Waleed Ashoo, CEO of LithExcel Communication Services Provider, was a guest speaker at the Print on Demand Initiative (PODi) Application Forum held in Sydney, Australia from September 14 - 16, 2009. More than 150 technical graphic arts executives from Australia and New Zealand attended the event. The forum is known for its emphasis on the best in relevant digital print and real-world case studies.
Ashoo, president of the Digital Imaging Customer Exchange and PODi member, addressed topics directly related to issues confronting industry executives, including Incentivizing a Digital Sales/Marketing Sales Force and Why Print Sales Executives Fail. He also identified the range of products ideal for digital press applications, including on-demand digital book publishing and the unique selling characteristics of variable digital print versus conventional print.
His workshops on Value Pricing: How to properly price Marketing Campaigns with variable content, PURLs, Email marketing, HTML text, Quick Response Codes and full graphic design and Converting and Developing a Business Development Team: How to convert your existing print sales team into a digital business development team and how to compensate them, had attendees wanting more.
Feedback received by the event organizers was positive. According to one attendee, “I have not previously attended PODi conferences.... After attending with my sales team, we all agreed that it was probably the best conference we have attended in a long time. We walked away with excellent insights into how similar organisations to ours are approaching and combating issues and trends that we face in our own market.”
Eighty-three percent of the event attendees reported that the program met or exceeded their educational needs, while, 77 percent and 78 percent, respectively, ranked it a value for both networking and money. More than 75 percent of the attendees said they would recommend the event to a friend.
Prior to the opening of the conference, Ashoo was asked in an interviewed by Australian/New Zealand ProPrint magazine, “If you were an offset printer today, how would you get into variable data printing? Is the emphasis on equipment or people?” He responded that a three to five year strategic plan was the first step, then “I would put together a team of people: a digital graphic designer, an IT or data person, a web designer, a marketing/business developer, a mailing expert, and a wise kid that understands how to use the various social networks. The emphasis is absolutely on people and software, and not on equipment.” In the article Ashoo also addressed the misconceptions around what constitutes variable data and the factors that impact the effectiveness of variable data campaigns. To read the full article, go to http://www.proprint.com.au/InDepth/155481, building-a-plan-for-vdp.aspx.
Ashoo, is a University of New Mexico graduate, a successful business owner, industry consultant and an international speaker and moderator. His presentations cover topics which have included Pricing for Value, Building a Digital Sales Team for Today’s Market, Making the Transition from a Commodity Print Sales Representative to a Business Development Executive, and Automation with Lean Process Manufacturing. Ashoo is also a member of Xerox Premier Partners, as well as an independent speaker at Thought Leadership Workshops for Xerox Corporation. Ashoo has been involved in the digital and graphic communications business since 1977, with emphasis on direct marketing and targeted direct mail.
LithExcel Communication Service Provider began its transition to digital in 1993 with B&W digital printing systems. In 1996, it added color digital proofing systems and the following year, computer to plate. Founded as a commercial printing and mailing company in 1989, it installed its first digital press in 2001 and then a Xerox iGEN 3-110 in 2006. The company acquired a second iGEN 3-110 the following year. Today, the company provides digital multi-level marketing and personalized marketing solutions for a variety of customers in a broad range of industries.