I know a bunch of people that will have some time off for a relaxing holiday season this year. It should be relaxing because they were able to make final edits to their print projects, get files to the printer and relax knowing their projects should be waiting for them in the new year. What a happy story, except for the poor printers who have to labor late into the night on Christmas Eve and so on. What about them?

Just kidding…WE LOVE IT! First, after a year like 2009, I think any printer will welcome the work. And second, its a great time of year to be busy. The phone doesn’t ring much, you’ve generally got some very large projects and hopefully you’ve gotten all the details out of the way prior to the break, plus it’s usually to cold to go canoeing, so its a great time to work. The only drawback is we eat to much food (see below).

Partt Collage 1
The Oregon Christmas Party, 25 years and going!

We were very lucky in 2009, we still had positive growth and a lot of good things happened. So before anything else, lets say Thank You to our loyal customers who were there for us….I think we have the best customers a print shop could possibly have. And now, I’m looking forward to a great 2010. I think by making it through 2009 and really taking continuous improvement seriously, we’ve positioned ourselves to do more than we ever thought possible a few years ago.

Whats going to drive us in 2010? I believe automation, automation (again) and software training, among other things. I find that a lot of companies (not just printers) have software packages that are capable of incredible things, including automation of certain tasks and information reporting that goes way beyond what any of us think it can do. We’ve targeted a couple of areas, (which I’ll write about in future blogs) where we believe performance could be turbocharged with a few minor upgrades, some minor set-up changes and some decent in-depth training (I can’t wait). 1 note though, it’s not as easy as it sounds; Big software companies make a lot of promises when they are in the sales cycle. A lot of times after the sale, they are on to the next victim. It’s our responsibility to stay on them until they fulfill the promise. And that can be a fair amount of work in itself.

But in the meantime, I hope everybody has a Happy Holiday, a great New Year (watch the Rose Bowl on New Years day and Go Bucks!), because we’ve got some jobs to have ready by the first week of January!