Pel Hughes is a successful, woman-owned print and direct marketing company based in the heart of New Orleans, Louisiana. For more than 60 years, Pel Hughes has provided seamless, results-oriented marketing solutions - from commercial printing and direct mail to brand management - for clients across multiple industries throughout the United States. Today, Pel Hughes employs more than 65 people and operates out of a 65,000-square foot facility. Pel Hughes is in its third generation of Hughes Family leadership allowing them to integrate new technologies with proven craftsmanship.
In 2018, Pel Hughes had no strategic business plan in place. Although they had transition plans with Brian Hughes in order as the third-generation family member to run the business, they were in need of increased direction moving forward. Pel Hughes began working with the MEP of Louisiana (MEPOL), part of the MEP National Network™, to create a strategic plan.
With the many challenges businesses are faced with today, our goal was to improve our management, marketing, and operational processes to help us continue to compete and thrive. One of our objectives was to improve our production management systems. MEPOL was instrumental in assisting Pel Hughes Printing become more discipline in our approach to production management through meetings, off-site training, and suggesting additional resources that are available to us. The results allowed us to remain disciplined and structured during the months of upheaval due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
The MEP of Louisiana conducted a competitiveness review assessment which allowed for a more strategic plan to be set in motion. After the assessment was conducted by MEPOL Project Manager, Dan Stumper, the following was recommended: develop a strategic business and marketing plan, pursue funding, deploy company policies, undergo lean manufacturing training, and attend kaizen events.
Stumper worked with Pel Hughes to conduct the lean 101 training. The competitiveness review and lean 101 Training ultimately led Pel Hughes to see improvement within their business in the way of retained sales and retained jobs as well as cost savings and increased investments within their growing family business. They were able to successfully manage the family transition of the business to the next generation and implemented a system to reduce number of order touches. One key aspect moving forward for Pel Hughes was the acquisition of a new production inkjet printer. The printer allowed Pel Hughes to produce more product in a shorter time frame thus increasing its manufacturing capacity.
Pel Hughes credits the business and marketing plans put in place with the help of MEPOL with guiding the company through the confusion of the pandemic. As a result of this work, Pel Hughes experienced low impact from COVID-due to the business and marketing plans and key investments put in place.