OSG’s Carlstadt, NJ, production facility houses the most advanced printing technology, which, of course, is only as good as the people who employ it. Lushain Blackstock is one of the people who keeps our business running smoothly.
The Print Supervisor/Color Specialist and master chef (hello, oxtails!) is a whiz at cooking up solutions and getting the job done. Whether it’s assigning and scheduling operators, meeting with printer vendors, or onboarding a new job, Lushain is the go-to guy–and he does it all with a smile.
Describe your role at OSG.
My main role is to make sure jobs mail early or on time. Other important aspects of my job include quality control throughout the day, checking emails, and assigning test and samples to Operators. I occasionally meet with print vendors to discuss issues and to find new ways to avoid ongoing problems. I also do inventory (paper and ink) and paper and ink order supply.
How long have you been with the company? What are some of the most significant changes you’ve seen in that time?
I have been with OSG for seven years and eight months. The most significant changes that I have seen in the last seven years are the layout of the production floor, new printer equipment, the change in paper stock from cut sheet to roll, and moving from toner-based to ink jet.
How would you describe your typical work day? Is there a “typical” work day?
First thing in the morning, I look at the production schedule and the turnaround from the previous shift. This gives me an instant snapshot of how my day will be, give or take. From this, I prioritize my day for efficiency based on machinery and man power. Some days are typical, and some are not. New jobs, printer down time, and month’s end are factors that we all work around. I work with a great team.
With so many jobs being processed and so much to oversee, what traits do you consider essential for success?
Staying focused and organized. Being able to schedule individuals in the areas that take advantage of their strengths. And proper tools and machinery.
How would your coworkers describe you?
Hard working, easy going, and always smiling and fair.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Everyday challenges, and trying to solve problems.
What is your go-to meal to cook?
I love to cook, so this is a hard question, but I would have to say oxtails.
What is your favorite TV show to binge watch?
Old-time classics: Gunsmoke, Matlock and Murder, She Wrote.
Name: Ashley Sherrow
Title: Production Graphics Manager
Years at OSG: 10
Ashley manages all of OSG’s production graphics from start to finish. Most days you’ll find her in OSG’s Carlstadt location whipping up fresh designs for our clients’ bills and invoices, while also making sure that everything that comes out of our printers meets our graphic standards. Ashley’s knack for turning around fantastic billing prototypes and creative solutions on the fly for our sales team has earned her the nickname The Flash.
How would you say your job has changed over the years?
Well, when I first started, things were a little different. Years ago, OSG was a small company and production graphics was just a tiny portion of the Marketing Department. Then we started growing, and the workload has grown exponentially. It’s much busier now. I work directly with the developers, the project managers, and the clients to create that bill or invoice they want. Before it was the project managers who were “designing” them. They were just moving things around on the page with no creativity or design to them. We didn’t offer dynamic messaging or the use of full color, so it was just the staples. Now we’re putting in all that jazz and that’s where my role has developed. I manage all things production, overseeing everything that gets printed and mailed out.
And design itself has changed so much in ten years.
Yeah, it’s crazy. For one, back then it wasn’t full color. Clients were only allowed to use black and one highlight color (blue, green, red or violet). Even though I could create full color graphics, we just didn’t have the ability to print them. We only had highlight color printers. About 5 years ago, we got the 980 printers, which allowed us to use a full range of color. And we have even upgraded the 980’s and are now onto the Ricohs. The Ricoh printers are the best yet, taking color and quality to another level!
What do you still love about your job?
The people. It’s funny, a lot of the people who work here have been here forever. It’s still that family to me. When I first started, they called us the OSG family. I felt like I came into that family when I was hired ten years ago. You feel comfortable with them because you’ve known them for so long. You build a rapport with each person, and it’s great to still have those connections.
What’s the best piece of work advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t stress and take your time. Even though they call me The Flash because I go fast, it’s still important to think about what you’re doing before you do it. It’s very easy, especially in the design world, to rush through things and get it out quickly. Then it comes back wrong and you have to redo it. And another piece of advice: go with change. You can’t get stuck in your ways. You have to grow and change with the company.
What keeps you happy and motivated at work?
I really enjoy the variety of work I do. Doing many different projects across all our departments, keeps me alive! It’s not stagnant. I like that it’s different every day. There’s always something new to be learning.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
Play with my kids. My two girls. I enjoy being with them. We took a bike ride to the park the other day, little things like that. Playing games, being with them, teaching them. They’re my life.
What makes you feel like you’ve had a successful day?
I feel accomplished when I check everything off my to-do list. I get many requests throughout the day so it’s a great feeling to get it all complete. Also, when I get a nice note from a co-worker. When I hear that a detailed prototype I designed was a big success in a Sales meeting, it’s great. It’s satisfying knowing what you’re doing is driving business and bringing in new clients.
Bring your lunch or buy?
I do both. Can I say both?
Coffee or tea?
Early riser or night owl?
Definitely a night owl.
I can’t start the day without…
A hug and a kiss from my girls.
When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I…
Take a walk away from my desk.
Tell us about your background and role at OSG.
I have 25 years of management experience focusing on areas of customer support, customer retention, production management, process enhancement and I also have a strong background in USPS regulations.
I’ve been with OSG for over 14 years – 12 of which, I have managed our customer support departments. The Client Relations and Project Management Departments, are responsible for all aspects of customer support. We focus on fostering a “partnership” with our customers in order to monitor and evaluate all interactions, guaranteeing ongoing optimized solutions throughout the relationship.
What are some issues your new clients face? Why do they seek OSG’s solution?
Most businesses require seamless and efficient results as it relates to their billing needs, but they frequently encounter issues with their data providers. Often, the integrity of the data is not consistent and creates delays in processing. Our solutions proactively monitor all aspects of data integrity so that we virtually guarantee an error-free process. Our automated quality controls – which check for things like duplicate files, variances, insert selections, file name validation, data integrity, etc. – position us as a last line of defense, protecting our clients from sending out inaccurate invoices and statements.
OSG provides 24/7 support. Any questions, challenges, changes, issues, or any item whatsoever, can be addressed by our Client Relations Department. As a “clearinghouse” for all customer inquiries, the process of seeking support on a myriad of potential issues or questions becomes very easy for our customers.
This year marks OSG’s 20th anniversary. What do you feel are some of OSG’s biggest accomplishments?
I’m most proud of the investment we have made in technology to provide state-of-the-art facilities and customized processes for our customers. Our transformation from a basic invoice processor to the comprehensive communications solutions provider we are today, is a result of the experienced and hard-working professionals at OSG recognizing the growing trends of our industry and delivering it to our clients.
Where do you see the future of your industry going?
There is definitely going to be an increase in electronic document presentment adoption. Electronic and mobile billing are becoming increasingly popular. OSG will continue to evolve and become the holistic solution for customers, encompassing their payment, accounting, communication, marketing and other needs as they relate to document solutions.
If you had a time capsule, what is the one thing, professional or personal, you would put in to exemplify our world today?
Without a doubt it would be my smart phone! I have access to a world of information and communication capabilities that I could never have dreamed of 20 years ago. My life is so much more organized because of this little device! I can only imagine how we will communicate and connect 20 years from now.