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Meijer, Inc. Meijer, Inc.
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General Motors General Motors
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FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORES
 - Retail Industry
Family Christian Stores is America's leading specialty retailer, with more than 325 locations in 39 states offering Christian-themed books, music, videos, software, gifts, apparel and more. The FCS chain grew rapidly after spinning off from Christian publishing giant Zondervan in the '90s. By 2005, it became apparent that FCS' fulfillment vendors could not keep pace with continuing expansion - and the company launched a formal search for a strategic partner that could successfully address these problems:

  • Lack of consistent color in store signs.
  • Damaged signs and late deliveries.
  • Inaccurate and incomplete store kits.
  • Slow response time.

Gilson's vast experience serving retail-industry clients convinced FCS to include us in their evaluation process. Our immediate grasp of their situation and identification of possible solutions sealed the deal.

Our services for FCS include:

  • We've created specific ink matches for each color in the FCS "palette," ensuring consistent colors from one press run and one product to the next - vital for stores in which colors are used to designate departments.
  • Our packaging department designed custom boxes for different kit sizes, accommodating materials ranging from 41" x 55" window banners to 3" x 6" shelf cards. Proper packaging has virtually eliminated damage.
  • We used Mindwire to create an electronic packing list that FCS can instantly update and transmit to our packing department, so the right materials get kitted and sent to the right stores. Mindwire also allows FCS to electronically order replacement signs for same-day shipment to stores.
  • We enable FCS to use online proofing, speeding their approvals and our turnaround time.
  • We've "lent" our graphic design personnel to FCS to temporarily cover their staff shortages.

Prior to Gilson's involvement, FCS fielded roughly 100 follow-up calls from stores every time a kit was shipped. There were only three calls after Gilson's first shipment - a performance standard that continues to this day, saving FCS considerable money, time and frustration.

Our shipments are not only accurate, they're fast. "We can give you a week to turn this around," FCS told us on one of our first projects for them. "Why would you give us that long?" we asked. "We're accustomed to working at the speed of retail we'll have it for you today."
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Gilson - Case Studies: General Motors
Gilson Graphics
Case Studies
Family Christian Stores Family Christian Stores
Energie Énergie
Viking Corporation Viking
Corporation
BDO Seidman BDO Seidman
ePrize ePrize
Gordon Food Service Gordon Food Service
Meijer, Inc. Meijer, Inc.
Baker Publishing Group Baker Publishing Group
General Motors General Motors
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Home  >  Case Studies  >  General Motors
GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION
 - Manufacturing Industry
General Motors is the world's largest automaker. It was founded in 1908 and shortly thereafter became the industry's annual global sales leader - the title it still holds today, in the face of fiercer-than-ever competition. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries.

In the U.S., GM sells its vehicles through a nationwide network of roughly 8,000 dealers. The company supports dealer sales efforts in a myriad of ways - from high-profile television advertising to glossy four-color brochures. But the crux of the GM-dealer relationship is contained in a Policies & Procedures Manual. This manual spells out everything from service standards and training requirements to claims processes and warranty specifics.

For years, the manual was printed onto individual pages and assembled into binders for shipping to dealers. By the late '90s, the volume of information included had increased to the point that it strained the confines of a three-inch binder.

This conventional fulfillment and distribution system posed a number of problems, including:

  • As size increased, shipping costs escalated.
  • Additional copies and replacement copies were ordered via phone by individual dealer personnel - there was no means to control distribution.
  • Changes were cumbersome. Shipping new binders every time a revision was made would be prohibitively costly, so individual pages were printed and sent to dealers with instructions to replace outdated pages. There was no way to monitor dealer compliance.
  • The reams of paper required to print the manual each year didn't jibe with GM's very public commitment to environmental sensitivity.

Gilson, which had been handling the printing and fulfillment of these manuals, approached GM with an alternative: we proposed to assemble manuals in pdf format and distribute them to dealers on CD-ROM. GM agreed to the move - and immediately cut its program costs by 50%.

Several years later, we took advantage of increased Internet delivery speed and our own MindWire technology to make the program even more efficient. We constructed a stand-alone web site that contains the entire manual - one web page for each manual page - and gave GM dealers secure access to it. Now, approved dealer personnel can download and print all or part of the manual at any time. Change notifications are sent via email, and GM can monitor whether revised pages have been down-loaded.

In addition to streamlining delivery, we developed a new workflow for assembling, editing and finalizing the manual. Creating content is the responsibility of 35 GM "Subject Matter Experts" located around the country. We've empowered them to share information and complete their work online. It's a faster, more efficient, more accurate method.

GM is so please with the results, they're exploring new ways to use our fulfillment and distribution technology throughout the corporation.
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