Profitable cost reduction in print and communication services.

pyramid

Every executive is tasked with reducing costs and increasing profit.  We can forget.   The press of managing the budget can get tied into just meeting the plan instead of achieving the underlying goals.  An officer has a fiduciary responsibility to increase shareholder equity.  You can’t just “manage the budget”.  It needs to improve impact on the bottom line.

Print services is one of those areas that just seems to take money and not give a return.  That is a shame.  Print services can be such a profit booster, when rightly implemented and attached to corporate initiatives.

Last week my partner and I reviewed two university in-plants.  They were ivy league and state.  In just a few hours we were able to isolate incredible opportunity to both reduce costs and expand profitable services.  You just have to know where to look.

I’ve written quite a lot lately about business plans and new product development.  Those were the subjects taught at GraphExpo and are being reviewed by hundreds of folks daily.  Some of the feedback I get is a need to be able to assess a print services operation and come up with a viable action plan to improve impact on the bottom line.  Too often managers and consultants are looking to survive.  You need to thrive.  There is no reason not to thrive.  The opportunities are amazing.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore how to thrive.

There is no reason to just get along.  There is no reason to roll over to conventional strategy of limiting the benefit of your overall communications engine through bad sourcing decisions and coagulation of IT, marketing, and print services.  Where you source your print and communication services is a growth decision not a cost cutting decision.  You can throttle your progress engine by making this decision incorrectly.  Done correctly, you will cut costs, improve service, increase access to effective communications and be a hero.  Done incorrectly, you will cut short term costs and produce blockages in your growth and communications engine and frustrations for marketing and sales and the data miners.  You cannot grow using yesterday’s wisdom in a thriving world of interactive print, direct, indirect, social, online, mobile, and mass virile and viral communications.

Related:

Responsibility and Sustainability

Removing Workflow Constraints

Pain Points

Opportunities to Profit with In-Plants – MyPrintResource.com

Opportunities to Profit with In-Plants – MyPrintResource.com.   REBLOGGED from listed site.

Opportunities To Profit With In-Plants

BY JEFFREY STEELE (/CONTACT/10107135/JEFFREY-STEELE)

CREATED: OCTOBER 7, 2012

Not all is doom and gloom in the world of in-plants.

These are not the best of times for in-plant operations. Many have been shuttered, and those that remain are being scrutinized ever more closely by the

companies and organizations for which they provide printing services. But not all is doom and gloom in the world of in-plants, says Elisha Kasinskas, Marketing

Director for Rochester Software Associates (Booth 237) in Rochester, NY.

“Despite what we hear, every in-plant is not closing,” says Kasinskas, whose company markets workflow software. “But to really thrive, they need to be strategic

components of the organization. That involves being a part of the fabric of the organization, serving on committees, participating in the organization or company

community, and actively seeking business for that organization.”

Phil Larson, President of the consultancy Shepherd OK in Oklahoma City, calls this “an incredibly exciting time” for in-plants that are amenable to evolving.

“You almost have to learn a new business,” he says. “You have to be able to relate to the executives and to the marketers. You have to adapt.”

Opportunities to Profit with In-Plants – MyPrintResource.com   <<<<<<Read the rest….

Starting Fresh – Get an innovative pop to your great insurance marketing idea.

Every marketing initiative starts with a fresh idea.   Somewhere either a brainstorm erupted in a private time or meeting or a customer voiced a need and you awakened.

What do you do with that fresh idea?

Do you run rampaging through your team and ask them to “get on it!”?

Do you get tied up in a single sale and miss big movement?

Do you thoughtfully consider your options and begin analysis never to come to a conclusion?

Do you gather a group of agents and brainstorm?

Do you pay an exorbitant fee to an advertising agency to develop it for you?

Do you throw the idea out on the internet to one of a thousand groups on linkedin or g+ or a blog?

How can you get this thought blurb from being  just an idea to something that will potentially produce income and generate qualified leads for you as a marketer of your services?

Okay here is a new and quick tool to help.  It doesn’t do it all, but pretty close.

