Valuing Safety at Nahan: An Interview with Doug Roob

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Safety at Nahan is our top priority. Operating our business in this way allows us to attract and maintain our amazing employees and serve our customers in the best way possible. Our devotion to safety is made possible by our Safety and Environmental Compliance Coordinator, Doug Roob, as well as Nahan’s Safety Team, comprised of a team of dedicated employees. To learn more about how Nahan ensures a safe environment, I interviewed Doug to get his perspective on safety in the printing industry and how Nahan rises to the occasion.

Doug Roob – Safety and Environmental Compliance Coordinator

Can you tell me a little about your work experience prior to your current position?

Doug: While I was finishing my degree studying Physical Education and Health with a minor in Business Management, I began working part-time at Nahan. The strong “family feel” made me enjoy working here so much, that I decided to stay. While it was a smaller company at the time, it had such a great potential to grow that I went full-time in the fall of 1989. From 1989 to 1992, I handled the production scheduling. At this time safety was controlled by the department managers.

What led you to become the Safety and Environmental Compliance Coordinator?

Doug: As the company was rapidly growing, I was asked in 1992 if I would be interested in taking over safety matters. Since my background is in education, I saw the opportunity to be able to help educate employees on safety and to teach the necessary skills to work safely. I have seen how an injury from unsafe conditions can not only affect the individual but how it affects an entire family. My father was injured on the job while working in construction. He was out for almost two months and continued to suffer from nerve damage. He went through physical therapy to strengthen his right leg after not being to use it fully until he was healed up. His frustration with not being able to work and the effects it had on our family is a memory that sticks with me, and one that I don’t want others to have to deal with.  Helping employees recognize hazards and how to minimize their exposure or eliminate the hazards on the job is what I love to do. At the end of the day, if everyone goes home the same way they came to work I am very happy.  If they don’t, I wonder what could I have done differently. I still love it today.

What are the benefits of a Safety Team at Nahan?

Doug: At Nahan the benefits are many. The team is a link between the employees and Management. Employees bring their safety ideas, suggestions, and input to the Safety Team members who in turn bring those items up during the Safety Team meetings. They then review and discuss those items to find solutions and make recommendations to management to make Nahan more safe. The team is our on-the-job safety advocate. During these trying times with the COVID-19 pandemic, they are amongst their peers promoting social distancing, washing of hands frequently, covering your cough, staying home if not feeling well, and general safety all the time. They help promote the safety culture that is needed for us to be our safest and healthiest.

Are there any stand-out moments that made you proud of the accomplishments of the Safety Team or a particular way they improved safety at Nahan?

Doug: The Safety Team has a few new members and I am happy with the passion each one has for safety. The willingness of the team to listen to the employees about their safety concerns and the willingness to help in any way they can to help improve safety is so great to see. They are willing to take action if need be and to work with the leaders and employees if asked. We have started a new program that the team is very excited about. The program consists of Safety Team members making Safety Observations weekly of their peers. When the observation is over, the Safety Team member meets with the individual they observed and discuss the great things the employee is doing safely and things they can do differently to stay safe. I see great things coming out of this program going forward with this group.

How can safety benefit Nahan’s customers?

Doug: The benefits of safety and a safe work environment carry over to the improved quality of service and a satisfied customer. When you have a safety culture that stresses safe work practices and having a clean/safe work environment, it carries over to a work behavior of paying attention to detail and to the quality of products being produced while completing jobs to the satisfaction of the customer without worrying about being injured. The employees can truly focus on the customer’s needs and expectations.

Here are our amazing and dedicated Safety Team members!

Thank you, Doug, for telling us about how the Nahan Safety Team works for the good of our employees and clients. We appreciate all that you and your team do.

If you are interested in working with great people like Doug, view our career page for current openings.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Questions to Ask When Selecting a Print Partner – Part 2

Author: Jim Hesch, Customer Service

It can be quite daunting, challenging, frightening and overwhelming to pick a print partner when you have never printed before. It is common to have many questions. That is why we have developed a list of questions to ask to help make this process easier for you.  Last month, we shared the first set of questions to ask in part 1. In this blog, we will address additional questions to ask.

You may not choose Nahan, but we would like to help you choose wisely.

(Also, here is a link to our FAQ’s page, which contains some useful information).

Environmental Commitment

Location

Technology / Data / Security

Oooh, technology is the part I like. You guessed it, I am a printing geek. I’d love to tell you about some of our new things at Nahan.Jim Hesch

We love new toys, things that go faster, do better, do more. Our new CLIDE 2.0 was purchased specifically to do the work our customer needed, (plus it is cool).

(CLIDE means custom digital imaging, it is an integrated folding gluing line that can create complicated folds with tip-ons or clean release cards with imaging / ink jet)

New Toys

The quality of our new in-line ink jet on the web press is second to none, our new inserters run at blazing speeds, our new CLIDE line has incredible flexibility for self-mailers with special folds and attachments. Mike, our Warehouse Manager is especially proud of our new Semi truck. We have also invested in two new high-speed Stitchers in the last 3 years and are pursuing automation and efficiencies today as you read this.

Questions to Ask When Selecting a Print Partner

Interested in a sample pack? We would love to send you one!

My name is Jim Hesch, head of customer service, 40 year veteran of print and never done learning…

Nahan Employee Spotlight: Kristine Ferguson

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Nahan is proud to have a driven and talented team working towards our common goal of being the best in the printing industry. I had the privilege to get to know Kristine Ferguson, a dedicated employee of thirteen years, and the leader of the Accounting Department at Nahan. She shared with me what she enjoys about being a part of the Nahan team, as well as a peek into her life outside the office.

