Bryna Blum – AKA “The Printress” – is President of The WCBS Group (“WCBS”). Bryna and her partner and IT Manager, Marty Gronewald, have grown WCBS from providing invoice and itinerary forms to a local clientele in 1981, to becoming a national, full-service company with 4 websites under the WCBS umbrella. WCBS has clients in all 50 states, Canada, the Pacific Rim, and the Caribbean, and has suppliers across the USA and Canada. WCBS provides everything from online offset, digital, and large format printing to promotional products, logo design, and corporate packages. WCBS continues to evolve to be who their clients need them to be.
TRO: Tell us how you got started in the marketing and printing industry and how you started with The WCBS Group.
BB: When WCBS started in 1981, I was the definitive “happy housewife/stay-at-home mom,” taking care of her family and baking a lot of cookies. That changed in an instant when my late husband fell ill and I went in to fill his shoes. The intention was to go in to help for two weeks. Here it is 34 years later…
Travel Research Online: How did you begin working with the travel industry?
Bryna Blum (BB): The Travel and Hospitality Industry is a diverse group with diverse printing needs. Almost from the beginning – when we were still West Coast Business Systems & Supplies – we were known as “The Travel Agents’ General Store.” Invoices led to ribbons for the printers, ticket jackets for the invoices, envelopes for the docs, etc. We never said, “No” when asked if we had “X.” We learned where to get it or have it produced and it was added to our suite of products. The WCBS Group came about as we began to be discovered organically by non-travel companies around the country looking for one company that could provide whatever it is they needed for a current project.
TRO: What can travel agents and other travel professionals expect when they order products and marketing materials from WCBS?
BB: What they expect and what they receive is our total dedication to them and their needs. It is never about us. It is always about them. We work with our clients as a team. My mantra is “what we think doesn’t matter.” It is the client who will be living with the final product and they have to be proud to hand out the work we’ve produced for them. The testimonials on our website show how much we value our clients and their needs.
TRO: How is WCBS cost effective for travel professionals?
BB: Because we have low overhead and receive great pricing from our vendors, we are able to pass on prices that are consistently among the lowest in the industry. We have been printing for the travel industry for so long that we know about agency budget constraints. It is not unusual for us to present new ways to save.
TRO: What are some services WCBS offers that you want those in the travel industry to be more aware of?
BB: Like a large supermarket, we are a one-stop shop. “If you put ink on it, we do it.” Once we have a logo in the system and familiarize ourselves with the needs of a client, there really is no reason to go elsewhere. On our wcbs4printing.com website, which is dedicated to the travel industry, are links to both our full-color site www.wcbs4color.com for one of the largest selections of offset and digital printing in the today with a plethora of marketing possibilities (i.e. brochures, postcards, banners, etc), and www.wcbs4logoproducts.com for promotional products. Recently clients ordered, among other items, a show booth, USB power banks, tote bags, and document pouches that we had custom made in China.
TRO: In your 34 years in the marketing and printing industry, what have you seen the travel industry professional utilize the most?
BB: The Travel and Hospitality Industry has very diverse needs. Some of the most popular items are document packaging in all its forms -including 9 x 12 pocket folders, in which leisure companies place brochures and FIT’s, and corporate agencies use for presentations to new accounts- to luggage tags and cruise ship tags. Brochures, mailers, thank-you cards, pens and passport wallets have also become big. We are selling more and more Promotional products, unique items clients will find useful and appreciate; and that keep them reminded of who you are.
TRO: What is your favorite travel destination to date?
BB: I have two. Sedona is magnificent. Its majesty is proof positive that there is something out there greater than us, because man never could have produced those rocks. And Tahiti, which was one of the three places on my bucket list-Alaska and the Swiss Alps being the other two, which is amazing since I hate the cold!
TRO: What is new and exciting on the horizon for The WCBS Group?
BB: Stay tuned for that!
To learn more about Bryna Blum and the WCBS group, visit them online at www.wcbsPrintServices.com.