Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just A Little Extra

Being in an economic slowdown gives us all a new opportunity to do more. It seems that most, if not all, parts of the economy are experiencing some sort of slow down. We are now seeing it in our small part of the universe. Through the first ten months of the year, numbers were good. November was a soft month. December is a little better, but not great. What does this mean for a company with ten outside sales people?

If each of our sales people is able to add one or two medium jobs a week, then we are back on track. That is well within the scope of our sales force. The amount of quoting is steady, so the business is there.

I'm sure this is true in many industries and parts of the country. Just a little extra effort each day will bring the level of business back to a point of sustainability. It's time to quit listening to the news and use that time to look for and land new business.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lean Transformation

We are now in the fifth month of our Lean Manufacturing transition. The more we get into the process, the more we realize what needs to be done. The amazing part of Lean is that the more you do the more you realize what can be done.

This week we started a process of leaning out online ordering for storefronts. The number of steps was cut by two thirds and the number of minutes to process an order was cut in half. And the amazing part is that this is the first effort at leaning out this process. When a group of people attacks a problem, amazing things can be done.

I am looking forward to seeing what we are able to do in the first full year of this process and for many years to come.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Week

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year. Being thankful is a state of mind that can turn what seems to be a negative into a positive. Looking around the country, there is no shortage of negative news to worry about. The news has done a number on me to the point that I started to question current business and future opportunities.

Then this week happened and I am realizing that there is opportunity everywhere. One of our sales people began a new prospecting plan today on a specific vertical market and with only ten dials, he spoke with two people that had interest in what we do. At that rate, we can add enough new business to hit most of our goal for the next thirteen months.

Every time I start to let the world around impact my outlook, it is nice to just do something positive and realize that there is hope for the future. Doing the same old same old isn't the answer. We have to be trying new ways of getting in front of people that want to do business with us.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Uncertainty

Uncertainty. This is now a word that describes normal day to day life in the U.S. With the election, the economy and the market change - dealing with the unknown is part of day to day life.

All of this eventually trickles down to local business and that is when it begins to hit home. Finding that clients are holding off on purchases or changing what they are buying starts to impact even the little guys.

Even with this happening, there is still opportunity because companies then start to look for better options and that is when we can get in front of buyers that we couldn't get in front of before. So even with all that is not going well, there is still a silver lining.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wall Street

What a crazy week. The market is way down then up some then down again. If the senate and house pass the bailout package, then we are supposed to be up again. This to me just removes the idea of personal responsibility. If I didn't pay my mortgage, my house would be gone. If I wrote a bad loan, I would loose my money.

Why should our government step in and try to circumvent accountability? I realize I don't see the entire picture. I also realize that Hank Paulson who was the CEO of one of the strongest investment firms, Goldman Sachs, sees things better than I do. So I don't think I have all the answers.

Next week should be an exciting week. If the bill passes, then we can see where it all leads. All I know is that I have to move towards my goals each day no matter what others are doing. If I do that, then good things will happen.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Economy

All I am hearing anymore is how tough things are. When I talk to people about how business is, the normal answer begins with, "You know with the economy and the price of gas..." The amazing thing to me is that the next part of the sentence is typically that that person is doing well, it's just everyone else that seems to be not doing well.

I know there is suffering, but there is also still plenty of opportunity. I have to make sure I keep my perspective and also that I help everyone around me keep his or her perspective so we don't create a self fulfilling prophecy of doom and gloom.

Keep you head up and keep pushing forward.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Power Outage

Here in Central Ohio we have had quite a few people without power since Sunday. The remnants of Hurricane Ike came through and gave us a beating. As bad as it was, it was nothing compared to what Texas went through on Saturday.

At our company, we went about 48 hours without power. On the first day, we were optimistic that the power would come on at any time. We ended the day discouraged. On day two, we started looking for options to get customers work done using other printers in this region. This is never a good option, but it does take care of the customer, so we went down that road.

Before we left for the day yesterday, a great thing happened, the power came back on. It is surprising the joy you get when something like that happens. Every day I take electricity for granted and when I don't have it, there is no fun happening.

Today things are back to normal and we are getting caught up on the schedule. By next week we should be all caught up. What a great feeling to have electricity and all that comes with that power.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Strategic Planning

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."
-- Muhammad Ali, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion

We are currently in the process of creating a strategic plan for our company. This is our first formal process we have used. In the past a few of us would talk about the future and then put a plan around the ideas and get going. This year we are using a professional facilitator and doing it right.

