Dickeson--Throw Away the Crystal Ball
Don't berate yourself or your associates because your dream didn't pan out. Don't waste their time demanding they play the forecasting games. Don't send job standards (forecasts) to the production floor, or you'll have the troops laughing! If "actual" doesn't equal the "budget" column, it just shows that you can't forecast. (Exactly what I'm saying!) Simplify and concentrate on what's really important for survival of the business.
The most significant business factors are happening outside the business, not inside. The RATE of change outside our print businesses is rapid—bandwidth, the Internet, new analog camera technology (Foveon), customer shopping methods and information resources. It's all-important for survival to keep pace with change—just to react, not proact, by guessing what will happen.
Read the trade/technology journals. Identify the best search engines on the Web to find out what's going on. Talk to your customers and "listen in the cracks" to what they DON'T say, as well as what they do say. All those activities outside the shop walls take time, intense concentration and, most of all, that painful effort called thinking. Precious hours spent in external responsiveness are extremely valuable to the business.
Want to be an entrepreneur in today's exploding economy? Then get real. You are not a stand-in for the Oracle of Delphi. We're all confused, baffled, by what's happening around us—and to us—from the president of the United States down to Joe Average running the corner repro shop.
Figure out the right things to be doing and just do them! Not to worry about forecasts.
—Roger V. Dickeson
About the Author
Roger Dickeson is a printing productivity consultant based in The Woodlands, TX. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or by fax at (281) 419-8213.