From Saint Cloud State University to Nahan

Kristine credits her interest in accounting to the classes she took her senior year of high school. At the time she was planning on studying to be a veterinarian, but after talking with one of her teachers became more open to the idea of changing her major. The summer after her senior year she changed her mind and decided to pursue a study of accounting. In 2002, Kristine graduated from Saint Cloud State University with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting. After graduation, Kristine began working in the Accounting Department of a company in Avon, Minnesota. After a few years in that position, she joined the Accounting team at Nahan – where she is now the leader of the Accounting Department and has been a part of the team for an incredible thirteen years. Last year, Kristine also celebrated earning her CPA license. Kristine says her favorite part about working at Nahan is the people. She added that throughout her career, the lessons she has learned that stand out is the importance to never stop learning and to keep an open mind.

“My favorite part is the people. We work together as a team and are always striving to do better.”


Kristine Ferguson, when asked her favorite part about being on the Nahan team.

The Importance of the Accounting Department

To keep a smooth operating business, a detailed account of where and why money comes and goes is vitally important. Managing the cash flow is an essential part of a company to keep a close eye on its financial health. Keen attention to detail and knowledge of financial laws is key to leading the Accounting Department, and Kristine does an incredible job!

Beyond Nahan

When she’s not at work, Kristine enjoys spending time with family and friends. She especially enjoys watching her kids play sports and spending time on the lake during the summer. Her most favorite place she’s traveled to are the Outer Banks in North Carolina, which she has visited twice. In the future, she hopes to visit Ireland for its natural beauty.

“One person that has inspired me and that has been on my mind lately is my grandpa. He had an ability to truly connect with people. He always had a smile on his face and a story to tell. He and my grandma opened their hearts and home to others, including doing foster care for children in need.  I am grateful to have had such a caring and wonderful man as my grandpa.”


Kristine Ferguson, when asked to share about someone who inspires her.

Thank you, Kristine, for being a dedicated Nahan employee. We admire your work ethic, passion for achieving goals, the way you support your team, your drive to make change, and how compassionately you treat others in our company. You are part of what makes Nahan unique.

Interested in joining the Nahan Team? Learn more about our career opportunities.   

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

An Inside Look at Nahan’s Maintenance Team: Interview with Joe Walter

Author: Curt Tillotson, COO

“No Rework.”

These are words that Joe Walter lives by at Nahan.  No rework.  He strives to get the job done right the first time in everything that he does.  Joe joined Nahan in 2018 as our Maintenance Department Leader.  Joe brings over 25 years of print experience with him from 4 different printing companies.  He has held positions all the way from Helper to Operator to Department Leader.  Joe recently sat down with me to tell me about his experiences. 

Joe Walter (pictured on the left)

Q: What are the keys to being an effective Maintenance Department Leader for a 300,000 square foot printing facility?

A:  The most important key is to be honest and to treat everyone with integrity.  It all starts there.  More specifically, I have learned that I really need to have a working knowledge of the products we manufacture, the production equipment and the building systems.  Also, I come from a production background, so having a good understanding of the impact on our employees and customers if any of this equipment or building systems fail.  The stakes are high, so we want to make sure we keep the plant running.

Q:  What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced since joining Nahan?

A:  One of the biggest challenges was learning the building systems which are very complex to say the least. It is a daily task to make sure they are functioning properly and that falls directly on my department. From the chillers to the Air condition units to the trim system. They are all critical. 

Q:  What big projects do you have coming up? 

A:  The biggest projects on the horizon are the upgrades on one of our major presses and replacing the 2 largest trim fans in the baler room. There is a lot of planning for these projects, working with vendors to provide all needed information (especially now during this crazy time we are in with everyone impacted by COVID-19), assigning tasks to team members and staying on time and on budget with the plan.

Q:  How is COVID-19 affecting your work?

A:  It is very hard for the team to work closely with machine operators with the social distancing rule. They are getting it done though. Communication is somewhat impacted, it is nice to sit down and have a meeting with individuals and team members. I have canceled our Morning Start up/Shift Crossover meetings for the time being and have implemented room occupancy rules. I have had to ask team members to spread out to different locations to limit exposure to each other.  We are constantly monitoring that we are following the precautions that have been issued.  It is a real challenge for the type of work that we do.

Q:  How do you maintain a safe work environment for your employees?

A:  The Maintenance Department at Nahan is historically one of the safest. The team is aware of their surroundings at all times. Most of the team has some dealings with electricity in some form or another. There are reminders to each other. If someone sees something, they say something.

Q:  How do you keep all of your tools straight? A:  This is not easy.  Each team member is issued their own tool box and is responsible for them. We also have shared power tools that are available to use when needed. These are in a locked room. Everyone is responsible for these.

Q:  Anything you are especially proud of?

A:  I am very proud of the work that the Maintenance Department does on a daily basis. From minor work orders to the R&D that goes into large scale projects.  We completed 6,888 work orders in 2019.  It is a team effort and I’m proud of this team.

Q:  What is your favorite part of being on the Nahan team?

A:  That’s an easy one.  The best part of being at Nahan is the people I work with every day. Nahan is a great company to work for. The team I work with is second to none, and we all know that the work we do has merit.

Thank you, Joe, for taking the time to talk with us.  We appreciate all that you and your team do.

If you are interested in working with great people like Joe, view our career page for current openings.

Author Bio: Curt Tillotson, COO, started with Nahan in 2011 and leads all aspects of our operations. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family. Curt also agrees with Joe on his answer on his favorite part of being on the Nahan Team – and that is our outstanding people. #nahanproud

Employee Spotlight: Dawn Volante Brown

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Nahan is fortunate to have a team of dedicated and passionate employees, one of whom is Dawn Volante Brown. A devoted employee for over twenty-one years, Dawn is currently the leader of the Planning and Estimating Department. I had the privilege to get to know Dawn and find out not only what led her to Nahan, but why she is here.

