Don't Be Taken Hostage --DeWeseJune 2002
Okay, that's it! I'm enraged!
I've taken another 150 print buyers hostage, and this time I'm not telling where I'm holed up with this motley crew. You remember the last time I took print buyers hostage; I admitted that I was holding them in the Ritz Carlton in Chicago. I served them Dom Perignon and the best Beluga. Eventually, the FBI "negotiated" their release.
I'll tell you about my demands later. First, I want to tell why I'm so angry.
It was this past Friday, about 4 p.m. I had given myself the afternoon off to tend to my garden. Why not? Most of my clients were golfing and not likely to call.
But my pal Dave called. I was irritated by the interruption, but I trudged up to the house to take the call.
Dave owns a printing company in New York City. It's not far from the hallowed ground formerly occupied by the Twin Towers. Dave was broken hearted and needed to talk. At 3 p.m. he had been informed that, after 20 years of award-winning service, his largest customer, Goliath Global Industries, had relegated his company to "second-tier" status.
"Second tier" it was explained really meant "second team," and that effective Monday at 9 a.m., Dave's Litho will get no more job quotes.
Splash! Five million in print sales just hit the water and sank to the bottom.
Whap! Dave never had a chance to get off his stool when he took a head shot and was down for the count.
Dave is an emotional guy whose waters run as deep as anyone I know. He asked why? He was told, "We have a new executive we hired from Humongous Industries and he has revamped our print purchasing practices. Four new printers are in and you are out."
Dave asked, "But what about 20 years of faithful service? What about our quality and all the supplier awards you have given us? What about our immediate responsiveness? Whenever you want something, we have it in your hands in 20 minutes. What about your print buyers who love us? You are headquartered in New York and we're New Yorkers!"
Dave was told it didn't matter. The new executive has selected four printing companies for the first team and you are sitting on the bench. "We will call if we need you."
Dave is pouring out his heart to me. He said, "These new printing companies are in other cities. The closest is an hour away by plane. Doesn't it count that we are New Yorkers, post-September 11? We kept all of our people on the payroll even though our post-September 11 revenues were one third of the previous year."