do your best customers say about your company?

MATT CHAPMAN: Customer feedback borders on an obsession for me and my leadership team. Besides online chat feedback and quarterly satisfaction surveys, we have six to seven other channels for feedback throughout the customer journey. Reviews and surveys help us improve, highlight when we succeed and develop a two-way conversation with our customers. Here’s a recent customer review with the kind of message we see on a regular basis:



DSCOOP: What is your team focused on this year?

MATT CHAPMAN: We’re seeing increased demand for our branded marketing platform that we can configure for our larger customers. Think of this offering as a private, branded version of the Smartpress site that allows highly distributed organizations to order print materials on demand. The platform also manages digital downloads and inventory-based programs, including branded apparel and promotional products. Using templated artwork allows our customers to maintain their brand compliance and consistency across marketing assets for their employees, distributors, partners or franchise owners.


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DSCOOP: Are you using marketing automation as well?

MATT CHAPMAN: Yes. We're using a CRM platform in conjunction with marketing automation software to send outbound messages, as well as facilitate timely communication between our sales team and customers. We believe that the integration of automated and human-to-human communication not only enables us to scale our business effectively but also ensures that we meet customer expectations, especially when they prefer interacting with a live person.


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DSCOOP: What's the biggest challenge your team faces today?

MATT CHAPMAN: Smartpress is part of a larger custom manufacturing and visual merchandising company, The Bernard Group. As we approach 900 employees, there are challenges in finding ways to provide developmental opportunities, career paths and ongoing training to a growing and evolving staff. We recently created an internal training academy that includes courses in leadership development, functional training, even well-being and personal finances. It’s extremely important to us to retain our culture and core company values as we continue to grow.

DSCOOP: That training academy sounds awesome! Anything else you’d like to emphasize about the good things your company is doing?

MATT CHAPMAN: I’ve always believed a corporation should exist for more reasons than maximizing profit. I’m very proud of our entire team’s commitment to minimizing our impact on the environment, along with giving back to the community. This includes our recycling programs, becoming carbon neutral in 2021 and working with our numerous charitable partners. For me, it’s not just a job. Representing and working for Smartpress is much more satisfying and meaningful than that.


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