From the Education Field to the Printing Industry

In the 1990s, Dawn was beginning her study at Saint Cloud State University as an elementary education major. During the summer of 1998, she took a job at Nahan as a part-time front desk receptionist, providing sales secretary support in-between semesters. Six months later, Dawn moved into the Customer Service Department as a Production Coordinator. It was in this position where her exposure to the printing industry truly began. Over the years, she has experienced several roles in Customer Service including Customer Service Representative, Account Manager, Account Executive, Customer Service Shift Leader, and Department Leader. Currently, Dawn leads the Estimating and Planning Department. The opportunity to work in a variety of roles has given her the unique experience of viewing Nahan and the printing industry as a whole from many perspectives.

“The best work advice I received was given to me by mentor Bev Hugo. It wasn’t spoken but observed.Treat others in the manner in which you would like to be treated. We are all here with a similar goal. We will each achieve the best success in working together.” 

Dawn Volante Brown
Dawn with her husband and three children.

The Importance of the Estimating and Planning Department

At Nahan, our customers come first. To keep our customers first, our departments must work seamlessly together to produce each customer’s vision on paper. One of the departments we rely on to make this happen is the Estimating and Planning Department. When clients have talked with their Sales Representatives and Account Executives about their ideas, it goes to this department to start figuring out numbers and how the product can go to the press to be produced. As its leader, Dawn is trusted with the responsibility of running a smooth-operating department from start to finish.

Dawn (left) celebrating the 30th anniversary of Diane working at Nahan.

“My favorite part of working at Nahan has been all of the incredible relationships. Nahan is my extended family. I greatly value the years working with my dad, Donald Krebsbach. He was a Jet Press operator; retired December 2012. It was fun being able to touch base with him when I’d see him (and bring him my leftover lunch).”

Dawn Volante Brown

Beyond Nahan

Outside of being a team member at Nahan, Dawn keeps busy with her hobbies, passions, and family. She enjoys running and plans on participating in a few races this summer. At her church, Dawn is the co-coordinator of the women’s ministry and participates in the worship team. She and her husband have three children who keep them busy by cheering them on at sporting events and their other activities.

Thank you, Dawn, for being a dedicated Nahan employee. We incredibly admire your passion for your employees and our customers. You are part of what makes Nahan great!

Interested in joining the Nahan Team? Learn more about our career opportunities.   

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Nahan Receives Best Of Category Win In Five-State Print Competition

SAINT CLOUD, MN – April 13, 2020 – Nahan Printing, Inc. has received a Best of Category award win in the annual Star Awards, a five-state print competition hosted by Printing Industry Midwest (PIM), the region’s trade association for the printing, communication and graphic arts industry.

Competing against entries from printing and graphic art firms throughout the Midwest, Nahan was proud to receive the award for Best of Category – Web Press Printing (Uncoated Paper), which is the highest honor a printer can receive in this category. The winning entry was a mailer produced for a renowned multi-channel artisan jeweler. Nahan also received two Awards of Recognition in the Brochures and Broadsheet (Large) categories for two Self-Mailer formats for an iconic New York-based luxury brand retailer. In addition to these awards, Nahan also received 12 Certificates of Merit in other various categories.

The Star Awards recognizes those responsible for the creation and production of print communications in the Midwest. The competition promotes excellence in print communications and rewards companies and individuals who produce the best in print media.

“We are very proud of our winning team,” said John Klumb, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

“This was a close competition with a very impressive standard of entries. The judging process was very challenging. Nahan should be proud of the company’s achievement and the excellent work done by employees,” said Steve Bonoff, PIM President.

About Printing Industries Midwest (PIM) and Star Awards

For more information about the Printing Industry Midwest (PIM) and the Star Awards, visit PIM’s website at www.pimw.org or call PIM’s office at 612.400.6200.

About Nahan

Nahan Printing is a Minnesota-based, independent, family-owned, world-class printer committed to providing end-to-end solutions that add value to our clients. Since its inception in 1962, Nahan has specialized in catalog and direct mail printing for industries such as retail, financial services, healthcare, non-profit and hospitality. With a client roster of legendary brands, Nahan prints iconic work that represents the highest level of quality and innovation in the industry. For more information about Nahan, please visit www.Nahan.com.

Questions to Ask When Selecting a Print Partner – Part 1

Author: Jim Hesch, Customer Service

It can be quite daunting, challenging, frightening and overwhelming to pick a print partner when you have never printed before. It is common to have many questions. That is why we have developed a list of questions to ask to help make this process easier for you.  We have also included links to content within our own blogs that address these questions.

You may not choose Nahan, but we would like to help you choose wisely.

(Also, here is a link to our FAQ’s page, which contains some useful information).

Quality and Service

Culture

Strategy

Nahan Mission Statement

To enhance our ability to exceed the needs and expectations of our customers and employees, Nahan is dedicated to producing a quality product and providing dependable service through continual improvement

Our Values

Nahan Values

Stop back next month for Part 2, where we will explore other questions to ask, including questions about environmental sustainability, technology, and more!

My name is Jim Hesch, head of Customer Service, 40 year veteran of print and never done learning… I learn the hard way, so you don’t have to 🙂

Nahan Achieves Recertification of G7® Master Qualification

Contact: Melissa Fransen, Marketing Manager

April 6, 2020

St. Cloud, MN – Nahan Printing is proud to announce it has achieved G7® Master Facility Qualification of its integrated color management system for producing printed products once again. This is the 11th year in a row that Nahan has attained this qualification. In addition to Nahan being a G7® Master Qualified Facility, two of Nahan’s employees are G7® Experts.

