Sharing Is Good

Several years ago a book was written on the topic of adults needing to remember the golden rules they were taught as a child. The book was titled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” and the author was Fulghum. One of the things we all remember about being a kindergartner is sharing. Yet why is it that sharing is not necessarily seen as a good thing in the business world?

Case in point. I’ve recently had conversation with several of our members regarding a company/customer who did not show up on our SlowPay/NoPay List and which also showed a clean bill of health in the D&B reports. The customer in question was a Big Fish (or purported to be a BF) and really wanted to do business with the member. Our member didn’t feel comfortable with the story line given by the customer; so, he decided to contact one of his buddies who had done business with the BF. The report wasn’t good. BF still owed that printer money. A few more phone calls were made and needless to say the story wasn’t pretty. BF was leaving a trail of printers in his wake — and no one was sharing. Was it pride? Was it embarrassment?

Here’s where thinking like kindergartners could help all of us. If BF, who’s really a barracuda, would have been reported on the Association’s SlowPay/NoPay, or similar service, odds are that these folks would not continue to prey on printers, and our industry would be much healthier for it. As we start crawling out of our recession, credit checking will become very important. As I have observed in past business cycles, firms hungry to replace lost print dollars are less likely to question the customer’s ability and reliability. It’s now, more than ever, that credit checking and authentication becomes critical. So, remember what it was like to be a kindergartner. Sharing is good.


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