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Attention to Detail

By Joe Morelli

May 20, 2020

imagesIn 1999, the New England Patriots were considered by some to be one of the most laughable franchises in NFL history. In 2000, the Patriots hired Bill Belichick as general manager and head coach, and under his direction, they have won 17 division titles, nine conference championships, and six Super Bowl titles.

The dramatic change in direction for the Patriots was due to numerous factors—people behind the scenes, hard work, players, stable ownership, just to name a few. One of Belichick’s most notable characteristics, though, is his attention to detail. Hall of Fame quarterback Phil Simms, who played for Belichick when the two were with the New York Giants, is noted as saying, “His dedication and attention to detail are unbelievable.” Belichick himself famously answered when asked about preparing his team, “More important than the will to win is the will to prepare to win.”

AICC Associate members are always looking for ways to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. Today’s large-format package print industry is very competitive. As we have evolved over the years, numerous factors have contributed to our success—stable and committed ownership, skilled employees, and hard work, just to name a few. If you look deeper, though, one characteristic that should stand out as a key contributor of growth for many companies is attention to detail

At Huston Patterson in 2007, we established the Robert G. Kowa Theatre as the centerpiece of our training academy. There, we host ongoing seminars for our employees on not just their specific department within the company, but also on other departments. Along with the continuing education on the print industry, we also bring in speakers from the corrugated industry to give our employees a big-picture idea of what happens to our product after it leaves our facility. We believe strongly that giving our employees this platform to succeed will ultimately impact the overall quality of craftsmanship in our shop in a positive way.You can never underestimate the value of internal training and education.

Within our sales team, we place a huge emphasis on the preparation it takes to grow our book of business. Gone are the days of walking cold into a prospective client’s office and hoping to get a meeting. A much more analytic and, quite frankly, challenging approach to sales is upon us. Researching, pre-qualifying, and ultimately providing an avenue for success should be daily expectations for client services managers (or the equivalent on your staff). Together, set specific goals for them to succeed and discuss how to make the goals a reality. I heard a quote that applies to sales growth: “A goal without a plan is a wish.”

We, as representatives of our respective companies, get asked often what distinguishes ourselves from our competitors. The cliché answer I often hear is service. It is true, but if you peel back the layers to the word “service,” it should mean so much more. The attention to detail within the service, the preparation that has gone into the service, the delicate execution of the service—those are the things that make you stand out. We all should be committed to that type of attention to detail to succeed and should follow the words Belichick is so famously quoted as saying: “We are committed to the preparation it takes to succeed.”


Joe Morelli is vice president of sales and marketing for Huston Patterson Printers and is vice Chair of AICC’s Associate board.