Martech Interview with Sepire Founder and CEO Michelle Steinberg

Michelle Steinberg shares thoughts about retail customers and importance of customer data. She highlights the need for certifications at jobs considering end-to-end processes.

One of the main reasons we started Sepire was to address our customers’ desire to work with a company that understood their journey.

1. Tell us about your role in Sepire?
As Founder and CEO, my role is to provide our customers with superior solutions, service and technology to be successful. Achieving that extends to attending to every facet of our business, from who we elect to partner with to our team members’ work/life balance. Who we are, how we team, and everything we do ultimately impacts the delivery of a positive experience with us and a successful customer journey.

2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
Sepire is almost three years old, and we share a lot of history, camaraderie and experience as an organization that values interpersonal relationships and individual welfare. Our senior leadership team has all worked together in the past. We are made up of industry veterans from various companies with more than 100 years collective experience working in highly regulated industry communications and helping customers understand and work within regulatory rules.
Our team is comprised of SMEs who understand the regulations around compliant communications. Today, we are growing by leaps and bounds as a technology company with a team of vibrant, energetic, talented professionals that didn’t all come up in print and are able to provide a fresh perspective that sets us apart from competitors in this space.

One of the main reasons we started Sepire was to address our customers’ desire to work with a company that understood their journey.

An important part of that journey is transparency, and that’s also something you don’t often see in this industry. We strive to provide that clarity and openness as a group of compassionate people via the technologies we employ.
Ultimately, we want to solve our customers’ problems and make their lives easier; that mission gets lost in many big companies today. To us, it’s not “customer service,” it’s “customer journey.” From the initial sales call to understanding their pain points, and throughout the billing process, we offer a true partnership and are in it to win it alongside our customers.

3. How do you define your CompliChain Technology?
CompliChain lays our foundation for collaborating with our customers. It’s a proprietary technology that allows external users to work on communication projects directly in Sepire’s internal Job Manager application, which increases speed and transparency while reducing errors. When combined with our high security and compliance parameters, this functionality allows us to quickly produce highly variable data work and meet very lofty compliance standards at are not commonly seen in the industry. Think of it as a project management tool that has glass ceilings, floors and walls so you can see all the communication at once, from start to finish.
The technology we provide, like CompliChain, is a tool clients can use without having to reach out to our customer service group, which gives them independence and saves time on their end.
It provides them with a 24-hours a day, 365-days a year view into where their projects are within the print process at any time of day. This is important given the consumerization of the world today—customers expect to get the information they require at the point of need. Our technology provides that.
What CompliChain Technology and other technology we offer does not replace is the human component of the work—the face-to-face and phone or video conversations that we are always available and excited to engage in.

4. Why do you think companies should move towards delivering compliance-based client experience?
Compliance and security standards are no longer for compliance-based communications only; today, even retail customers want to meet certain compliance standards to protect customer data.
To be a trusted partner, you must be on the leading edge of what’s next, and the more we talk with clients, the more concerned they are about protecting customer data as a top priority now and into the future.
Also, you always want the opportunity to bid on business. If you’re not certified to do something, you can lose a job or not be included in a line-up of eligible vendors to compete for a job. We understand how important that is and we wear our certifications as a badge of honor.

5. What features of your compliance driven solutions differentiate you in the market?
Supporting highly regulated markets such as healthcare, finance and insurance, we understand that our clients’ data is sacrosanct, and our certifications are the primary way to deliver compliance and ensure that our policies and procedures are comprehensive and effective. We are audited annually for compliance, and we hold it with the utmost regard. When you enter our facility, our attention to detail around security is very clear.
Compliance and security are based around certifications. We are specialists in our market, and we understand the intricacies and nuances of the various certifications. Our SMEs bring vast experience and knowledge about certifications to the table, which is a big differentiator for us. We speak the language of compliance and certification, and we understand the complexities to help customers use technology to automate and produce their print mail program efficiently, adhering to the appropriate, specific certifications that apply to their individual circumstances.

6. What advice would you like to give to the Startups?
Patience is critically important. Remember that nothing will happen overnight; you’ve got to continue to trust your process and things will happen if you continue to be persistent. Also, stay passionate. Being passionate keeps you relevant.

7. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
At Sepire, we are a family. Some team members have worked together for 20 years within the various companies that we’ve come from, and we’ve been involved in each other’s various life events and milestones inside and outside of work. We are people with common goals and common philosophies. We go to work and work hard, and we play hard together. Everyone is equally important and is a key factor in the customer journey. Everyone drives progress.
There is an ideation philosophy here. We encourage each other and are accepting of new perspectives; nothing is a bad idea. Something may not work, but we are always open to new ideas and opportunities to think outside the box.
We are a company that will always be evolving to meet the needs of our clients, their clients and customers, our employees, and our planet. Sepire is guided by mission questions that capture our ongoing journey and unite our company. We ask ourselves how we might: 1) help our clients communicate with their clients and customers in a secure, transparent, and channel-agnostic manner to achieve their critical business needs; 2) empower our employees to grow, thrive and achieve a healthy work/life balance in a culture that celebrates diversity, achievement, and uniqueness of personality and culture; and 3) help our clients minimize their environmental footprint and be good stewards of the earths’ resources along every touchpoint of the customer journey.

8. Which Startup technology has grabbed your attention?
Blockchain technology has grabbed our attention as it relates to how sensitive data will move in the future. Augmented Reality (AR) technology is interesting, specifically how we will be able to embed images throughout communications. And Artificial Intelligence (AI) is important as it will allow increased intelligence on already highly intelligent machines, which will continue to allow compliance communications to meet high standards.

9. How do you prepare for a Technology-centric world?
Employing our Chief Innovation Officer, Amish Patel, is one great example.

10. What are the major developments you are planning, in recent time?
We’re growing very quickly, and it’s important for us to ensure our capabilities are growing with this demand so we can continue to scale as we grow our reputation in this space. We opened our doors with wall-to-wall Ricoh technology – hardware, software, service and support – and Ricoh has remained committed to understanding and responding to us as our needs have grown and changed. Most recently, we added a second RICOH Pro VC70000 continuous feed inkjet platform to our technology mix, which produces extremely high-quality output very quickly and helps us keep pace with the increase in high-volume, high-turn jobs we’re seeing. We’ve also added several process improvements to the platform that aid in operator productivity, such as the ability to edit multiple job properties at once, simpler media selection, and an increased number of presets to make recurring jobs faster. What we love about Ricoh is that they return the care, effort and faith we put in them. There is a lot of goodwill and trust, and we truly value the collaborative nature of the relationship.

11. Which Book are you reading these days?
I recently read a beach read called “That Summer” by Jennifer Weiner, Trevor Noah’s biography, “Born a Crime,” and am currently reading Michelle Obama’s biography, “Becoming.”

12. We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture, we won’t mind having a look at some of the pictures?

13. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
I use Life360 to keep tabs on my daughter in California, Spotify, MyLife – a meditation mindfulness app that was founded by two really amazing women, Net A Porter for shopping, and Instagram.

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Michelle Steinbergis an entrepreneur who likes to solve problems. She founded and sold a company, and just started another one She has over three decades of experience creating, managing and strategizing around highly regulated industry communications. Her specialty is helping businesses large (Fortune 100) and small to better understand regulatory rules, and by leveraging technology, show them how to work within those rules while also minimizing cost.

Sepire is in the secure communications business, with a focus on highly compliant print, mail and other
omnichannel communications. You choose the communication channel, we'll deliver.
Sepire is a WBENC company with AT 101 SOC2 Type 2 security standards.

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