KBA to Expand Its Service Organization with New Technicians, and Apprentice and Training Programs

KBA North America is focusing on its premiere service organization even further with many new technicians, a new apprentice program, and investing in a new training program, all to improve its overall customer satisfaction even higher.

“As KBA has experienced exponential growth with our existing customer base, as well as numerous new customers, it is imperative that we continue to be the easiest company to do business with to immediately respond to our customers’ needs,” said Tim McKeon, vice president of service and operations for KBA North America. “With that in mind, we’ve made three key decisions to ensure we maintain our industry-leading high customer satisfaction experience with our service support team: we’ve added more technicians in the field, we’ve established a two-year apprentice program to develop future technicians, and we’ve invested in a new training program to continue to keep our service technicians up-to-date so they can quickly respond to customers’ needs. And we’re not stopping here. We have several openings for sheetfed and flexo service technicians in multiple locations throughout North America. This is only the beginning of our expansion phase to meet and exceed our customers’ needs.”

As an example, in Los Angeles, Moritz Gress, an electrician, and Dominik Mueller, a mechanic, have joined the southern California team. Josh Todd is a new mechanic who will be based in Salt Lake City. Seasoned technician Sebastian Demming, who spent a year of training at KBA’s factory in Germany, has returned as lead mechanic to his base in Chicago. Demming will be visiting nationwide packaging and commercial customers with KBA Rapida presses from 40″ to 81″ models.

“Our job is to partner with our customers and build a relationship with them,” noted Demming. “We’re there to ensure that their press is running to its full potential. Every day is a new opportunity and it’s very satisfying to provide our in-depth knowledge to tackle a problem.”

In addition, KBA’s exceptional customer support specialist team includes Kim Williams, Jon McKinstry, Stefan Schwartz, and Alex Wekerle. “Our customer support program is on a mission to make each customer contact, both external and internal, a positive experience,” relayed McKeon. “It is a results-driven program providing the utmost support to boost system processing, maintenance, training, color management, and other important areas. The entire team is tasked to resolve issues, find solutions, and act with a sense of urgency for KBA customers. They are active listeners; knowledgeable about the printing industry, equipment, and their area of expertise; and are proactive business partners. ”

In order to continue to add more technicians, KBA has established a new two-year apprentice program to develop future technicians. Based in the United States, the program has been working with veteran organizations to bring new talent into the industry, especially those who have electronic experience. The program is a combination of formal education and on-the-job training. One of the first new trainees has been hired and will be based in Minnesota.

In addition, KBA has implemented an On Demand’s Learning Management System (LMS), a web-based online university tool to develop courses and provide training in the field, track online training, and make training more accessible to all employees. In conjunction with KBA’s regular training programs, KBA is using the LMS to educate its employees across the company to provide better service to its customers. The LMS is allowing KBA’s dispersed workforce access to training and information when and where they need it. This investment in LMS also includes a dedicated administrator to improve overall customer satisfaction.

“The first department at KBA to utilize LMS was the service department,” said Elaine Barnes, Training and Development Specialist. “Since our technicians are spread out all over the country, this was a perfect system to improve communication, provide discussion forums, post up-to-date resource manuals, and offer critical training courses. Certain information lends itself to online interactive information, such as being able to quiz our technicians on what they’ve learned. We’ve had a great response from the service technicians. It allows us to be proactive and be current with their training and education.”

The State of the U.S. Postal Service: Losing $5.5B and Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe

The USPS reported a $5.5-billion net loss for its 2014 fiscal year. The Postal Service put the blame squarely on Congressionally-mandated retiree health care benefits pre-funding requirements that cost the USPS $5.7 billion. The organization defaulted on that obligation last year and expects to do so again in 2015 and 2016.

Patrick Donahoe appointed Postmaster General and CEO of the USPS in 2010, will retire on Feb. 1. He’ll be succeeded by the organization’s current COO, Megan Brennan, who will be the first woman to head the postal service.

Penmor Reports 25 Percent Faster Time to Market Since Adding a Komori GL40 with H-UV System

Penmor Lithographers, a family-owned provider of high-quality printing services in Maine since 1968, recently installed an eight-color Lithrone G40 perfector with H-UV system (GL840P), its third Komori press. Penmor reports that the GL840P is already delivering a 25 percent faster time to market, enhanced color accuracy and significant energy and labor savings.

“We did our research before we purchased the GL840P and were fascinated by what this press could do when coupled with Komori’s H-UV system. Adding H-UV certainly contributes to the print quality and efficiency of the new press, but what is most exciting is that it produces amazingly crisp colors that are getting accolades from our clients,” said Paul Fillion, president of Penmor.

Penmor is also impressed with the GL840P’s innovative automation and environmental efficiencies, which include energy savings and reduced materials waste. Komori’s H-UV innovative curing system adds to the overall pressroom efficiency with inks that are more environmentally friendly and cure instantly, making it possible to go straight from the press to bindery.

“This press allows us to print four colors on both sides in one pass at up to 15,000 sheets/hr., which has made a huge difference in our productivity,” said Glen Fillion, director of operations for Penmor. “Additionally, the H-UV system makes it possible to print on difficult stocks, like uncoated or matte, without worrying about marking and scuffing, and to create special effects with all types of glosses and reticulating varnishes. It opens up a host of new print applications and opportunities.”

“Combining the GL840P with Komori’s H-UV creates a system that can truly impress clients with beautiful color and optimized efficiency,” said Jacki Hudmon, senior vice president of sales at Komori America. “We are very pleased that Penmor is experiencing both of these benefits.”