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Web-based presentations give Fortune 500 printer a winning edge

Wallace outfits sales force with Sharp LCD projectors

Presenting Wallace's powerful @w.i.n. procurement vehicle"When I'm doing a presentation I usually just plug my laptop into the projector and connect with our @w.i.n. live web site," says Jim Higgins, Corporate Presenter and National Account Manager for Wallace Printing in Lisle, Illinois. "From there I can show the client everything we can do for them and all the ways Wallace can fill their needs." @w.i.n. is a web-based print management tool that gives Wallace customers access to their own print jobs around the clock, from any location, without having to load software onto what may be an already crowded computer system.

Complex offerings

Web based presentations are a natural at Wallace because of the size of the company and the complexity of its offerings. Wallace is the nation's fifth largest printer, with over 45 manufacturing plans and nine distribution and warehouse facilities. Wallace also offers a diversified portfolio of internet services. "This has become a big driver in our system," says Higgins. Wallace technical people help clients design a customized site, host it on the Wallace server and even manage it if they don't want to do it themselves. Fellow account manager Mike Duncan describes @w.i.n. as a single portal for all of Wallace's products and services. "It's not only a procurement vehicle, but a decision support tool. It allows access to real time inventories, reporting and order information, as well as a digital image repository and item specification library."

A powerful tool for clients, @w.i.n. is equally important as a sales tool. "When I dial in to @w.i.n., I'm connected to our own network and I don't have to worry about delays while making presentations," says Higgins. Being able to project the image onto a wall or large screen via his LCD projector means everyone has their eyes on the product instead of on him. Higgins says he never travels without his Sharp projector, which he has been using for almost a year. Even though some smaller models have come out since Wallace purchased his projector, it has just been too reliable to replace. "I want that security. I can't afford to have a projector go south on me."

United Visual's Joe Stacey says Wallace evaluated several different models of projector before deciding on the Sharp. "It works very well with different video sources and has high resolution," says Stacey. "It's also very compatible with different types of technology." Higgins says he preferred the Sharp because it worked best with his laptop.

Changing technologies

Sometimes the technology choices can seem unlimited. That's definitely something that's changed since Wallace first started printing business forms for Sears back in 1908. "When I started here 25 years ago, there were no computers," says Vice-President of Marketing Doug Fitzgerald. "I can remember using old LCD panels that sat on top of the projectors. As the sun came up it completely washed out the image I was trying to show my clients." That, of course, is not a problem anymore. The Sharp's bright image can beat out the sun any day. "We can find ourselves in a lot of light unfriendly environments," says Fitzgerald.

Higgins says being able to go on-line with his presentations means a bigger, broader, presentation. Clients better understands what Wallace has to offer when he can actually show it to them live. Duncan adds that Wallace is committed to being a technological leader in the print industry and the web is an easy avenue to serve Wallace customers. Selling itself via the internet is proving to be a win-win situation for all concerned.