Posted By RichC on August 12, 2016
Change can be depressing, especially when it comes to losing a longtime client that I now think of as friends like the folks at SummitSWCD in Akron. In this case there isn’t anything I can do since as voters in Summit County approved expanding the county’s data center and information technology department. They will now be internalizing the webhosting that my company, Consolidated Printing and Publishing, has been doing for them over the years.
When I think about it, we go way back; I’ve been servicing their needs, including printing and webhosting for decades. They have made two building changes and I’ve made one when moving from Cuyahoga Falls to Cincinnati.
Back in 1987, when we moved into our newly remodeled Cuyahoga Falls building, pre-www (World Wide Web – that actually sounds funny to say nowadays), they were one of my first customers as it was a no-brainer to go after the business right across the street from me — their small office overlooked the Cuyahoga River and had a nice view. I remember when several of today’s long time employees were hired and am now watching them retire (in their 50s!!!) — too early in the opinion of someone who works in the private sector. Initially most all their printing and graphics work sent over to me, because besides a typewriter and copy machine, their office didn’t have personal computers … still a fairly new technology. The mainstays for those of use in the printing business were the expendables like business cards, letterhead, envelopes and carbonless forms (a big deal getting rid of carbon paper). My bigger push were the regular newsletters (my mainstay) and helping customers learn to design and "pageset" their own monthly newsletter for us to print. The good ol’ days!
Actually the "change" got me thinking about how "change" also got me started in business. ‘Back in the day,’ it was the opposite move. Many established companies were finding their antiquated "in-house" printshops too expensive. The capital nature of the equipment and the legacy cost of well compensated employees were an ideal place to cut for many bloated corporations looking to downsize … or to use a business correct term, "rightsize." It was a big cost saving to have lean companies handle the printing needs that the vastly improved Xerox machines (soon to have a ton of competition too) were not able to handle by the office staffs. It was a good to be able to grow a business while these companies were outsourcing.
Nothing stays the same though, as the last decade (along with a recession and a low growth recovery – see yesterday’s post), companies and organizations are finding that technology is making it easier and cost effective to bring much of what they were sending out back in house. And so the cycle goes.
Hopefully I’ll still keep my foot in the door at Summit SWCD as I’ll keep making my regular stops during my sales trips to northeast Ohio … besides, I do still handle a few of their print jobs, but I can tell … those days are likely numbered as well.