Epson Electronics America is headquartered in San Jose, California, also known as Silicon Valley, the heart of the nation’s high-tech industry and home to many leading universities. They count on the Minuteman Press printing franchise in Redondo Beach, California as their trusted marketing and business services provider.
The most important person in Kenny Takei’s life is his wife Carol, who brings her good energy into his Minuteman Press franchise in Redondo Beach, California. She not only helps his morale but also takes care of bookkeeping, collections and bindery demands. “Carol, my wife, works another full-time job and comes here at 2:30 to take care of things. Primarily, she makes sure we get paid,” Kenny says with appreciation and good humor.
The feeling people get walking into Kenny’s digital print, design and marketing center is that of being entirely “at home.” There is lighthearted warmth upon reception that is quickly accompanied by a fierce determination to solve all challenges presented. Nineteen years of the kind of genuine service seemingly lost in this often hyper-tech era is part of the reason people seek it out where it still resides, at their local Minuteman Press.
Kenny Takei and, currently, three full-time and one part time team members present authenticity on a personal level, but what makes them coveted as marketing services providers is the combination of that service with deep knowledge of integrated marketing strategy and the latest technology the modern printing industry has to offer. “People don’t come into our center to window shop and pass time. They need our help, our expertise and that is what we are prepared to give. Jobs can be very stressful for them and have short timelines. When this happens, we all pitch in to make that deadline. To see a customer’s smile is our ultimate goal. When we help them and they are happy with the results, they return and they share their experiences with others who would benefit from what we have to offer.” Kenny calls it a “simple philosophy” and he has proven that living by it, consistently, businesses flourish.
“Our key to customer service is to listen and focus on what the customer has to say, make suggestions and most of all be friendly.” – Kenny Takei, Minuteman Press franchise owner, Redondo Beach, California
Pressure and last minute demands are an ever-present reality that every business owner must manage. Those with foresight govern their time in a logical way; and part of that is recognizing that trusting experts in marketing services maximizes results and relieves their minds of burdens. This allows for focus to remain exactly where it belongs, on the development of the venture, whatever it may be. Kenny says, “Even if business is all about the bottom dollar, it’s a nice feeling to be able help a customer (who recognizes we can do it in the best way) with their time sensitive project, and in the case of one of our most valued and long-time clients, Epson Electronics, doing so really paid off.”
EEA uses the strongest marketing services provider available to them, Minuteman Press, to help meet its objective: Marketing, engineering and sales of Microelectronic Devices of Seiko Epson Corporation within the United States, Canada, Latin America and Central America
Epson Electronics America’s parent company, Seiko Epson Corporation (SEC) is a leader in three major business areas:
- The Seiko Business Unit is world famous for innovations in superior-quality watches.
- The Information Technology Unit is a leader in the graphics imaging market with our award-winning Epson family of printers, scanners, cameras, and projectors.
- The Electronic Devices Unit pioneered Energy Saving technology in Epson semiconductors, liquid crystal displays, quartz devices, visual instruments and device-applied products (source: http://www.eea.epson.com).
Determined to “always find a way” even nearly two decades ago, Kenny was approached by an office manager from EEA for an task that required some quick thinking, so he used the technology he had available at the time to make sure it got done. Getting it done got him the account. He explains, “Epson Electronic is one of our long time customers. I remember when we were at another location there was a Chinese Restaurant next door. The office manager, Elizabeth, was eating there and came in to see me afterwards. She asked if we could somehow add a bunch of Signatures to a Birthday card, she did not have enough time to pass it around. Epson has multiple locations so this made it impossible. She called everyone had them email their signature and we hand pasted them on 20# Bond, shot it on our daylight camera put it on our Printing Press and printed the signature onto the original Card. She made her deadline for the party. Color copiers were still coming out and were not very affordable. I was just starting out and could not afford one.”
Kenny adds, “Elizabeth no longer works there. It’s been 19 years now and we are still working with them.”
Epson Electronics America, Inc. established a regional headquarters for their electronic device and component business for the Americas, covering the U.S., Canada and Latin America.
EEA markets and sells their electronic devices and provides engineering support required to ensure that designers developing advanced systems will select their products over their competitors. Minuteman Press plays a key role in their mission and Kenny Takei sees to it that traditionally printed marketing needs are addressed and produced to the highest standard. He says, “It is an easy, strong partnership and I see it lasting for a long time. They do a lot of work internally, but we take care of traditional marketing staples for them. Right now I do their envelopes, letterhead, brochures, their business cards, invoices, as these things make everyday business run smoothly and must be respectful of the brand and finely printed. Additionally, they ask me for special types of brochures or flyers on an as-needed basis and we tend to those projects with attention to detail. They require a special expansion folder and we produce it for them. We work with several different departments at EEA to support their efforts.”
In a business relationship, a partnership that is nearly two decades rich with trust and successfully completed projects, the most challenging parts remains tight timelines and meeting, or often surpassing, their expectations. He adds, “They provide the artwork and we have to help with the design and layout prepress to make sure everything that is produced is perfect, which we are delighted to do for them.”
Carmel Melinger, Accounting Supervisor/Facilities for Epson Electronics met Kenny through an ex-employee at her company as she departed and Carmel needed to get acquainted with their marketing services provider, Minuteman Press. At the time, she was assigned to order printed collateral from Kenny and his staff. “Kenny makes sure that his employee, Gregory (who is also great at his job), sends me a proof of the business card or stationery that I am ordering, for example and if I have any questions or concerns, Kenny is always very helpful in offering solutions or providing answers. We also have two more locations in San Jose and Illinois for which I place orders with Kenny’s Minuteman Press center.”
Now that they have had time to enjoy a smooth, productive business rapport, Carmel finds it effortless to offer praise to Minuteman Press. She acknowledges that her company’s experience with them has resulted in superior results enough to make would-be competitors a non-factor. She says, “I will be honest and say that I have had other printing companies contact me over the years for business and I turn them down because I have worked with Kenny and his staff for so long and so well. Why ruin a good thing?”
In confidence, Carmel concludes, “I know going forward that Kenny will be someone we will continue to use as long as Epson Electronics is around.”