The Color Management Group is a blend of certified consultants and resellers who provide products and services to many industries around the world, including graphic arts, photography, textile, and printing and packaging. CMG members have years of experience and a long list of industry certifications. They also have a reputation for providing fast and effective solutions to help businesses of any size implement color management, process control, and standardization.
The Color Management Group was with us at Color ’15, and we had the chance to sit down with Lida Jalali Marschke, the owner and founder. Here’s what she had to say about the Color Management Group, the industries they serve, and how to become a member.
Lida, why did you start the Color Management Group?
In my past I worked a lot with very technical people, and I loved it. I found that it was much easier for technical people to understand and qualify clients’ needs and provide them with the proper solutions. Rather then going to a “big box” store and trying to turn a sales person into a highly technical specialized sales person, I went the other way. I created a cottage industry of consultant-based resellers.
I thought it would be a winning idea, and here are – I’m starting my 18th year of business, a woman-owned business, and we have had great successes with our vendors and our associations that we work with… our partners in the industry. We’re basically trying to deploy the standards and help bring new products into the US that are based elsewhere.
What result is you have a highly trained consultant, like Ron Ellis – the chair of the GRACOL committee, talk to clients. They ask Ron’s opinion about what product is best suited for them, and Ron – being a consultant – will think about all of the products available, and recommend the one that best meets their needs. So a client never feels like they’re being pushed into a product that might not fit their needs.
If you think about everything that’s available – and there’s a lot to help solve color management products – knowing that your trusted consultant is recommending a specific product normally means it is very good recommendation. In fact, at Color ’15, we had the entire Color Management Group go through a full-day training with ColorCert and PantoneLIVE.
What industries do you serve and how can your experts help improve color processes in those industries?
We serve almost all of the industries that X-Rite serves. For example, we work with pressroom, and a lot with prepress. We work with brand owners in the packaging market, both flexo and offset. We work with photographers, fine art, print for pay…
For example, some of the speakers at Color ‘15 were talking about “Color by the Mile.” They’re doing banners, bus wraps, signage – and what we try to help people solve is the best way to color manage everything they produce, from the sign, to the bus wrap, to the annual report, to the website, to the point of purchase display.
Who can join the group and how do they go about it?
The Color Management Group has about 75-80 consultant members in the US, probably 15 in Latin America, about five in Asia, and maybe 10 in Europe right now. We are not an association. We are an affiliation, and we are a growing group.
When bringing someone new into the group, we look for geographical differentiation as well as background and experience. For example. last year I brought in someone who has a great deal of expertise in screen printing. A few months earlier I brought in someone who is an expert in sublimation printing. This year I brought in a packaging expert.
Bringing in people who are specialized in all areas of the market is critical because it rounds out our expertise. Our members help each other. They use opportunities like Color ‘15 to bond and learn about each other. They trust one another and help each other when they’re on jobs. Instead of having one person, you have an entire community that can help you. That’s something, to my knowledge, that’s never been repeated in the industry.
How can people get access to your services?
If somebody wants to become a member, we need to determine the right fit. Do they want to become a part of the blind group and take advantage of the services and the marketing, or take advantage of our back office services?
Once someone becomes a member, they’re either a consultant member or a reseller member who might have a technician working for them. They pay a membership fee to join, and that fee is basically offset by sales throughout the year.
For clients to get access to our services, they typically contact one of our members, or they can call us and we will refer them. We work a lot with our vendor partners and provide leads. We also qualify and get customers to the point where they’re ready to purchase, then hand it off for a sale.
If an end user wants to buy products that we offer, they can visit our website, give us a call, or send an e-mail or a text message. We’re very easy to work with.