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October 17th Weekly Newsletter

Better Ways and Better Days

After a long weekend our CEO class met at TPS on the west side of Newton with Rick Lindeman, son of owners Richard and Wendy Lindeman. The Lindeman Family started TPS in 1972 with just an old hand crank press and they specialized in business cards and letter heads. While attending a trade association meeting in the 70’s Richard had heard of government printing contracts for bid. TPS won the bidding process and started a long relationship with the government in regards to printing. This bid however required the family to purchase several pieces of equipment needed to complete the bid which enabled them to branch off into other type of local printing jobs. In the early 90’s the family branched out to do more book printing, specifically in the education circuit. Richard’s success is much due to always looking for better ways to do things. With the help of local craftsmen he was able to design a machine with 8 plate frames enabling his business to produce 5,000 pages per day as opposed to the average 750, thus offering TPS a definite competitive advantage. TPS in Newton was also the first in the country to install an ink jet web press! Jasper CEO students were also able to gain knowledge of business survival through tragedy as the Lindeman’s described the economic impact September 11, 2001 had on the printing industry when they were forced to down size from 100-60 employees and required the company to refocus their vision. Knowing that publishers would buy at the lowest unit cost, they tried to shift the industry by focusing on printing short runs of books which due to their equipment set up, they could do economically with their ink jet press. Publishers took note finally in 2008 when the economy tanked again and publishers scurried to also find a more economical way to print. The difference in 2008 for TPS was that they were positioned to take advantage of the publisher’s predicament. This started what is now known as print on demand. Essentially, a book is ordered (on Amazon for example), if there is none on the shelf a company like TPS gets the order to print the book in single or a very small order and they ship. When asked if e-books had hurt their business Rick happily replied that it had actually helped their business as they are short run printers which is the most common form of printing for books today.


The Customer is ALWAYS Right!

Our first stop Wednesday was with manager Susan Lindley at Marathon One Stop Shoppe in Newton. Susan shared with us the concepts of paramount customer service and how customer demand drives their store. Susan encouraged students as they are creating their class and individual businesses to define who their customer will be and focus on superior customer service. She advised that it would be their competitive edge and it would set them apart from competition. We also thoroughly enjoyed learning about the daily, weekly, and monthly happenings inside of a fuel station and convenience store in terms of ordering, licenses required, and inventory. Her last word of advice was to always look at the big picture in any and all situations.


Oh Chocolate!

Our last business visit for the week put us on the road to Robinson where we visited Barry Callebaut with manager, Harold Shipman. I must say, if you are a chocolate lover, this is an amazing place….the sweet smell of chocolate is everywhere! Along with Harold we also had the pleasure of meeting the Supply Chain Coordinator and the Supervisor of Food Quality and Safety. Barry Callebaut came to Robinson in 2007 beside the Hershey factory with a plan to leave a footprint in the Midwest through outsourcing. They currently produce approximately 200,000 pounds of chocolate a day! Jasper CEO students learned a significant amount about this global company, their vision, leadership structure and dealing with global commodities and allowing it to work to your advantage. One of the most impressive morsels from this business was the respect and reverence Barry Callebaut gives to its cocoa bean farmers which are primarily located along the Ivory Coast and Ghana. They spend a significant amount of money focused toward sustainable agriculture practices for farmers and their families. Barry Callebaut is a definite plus for the Crawford and Jasper communities as well as the Midwest. It’s leadership structure and approach as well as the respect and appreciation it extends to its employees is remarkable. Barry Callebaut was a great learning experience!


New CEO shirts

Student Journal Quotes

“… As he said, employers only want people that they can trust can do the job right. The person that is the most educated is not always the right person for the job.”

“My favorite quote of this week is: “The way you treat people will determine how you succeed; if you want to succeed, treat people with integrity.”


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The manner in which the CEO program is funded is critical to its success and sustainability. All funds raised are used exclusively for the Jasper County CEO program. To participate, a 3-year $1000 per year commitment is required. Business Partner Investors commitments of time and energy are also critical to the program's success. Contributions may be tax deductible, as our organization is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.

When we are not touring local businesses, we need a place to host the class. During that time, the 0 CEO students and their Facilitator would meet at your site where they would also have guest speakers and guests from the community attend. Hosting requires a facility with internet access and adequately accommodates up to 5 people.

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