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Inside Optima with Frank Shue

header Over the last two decades plus, all of us at Optima have been committed to perpetual improvement. Within the last two years our production has made some giant leaps forward by implementing improved processes while building a high performing team.

The driving force behind our continued growth has been one Benjamin Franklin Shue III. Franks leadership and dedication to quality and efficiency has helped create the strongest foundation for growth Optima has seen to date. Franks approach to doing whatever it takes under pressure to get it done is the textbook example of Optima’s ‘No Chaos‘ motto. Cool, calm and collected, he rallies his team to bring order in an industry full of incredibly demanding, challenges! I asked Frank Shue if he would share some of what’s going on Inside Optima?

Inside Optima with Frank Shue


What is your current role at Optima?

As VP of Manufacturing, my responsibilities include: ownership of Prepress through shipping of the many different product lines. In addition to the workflow, I lead the Materials Management (Procurement and Warehouse), Color Management and Facilities Management.

What experience did you bring to Optima?
I started out in high speed printing which included finishing. Primarily the focus was on the Litigation Industry. After that I moved to Check Printing, from printing to packaging. The end user was mainly large Credit Unions. Commercial Printing was next. I began working for an online company that focused on offset and digital printing. Also, at that time I ventured into large format printing finally landing in the Exhibit World at Optima.
All of these different experiences have given me ideas that have allowed me to assemble efficient processes that focus on Quality and Service in my present day position.

What improvements/developments has your team worked on that significantly benefit our wholesale customers?
seriesI could list several; here are some areas I feel passionate about

  • Cross training is at the top of the list. This has helped us keep manufacturing efficient by eliminating troubled spots in the line quickly. Also, it has given us more depth in the organization and helped build career progression for our Team Members.
  • Cleanliness. I am a firm believer that this helps us focus on quality and creates efficiency at the different workstations.
  • Autonomy. I believe that all of our team members are part of the decision-making and can make us better. This allows for improvements in SOPs, which we have been focused on, and provides the Team with opportunity to get an education while working each day. We focus on the work and our teams at the same time.
  • In terms of decision-making, I tell the team that a good decision is one that benefits the Client, the Associate and the Organization.

Is there is one thing, you have learned, about the Trade Show Industry that makes it unique?
Perfection – without a doubt, there is no window for error. Our clients are counting on us to help represent their brand, and any flaw in the product can hurt the image of our clients. It has to be correct!

Are there any plans or commitments you can share about the future of Optima?

seriesI am a strong supporter of technology. I like technology for several reasons. Most importantly, it helps us to create an environment of repeatability and redundancy. These are two key terms when delivering a quality product to the client. We want to be able to come through the same way time and time again. Also, it makes cross training an easier task. By taking some of the craft out we are able to train much faster. In an environment that calls for speed, it is a perfect match.

In summary, I plan on adding technology when it makes sense. It can help us deliver a quality product on time to our client.

Thanks Frank!
I’m starting a new blog series based on some customer inquiries about what’s going on inside Optima these days. We have a history of taking on most anything with turnaround per our customer’s request. Pulling off what others refused because it couldn’t be done. There is really no mystery or magic – just a bunch of hardworking people, rolling up their sleeves and doing their best to meet and exceed our customers expectations.
Thanks for taking an interest in who we are!

About our Author

Gary Camarato is the Vice President of Marketing & Creative Development at Optima™ and has been in the Trade Show industry since 1992.

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