RRD Facility Spotlight: Retail Solutions – Milwaukee
“What goes on at your facility?” Ask John Barrett, plant president of RRD Milwaukee – Signage & Displays, a loaded question like that and his answer might seem a bit starry-eyed at first. Then you quickly realize, he has plenty to back it up.
“We take the complexity out of complex projects.”
At Milwaukee, concept to distribution happens all under one roof. Simply put, this facility provides end-to-end services for in-store marketing campaigns. And it’s driven by a team with decades of experience.
To further expand upon these full-service capabilities, John recently shared some highlights and unique features of this Milwaukee plant that better illustrate what exactly makes it stand out in the industry.
What about this facility makes it unique in the current marketplace?
John Barrett (JB): It’s our unique combination of capabilities all under one roof. We remove the need for our clients to use different vendors for creative, production, and distribution. Calling it a "one-stop shop" might sound cliche, but it’s an accurate description of what our team does here every single day.
We take our clients’ ideas and nurture them from the initial concept all the way to manufacturing and shipping — spanning the entire life cycle of any given element.
We’ve invested in a full 3D structural design center right here on-site. This allows us to collaborate with clients on projects for virtually every conceivable in-store temporary display.
As part of the conceptual process, we develop specialized 3D renderings that include animation, a capability unique to our facility. The renderings take a client’s idea one step closer to creating real-world physical designs. From there, we have equipment dedicated to quick-turn prototypes so we can build that 3D display (see example on right) for client review in a very short period of time.
If you had to narrow it down to one, what do you consider Milwaukee’s forte?
JB: Again, it’s our turnaround for 3D displays, from concept to delivered product. We have the ability to deliver creative solutions and get them to market quickly. This facility’s assets and support team are capable of shortened development, production and then to in-store display per our clients’ needs.
There’s just so much we can do right here, right now, in this building with all of our specialized equipment and talent. We offer a full array of materials and substrates. And we can take a rendering to prototype in a matter of days — or sometimes less — all within their given budget.
As business evolves, what role do you see RRD Milwaukee – Signage & Displays playing in that evolution?
JB: Tightly integrated with the entire RRD packaging platform, which leverages the firepower of individual facilities to meet the broader needs of our customers, our facility is helping our clients manage increasingly volatile markets.
Having multiple vendors in a project, for example, can add more complexity, time and risk. Let’s say a client wants to change one element — now they have to talk and negotiate timelines with the entire supply chain. This is not very nimble. Supply chains need to be short.
If we can reduce the time and effort of our clients' projects, they will be more successful in the market and garner better profit. To this end, we focus on two major areas. One, we are always looking for ways to give time back to our customers. Our customer’s point-of-sale systems provide real-time information on the market conditions. We want them to be able to take advantage of this last-minute information and be able to adjust as needed. Two, no one has time to touch things twice. Every time our customers have to re-engage with a process, it costs time, money, and creates frustrations.
Our goal will always be to provide “one-touch” service and we're ensuring this by adopting Lean methodologies throughout the organization, from design to shipping. We also consistently reevaluate our processes. Is what we're doing provide value to our clients? Does it improve delivery or improve quality? Is there a better way?
Every person within our organization is looking every day at ways to take waste out of our processes. These efforts directly relate to reducing the time needed to complete a project.
For more information about this facility, visit our RRD Milwaukee – Signage & Displays location page.