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Mañana Man's Mailbag —DeWese

March 2003
This is one of those columns where I'm going to reach into the ol' mailbag and reprint some of the letters you readers send me. The idea is that I reprint either all or excerpts of the letters, and then I'll tap into my enormous wisdom and solve the reader's problem or I may have to single-handedly turn around the poor soul's life.

Okay, here's the first letter. I am reprinting it because it comes from a young person who beautifully summarizes a major problem in the printing industry.

*** Hello Mr. DeWese,

I wanted to contact you to let you know that I have been reading your articles for many years. You might find that hard to believe because of the fact that I am 28 years old and in the printing industry. My grandfather and father started this company in 1970 in Tampa, FL, after fleeing Cuba.

After my grandfather passed away, my father continued along with my mother, and grew our company into a very progressive and client-oriented corporation.

I have grown up around compromise. As a company, we will not sell our souls to the equipment and (we) love this industry. No I am not crazy, but I am ambitious for growth—but without manufacturers with deferred payments.

We understand our costs and will strive to keep them low. What I do not understand is why my competition will not. Why is it so hard to understand the 1 + 1 must = 2 principle?

In your opinion when do you see this industry raising its prices? Clearly owners and CEOs must see the rising cost of insurance and worker compensation. Or is it just me? As a young salesman I have already seen every excuse that can come from a buyer's mouth, but I accept it.

What I cannot accept is the massive difference in price. When this industry as a whole spends so much time and energy to produce any job, why do we give it away? What is the fear that we face? In speaking to several different people I realized that we are one of the few industries that drop everything for that sake of the client, but are never rewarded. One of my favorite comments is, "Have you ever seen a cheap lawyer?" No matter how bad they are, they are still $200/hr.

I would like to thank you in advance for you time and to let you know how much I respect your words.


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