G7® is an industry-leading set of specifications from Idealliance® for achieving visual similarity across all print processes. It is a global standard widely used to measure the color accuracy on any output device.

“This qualification provides third-party verification that Nahan delivers exceptional color matching and color consistency,” said Tim Castellano, Color Technician, Nahan. “This allows Nahan to manage process control better, reduce make-ready, and improve overall efficiency in all aspects of our workflow. For our customers, this consistency also ensures uncompromising color according to their brand standards.”

Nahan’s Print Quality is Excellent.” Print Production, Online Clothing Retailer

“Nahan continues to be an excellent partner. Their print quality is outstanding, as are the people we work with.” Marketing Manager, Fortune 500 Company

“The G7 process gives the industry the tools and guidelines to more efficiently achieve and maintain that color reproduction. In turn, G7 Master qualified facilities deliver even more consistent color reproduction for their customers,” explains Timothy Baechle, CEO, Idealliance.

Participants in the G7 program pride themselves on color management, process control, and maintaining production efficiency. With the help of certified G7 Experts and Professionals, who are trained in the industry-leading set of specifications for achieving gray balance, G7 Master Qualified Facilities align their print processes to ensure a neutral appearance across multiple devices.

 “Nahan’s qualification is critical to the success of our print buyers and our partners.” Castellano said. “G7 allows our organization to more precisely match a customer’s brand color requirements on a variety of printed products from any technology and application, everything from media and publications to packaging and labels.”

About Nahan

Nahan Printing is a Minnesota-based, independent, family-owned, world-class printer committed to providing end-to-end solutions that add value to our clients. Since its inception in 1962, Nahan has specialized in catalog and direct mail printing for industries such as retail, financial services, non-profit and hospitality. With a client roster of legendary brands, Nahan prints iconic work that represents the highest level of quality and innovation in the industry. For more information about Nahan, please visit http://www.Nahan.com.

About Idealliance®

Idealliance® is dedicated to guiding media production best practices, specifications, and standards, worldwide. To learn more about G7 Master Qualification, please visit http://www.idealliance.org.

The Partnership of the Printing Industry and the Postal System

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

To explore the relationship of the printing industry and the postal system, I needed to get expert insight from Nahan’s Postal Logistics Team. I had the opportunity to talk with Nahan’s Postal Logistics Manager, Gary LaBarre, to discuss the importance of the two entities working together for a common good. Gary’s career in print and logistics is a major asset to Nahan. After graduating high school, Gary started working at a printing company, unknowing that it would become his life-long career as he worked his way up in the industry, spanning forty-eight years. Gary has worked in the postal logistics division for forty-five of those and has dedicated over ten years to Nahan.

From the Press to the Consumers

A beautiful new catalog just rolled off the press, eager to be placed into a consumer’s hands to be used for its purpose. Before it can end up in a consumer’s mailbox, however, it must go through the postal system. As a result, the printing industry must have a relationship with the postal system to be able to take a finished product to its final destination – the people. Gary’s wealth of knowledge about both the printing industry and the postal system make him an excellent resource for brands that are new to the world of print.

“At Nahan, our goal is to get the best postage price possible and to get it to the consumers at the time they want it – not too early or too late.”

Gary LaBarre , Postal Logistics Manager at Nahan

In the next few questions and answers, we explore the logistics of working with the postal system to minimize cost for our customers.

1. There are various ways that a finished product can be shipped to a consumer. Three of the most common methods include co-mail, commingle, and drop ship. What are the differences between these methods?

  • Co-mail – This method is used for catalogs and flat-sized pieces. Multiple jobs are put together in one shipment, the idea being to enhance the pre-sort, which gives the customer the lowest postage price and deeper delivery to the USPS.
  • Commingle – This method is for letter-sized pieces and follows the same logic as co-mail. The shipments are intermixed with other customers to save money on postage in addition to deeper delivery to the USPS.
  • Drop Ship – This method consolidates pallets with other pallet jobs and then delivers it to postal facilities around the country.

2. Out of the three methods mentioned above, why is each beneficial to the customer?

  • Co-mail and commingle are beneficial because of their lower postage rate and delivery to the post office. If a customer has a smaller quantity, drop shipping would not be cost effective.
  • Drop ship is beneficial due to its low postage for large, geographically concentrated quantities, as well as the ability to hit a tight in-home window.

3. Why is timing so important in shipping a finished product?

Depending on what a brand is printing, there can be time sensitive information. For example, a company might be advertising a sale in a catalog or providing a limited time coupon code in a piece of direct mail. If a shipment gets delivered too late, the sale or coupon code will no longer be valid. Conversely, if a shipment arrives too early, customers are trying to order products that are not available in stores yet or score sales that are not set up in the system.

4. What is Informed Delivery? Why should companies sign up for it?

Informed delivery is a free service offered by the United States Postal Service, in which people can sign up to be notified of mail expected to be arriving soon. The service allows users to see a digital preview of their letter-sized mail and packages en-route to their mailbox. Users can access Informed Delivery on any computer or mobile device. It is beneficial to companies from a marketing standpoint. Companies can choose to participate in the Informed Delivery Interactive Campaign and include a link with the image. Companies then receive a summary report of users who clicked on links. While this marketing method is still growing, it is also relatively risk-free and does not eat up a marketing budget.

5. Overall, what is the essence of why the postal system is so crucial to the printing industry?

The printing industry could not exist without the partnership of the postal system. Without the USPS, your eye-catching and action-driving piece would never arrive to your consumer. To be a successful company, you must work with the postal system to deliver the best quality and service to the customers.

