DeWese--We Have Met the Enemy
I see sales up among independent companies in a range of from 10 percent to 35 percent for 1999. It is true that some of the consolidators have sucked the entrepreneurial growth spirit right out of their companies; but, overall, this industry is growing nicely. Besides, in the past 11 years, the consolidators have bought out fewer than 600 out of more than 40,000 companies—and their few loser plants can't be dragging down the whole industry. If some people don't stop all their negativity, I'm going to do my own survey that will be unquestionably, irrevocably and statistically accurate, and I will embarrass the hell out of the naysayers. Sales in decline? Phooey!
It ain't dyin' due to no Internet. The Internet is creating new printing in order to fuel visits to their Websites. Order a book from Amazon.com and see how much printing you get in the box, and how much new direct mail you get. The printing industry is changing, but all industries are changing. Dying industry? Cow chips!
How can an industry that is so digitally dependent now suddenly be a traditional, "old economy" business? Maybe salt is old economy, but not our printing industry. Our companies can't buy new software and digitally based equipment fast enough. Old economy? Poppycock!
Now, if you are one of those whiners in sales, sales management, management or ownership who says, "The Internet is killing us and our sales are down and our competitors' prices are killing us and the dog ate all our samples..."; then here's what I want you to do.
I want you to march yourself right over to the nearest mirror, look into it and then ask yourself, "Have I done my job as well as I possibly could?" Do this, I beg of you. It's just you there in front of that mirror, so you can be honest. Do it because I'm telling you there are successful salespeople and managers in this industry right now who are soaring, zooming and making it happen.