Blog | Big Dog Innovations | Your Marketing Department’s Secret Weapon http://bgdg.co/SuccessfulMarketingCampaigns

The Biggest In-Plant Mistakes

At the GraphExpo in Chicago, listen to four key in-plant leaders talk about big mistakes.

A Letter To A Young Friend and Budding Entrepreneur

This letter went to a young entrepreneurial friend of mine sometime back.  He was struggling with a decision to try or not.  There are some key points for anyone working on a change or transition.  ……….

The life of a small business operator (change agent) is tough.  You will make less per hour than if you worked at McDonald’s flipping burgers for the first few years.  You will work for nothing but the love of work and the passion of your idea.  If you cannot do that, quit and go to work for someone else.  Over time, you can make millions of dollars.  In the beginning you will live on beans and peanut butter and tuna fish and learn to like it.  You will live in the junkiest apartments and drive old cars.  You will put your money into your business and into giving to others.  Later, you will have some money.  Don’t count on it for the first five years.  Everything should go back into the business in some form.

A small business operator (change agent) can make no excuses.  There is no one to blame for any failure or lack of money but you.  The economy is not to blame.  The customer is not to blame.  Ignorance is not to blame.  Only you are to blame.  Get over blaming others and circumstances.  Get ready to face the mirror every morning and hold yourself accountable to your vision and your dream and your actions or lack of actions.

Opportunities multiply as they are seized.  Sun Tzu.  That is pure truth.  Every time an opportunity is in front of you, you must answer yes or no quickly.  Every one you let pass is gone. Quit whining about the fish you did not catch and go fishing for the next one.  There is not time to whine about what did not work.  Get over it and get moving forward.

Small business operators fail for lack of planning and lack of execution.  That is about the whole of it.  The longer you think about what you are going to do, the less you will succeed.  Study, think, plan, and then do.  Be decisive in your ways.  Take knowledgeable action.  It is better to fail while you are acting than to fail while you are sitting and thinking.

You will fail over and over and over.  That is just the way life works.  Failure is your teacher.  Failure because you did not plan and did not work the plan is simply stupidity.  There is no excuse for stupidity.  God did not make you stupid.  Sitting around and whining and blaming people and circumstances makes you stupid.

Every day you must study your profession and what affects success.  Every day.  You are a student forever from this point forward.  Read magazines, trade journals, newsletters, and books.  Read, read, and read.  Blow up the television and the games and social media sites and read.

Go to school.  Get as many meaningful certifications and degrees as possible in the next five years.

Sleep is a waste of time.  Sleep the exact amount needed to stay healthy and alert.

So, if this is what drives you and makes your clock tick, DO IT!  Quit thinking and whining.  DO IT!

Views on Shop Transformations – Conditioning Change For People

Discussions with shops around the nation result in a few inevitables.

1. How do you get people to move forward?

2. How do you get other people to move forward?

That is a purposeful pun.

It really gets to be all about people in our efforts to change products and processes.  Those changes always mean changes in people, projects and props (the tools and technologies).  But the people are in the center of it all.

Product change means marketing and selling customers and investors.  For an In Plant, they are the same.  Customers are investors.  They are the source of income and many times the only source.   Sure, the CFO, COO, and CEO have strong opinions and input especially for transactional product lines.  Yet, more and more effective print and distribution management for In Plants must engage the Marketing and Sales customers.   That is high powered growth.  Transactional has a high likelihood for being sourced and reduced significantly.  You must move forward.

Process change is the same.  Your highest sell is to your internal production teams.  Next comes the customer.  Many processes can be changed without engaging the customer.  Yet, you need to ask yourself why you are doing changes if the customer does not benefit?  They have an interest, even if it is just to know you are working on cost improvement or cost containment for them.

Prop changes are for the products and processes or they should not be done.  Nuff said.  You should not be retooling just to get the next fancy wangamahoochie.  Technology must meet real business demand to go through the pain of change.  Your production team must understand how the customer will benefit along with the product and the process.  Your production team should improve skill and contribution and have more fun when you change technologies and tools.