Minimized Postage Costs = More Consumer Reach for Your Money

When selling a product or service, no matter how wonderful it may be, marketing is what gets it out there. Print – whether in the form of catalogs, envelope packages, or self-mailers – is a significant contributor to a brand’s marketing strategy. Printing is all about a service that takes a brand’s vision and puts it on paper and makes it a reality. At Nahan, our job is to minimize their postage and transportation costs to allow them to mail as many pieces as possible for their money.

Curious about the current USPS postage rates? Check out our postage rate chart!

Contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Nahan University: Investing in our Employees

Author: Melissa Fransen, Marketing Manager

Since the opening of Nahan University in July of 2019, a lot has been happening with our training programs and our leadership team is proud of how things are progressing. From an employee perspective since launch, several of our 300+ employees have been involved in a training course thus far and the plan for 2020 is that every one of our employees will have a training opportunity. Doug Karls, an employee of Nahan for over 25 years, is leading the Nahan University initiatives.

“We are just getting started and I’m excited about all of the training opportunities that are in store for our employees. Our employees are our number one asset and if there is one thing that I believe in investing in, it’s our people.” Doug Karls, Trainer

Nahan University Goals

Here are the goals that our Leadership team has set for Nahan University:

  • Basic equipment functionality
  • Educate our team on our quality standards
  • Generate a career path for team members
  • Empower our employees
  • Team building
Nahan University Opening

Training Recap

The focus of the training has started with Operator training on Folders and Inserters, as well as Leadership training. Here is a quick overview of the training thus far:

Operator Training:

  • Basic equipment functionality
  • Problem solving skills
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Math aptitude
  • Quality standards

Leadership Training:

  • Communication Skills
  • Servant Leadership
  • Creating Effective and Empowered Teams
  • Coaching and Delegating for Success

“One of the biggest differentiators of Nahan in the industry continues to be our quality. The quality of our print, the quality of our service levels, and the quality of our people.” John Klumb, Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Nahan University – What’s Next

Our team is in the beginning stages of launching Brainer’s LMS (Learning Management Solutions) program. This platform will provide learning opportunities for our employees through module-based training on a variety of topics. Topics include everything from Safety, Team Building and Problem Solving to Web Presentations, Marketing, and Microsoft Office. These training sessions can be customized to the individual and tailored to topics that are applicable to our employees.  The full implementation of Brainer’s LMS program is planned for Q2 of 2020.

“At the end of each day, I ask myself what I learned that day. Each and every day I try to learn something new. My goal is for our employees to learn something new every day as well.” Doug Karls, Trainer

Want to learn more about a career at Nahan or Nahan University? Contact us today.

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Nahan Named As a Printing Industry Best Workplace in the Americas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Melissa Fransen                                                          
Phone: 320-217-7319
Email: melissa.fransen@nahan.com

ST. CLOUD, MN – February 6, 2020 – Nahan Printing, Inc. of St. Cloud, MN has been awarded the Best Workplace designation in the 2020 Best Workplace in the Americas (BWA) awards competition. The BWA awards are awarded to companies that create the best environments for their employees in the printing industry. The BWA awards, presented by Printing Industries of America (PIA), is awarded annually to only those companies meeting rigorous standards in human resources practices.

A panel of printing industry HR professionals evaluated applicants in three categories: Communications & Culture, Employee Resources & Benefits, and Safety & Work Environment.

PIA Best Workplaces

“Nahan Printing is one of the premier companies in the printing industry for employee experiences,” said Adriane Harrison, Vice President of Human Relations at PIA. “This award is a testament to Nahan’s leadership in developing an ‘employer of choice’ culture.”

“Winning a BWA award is an honor. We are on a journey to give our employees an exceptional workplace. There have been a number of initiatives that we have put into place this past year that are making a difference: we have implemented values-based leadership, we have opened Nahan University, and we have empowered our employees to ‘Never Stop Being the Best’ by sharing new ideas and exceeding customer expectations,” said Mike Nahan, CEO.

Michael F. Makin, president and CEO of PIA, agrees. “The Best Workplace in the Americas award winners stand among the most distinguished printing industry leaders by human resources standards. Congratulations to Nahan Printing for its outstanding achievement in human resources excellence.”  

ABOUT WINNER

Nahan Printing is a Minnesota-based, independent, family-owned, world class printer committed to providing end-to-end solutions that add value to our clients. Since its inception in 1962, Nahan has specialized in catalogs and direct mail for industries such as retail, financial services, non-profit and hospitality. With a client roster of legendary brands, Nahan prints iconic work that represents the highest level of quality and innovation in the industry. For more information about Nahan, please visit http://www.nahan.com.

ABOUT THE BEST WORKPLACE IN THE AMERICAS AWARDS

The Best Workplace in the Americas (BWA) awards, presented by Printing Industries of America (PIA), recognizes a company’s commitment to quality and excellence, passion for success, and dedication to providing a safety-focused work environment. For more information about the program, visit: www.printing.org/bwa.

Nahan Provides Print & Mailing Solutions for Many European Brands Marketing to US Customers

Author: Melissa Fransen, Marketing Manager

One of the questions that we frequently get asked is if we provide print and mailing solutions to an International customer base that is interested in mailing to the US Market. The answer is a resounding Yes!

In fact, this continues to be one of Nahan’s specialties and something that we feel truly continues to set us apart in the industry. We have quickly become a printer of choice for retailers and agencies alike in the European market.

Nahan Provides Print & Mailing Solutions for Many European Brands Marketing to US Customers

“If you are a start-up or even an established brand looking to market to a US audience and are looking for a trusted print partner, look no further, our team at Nahan is here to become a seamless extension of your marketing team.  We continue to work with so many great people abroad that have become not only clients but good friends, that really trust our Quality & Service.”

Kelly Marthaler, US & International Catalog/Direct Mail Sales Consultant

Commonly Asked Questions

1. We have formats developed for our UK audience and foreign postal requirements. How do we convert our formats to meet the US postal requirements?

