Scattershooting in December

2010 is almost over and I’m glad to see it ending.  It’s been a tumultuous year for our industry, economy and nation.  Needless to say we’re all looking for a better 2011.  Although it may not make many of us deficit hawks happy, the present tax legislation looks like it’s going to pass, and we won’t be seeing a tax increase at the beginning of the year.  The saving grace of the legislation is small business gets some breathing room with tax credits and the estate/death tax changes, and that we actually had folks working together on this issue.  Granted the “wings” of both parties are not very happy about this — but it’s a step in the right direction.

It looks like more folks than just “us” in the direct mail industry are taking note of the USPS issues.  A recent article in Bloomberg Business week covered many of the key issues facing the post office.  It was a good read for the many who do not understand the real challenges which face our postal service system.

I got a chance to see Jerry Williamson the other night — on the local ABC Affiliate (WFAA).  Jerry was part of a feature on Greenberg Smoked Turkey, a local (Tyler, Texas) provider of smoked turkey.  Jerry, owner of Williamson Printing, spoke of how Williamson provides the turkeys as gifts to their select clients.   Great PR for WPC.

Gotta talk baseball.  For us North Texans, 2010 was a great year.  The Rangers far exceeded everyone’s hopes and made it into the World Series, and more importantly they beat the hated Yankees to get there.  The interesting side note is that they lost the bid to hold onto Cliff Lee yesterday.  Fortunately, they lost to the Phillies, rather than the fore mentioned hated ones.  The real story here is that Lee was willing to take less money than either New York or Texas had put on the table.  Why?  And here’s the real lesson.  Lee sees an opportunity to be part of a rotation (Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels, and Lee) that could break records and put him into a position to be in the World Series – again.  It reminds us that for many employees, it’s the intangibles that are just as important, and in this case, more important than money.

2011 may be the Digital Year for many in our industry.  In talking to a variety of consultants and suppliers the past few months, I continue to be surprised as to the number of firms which have yet to take the step into digital print technology.  And that’s not a bad thing.  If a company has yet to take the step, it’s probably because of two reasons.  First, they did not have the capital, and/or 2.) They weren’t ready to make the business model change.  Both are valid reasons for not playing.  Ask anyone in the digital world, and they’ll tell you that the only way you can play is to understand that it is a different business model and that it takes constant re-investment in technology and equipment.  It’s not for the faint of heart, or folks who are not committed to making a wholesale change.

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