At the recent GraphExpo we’ve got the opportunity to talk to a dear friend of INKISH.TV – Pat McGrew. We first met her (she didn’t know) at GraphExpo, when she was awarded the Girlie Award, second time was at GrafKom in Sweden and finally, we got a chance to meet with her. Pat McGrew is now with Keypoint Intelligence (previously known as InfoTrends) and responsible for workflows. Really cool and great to know her. See the episode and as usual, please watch, like and share…

0:18    We’ve had a chance to talk with Pat McGrew, to tell us a little bit more about herself and her work history.

0:22    I’m very passionate about what I do. I have had the privilege of having more than 35 years talking to people about technology, and the technology sometimes is variable data printing technology, which is a company that I worked with in the eighties, a long time ago. I’m old. And, I moved from that. I owned a company. I built a company with my partner for 10 years that did high-speed printer data stream transforms. You cannot say that five times fast. And so, I had to become the most engineering oriented non-engineering you’ve ever met. I had to learn the guts and the internals of the code. I was learning PDF while John Warnock was still writing it.

1:07    So, I had an insider’s opportunity to learn, and then I sold that company, and I actually, I came to InfoTrends the first time, and I had a chance to bring to InfoTrends all of my years of transaction expertise and help build that piece of business. I then got lured off by a shiny object angled by a supplier side person who said, ‘Oh, help us do this’, and I did. And, I spent the next 13 years working with several different vendors. I went to Kodak to help change the world of coloring kit. That was the sort of tagline. ‘Hi! Would you like to come change the world?’ Oh, who says no to that, you know. So, I didn’t say no. I went, and for 5 years, roamed the world talking to people from Australia across Europe, across the U.S., across South America about what you could do with the relatively low-cost platform of a high speeding jet web press when nobody really know what to do with it.

2:11    So, we have to make the world safe for color inkjet, and then others came into that market and it was brilliant. For a lot of reasons, at a point it became time to exit the Kodak logo and to move on to the HP logo, and then I spent five years there doing pretty much the same thing. And, the last thing that I did before I left HP was run the inkjet end of the booth at Drupa. We ran a print shop, right? We ran two high speed inkjet web presses. We ran over 250 rolls of paper for seven finishing vendors doing posters, books, direct-mail transaction, anything you can think of, with a lot of really great partner. And, we came to the end of that show having successfully won a print shop that didn’t exist a month earlier on the show floor, and then I had a great opportunity to exit quietly to the left, and then come back home to InfoTrends. And, at InfoTrends, I own production workflow, so now I get to talk to all the same people but for a slightly different reason.

3:19    Does a combination of passion, knowledge and networking give you lots of opportunities to talk to many different people?

3:24    I am blessed to have people in pretty much every country that I can call my friends, because over, you know, the last 30 years of running around, I’ve had this really great opportunity to talk to people, and you’re right. I mean, I’m passionate and that’s not for everybody, right? Not everybody is ready to deal with somebody who really loves everything about this industry, but I do. And, because of that, it means that I get to make a lot of really interesting marriages. So, even here this week. So, I’ve introduced someone who will be looking for a job to someone who definitely need some help, and they’ll get together and we hope a beautiful thing happens. I’ve been able to marry some software people to some other software people who have complimentary things going on, so we’ll be able to get them together so that they can make music.

4:18    So InfoTrends is a neutral company trying to connect and match different parties?

4:22    Who’s matching each other and who’s got the cool technology and who needs a little help, because, you know, at InfoTrends we do a couple things. We attract the market, right? Part of my job is to know what’s going on in the market, who’s making money, you know, how many things they’ve sold. But, the other part of the job is to be an educational force in the market, so I blog, we’re trying to start a podcast, we’re looking at all these ways to get information out, and then we also do consulting and we also do a lot of project work. And, the nice thing about the project ñ we’re working on a project right now for someone that is taking us to every one of the web-to-print platforms and every one of the customization platforms and every one of the color management platforms and the job order entry platform, and allowing us to sort of synthesized who’s got best debrief, and make recommendations back to the people who are paying us for the project. But, on the other side of the project, we’ll deliver the project and they’ll get the best we can get them, but now we have all this material.

5:25    Well, we would be wrong. We wouldn’t be doing our job in the industry if we didn’t bring that information into the industry so that other people could take advantage of it. So, over the next probably six months, because we have so much material, we will start writing it and getting it out into the info sphere, and trying to make sure that we keep the market growing in terms of what they understand, because walk in to too many printers who don’t have automated workflow and don’t understand how much money they’re leaving on the table. You talk to people who don’t have any real color management and don’t understand that, that’s why they can’t get some of the jobs they should get. So, that’s what we’re trying to do.

6:07    And one of your goals is also sharing the information and bringing the industry forward?

6:12    You know, you come out of college, come out of university, come out of even an apprenticeship program, you still don’t know what you need to know. There is always this need to constantly learn because the market constantly shifts, and the things that you knew yesterday and knew better than you knew your name aren’t as valuable today as they were yesterday, and you need to get a new piece of knowledge to stay relevant, make sure your business continues to grow, make sure your staff continues to grow. And, that’s where people like us, that’s where we fill a role.