Flightline Training Services is just one of the many clients appreciative of the personal service and excellent products from Bill Chapman and his Minuteman Press centre in Brampton, Ontario.
During the heyday of DOS and Wordperfect, Bill Chapman eased the worries of professionals whose careers depended upon a working degree of knowledge behind a computer keyboard. He has always been a natural when it comes to bringing ease to those in need of his help and he was the first employee of the first corporate training franchise in Northern Ontario to provide training to PC novices. “I was in the corporate training business for fifteen years prior to purchasing my Minuteman Press franchise in Brampton and I taught software competency to people who had never used a computer before. We had three branches and the work we were doing was groundbreaking back then,” according to Bill.
His excitement for mentorship cannot be extinguished. In fact his experience led him to teach at a local university. The training business offered one or two day training as opposed to an entire semester so the client could go to work feeling more comfortable on pcs. “I did that for ten years, but then my company was bought and it became a franchise with offices all over North America. Prior to that we had conferences two or three times a year and a bigger operation with twenty-five classrooms. At the time I took a small ownership in that company, but life circumstances had me move to the Toronto area, then the industry started changing rapidly as Microsoft took over the software world. In time, people didn’t need the classroom training as much and it affected demand.”
He recognized that doing well for himself meant parting ways with a franchise corporation that was in a dying industry, but he was not done with that workforce…yet. “My last job before buying a printing franchise consisted of selling VHS and DVDs, plus providing online training in customer service and management before we sold. I was a VP of sales and marketing with 3 divisions in Canada and 2 in the US. I ran most of that company but my boss and I did not agree on a lot of things and we clashed, so I decided I didn’t want to work for anyone else again, so I looked at franchise opportunities because I had good experience in a franchise in the training industry. I knew I did not want a retail type franchise with those late and weekend hours, and I liked working in a B2B environment. “I also knew I wanted to start from the ground up with a new franchise because as I climbed the corporate ladder, I got further away from the customer experience and regretted that.”
He went to a franchise show and looked at everything from coffee shops to quick copy centres and consulting companies before determining that the printing industry was perfect. “At the end of it all, I chose Minuteman Press International because it was more ‘corporate’ than other printing franchises and royalties were more reasonable with less ‘big brother’ looking over my shoulder than all the others.” As a Minuteman Press franchise owner, Bill was free to enact his own business plan with the support of a trustworthy system. “My former boss didn’t think subtle, concentrated, focused growth was good enough and I knew that was not the case. I didn’t want to have a dictator for a franchisor, a corporation that wasn’t in my area telling me what to do and taking royalties for inferior support that could otherwise go back into my own marketing program.”
What he came to discover as a print professional was that his contribution to a world-respected brand would combine with the virtues of a superior franchise agreement. It would give him edges in areas independent print owners might struggle. “Minuteman Press provides me with vendor benefits, ideas for new growth markets, a royalty cap and autonomy so I can do my own thing while selling the products and services my particular clients want and need.”
Kevin Wittal, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for Eastern Canada, says, “Bill’s matter of fact approach to running the business has served him well. He is capable of keeping many balls in the air at the same time, and does it with grace. That’s a true indicator of someone who will build a successful business. He should take pride in the success of the business that he has built over the last 15+ years, however I know he is not yet satisfied. He’s always on the lookout for the next opportunity.”
Purchased in 2003, Minuteman Press in Brampton was bought as a turnkey operation and has now been in operation for about thirty years. It was at a franchise trade show that he encountered the chance to join the franchise family of Minuteman Press International. There, he and his wife Christiane, took over the lease and assets of Minuteman Press in Brampton and they took on the task of revitalizing the stressed reputation of a centre that had two years of mismanagement. “The original owner moved far away and sold it to an interim owner who could not handle the task, so our startup was painful, but we salvaged many clients and developed new relationships with them. We also got to know our suppliers and had to overcome some bad reputation that the previous owner was responsible for. It was hard work, but over time, we have grown and now we have a great reputation in Brampton,” Bill explains.
“If you don’t sit and wait for things to happen, you can make a nice living and create a strong business. We are now members of the Minuteman Press International President’s Circle with our first trip to Florida in 2018 and we are on pace to stay in it once again, this year. We aim to maintain our current, paced growth.” – Bill Chapman
Christiane has a full-time job but still comes into the centre twice a week to help out with the books and HR concerns. “She is our CFO, so if we want to buy something, we have to give Christiane a compelling reason to do it. She is the one on whom I bounce off all my ideas. She is great support,” Bill says.
“I would be remiss to not mention that businesses such as these are only successful if the staff are committed to the goals and culture of the business. We are fortunate to have a great team of people working at MMP Brampton. They are skilled, dedicated and hard working. All of us are well aware of the goals of the business and we all strive to meet these expectations. Treat your employees well, and if they believe in the businesses you will be successful.”
Flightline Training Services provides training programs that are conducted worldwide, trusting design and print to Minuteman Press in Brampton so they can remain focused on seamless on-site efficiency.
They cover the full-spectrum of maintenance-related training, from generic to customized courses. Flightline covers all aspects of aircraft maintenance operations, addressing needs of the office and non-technical staff all the way through maintenance managers and technical specialists. “They take care of aviation training all around the world and we produce their training materials, primarily,” explains Bill. “For example, take a particular plane, like a RJ85 and we will make detailed posters of the actual panel so students can see what will be in front of them when they are on the aircraft, even though they are still sitting at their desks in training. Then, we make sure all the students have materials to take and study. There are ground-run checklists, engine diagrams and of course, the company needs traditional things like business cards and notepads.”
Things are soaring for the partnership that began when a representative walked into Minuteman Press in Brampton, as Bill describes “out of the blue”. “They were unhappy with their printer at the time and their production manager met with us and we showed them how we could streamline things and get all they needed to them on time and they were happy after they tested us. We helped them work through hiccups from the beginning and created an online purchase system for them, with an orderly record-keeping process. They have been with us since 2015 and we have a fantastic relationship. They send us so much work now. We may be shipping it to Nairobi or Dubai, but we get it done for them, anywhere in the world.”
Phyl Durdey, Chief Executive Officer of Flightline Training Services ranks Minuteman Press in an elite category. He shares, “The quality and promptness of the service we receive is second to none. The staff at Minuteman Press are great to work with, giving very personalized service and having a high level of attention to detail, catching some errors that could have been costly to us.”
He adds a note about convenience and assurance of continued partnership: “Al, one of our contacts at the centre, has set us up on a PO automated system that makes ordering easier and seamless. They are an absolute pleasure to work with, I would recommend them to anyone. They are truly a professional store.”
For more information on Minuteman Press in Brampton, Ontario, visit their website: https://www.brampton11.minutemanpress.ca
Learn more about Minuteman Press Canada print franchise opportunities by calling 1-800-645-3006 or simply fill out the contact form on this page.