By Sid Chadwick
“The SMART method means that goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-specific and recorded.”……Peter Drucker, Consultant, Author, Speaker, Innovator
50 Year Celebrations - by the Founding CEO - and their organization – are rare – in any industry….!
On April 28th, Wanzie Collins, CEO of Panaprint, located in Macon, GA, celebrated 50 years in business as a successful Commercial Printer, specializing in production of a wide range of publications, general commercial work, and Wide-Format…!
I’ve known Wanzie for well over a decade, and on this evening my wife, Tina, and I sat at the dinner table with his older son and President, Rette Collins - and his family, and the company’s banker - of about 40 years.
Over 160 guests, mostly but not only employees, enjoyed a great Southern Celebration Dinner, Awards, memories of tough times - and a few tears, significant personnel achievements, and repeated bursts of laughter.
Here are my observations re. his Value System:
- Make it easy for customers to do business with your organization, and to want to come back. Make it easy for customers to keep your and their promises.
- Making it easy to do business with your organization requires a broad range of competencies in your personnel. His advocacy of Education in our great Industry goes back multiple decades – even preceding Panaprint (He was instrumental in our developing the “University Curriculum Website for Employees” – a strategic Recruitment and Revitalization of Technical Skills Resource – especially for new employees.) The loss of a good employee was viewed as another opportunity to improve that position’s performance.
- Loyalty to suppliers from his organization knows few equals. For example, both his main Paper Supplier and his Banker are relationships that approach and exceed 40 years. When he needed them, they were there for him and his organization.
- Use of Panaprint’s facilities, and Wanzie personally, are often available as Macon, GA works to improve community relationships and understanding. A Printer is often “the crossroads” for a community.
- His family he is most proud of, as he quietly works in the background to make sure his family’s succeeding generations know the values needed to be sustained for a more stable family and community. For example, “a rough estimate” of Panaprint’s long-term payroll in the Macon community far exceeded $100 million.
- Long-term conservative decisions and ambitions included growth, but not for growth’s sake, as an opinion. Panaprint’s technology and equipment reinvestments are excellent, including the company’s financial ratios, and reputation for quality production and service. Competing successfully for talented employees against a major military facility and Amazon – has made them a stronger company.
Beyond all that, Wanzie shared that he sometimes, even often - felt the guiding nudge and whisper of our Creator, especially at difficult moments. Looking back, he felt he was never alone.
“God’s favorite language is silence.”………St. John of the Cross