What we have found is when we broaden the circle of people involved in the process, there are more and better ideas. Eventually everyone in the company will have personal goals tied to the overall company goals and this will make a huge difference.

I am really looking forward to the next five years. We have some good stretch goals that will make a big difference in our future. In five years, I believe we will look back on this process as a defining point in our history.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Risking Pain

It seems that every day I hear someone blame the economy or the price of gas for his or her bad results. Without thinking about it, to look for someone or something to blame for poor sales is the easy way out.

Then I look at a salesperson that is doing well and I hear the same things. "I'm making more calls." "I'm setting up more appointments." "I'm reading a new book on sales." "I'm listening to a set of CD's on improving my mental outlook." These are the activities that the winners do on a regular basis.

Everyone has the opportunity to improve. It doesn't even cost money. Books and CD's are available at public libraries and almost every car has a CD player. With the slowdown we are experiencing, there may even be more opportunity. The excuse makers are sitting in the office waiting for the phones to ring. What the winner is doing is going out and making something happen. We owe it to ourselves to be part of the group that is called winners.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Being An Optimist

Be An Optimist
By: Brian Tracy

"The most important quality for success in entrepreneurship and in life is the quality of optimism. Optimists have an unrealistic expectation of success. As a result, they are willing to try far more things without becoming discouraged. In addition, because of their unrealistically positive attitude, they are willing to persist much longer than the average person. Optimism is a wonderful quality as long as you have it under control."

Above is a quote I got today in an email. In a world full of negative news it's always worth the reminder that optimism is a worthy goal.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back to School

This week was back to school week for our family. Both of our kids started back to school on Thursday. Thankfully they enjoy school and our plan is to help them keep that perspective. They have had good teachers and nice friends. Education is obviously important for them just as it is for all of us.

In printing and in sales it is amazing to me how many people stop their education shortly after getting going in their careers. The printing press operator usually doesn't read industry publications or maintenance manuals. The sales person remembers back to the training he or she received at the beginning of his or her career and may not have read another book on sales development since.

To be successful in any business, I believe it is necessary to constantly be improving my skills. In the world of sales or in the world of management, there is new material coming out all the time. Granted some of the fundamentals don't change, but many other things do. Without constant learning, the world will pass you by. Is it possible to communicate today only using a phone and a fax? How much more effective can someone be with a strong knowledge of a Blackberry and good internet skills?

The encouraging thing is most of this is free. It just takes time and energy. Go to a website on sales or management and begin reading. Then it is amazing, the site will lead to other places to get more information than any person can read and use in a lifetime. The opportunities are endless.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sales Planning

How well do you plan your sales efforts? Towards the end of 2007, we realized that some of our larger customers were cutting back on their spending. We also began to see that due to the economy, other customers were rethinking marketing plans. This gave us reason to be concerned.

By the fourth quarter of 2007, we knew we would have to implement a strong sales plan for 2008 if we were going to be able to grow this year. We started looking at existing clients that we had more opportunity with and spent more time working on those opportunities. Our main focus was adding new clients with net new business. Once we knew the goal, our sales people began working on finding and adding the new clients.

As we look back on the first seven months of the year, it is amazing how things happen when there is focus put on those areas of need. We have been able to add enough new business and grow some existing clients that we have offset the reduction of some of our larger clients.

Shortly we will need to plan for 2009. We see great opportunity to have some growth next year. The lesson to ourselves is to never wait until the slowdown starts to begin planning for the ways we can grow.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged is one of my favorite books I have ever read. When I first tried to read the book, I couldn't get past the first couple hundred pages. It took about four tries to get the momentum I needed to finish reading the entire book. If you have never looked at the book, it is over 1,000 pages long. After reading the book, I started hearing and seeing opportunities all around me to make better decisions. Although I don't agree with all of the philosophies in the book, I do agree with the basic premise that mankind should produce something that has value and not look to live off the handout of government.

My wife and I have been on a couple of road trips lately and have two more over the next two weekends. She and I are listening to the book on CD and I am amazed at how much of the book I was able to retain. It has been a great experience.

