Catching up with Erin Felpel (GCM ’17)
September 18, 2018
I began working with Wikoff in June of 2017. As part of Wikoff's Technical Service Group (TSG), my focus as a Graphic Arts Specialist includes facilitating technical training, providing customized color management solutions and participating in on-site troubleshooting. As a group, we also manage Wikoff’s consumable partnerships with companies in the industry that specialize in pressroom chemicals, blankets, rollers and color measurement devices.
I am the youngest member of TSG by many years, but I see this as an advantage because I am surrounded by a team of wonderful mentors who have specialized in flexographic, gravure, lithographic and digital printing applications their entire careers. Every day I am learning something new, which I absolutely love. They’ve joked that I should start wearing a button on my shirt that reads, “I have a question!”
My job is very hands-on, and while I get to work in the lab and do color matches and miscellaneous projects for the flexo and litho departments, I also have other responsibilities. I’ve taken on several roles within the Tech Service Group, but one that I am especially proud of is managing our partnership with X-Rite Pantone. I have to stay up to date on our pricing, ordering, and product support both internally and for our customers. The very thought of managing this was very daunting to me when I first started, but over the course of the year it has turned into something very rewarding and educational. I better understand how our company operates financially, and most importantly the value of good customer service. I believe that seeing, touching and using the various X-Rite products we sell has given me the confidence I need when it comes to troubleshooting, quoting or teaching others about L*a*b* and color theory.
Though I have been with Wikoff for a little over a year, I’ve witnessed a lot of new and exciting things. In November, we expanded our Latin American market by acquiring Verti Produtos Químicos (São Paulo, Brazil). This past September, we strengthened our North American business with the acquisition of Braden-Sutphin Ink Company of Cleveland, Ohio.
Personally, I have several exciting projects on tap with TSG. In October, I will start managing our in-plant support and training program, iNSTRiDe. Wikoff currently has 39 fully operational in-plant locations across the country managed by exceptionally smart, experienced and hardworking people. Our industry is so fast paced, so our training needs to be efficient, relevant and impactful. I am committed to working with my team to create a program where our Tech Service Group can utilize online resource and modules to deliver more effective training and troubleshooting resources to our in-plant Managers. Challenging my peers to be better and more successful at what they do is important to me, because I know that they will make me better in the process, too.
About the photo: Here I am with a stack of proofs I prepared that will go towards creating a new flexo assortment for one of our customers using our ink formulation software.