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FLEXO Magazine : January 2009
FTA TODAY Talking about… what else? It’s the economy, stupid! Or is it? A former business associate and very good friend of mine hated hearing that word stupid (so I apologize to him for already using it twice in this column). But what else would a January 2009 column focus on, no matter the industry, busi- ness, or vocation being addressed? Look around throughout the worldwide media. Most outlets are doing their very best to spread the “doom and gloom/sky is falling” message, completely missing the fact that there are a number of companies and in- dustries that are surviving and prospering as the result of adequately preparing for the tough times. I love this modern parable: “A Japanese and a U.S. carmaker (you fill in the company names) decide to have a canoe race on a river. The Japanese manufacturer wins by a mile. The American carmaker, discouraged, investigates the reason for the defeat. Senior management forms a taskforce to recommend action. The conclusion: The Japanese company had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the U.S. carmaker had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing!” Now I certainly don’t mean to kick a company—or a struggling industry—while it’s down. My only point is that some companies in that industry have spent the past 30 years understanding the dynamics of the marketplace, moving forward with new, in- novative technology, modifying business models, while others… I’m proud to represent an organization that chooses to take a positive approach to addressing uncertain times. Just look at the cover-lines on this issue of FLEXO— Brighter Prospects Ahead: A 2009 Survival Guide. As I read through the contents of these pages, I’m floored by the outstanding breadth and quality of the material. Kudos to Bob Moran, Chris Bonawandt, the respective contributing authors in this issue, and the Editorial Advisory Committee for starting off the year on a positive vein. I must also give props (as my daughter would say) to a European publishing associate, and good friend, Wolfgang Klos-Geiger of Flexo & Gravure Int’l for the equally encour- aging positive message in his December editorial, “…there are companies investing in presses and other equipment. There are people who are talking up the print industry so why not be one of them and move forward with confidence and determination.” I like your attitude and fervor Wolfgang! In speaking recently with a member of the FFTA Board of Trustees, we got to talk- ing about this very topic; being bombarded by the media about all the bad economic news and depressing prognostications. Without missing a beat, this eternal optimist business leader extolled, “We’re too (expletive) busy to participate in a recession!” Does this man view the glass as being half empty…or full? As I wrote in myNovember column, it all comes down to a unique and worthy value proposition. Like no other time, the customer is king. Value your customers, thank them for their business, listen to what they are telling you, and never be ashamed to admit you need them to help you survive. From the customer’s point of view, your company or brand exists only to create value for them, to provide them with results. In this fast-changing global economy, the focus must be on the way in which the nature of value is changing, involving new ways to deliver goods, innovation and emotion (yes emotion!). The implication of these new forms of exchange is a transfer of power from the producer to the customer. Always keep that notion front and center in your mind’s eye. Best wishes for 2009! 68 FLEXO JANUARY 2009 www. f le xography. org JAN. 2009 25-27 Islandia, NY FEB. 2009 10-12 Clemson, SC 16-19 Clemson, SC 26-27 San Louis Obispo, CA MAR. 2009 4-6 Clemson, SC 9-12 Clemson, SC 16-18 Indianapolis, IN 17-18 Clemson, SC 19-20 Clemson, SC APRIL 2009 1-3 Charlotte, NC 27-28 Clemson, SC 27-30 Clemson, SC MAY 2009 3-6 Orlando, FL Clemson University: Brand Color Management Clemson University: Digital Proofing for Packaging Central Piedmont Community College: Phoenix Challenge High School Flexo Skill Competition Clemson University: Streamlined Package Design Clemson University: Advanced Techniques in Flexography FFTA Annual Forum Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort FTA Excellence Awards Judging Clemson University: Hands-on G7™ Flexography for Clemson University: Advanced Techniques in Flexography California Polytechnic State University: FIRST 4.0: Walking the Process Clemson University: Introduction to Color Management Clemson University: Introduction to the Flexographic Process NEHS Conference Calendar ENGAGING IDEAS
End of Year 2008