If you are ever in the mood to read a long but great book, I highly recommend Atlas Shrugged.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Discipline of Reading

Following is from the website of Brian Tracy. It is a section from one of his books and is definitly worth sharing.

Some things in life are optional, and some things in life are mandatory. Taking your next vacation to the Caribbean is optional. Building a personal library and becoming an excellent reader is mandatory. It is no longer something you can choose to do or not do. It is absolutely essential and indispensable for your success.

A great many people do not read very much. Fifty-eight percent of adult Americans never read a nonfiction book from cover to cover after they finish school. The average American reads less than one book per year. In fact, according to a Gallup study of the most successful men and women in America, reading one nonfiction book per month will put you into the top 1 percent of living Americans.

It takes regular, persistent reading and studying for you to improve, to move to the front of your field. It is not optional.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Fastest Lion

"Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle – when the sun comes up, you had better be running."

Author, unknown

Some days I wake up and realize I am not the fasted lion or the fastest gazelle. It's nice to know I can still succeed by just being faster than some of the others. Most people realize they are not the fastest, the smartest, the richest or the most creative, but they are still able to be successful. All it takes is the desire to get up every day and get running.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Family & Friends

What a fun couple of weeks. We spent some time in Mexico with my family. There was a total of 15 of us at a resort. It made the mealtime fun. We spent time in the ocean, in the pool, at the restaurants and all over the resort. One of the best things we did was a zip line. That is when someone is strapped into a rock climbing harness and then attached to a cable to zip to another platform over trees and water. It was a little unsettling at first, but after the first two connections, it was a blast.

This weekend we have two friend in from California and we are going to be going to a Cincinnati Red's game on Sunday with another family from Cincinnati. It's great to spend time with family and friends.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Jim Rohn

One of my favorite speakers is Jim Rohn. Here is something he sent out recently that I thought was worth sharing.

Three Key Words to Remember: Weigh, Count and Measure

Three key words to remember: weigh, count and measure. Now why weigh, count and measure? To see what your results are from your activity, your attitude and your philosophy. If you find that the results are not to your liking there are only three places to look. Your philosophy needs to be fine-tuned; your attitude needs to be strengthened or your disciplines need extra skill. But that's it. Activity, attitude and philosophy create results.

Now on results I teach that life expects you to make measurable progress in reasonable time. But, you must be reasonable with time. You can't say to someone every five minutes, how are you doing now? That's too soon to ask for a count. Guy says, "I haven't left the building yet, give me a break!" Now you can't wait five years - that's too long. Too many things can go wrong waiting too long for a count to see how you're doing.

Here are some good time frames: Number one - at the end of the day. You can't let more than a day go by without looking at some things and making progress. New Testament says - if you are angry, try to solve it before the sun goes down. Don't carry anger for another day. It may be too heavy to carry. If you try to carry it for a week, it may drop you to your knees. So some things you must get done in a day.

Here's the next one - a week. We ask for an accounting of the week so we can issue the pay. And whatever you've got coming that's what you get; when the week is over. Now in business there are two things to check in the course of the week. Your activity count and your productivity count. Because activity leads to productivity we need to count both to see how we're doing.

My mentor taught me that success is a numbers game and very early he started asking me my numbers. He asked, "How many books have you read in the last ninety days?" I said, "Zero"; he said, "Not a good number." He said, "How many classes have you attended in the last six months to improve your skills?" And I said, "Zero." He said, "Not a good number." Then he said, "In the last six years that you've been working, how much money have you saved and invested?" I said, "Zero" and he said, "Not a good number." Then here's what he said, "Mr. Rohn, if these numbers don't change your life won't change. But" he said, "If you'll start improving these numbers then perhaps you'll start to see everything change for you."Success and results are a numbers game.

John joins this little sales company. He's supposed to make 10 calls the first week just to get acquainted with the territory. So on Friday we call him in and say what? "How many calls?" He says, "Well." You say, "John, 'well' won't fit in the little box here. I need a number." Now he starts with a story. And you say, "John, the reason I made this little box so small is so a story won't fit. All I need is a number because if you give us the number we're so brilliant around here we could guess the story." It's the numbers that count. Making measurable progress in reasonable time. Here's the best accounting. The accounting you make of yourself. Don't wait for the government to do it, don't wait for the company to do it. But you've got to add up some of your own numbers and ask, "Am I making the progress I want and will it take me where I want to go now and in the future?"