Projects are what implement changes.  Have them or die.  A defined way to analyze, define, plan, implement, and optimize goes with every change.  There are budget approvals and customer approvals and departmental approvals and  worker approvals and self approvals and vendor approvals and IT approvals and on and on and on that must be planned and coordinated along the path to productive and prosperous change.

So people are involved in every step and every area of change.  Those murky, hard to understand, mental, emotion, physical, and spiritual beings can make change heaven or hell.

Just for fun think of four types you will encounter.

Mundane Mary:  The person will ask question after question.  She will want to understand the universal and specific reasons for the change.  Put her on the analysis team with a specific deadline.  She might drive you insane, but she might find a hole in some plan that saves your hide.

Slap Happy Sam:  The person will want to implement without a thought.  Every day is an opportunity for a new party.  He can get inclusion guaranteed as long as he is armed with a few facts to support his sales of you and the project.  Make friends with him.  Get him to understand how this change will improve happiness for someone.

Hard Ball Bart: Whew.. he will want profitability or cost reduction.  This guy is important.  He will make you justify in the right manners.  Convince him.  Do your homework.

Amiable Amy:  She just want to get along.  So make sure she is on the implementation and training track.  She will work until it works for everyone else.

This is a blog not a book.  So I am ending here.  Just some thoughts to stir you up on the path to progress.

You are not who you are. It just looks that way.

The first step to change is a holy dissastisfaction with the present state.

You are not what you have done or what you are doing.  You are what you’ve become and where you are going.

Like that?  Makes sense to me.  Where are you going?  What have you become?

Do you like the answer to both of those questions?   So many times we settle for status quo because of what we have experienced and then work to keep adding to blanked existences and shop patterns and sales attempts that are working to a degree, but never seem to break through to the level of performance we would like.   That is one heck of a long sentence.  Mull on it for a minute.

We settle for status quo.

We get comfortable with prior experience.

We labor at the common and comfortable.

Eventually it is dull and boring and feels like a blank.

Our shops become patterned for problems.

We like the problems with which we are familiar.  We know how to fix them.

Our sales are structured and predictable.

The circle remains unbroken.

Deep inside, we yearn for a new level of productivity.  We want to grow.

We want to become more than we have become.

We want to go where we have never gone.

Familiar?

Remember T. S. Seisel?  Of course you do.  He is American and world history.  As a young man his political cartoons graced many key magazines.  His 15 years of ad work for Standard Oil helped build the company.  Working with Frank Capra, he produced animated training films for soldiers of WWII.  Still don’t remember him?  That was the majority of his life.

Oh, the middle most S?  Seuss.  Dr. Seuss.

The first book was rejected 27 times.  At the time he was a famous cartoonist.  Rejected.  What had become of him?

Then the Cat in the Hat project just seemed to expose a different man than any had ever met.  Over the years, he had become and was becoming someone much different.  Where he was going was an unknown until that book well into his career. 

Every one of us has that potential in every part of what we do.  So many organizations settle for mediocrity.  The incredible potential bottled in their staff just sits and stews all the way to retirement.  It gets so bad, companies begin giving away the mature workers because the organization has doomed them to zombism through saying, “No”, to creative becoming idea after powerful results changing idea.  The source of great ingenuity and innovation that resides in the years of wisdom and experience is put aside for youthful energy who have yet to become much of anything.  They will.  Given time, we all do.  Most likely they will become zombies like their predecessors.

Seisel broke mode.  It was a persistent and purposeful pursuit inside of him that broke mold.  He just refused to quit growing and becoming.

You have systems of work, opportunities for new product, and development of people ahead of you.  What can you become?  Where can you go?

Let’s find out together.

images:

http://clatl.com/imager/visual-art-dr-seuss-goes-to-war/b/original/1433174/eb2b/seedo2-1_44.jpg

http://www.virginmedia.com/images/Dr.Seuss_431x276.jpg