Nahan is highly experienced in working with customers to develop efficient size formats for the US postal stream. Weights and size formats that work in Europe don’t always work here in the US. We specialize in adjusting these sizes or format templates to US formats to help minimize cost and reduce postage rates.  Our focus is really on guiding clients closely through the entire process.

2. What about paper? How does this work?

Our team at Nahan is very familiar with foreign paper spec differences and can help transition to US paper stocks that are of equal or greater paper quality and still be competitively priced.

3. With the time difference, can I expect a quick turnaround on quotes?

At Nahan, you can expect a quote within 24 hours or less. We take a lot of pride in quick-turn quotes and communication. You can come to expect the same timely response from our purchasing and customer service teams even when your office is in a foreign country. 

4. What about mailing schedules? How does this work?

Our postal/logistics team at Nahan works with our customers to develop timely schedules based on in-home dates. We walk through this entire process with each of our foreign clients to ensure there is a clear understanding of what in-homes dates work best with each individual marketing plan and how we can minimize cost as well.

5. What about USPS postal promotions, can I take advantage of these?

Absolutely. Our team at Nahan will guide you through the promotions process to ensure you are getting the most cost-effective rates based on your marketing objectives.

6. What about mailing to other markets, such as Canada?

At Nahan, we utilize the assistance of a third party partner to mail to other foreign markets, such as Canada, and do this quite frequently.  We are close proximity to Canada so this is a very close entry point for us.

7. I’m new to this – how do I even start?

Many of our customers that start out with us don’t have experience in expanding their mailing to the US market. No problem at all! We’ll be very happy to guide you through this process so maximum ROI can be achieved.  We want to take the stress of printing and mailing here in the US out of each foreign marketer’s job. 

Interested in learning more about Nahan’s mailing services? Contact us today! 

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Is Nahan a Printing or Technology Company?

Author: Pat Nahan, Vice President of National Accounts

As the printing landscape has evolved over the past two decades, we have all seen huge changes in the way we do our jobs.  Long gone are the days of film and even hard proofs in some cases. We have all seen the benefits of other new and exciting technologies that make getting ink, toner or dyes onto your chosen substrate.  All of this is great, but if your printer of choice doesn’t have the IT infrastructure to support your growing needs then are you really seeing the full benefit of what these advancements can do for you?

Digital Workflow

There are many benefits to a digital workflow but the 4 that I feel benefit the customer most are:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Brand Continuity
  3. Speed to Market
  4. Being able to create a truly tailored message to your consumer

Upon entering into the digital printing arena, it became glaringly apparent to us that to take advantage of this new technology we needed to embrace and fully utilize all that these machines could do.  To execute this we had to take a two pronged approach, the first being security. The second focus was being able to adapt to our customer’s unique needs and to mold our processes around those.  Along with this we had to step out of our comfort zone to truly develop technologies that can meet those needs.  

“Looping back to the title now, I feel that we are rapidly becoming a Technology company that is really great at printing.”

– Pat Nahan

Every day we are taking our years of experience with the ‘big iron” of printing and using it to make the new digital presses better.  The amount of technological development and custom programming that we are doing on a daily basis to meet the needs of our customers is constantly expanding.  Processes that were cutting-edge just 5 years ago are rapidly being replaced with new words like, API’s, web interfaces, and custom integrations.  Is your printer ready to help take you to the next level?

Questions to Ask Your Printer

Ask yourself these five questions when you consider partnering with a printer:

  1. What is their programming strength?
  2. Can they do more than just a presort of my data and take advantage of all their digital equipment can do?
  3. What sort of custom integrations have they done before?
  4. Do they have the knowledge to build any sort of return processing or continuity process that I might need?
  5. Are they a printer that thinks they know how to program or a true four color variable expert? 

Contact us today to learn more about Nahan and how we can help with your next project.

Patrick Nahan has over 20 years of print experience and is the Vice President of National Accounts with Nahan. On a daily basis, Patrick shows the “Nahan Difference” to key accounts and has been instrumental in launching Nahan into the forefront of the ever-changing print landscape. When not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys, working on cars, boating and trying to keep up with a hectic youth hockey schedule!    

2019 In Review: An Interview with Nahan COO, Curt Tillotson

Author: Melissa Fransen, Marketing Manager

2019 was another great year for Nahan and I thought it would be a great time to take an opportunity to interview Curt Tillotson, who serves as Nahan’s Chief Operating Officer. Curt started with Nahan in 2011 after many years at a regional grocer and at Best Buy in business development and financial roles . Outside of work, Curt is kept quite busy with his wife and their seven children. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

What are three accomplishments that you are particularly proud of that Nahan achieved in 2019?

Curt: Well, 2019 was an amazing year with many all-time records established.  I can only pick three?  This is not easy but I will give it a shot:

First, we managed to land over 100 new accounts.  We are very appreciative of all of the companies that trust us to print for them.

Second, our new website was launched in 2019 and it looks amazing!  Take a look when you have a chance.

Third, we continue to invest in our business and have purchased industry-leading equipment which allows us to amaze our customers even more

In three words, tell me what you think made Nahan stand out in 2019.

Curt: PEOPLE! PEOPLE! PEOPLE!  We are so proud of our people.  We continue to create opportunities for them and they step up again and again.

What do you like most about working for Nahan?

Curt: I really enjoy working side by side with this amazing team here at Nahan.  We accomplish far more than I could ever ask or imagine.

Nahan won several awards again for the quality of our work through Gold Ink, Sappi, and PIM – something we are very proud of. Tell me from your perspective, what this means to you.

Curt: Plain and simple, we are the best printer in North America.  All of these awards are a testimony to what our customers tell us every day.  We truly never stop being the best.

