Fredrichs sells the country on CDS’s service
Patricia Fredrichs faces an interesting challenge at Communications Data Services Inc. As national sales manager for the CDS’s Item Processing Group, she must take a company whose name is solidly linked to one service and market its unknown service.
“For 30 years, outside of being a magazine subscription provider, no one knew who we were,” Fredrichs said.
As a magazine subscription fulfillment service, CDS receives the subscription cards that come in major magazines like Readers Digest, National Geographic and Meredith Corp.’s titles, and collects the data on the cards to begin or renew subscriptions.
“We’ve invested in the maximum amount of technology that it makes sense to use to get data off of paper,” Fredrichs said. In fact, the company developed a two-pass data-capture process of that has revolutionized the industry, minimizing the amount of human data-entry necessary by recognizing things like signatures and the scan-lines of checks. The program takes a picture of the document on its first pass, and with the second pass searches the image for necessary data. Originally, CDS sold its technology to other companies, but now the company provides the service to magazines, newspapers and utilities. Fredrichs hopes to add more credit card and insurance companies to the list of clients.
“I have the best job on God’s green Earth,” Fredrichs said. “I develop the market for this new, independent service offering. I love prospecting. I identify markets, develop a credible message of who we are and what we have to offer, and form plans to get into those markets to acquire new clients.” Fredrichs graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a bachelor’s degree in English. She’s spent the majority of her working career in technology, performing public relations or sales.
“It’s a job where you have to understand mechanics to explain it to potential customers,” she said. “Technology was an area I took to and understood very well.”
Between her understanding of technology and love of talking to new people and forging new business relationships, Fredrichs soon realized she was in the right line of work. Joining CDS has only cemented her conviction.
“I sound like such a cheerleader,” she said. “People at work tease me because I get so excited about it, but I love what I do and the company I represent.”