You be the judge! To Your Success,Jim Rohn

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July

What a nice weekend. We had some friends over last night for fireworks and dinner and then today we are spending the day with family. Will probably go to the local parade later in the day.

Every time I slow down to think about living in our country, I realize what a great blessing and opportunity that I have. I am able to pursue goals and have opportunities that are not available to everyone else around the globe. Being able to go back to school and then use what I am learning to improve my business life is something I am very grateful for.

Hope everyone has a restful and enjoyable July 4th weekend.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Power of Time

This has been a busy week for me and it's only Tuesday. Tomorrow I have an all day meeting with a group called Vistage and then I am out of town on Thursday and Friday looking at a new printing press. When I got up this morning, I started to realize all that needs done today in preparation for the rest of the week and it almost became overwhelming.

When I got to work, I started down my list of things that needed done today, from meetings to arranging for my group tomorrow to planning for the trip later in the week. That along with my normal duties and there was a large amount to get done.

Now that it is the end of the day I realize that when I have more to do than I normally do, I get more done. I am starting to believe that I need to over schedule every day to get more done.

I had a professor in college that used to say, "If you want something done, give it to a person that is busy." He meant that when someone got things done, that was generally their nature. What a great lesson.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

PIANKO Conference

Tomorrow is the PIANKO conference. PIANKO is the printing industry association for Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Our company has been a supporter and member of the organization for decades.

I am going to be attending a panel discussion featuring three local print buyers, listening to a seminar on web-to-print and listening to a seminar on sales and sales training. It is always good to see people from other printing companies and spending time talking about the industry.

Web-to-print and web based storefronts are a large part of our future. Many of our clients are moving to web based applications for order submission for print jobs and for fulfilling items in our warehouse. It is a great way to reduce labor, reduce errors and give our clients a more competitive project.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Continuing Training

Being an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Program), we are focusing on what that means for everyone that works within the company. One goal of any company is to produce a return for the shareholders. In a public company, those are the people that own stock. In a private company that would be the individual or the family that owns the business. Being that we are employee owned, one of our purposes is to run the business for the long-term benefit of the employees.

Continuing training or education now becomes one of the pillars of our company. Sharing knowledge about how a business works and how to grow the value of the business. This is primarily done by finding what our customers want and need and doing more and more of that every day. When our customers are willing to do business with us, we need to perform that service in a way that takes care of the customer and at the same time earns a good profit for the company and the companies shareholders.

This year we are doing more training than we have ever done in general business concepts and business improvement. We are planning to spend time weekly, monthly and quarterly in business training and Lean Manufacturing training so that we have the best company in the printing industry. It is an exciting time to be in business with so many opportunities to take care of the customer.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Being Recession Proof

I listened to a podcast of a consultant about running a recession proof business. The speaker is Bob Prosen. He spends much of his time talking about three main areas.

Run leaner than the status quo. Any staff that that isn't mission critical needs to be very lean. Over time we have tried to run lean and plan to work overtime most weeks. Then when we have a week or two slow period, we can get through it without much pain.

Identify the organization's top three objectives. These are the big ideas that drive a company and keep it on track.

Don't buy into the theory that recession is failure. We are in a weaker economy and that is just what we have to live with. Instead of worrying or complaining about the economy, we need to be acting as if we are in a recession and as if we are working towards the end of the downturn.

Being in Columbus, OH we are fortunate to be in a fairly strong economy. We have a State capital, a major university and many corporate headquarters. That gives us a better than average chance of remaining pretty stable through a downturn.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Lean Printing

What an exciting Friday. We spent four hours with a gentleman, Don Curtis, that we had worked with about ten years ago doing TQM training. In the past ten years he has worked full-time with another company in Indianapolis. That company does digital printing and screen printing for some very large accounts and they have experienced tremendous growth in that time.

Don is now back on his own as a consultant. He shared some of the things he has done over the last few years with Lean/TQM/Six Sigma with the digital company and it was very impressive. It is always fun to spend time with someone you enjoy being around and are also able to learn from.

I am looking forward to the next couple of years. There is so much to be doing and so many opportunities to improve as a company and as an individual.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rest & Rejuvenation

I am looking forward to this three day weekend - Memorial Day Weekend. The last couple of weeks have been busier than normal so having three days to rest and rejuvenate will be a great time.

