Vista Print, which began operations in Jamaica in 2003 as a customer service centre in 35,000 square feet of office space in the Montego Bay Free Zone, with just over 20 employees, is now doing business from its new state-of-the-art US$25-million 92,000 square foot facility in the Barnett Technology Park, Montego Bay.
Global Senior Vice President, Service and Design at Vista Print, Jon Habeski, tells JIS News that the decision to select Montego Bay as one of its locations outside the United States was a very deliberate and strategic move.
“I think there were a number of reasons why we chose Jamaica, especially its proximity to the US. We were looking for a good sized english speaking market that was essentially near shore…we wanted somewhere that was in our time zone that was easily accessible by our management team, somewhere that was of a lower cost than what we could find in the US, and we were looking for somewhere with a good amount of talent and there were only a couple of locations that fit that bill, and Jamaica was one of them,” he says.
Mr. Habeski notes that Vista Print’s entry in Jamaica was almost like a “test,” and the support which his company received from Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), made the process of setting up business in the island easier.
“We have gotten help on a number of occasions from a lot of different (agencies), including JAMPRO and I think what has helped a lot is when we needed something expedited…JAMPRO was very helpful. They were also very helpful on the Information Technology (IT) side in working with local companies to help us do our business,” he adds.
Vista Print currently provides printing and graphic services for millions of small businesses across the world with the Jamaica location being charged with the responsibility of satisfying the needs of companies in North America.
Mr. Habeski says the creativity of the Jamaican workers has helped Vista Print to grow in the international market in terms of helping customers to design products which are literally custom-made for individual businesses.
“The Jamaican facility supports the North American business…they also do a lot of work that is much more creative and we have gotten more and more involved in helping customers to design products. Our companies call up our agents in Montego Bay to help them design something that will help to represent and market their business,” he tells JIS News.
Commenting on the Montego Bay location of Vista Print as against others in Germany, India and Tunisia, Mr. Habeski says the attrition rate among employees in Montego Bay is ranked among the lowest in the industry, which speaks volumes for the quality of workers, the relationship they share with the company and a recognition of the value of the training which the employees receive.
“Montego Bay is by far our largest. Our service team is about 1,600 persons and just over 850 are here in Montego Bay. Traditionally the attrition rate in the service industry is about 50 per cent…Here in Montego Bay we see roughly about a 16 per cent turnover of employees, which is just an incredible difference from what you would get in the US and other locations,” he notes.
Mr. Habeski says as a result of the high quality of Jamaican employees, the Montego Bay location has been the leading company in terms of business production for a number of years.
“The performance is just phenomenal and I think a lot of it is due to the culture that has been created and the kind of engagement, the energy and enthusiasm shown by the workforce. What is interesting about the workforce here is that if you give them a target, tell them what they need to do and you empower them, it’s amazing the result that they can achieve,” he adds.
Mr. Habeski informs JIS News that the new 92,000 square feet of office space from which Vista Print operates in Montego Bay is fully owned by the company, which is an indication that they are here to stay.