Stop the Re-Org Merry-go-round
Along with the creditors, the bankruptcy courts are also to blame for closing their eyes to the ineptitude of management teams and their fuzzy projections. Anyone can model spreadsheets to show sales and margin growth, but the hard work of due diligence must be done to avoid what has transpired in our industry. It’s embarrassing, it’s despicable, and it hurts the many small- and mid-sized businesses competing against these drunken monsters.
When your liabilities are cleaned from your balance sheet, it shouldn’t be difficult to avoid catastrophe for the next two years. Many would argue for a higher benchmark altogether. Some type of long-term sustainability seems reasonable.
Elizabeth Warren, former Harvard Law Professor, has long argued for tougher diligence on the bozos trying to keep their hands on the wheel once the accident has taken place. (Interestingly, studies have shown that those who have caused motor-vehicle accidents, even while quizzed in their hospital beds, believe their driving skills are superior to others). It’s called confirmation bias, and perhaps we need all need to be more meticulous in our own evaluations.
My brother has managed a printing account for half a dozen years, and one of the customer’s programs is for newspaper inserts. While it’s not the core of our business, we’ve always valued the program’s continuity.
When we first bid on the project, we were 30 percent high compared to Quebecor. We advised the client that Quebecor’s price would prove to be unsustainable, but we understood the decision to go in that direction.
When Quebecor went bankrupt, the client re-bid the work. That time, Vertis won with a price 30 percent below ours. And now that Vertis has imploded, we’ve inquired about the company’s plans for the program, while wondering if yet another competitor will continue this ill-advised pattern of unsustainable under-pricing.
A third-generation printer, Dustin LeFebvre delivers his vision for Specialty Print Communications as EVP, Marketing through strategy, planning and new product development. With a rich background ranging from sales and marketing to operations, quality control and procurement, Dustin takes a wide-angle approach to SPC