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Archive for March, 2011

WPPI Wrap Up

Friday, March 4th, 2011

The Pounds team headed to Las Vegas in February for the annual WPPI convention and trade show. Chris Oelker reveals all!

POUNDS: How was the turnout this year?
CHRIS: I haven’t seen final numbers, but the estimate is over 15,000 attendees, 80 platform speakers, and more than 300 exhibitors!

POUNDS: Were there a lot of new face s?
CHRIS: Yes, new photographers seemed to be in the majority. We spoke with a lot of people who were just starting out or had been in business for only one or two years. I think that really contributed to the atmosphere of enthusiasm and excitement this year.

POUNDS: What Pounds products and services stole the show?
CHRIS: Our metal prints, especially the unique wavy metal, were a tremendous hit.  Pounds has been dubbed “the wavy metal lab.” We heard this everywhere, even on the plane ride home!  Of course Pounds is a full service lab with a 35-year history! Other big hits were our press products, especially our Coil Bound Press Booklets and the Accordion Books with metal covers.

POUNDS: What was the feeling about business for 2011 ?
CHRIS: I’d have to say optimism was prevalent. Many photographers are already seeing an increase in their bookings over last year.

POUNDS: Why is WPPI so important for our industry?
CHRIS: WPPI provides photographers a full range of resources to help establish and grow their business.  It exposes photographers to educational opportunities, equipment vendors, workflow and business strategy solutions, and of course product providers like Pounds!

When a photographer chooses a lab, they are entering into an important partnership.  Each is dependent on the other in order to be successful. A lab converts the photographer’s artistic vision and image manipulation into a tangible product such as wall portraits or coffee table books for the end client.  WPPI helps facilitate that introduction to quality resources that are required to be successful.

We’re Here for You

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

That’s what customer service representative Vickie Viera wants you to know. Viera has been on the Pounds team for 6 years and loves her job!  Meeting expectations, anticipating needs and giving more than expected are just second nature to Viera.

POUNDS: What do you like most about your job?
VIERA: I get personal satisfaction out of helping others.

POUNDS: Tell me an “above and beyond the call of duty” story!
VIERA: I h ad a call from a client with a negative he needed scanned and printed in a few hours. It was for a funeral. We had t he order ready when he called back to say he could not make it to Dallas to pick it up. It broke my heart to imagine the print would not be t here. I asked my sister to drop it off at the funeral home almost 50 miles from here. She lives less than five miles from the client. It was very moving to be there when this family needed us.

POUNDS: What’s it like when you finally get to meet the people you are emailing and talking to on the phone?
VIERA: It’s always like meeting an old friend you haven’t seen in years rather than someone you have never met. It is always a joy to meet them face-to-face.

POUNDS: You were able to attend Imaging USA. How important do you think it is it for you to go to trade shows and get face-to-face feedback?
VIERA: It’s very important. I would s ay this is a critical team-building event for the client and for us. Once we have that interaction they are far less likely to feel like a number.  We become part of a team reaching for a goal.  We can address feelings, ideas and concerns in a way they often will not bring up on the phone. They feel they are calling someone who cares. Once that relationship is established we become a team. Customers are far more likely to share so we can address issues or concerns.

POUNDS: Do you try to get out on the road and see customers face to face at shows on a regular basis throughout the year?
VIERA: I have attended meetings held by our clients. I have met several of the people I speak to frequently and  it’s always a wonderful experience.

POUNDS: Tell us a bit about YOU!
VIERA: I am a fifth generation Texan and I love living here. I moved to another state for a few years but came back as fast as my feet would carry me! I have two grown “boys”. One is in the Air Force, the other is a Marine. I have been on the finishing side of photography my whole life and I greatly enjoy the experience! I’ve meet people who became life long friends, one print at a time.

POUNDS: What’s the one thing you’d like your customers to know about you?
VIERA: I care!

POUNDS: What’s the most important thing customers should know about the customer service at Pounds?
VIERA: We are here for YOU!