Written by Louis Crockett, President, Keiger Printing
Foreword written by Bill Michael, Xerox Corporation

With the Xerox Best-of-the-Best Contest recently opening and now accepting entries, I thought it would be exciting to spotlight some companies who have flourished in past competitions and have proven that they are no strangers to success.

I cannot possibly think of a better company to begin our spotlight feature than Keiger Printing. My experiences with Keiger began in 2007 as I assisted in our Printing Innovation with Xerox Imaging (PIXI) Program, an international award competition recognizing innovation and creativity in digital printing. Keiger’s submission that year was a self-promotional book produced on their Xerox iGen3, highlighting their substrate flexibility and print quality, and really educating prospective customers how various substrates affect the look and feel of a printed image. The piece was breathtaking, to say the least, and went on to win the Best of Show in our 2007 competition, representing the highest distinction given.

In the coming years to follow, Keiger Printing became synonymous with the word ‘quality’ in my mind. By winning five awards over the past two years, Keiger has won more than any other Premier Partner in our Best-of-the-Best Contest. With the competition open globally, that statement can further be modified to say that they have won more than any other Premier Partner in the world.

I recently had a chance to speak with Louis Crockett (LC), President of Keiger Printing:

Xerox: Please give us some background information on your company. What would you like the readers to know about you?

Louis Crockett: The roots of Keiger Inc. reach back to 1943. We have experienced a lot of change in printing technology and we have been early adopters for a lot of it. Today we have two operating divisions. Keiger Printing handles commercial printing and Keiger Direct is responsible for cross media marketing. Both divisions have been winners in the Xerox Best-of-the-Best. In 2007, Keiger Printing won Best of Show in the PIXI Awards. But we are not about winning awards; we are about helping to make our customers successful. We depend on Xerox to help make us successful in that quest.

Xerox: How have you used your success in the Best-of-the-Best Program as a selling point for Keiger Printing?

LC: Success itself is a great selling point, but you can’t go around blowing your own horn for long until someone is going to ask if what you are saying is verifiable. The case studies that Xerox prepares on the Best-of-the-Best winners are validation; it adds legitimacy to our words.

The January edition of American Printer features one of our winning entries from 2010. This is valuable exposure for both us and our customer. Because of the exposure our customers receive, they are quick to support our efforts. And of course, the winners are always prominently displayed in our office.

Xerox: What is most difficult when trying to select what to enter into the competition?

LC: Trying to whittle the pool of possible entries down is always a challenge. We spread them all out on a table and start looking for the things that set one piece apart from the others. It may be the paper stock, or unusual binding, or file complexity. It may be the utility of the piece; how it was intended to be used.

They all look good, but how do they perform? We always ask what message they communicate. Does the piece as a whole mirror the message? It may be a small thing that will set a piece apart from the others.

Xerox: When winning awards based on work you’ve done for your customer, typically what type of response do you receive from them?

LC: Our customers love for their work to be chosen by us for entry into contests. They love it even more if it wins. We make a big deal out of it for the customer. And the media exposure they get is validation for them too.

Each year when I look at the entries, I feel blessed to participate in an event that is characterized by such outstanding work. We have been fortunate to have won some awards, but to have entered is to have issued a challenge for all to produce their best. Win or lose, we know that we have been judged against what are truly the Best-of-the-Best in digital printing.