Nahan opened Nahan University, our employee training center in 2019, which has already benefited many of our employees. Tell me about how things are coming along with the training center.

Curt: As we go into 2020, there will be a lot of training opportunities for all of our employees.  We believe that is the best way to equip our people to win in the marketplace.

Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions you’d like to share?

Curt: Suffice it to say, I will be part of a weight loss team!

You speak quite often about our Nahan Values. Tell me about one of those values and what it means to you.

Curt: Never Stop Being the Best!

This value epitomizes Nahan Printing and our founders and owners.  We are never satisfied with the status quo.  We always want to make things better. It has been said that the slowest a piece of equipment runs is the first day it comes in the building. That is our attitude day in and day out.  And, it is absolutely critical.  Competition is fierce in the print industry.  Our customers have many choices when it comes to printing.  We have to be the best in the business in order to win.

“It has been said that the slowest a piece of equipment runs is the first day it comes in the building.”

– Curt Tillotson, Chief Operating Officer, Nahan Printing

Nahan supported a number of local charitable organizations again in 2019. Tell me about one that stood out to you this year.

Curt: We supported the United Way more than ever in 2019.  I love the work that United Way does day in and day out.  Not only do they help many, many people who are truly in need but they also make sure that our charitable donations are spent wisely.

What are you most excited about as Nahan goes into 2020?

Curt: Winning!  We have made tremendous strides as a company and I look forward to making even greater progress in 2020.  We have great employees who operate as a team.  We have industry leading equipment.  We have a customer base that LOVES our work.

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Our Environmental Commitment

Author: Jayden Johnson, Marketing Intern

At Nahan, we take pride in our commitment to being a responsible, environmentally conscious printer. We want to help create a healthier future for our employees, our customers, our communities and the world. From purchasing raw materials to efficient manufacturing processes, Nahan is considerate of our environment in every decision across the company. In 2018 alone, we recycled over 15.5 Million Pounds of Paper!

 

Innovative Product Designs and Processes to Reduce Paper Usage

How we were able to recycle 15.5 Million pounds of paper, was through strategizing with our customers, sales, production, and estimating teams to review environmentally conscious options for raw materials and streamline processes for projects to reduce waste. All of our heatset web presses have automated register, color, cut off and ribbon control systems integrated into them. With these systems, we are able minimize waste and improve overall quality and consistency during make-ready and throughout the run. In addition to the integrated press systems that reduces waste while running, we utilize CIP 3 data from the plate making files to preset ink fountains prior to press start up.  Our Operators are then able to “fine tune” register and color to meet each customer’s exact requirements.

 

Ink and Coating

The inks we use are manufactured by environmentally conscious INX.  Our sheet fed inks are vegetable oil based (primarily soy) and approved for food packaging.  Even our heatset inks contain soy based materials.  All vegetable oils are naturally renewable resources, which not only gives you a high quality job through the best ink technology available, but it also helps the environment. Our scrap ink is recycled ensuring no ink is ever put into a landfill.  Even our coatings are environmentally friendly. Our UV and water based coatings are VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) Free and we use “Thermal Oxidizing” technology to destroy volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants that are produced during the printing process.

 

Paper

One of the biggest decisions you have to make when designing a project is specifying the paper to use.  Besides price; basis weight, grade, shade, finish, certifications, recycled content and sustainability need to be taken into consideration.  Good News, we can help.  We print on a wide range of papers including those with Post Consumer content up to 100%, allowing you a wide range of options.

 

Industry Certification

Our environmental initiatives are not only appreciated by our customers, but by others outside the printing industry. We pride ourselves on having received certificates from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) A.C. as well as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI®). To maintain our certifications from each organization, we are audited annually.

 

Continuous Improvement

For the last 25 years, our facility has been continuously improving by keeping all of the operating systems up to current building and environmental codes. Nahan has staff members who focus on our carbon footprint to ensure we are in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. We are continuously learning different methods to reduce CO2 emissions and increase energy conservation, be more energy efficient throughout our facility and operations, as well as recycle, reuse, and reclaim waste.

 

And That’s Just the Beginning…

To learn more about our environmental initiatives and how we are continuously improving towards an even more environmentally conscious facility, get in touch with us by submitting a “Let’s Chat” inquiry.

 

Bio: Jayden Johnson is our Marketing Intern. He started working at Nahan in November 2018. Jayden is a student at St. Cloud State University and will graduate Magna Cum Laude with his B.S in Marketing, minors in Community Psychology and Management, and a Certificate in Professional Selling Specialization. In his spare time, Jayden enjoys hanging out with family and friends, traveling, and bowling.

 

The Value of My Internship at Nahan

Author: Jayden Johnson, Marketing Intern (pictured on right)

Doing an internship was something I never thought I would do in college.

Being a full-time student with a heavy course load and working as a part-time server, I just did not see how I could fit an internship into my hectic schedule. However, I decided to apply anyways to the Marketing Internship position at Nahan. After an interview and a period of nervously waiting while consuming multiple bags of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and binge watching Netflix, I got the call saying that I got the job!

Little did I know that this experience was going to change me not only professionally, but personally as well.

When I first started my job as the Marketing Intern here, I didn’t know anything about printing other than that it exists. I thought my job would consist of me filing paperwork, running to get people lunch, making coffee, more paperwork, and other miscellaneous jobs. Surprisingly, I was wrong. In fact, my job is never the same.er

One day I could be handling customer surveys, internal communications, researching potential industries that we could help, write letters to prospects for the sales team, and creating sample packs for them. The next day calling trade shows and negotiate pricing on exhibition, conduct meetings about future trade shows to discuss the timeline leading up to the show, going through attendance lists to find prospects, create press releases for attendees of the conference to learn more about Nahan, and hearing from the sales team what they need to have a successful trade show.

