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    « December 2006 | Main | February 2007 »

    January 29, 2007

    Adobe PDF to Become an ISO Standard

    Adobe has previously given software developers a royalty free license to use the PDF standard. This allowed anyone to use the standard, but Adobe had total control over any changes to the format. Today Adobe will relinquish control of the format to AIIM, the Enterprise Content Management Association, for publication by ISO (International Organization for Standardization). This was allegedly driven by some governments' resistance to adopt proprietary file formats. Because Adobe controlled the format it was considered proprietary.

    January 26, 2007

    Risk Creates Stability

    It is common perception that taking risks creates uncertainty for future stability. I would argue that those who are risk adverse have a more uncertain future. As new ways of doing business replace the old in shorter intervals, those who are slow to change are at risk of being made obsolete. Those who take risks and bring about change will always have more opportunities in front of them.

    January 23, 2007

    Brand and Branding

    There is a big difference between a brand and branding.  You get branded, but you do branding.  If you do branding you can influence how you get branded.  If you don't do branding you still get branded, but usually not how you want to be branded.  Take control of your brand.

    January 19, 2007

    Sales versus Adoption

    Too often we place an emphasis on sales versus user adoption. Sales is what somebody is willing to pay for a product. Adoption is when customers actually start deriving value from the product. If you have good sales but poor adoption eventually it will catch up to you. Customers who buy something but don't derive their intended value are less likely to buy more from you (whether it is your fault or theirs). Adoption is the key to continued sales success.
    Adoption can be a complicated phenomenon. It can be dependent on pricing, integration, training, product, usability, customer service, and willingness to change.

    January 18, 2007

    Commercial Stockholm Syndrome

    I was in a discussion today regarding PC's versus Macs.  The gentlemen I was discussing this with used both, but was obviously biased towards Macs.  when I asked him "if Macs are so much better why do people stick with PC's".  His answer "Stockholm Syndrome".

    I was quite amused.  Do you have any prospects who seem to be abused by your competition, but find it hard to switch?

    January 15, 2007

    Being Remarkable

    Seth Godin often talks about being "remarkable".  It is the basis of his book "The Purple Cow".  Here is an interesting post that summarizes one of Seth's articles on being remarkable.

    January 10, 2007

    FDFC versus FIFO

    Most AEC reprographics companies manage their work FIFO (First In First Out) unless there is an exception. The problem is there are a lot of exceptions. What if you could manage your workflow First Due First Completed (FDFC). There is a lot behind this concept, but it should be your goal. Your business will be more profitable and your customers more satisfied.

    January 08, 2007

    One Egg or Two?

    Elmer Wheeler, a famous sales consultant, was hired to help a pharmacy improve their profits.  At the time it was common for pharmacies to serve food.  One of the most popular items served was malted milkshakes.  Wheeler observed that several customers were ordering malted milkshakes with an egg in it.  Even though this was extra the pharmacy wasn't charging any more.  Wheeler advised the pharmacy not only that they charge extra "per egg", but servers were trained to ask customers whether they wanted "one egg or two".  Here's the genius in this:
    1. Most customers did not order eggs, but when they did it ate into profits
    2. Wheelers question caused the customers to make a choice and they almost always picked one (ordering no eggs was an option, just not stated)

    What does this have to do with AEC reprographics?  I believe that similar strategies can be used to condition customers.  It can also be used to set expectations that are easier to manage and perform to.  For example:  "Would you like that job delivered within our standard 8 hour turnaround time or for an extra $1 we can deliver it in 4 hours?"

    One dollar isn't very much but it is enough to cause somebody to make a decision between two choices.  Not many people are going to complain about a $1, and you'd be surprised how many people would choose 8 hours.  If 10% of the jobs that were traditionally done ASAP (or some form of ASAP) suddenly gave you 8 hours to deliver the jobs would that help your bottom line?

    January 03, 2007

    We Don't Accept ASAP

    Many companies have made a bold move to start conditioning customers.  When they ask a customer when they would like their job to be completed they don't accept ASAP as an answer.  Well, I guess that is a start, but I don't believe it is nearly enough.  When a customer is told "We don't accept ASAP", what is stopping him from giving you an even more unreasonable deadline than you would have assumed ASAP meant?  Nothing.  The only thing it gives you is more clarity as to what the target is.  There is no incentive to give you more time or any additional fee for your effort to expedite the work.

    January 01, 2007