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.

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.