Many experts believe that everyone needs down time. It is the downtime that allows our batteries to recharge and ideas and thoughts to crystallize in our minds. Many times people have some of their greatest thoughts during sleep, the shower or driving down the road. When the mind has time to process what it is doing, it can come up with great ideas.

David Allen in his book Getting Things Done talks about getting all of our to do lists out of our minds and on paper or on the computer so we can use more of our mind for thinking. He believes many people have so many issues flying around in their minds that they can't focus on what is critical and important. One of my goals for this weekend is to go back through his book. I read it about four years ago and I go through it occasionally to get the concepts and ideas back into my mind.

Here's to having a great Memorial Day Weekend and getting into next week more relaxed and focused.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Seth Godin

Below is a post from the blog of Seth Godin. He is the author of many books on marketing and is a sought after speaker on the subject of marketing. I thought it was worth sharing.


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Three years ago, I published this list, which was very much a riff, not a carefully planned manifesto. It has held up pretty well. Feel free to reprint or otherwise use, as long as you include a credit line. I've added a few at the bottom...What Every Good Marketer Knows:

  • Anticipated, personal and relevant advertising always does better than unsolicited junk.
  • Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand.
  • Your best customers are worth far more than your average customers.
  • Share of wallet is easier, more profitable and ultimately more effective a measure than share of market.
  • Marketing begins before the product is created.
  • Advertising is just a symptom, a tactic. Marketing is about far more than that.
  • Low price is a great way to sell a commodity. That’s not marketing, though, that’s efficiency.
  • Conversations among the members of your marketplace happen whether you like it or not.
  • Good marketing encourages the right sort of conversations. Products that are remarkable get talked about.
  • Marketing is the way your people answer the phone, the typesetting on your bills and your returns policy.
  • You can’t fool all the people, not even most of the time. And people, once unfooled, talk about the experience.
  • If you are marketing from a fairly static annual budget, you’re viewing marketing as an expense.
  • Good marketers realize that it is an investment.
  • People don’t buy what they need. They buy what they want. You’re not in charge. And your prospects don’t care about you.
  • What people want is the extra, the emotional bonus they get when they buy something they love.
  • Business to business marketing is just marketing to consumers who happen to have a corporation to pay for what they buy.
  • Traditional ways of interrupting consumers (TV ads, trade show booths, junk mail) are losing their cost-effectiveness. At the same time, new ways of spreading ideas (blogs, permission-based RSS information, consumer fan clubs) are quickly proving how well they work.
  • People all over the world, and of every income level, respond to marketing that promises and delivers basic human wants.
  • Good marketers tell a story.
  • People are selfish, lazy, uninformed and impatient. Start with that and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
  • Marketing that works is marketing that people choose to notice.
  • Effective stories match the worldview of the people you are telling the story to.
  • Choose your customers.
  • Fire the ones that hurt your ability to deliver the right story to the others.
  • A product for everyone rarely reaches much of anyone.
  • Living and breathing an authentic story is the best way to survive in an conversation-rich world.
  • Marketers are responsible for the side effects their products cause.
  • Reminding the consumer of a story they know and trust is a powerful shortcut.
  • Good marketers measure.
  • Marketing is not an emergency. It’s a planned, thoughtful exercise that started a long time ago and doesn’t end until you’re done.
  • One disappointed customer is worth ten delighted ones.
  • In the googleworld, the best in the world wins more often, and wins more.
  • Most marketers create good enough and then quit. Greatest beats good enough every time.
  • There are more rich people than ever before, and they demand to be treated differently.
  • Organizations that manage to deal directly with their end users have an asset for the future.
  • You can game the social media in the short run, but not for long.You market when you hire and when you fire.
  • You market when you call tech support and you market every time you send a memo.
  • Blogging makes you a better marketer because it teaches you humility in your writing.
  • Obviously, knowing what to do is very, very different than actually doing it.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Paper Recycling

We moved into a new building in 2000 and during the first year we were in this facility, we installed a paper removal system. During the printing process there is waste paper as part of the start up of the presses. When something is printed, there is also waste paper that if around the outer edge of the press sheet. In the past we would gather this waste and take it to a recycling company. Now with the removal system, the paper is moved through a series of tubes in the ceiling and ends up in a machine that shreds and bails the waste paper.

