[quote style=”boxed”]I continually read about and establish best practices as well as read biographies of other entrepreneurs and business people to understand their mindset.[/quote]
Whether riding his road bike along the tree-lined streets of Hermosa Beach or running on the strand, David Handmaker thinks proactively about improving the value that his company, NextDayFlyers, provides to its customers.
Handmaker, a Denver native, founded the state-of-the-art printing company in a modern 36,000 square foot facility in Rancho Dominguez, near Los Angeles International Airport in 1998. In 2012 he added a 30,000 square foot printing plant in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. He has grown the business to 150 employees by continuing to operate by four guiding principles.
First – Execute the brand promise – NextDayFlyers embraces lean manufacturing and six sigma methodologies to measure timeliness and quality throughout every step of the manufacturing process to ensure the final product meets customer expectations.
Second – Make excellence affordable. Employees are trained to relentlessly squeeze waste out of the system every day to provide customers with the lowest price possible on time, on spec and on budget.
Third – Make it easy. The company offers user-friendly web ordering as well as knowledgeable, well trained, U.S. based customer care.
Fourth – Continuously improve. The company is a metrics-driven organization that continuously monitors, measures and improves the activities that drive exceptional execution.
When not obsessing over providing better printing and customer service, David Handmaker finds time to be in the elite Vistage Group, an organization committed to helping CEOs become better leaders.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on optimizing the efforts of the marketing team.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I had worked as salesman for a long time and realized I was never going to be great at that and I was looking for some avenue to tap into the power of direct marketing. That’s when I began the business that I’m in.
What does your typical day look like?
Egg sandwich and latte for breakfast, 4 hours of meetings, 5 hours to work independently. An hour or two at night of brainstorming to resolve other bottlenecks, issues and opportunities and maybe a walk or workout with my fiance.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Generally we start with brainstorming. Ideas can come from anywhere in the organization. Our assessment process includes regular team meetings, and of course we engage in market research and testing.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The ever growing need for more robust and sophisticated ecommerce tools.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Working at a hot dog cart commissary. I learned how important it is to give people a purpose for doing things rather than a set of tasks.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I’d spend more time thinking about future scenarios of how the current conditions may play out. Examples of this are market trends, technology trends, and M&A trends within my space. I would be a better student of how those may have played out in other spaces to determine a better market position and future course of action.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I continually read about and establish best practices as well as read biographies of other entrepreneurs and business people to understand their mindset.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
As a kid I partnered with a friend of mine on a paper route. The first day the papers were dropped off at my house it was cold and snowing. My friend rode his bike over to tell me that he no longer wished to have the paper route with me. I learned that I had it within me to rise to the occasion and that I would never take on another partnership.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Someone should simplify the coordination of medical records. For example, the other day I had an MRI. I realized there’s no easy way to have that information stored in the cloud which can later be shared to various people for information and analysis.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I would simplify and reduce costs of the medical system by creating a centralized database where everyone’s information could be stored and accessed and eliminate all the redundant paperwork you have to fill out.
Tell us a secret.
I prefer raw cookie dough over fully baked cookies.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
Google Analytics – It gives us a sense of our return on investment.
Custora – It lets us understand the lifetime value of our customers and how we’re doing as a company. It has easy, out-of-the-box metrics and tools.
Aeroplan.com – I can utilize my frequent flyer miles for nearly any domestic and international flight. Their customer service and ease of use is fantastic.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recommend the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. I believe anyone and everyone could be inspired by Steve Jobs’ story. It’s great to have a big vision and know that a big vision can be realized.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Earlier today when I walked into the office I set my grocery bag down and it toppled over. My sister witnessed this. I thought it was funny because she is always on the spot with a snicker.
Who is your hero?
Next Day Flyers’s Website: http://www.nextdayflyers.com/
David Handman on LinkeIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/david-handmaker/14/750/4b5