Studying marketing in college is one thing. It’s totally different thing you actually get to see those concepts, theories, and examples being applied to real life situations.

Not only have I learned various skills that will help me enter the workforce with some experience under my belt, but I’ve also learned that internships help people like myself who are trying to figure out what they want to do professionally after college. The best part of an internship though, is that you meet amazing people who believe in you and push you to step out of your comfort zone.

Are you interested or looking for an exciting internship/career? Visit our website to learn more about our culture and apply to job openings today and you will see why Nahan Printing is the Employer of Choice!

Bio: Jayden Johnson is our Marketing Intern. He started working at Nahan in November 2018. Jayden is a student at St. Cloud State University and will graduate Magna Cum Laude with his B.S in Marketing, minors in Community Psychology and Management, and a certificate in Professional Sales Specialization. In his spare time, Jayden enjoys hanging out with family and friends, traveling, and bowling.

5 Benefits of Working with a Centrally Located Printer

Author: Matt Deibler, National Sales Representative

 

Print buyers and marketing execution leaders have more variables to consider than ever before. Choosing the right partner is critical and it’s not always an easy decision.  You want to ensure that you identify a printer who has the right mix of capabilities and resources to support the unique needs of your business. You also want to think strategically about where your chosen vendor is positioned geographically. How will this impact the effectiveness of your campaigns? What kinds of advantages or disadvantages does your printer’s location present?

Here are five key benefits that I see in working with a centrally located printer:

 

1) Proximity to Mills

It’s no secret that over the last couple of years, the paper market has become quite volatile. Prices have risen and we have experienced several cycles of tightening supply. Choosing a vendor located near the paper mills is beneficial as it offers greater flexibility. With relationships at the mill level, we are better equipped to service the needs of clients with tight deadlines.  Our location allows us to more effectively locate stock and negotiate on its pricing and delivery.

 

2) Postal Savings

Postage is the single most expensive component of any direct mail campaign, yet it still receives very little attention from many marketing execution leaders. The perception seems to be that postage/distribution is a fixed cost applied equally among all vendors and it is often overlooked during the partner evaluation process. But not all vendors are built the same when it comes to postage and freight and a central location does create distinct advantages. USPS entry discounts (through NDC and SCF sortation) are available to everyone. That being said, it’s not very efficient to drop ship mail from an east coast distribution point to the west coast.  The cost of freight often outweighs the savings on postage. If you are working with national mail files, you will want to ensure that you are aligned with a centrally located printer to handle your mail plan. It’s a huge opportunity to put money back in your budget.

 

3) Speed to Market

In this technology driven age that we live in, speed is everything. If you want higher conversion rates you will need to capitalize on your windows of opportunity as quickly as you can. Speed to market matters. Choosing the right partner to execute on your print and distribute your product in a timely fashion is essential to success in today’s market. Centrally located printers like Nahan have the ability to connect to all points of the country in equal time. So whether your prospect is in FL, CA, WA or NY we can reach them, and we can do so within a time frame that optimizes response.

 

4) In-Home Predictability

Speed is just one element of in-home timing. There are a lot of direct mail vendors who are equipped to push a project through their plant and out into the mail stream quickly, but very few are skilled at targeting and hitting specific, predefined in-home windows. This can make or break a campaign. If you are advertising a dated promotion, sale or offer you are restricted to a defined response period and it’s critical that you make the most of it.  As I mentioned earlier, a central location provides better options with freight and postal and it allows for a more strategic approach with mail planning. If you wish to validate the timing of delivery, most vendors have access to tracking services that can be applied to your campaigns. We use them frequently to gauge our own performance.

 

5) Fulfillment

Fulfillment is a major growth area in our business here at Nahan; it’s a no brainer based upon our location. Whether your need is trigger mail execution, kitting or distribution of inventoried promotional products, it makes sense to align with a centrally located partner. It’s about freight and distribution and that applies to product coming in as well as product going out. Plus, warehouse space is generally more affordable in the Midwest, so it’s a win from all angles.

 

Bio: Matt Deibler is a National Sales Representative based out of Chapel Hill, NC.  He joined Nahan in April of 2018. Matt manages relationships with direct mail clients in all parts of the country.  In his spare time, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife, his two year old son, Malachi and his new baby daughter Reagan.  He is an avid fan of college football and he loves to travel and blog about his life experiences.

Nahan Training Center Opens

SAINT CLOUD, MN – July 17, 2019 – Nahan Printing hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open their new training center. The training center was made possible with a grant the company was awarded from St. Cloud State University and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Nahan is also partnering with St. Cloud State University and Saint Cloud Technical & Community College to deliver the training for the employees.

The training center will offer the following types of training for employees:

  • Leadership Training
  • Production Training
  • Math & Measurement Training
  • Mechanical Aptitude Training
  • Hands-on Equipment Training
  • Skills Training

The ribbon cutting ceremony included presentations from Mike Nahan, CEO; Julie Nowacki, Director of HR; and Curt Tillotson, COO. Tammy Anhalt-Warner, Director – Welcome Center and Workforce Center from St. Cloud State University was also present for the event.

“We value investing in our employees and it is something that continues to separate Nahan as an employer of choice in our community. I am excited about this partnership with the local colleges and universities here in St. Cloud and what this partnership means for the future of our current and future team members,” said Mike Nahan, CEO.

Nahan Printing also revealed the name for their new training center at the ceremony. Prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony, Nahan had an internal contest for their employees to submit name ideas for their new training center. After reviewing the 73 entries from employees, the owners selected “Nahan University,” submitted by Lisa MacDonald, Account Manager.