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.