The tour was arranged by Duplo as part of National Customer Service Week, and was designed to give employees from all parts of the company, including accounts, the warehouse, IT and reception, a chance to see first-hand how a print business operates.
The 25 staff were divided into four groups and shown around by Repropoint’s managing director Steve Hallett and technical director Alex North. The groups were shown the company’s pre-press department, Indigo print rooms, finishing department, Xerox Nuvera room, consumables division as well as it design agency division, Round & Red Creative.
They also saw how a similar initiative between the two companies in the past had helped Repropoint streamline their production processes: an earlier work experience week enjoyed by Duplo’s commercial marketing manager Andy Pike, UK managing director Peter Jolly and UK marketing manager Mark Legge, led to Duplo suggesting a more efficient business card cutter in place of the guillotining method previously used. As a result of the change Duplo also moved the new machine into the Indigo pressroom to speed up the flow of work between processes.
Hallett said he hoped a similarly bright idea might come out of this week’s tours: "I think one of the advantages that could come out of this is that someone who wouldn’t normally get the chance to think about how they could be better serving their customers, might go back and have a discussion and say ‘if we at Duplo did that in a slightly different way, we could really help printers."
"I’m completely open-minded to what suggestions might come out of today," added Hallett. "I think that is the beauty of it. Because we’re showing round people from all sorts of positions, I think part of the fun will be to see what comes out of this."
But Hallett also added that the tours, and work experience days lined up for further Duplo employees, were mostly about general relationship building.
"The industry talks about partnerships a lot but there are limited opportunities to become a true partner where you are communicating on a level. That’s the business and I accept that, but when you get opportunities to share the way you work, hopefully both businesses benefit."