During 2007, we were able to bail 372 tons of paper, gather 535 tons of loose paper and collect 73 tons of office paper waste for a total of 980 tons of paper. This means that 1,960,000 pounds of waste didn't go to a landfill. Instead, it went to a company that recycles the paper into other paper items, including more paper for us to print on.

Our company is constantly looking for ways to reduce waste, both for the cost and the environmental impact. We have 7 key areas of waste reduction that we are working on. With our upcoming Corporate Sustainability Brochure, we will be able to share these 7 areas with all of our employees and our customers.

As a 100% employee owned company, we are all working together to reduce waste.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Take On More

"Unless a man undertakes more than he possibly can do, he will never do all that he can." Henry Drummond (1851-1897) Scottish theologist and scientist.

One of the basic concepts of goal setting is to set oneor two BHAG targets. A BHAG is a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. A BHAG would be to grow sales at double your historic rate, to reduce set up on a machine by fifty percent or to land the top five large prospects in the coming quarter. These are goals that are not easy to hit - they are stretch goals.

Jim Collins in his book Good to Great discusses in detail the BHAG.

The reason for pursuing a goal like this is to stretch your mind and your abilities. When the human mind begins to see a goal like this, the first reaction is to reject it as unattainable. After the subconscious mind spends some time processing the goal, it begins finding little ways to get the goal accomplished. Then after a few brainstorming sessions and some back and forth with people that share your vision, the goal can be attacked.

Some believe it's better to plan for 5% growth and hit 5%. Others believe it's better to plan for 20% growth and hit 14%. Without a BHAG you are almost guaranteed to be in the 5% or less range.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Corporate Sustainability Report

In our plan to let all of our clients know what we are doing to go green, we are putting together a Corporate Sustainability Report. This is a marketing piece that covers the seven distinctive programs we have in place to reduce waste and also to save money and materials.

One of the programs that has the most impact is our solvent recovery unit. This isn't a glamorous machine but it is a machine that has given us a great impact with reducing our waste. In the printing process, a chemical is used to clean the printing presses. In the past we would buy the chemical, use the chemical and then dispose of the chemical using a waste disposal company. It would result in many barrels a year of waste. Now we are still using the same amount of chemical, but instead of using it and then disposing of it, we run it through a machine that is able to recycle the chemical and we are able to reuse the same chemical multiple times.

We are also a major recycler of paper waste. During the printing process, there is waste paper that is a result of the normal printing process. This waste is shredded, bailed and sent to a recycling company to allow the paper to be reused as part of new printing paper and other paper based products.

Our goal is to look for any area within the company that is producing waste and work to eliminate that from our processes. Not only is it good for our children and grandchildren, but it is also generally good for the bottom line. Our goal is to be around for decades to come and we believe this is part of what we have to do to be a company that not only sustains the environment, but also sustains a solid company for all of our owners. Being a 100% employee owned company, that means for all of our employees.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ongoing Education

One of the new parts to my life is going back to school. I decided that if I had an MBA, I would be better prepared to grow and improve over the next ten years. After meeting with a local school, Ohio Dominican University, I am taking two prerequisites and then beginning my MBA in May.

My first class was Accounting which went pretty smooth. Many of the concepts are things I have used during my time at Hopkins Printing. The instructor did a great job helping me tie the concepts to my day to day operations.

Now I am taking a Statistics course. It is an eight week course and tomorrow I will complete the sixth class. One more take home test and then the final. Because of the level of detail, there isn't as much in this course that is applicable to my daily work. There have been a handful of things that I am able to use, so I am glad that I took the course.

My plan is to begin the MBA program on May the 12th and be done by April of 2010. I think it is going to be a rewarding journey.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A New Start

This is my first post to the Waterhouse Weekly Graphics blog. My goal is to share thoughts and ideas about graphics, printing, communication and personal effectiveness. For the last 18 years I have been working in the graphics world for a commercial printer in Columbus, Ohio - Hopkins Printing. We focus primarily on business to business communication using full color printing presses.

At Hopkins Printing, I serve as the V.P. of Sales & Marketing. I spend my time helping customers, helping our sales team, helping our Customer Support Team and doing some marketing. It is a position full of variety and full of opportunity for growth. It has been a fun and challenging 18 years.