Friday, September 30, 2011

Recession, new or double-dip, does it really matter? All I can say is STFU!

Sorry, but I find stories like this one amusing. (see article below). This is not the only “story” currently on the Internet about the likelihood of a “double-dip” recession being imminent.

First, I’d like to point out that “officially” the “last” recession ended (per some government geniuses, who follow, and report on the statistics) in June 2009. So, if the recession that (reportedly) started in December 2007 (which was the month we sold our company) ended in June 2009, then we’ve been “out of recession” for over two years. So, if we are, again, going to dip into recession, this one is a “new one”, not a “double-dip”. Not that that matters.

Secondly, when I walk around the Back Bay area of Boston, which is where most of Boston’s nice stores are located, I don’t see much, if any, signs of a recession. People are shopping, people are carrying bags (meaning, they are buying stuff, not just looking at stuff.) (Sadly, when I visit shopping areas in the Tampa Bay, FL area, it does feel like there’s a recession, so there’s definitely a difference, economy-wise, Tampa area vs. Boston area.) I went to buy a new car in August and could not get a great deal on a new car – got just an okay deal – and that was because the dealers I visited (and I visited 7 different dealerships) were low on inventory, at least on the model I was interested in buying.

I think people (most people) should simply ignore the media and what the media has to say about recession, double-dip or otherwise, and simply go about their business, look for jobs, work hard in the job they are already in, and adopt a positive mindset. There is power in “positive thinking”. All of the negative ranting gets us nowhere and puts us in a funk. If you think things are going to be shitty, they will be shitty. And, the reverse is probably just as true.

Okay, here’s the article I found on After the article, I’ve posted some of the “reader responses.”

"Forecast says double-dip recession is imminent"

By Chris Isidore @CNNMoney September 30, 2011: 10:23 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The U.S. economy is staring down another recession, according to a forecast from the Economic Cycle Research Institute.

"It's either just begun, or it's right in front of us," said Lakshman Achuthan, the managing director of ECRI. "But at this point that's a detail. The critical news is there's no turning back. We are going to have a new recession."

The ECRI produces widely-followed leading indicators which predict when the economy is moving between recession and expansion. Achuthan said all those indicators are now pointing to a new economic downturn in the immediate future.

His recession call puts him ahead of most other forecasters. A CNNMoney survey of economists this week pointed to a one-in-three chance of a new recession in the next six months. The most bearish predictions put the odds at 50-50.

Achuthan said it is still possible that the recession will be mild this time, lasting less than a year with relatively limited job losses. But he said if there are shocks to the system, such as another financial meltdown due to the European sovereign debt crisis, it could become a very serious and deep recession.

His call comes the day after the government's final report on second quarter gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic health, showed weak growth of only 1.3% in the three months ending in June. Achuthan said he's confident that the recession either began in the third quarter, which ends today, or will begin in the fourth quarter.

The average American is already more bearish than most economists. A CNN/ORC International poll shows 90% of those polled believe current economic conditions are poor.

Here’s some of the reader responses, so far:

* It would be great if these forecasters would just shut up!! I read that housing sales were up, first time jobless clams are down. There are many relatively good news, which always ends with, but don't think its over. Somebody just want this uncertainty to go on, so that everybody is scared and holds on to their money. It appears orchestrated.

* "Forecast says double-dip". Common sense says, "Duh."

* I love these "news" that are not news. These morons must live under a rock, because as far as I am concerned, and what I see as a business owner, we have been in one since 2008 and it's only getting worse. But that's okay, because when Wall Street is up 200 points next week, everything is okay again. Bunch of blithering idiots we have in charge, who do nothing to tackle fundamental problems, and only throw more of OUR money to banks who do nothing but squander it and pay millions to their key employees.

* Here come the market geniuses who called the first "double-dip" wrong, trying to make themselves look good by calling this pullback the same double-dip. The Great recession started in late 2007, four years ago. Just how far out in the future will it be before they stop referring to their mistaken forecast for a double-dip and properly refer to it as another (different) recession?

* This isn't news. Everyone on main street already damn well knew that the economy sucked and wasn't getting any better. Apparently, economists are late to the party and are trying to make up for the fact that the science in their field is just out of touch with reality. Kudos to all our Congressional representatives for screwing up this country in record time.

Solano County, CA - MPS Procurement (open) and Drawing Reproduction (now closed)

RFP Title:



RFP Number:


Submission Date:

November 3, 2011 3:00 pm


The County of Solano, Central Services Division, Purchasing Services, intends to secure a contract for County-Wide Managed Print Services.


Karen Poole


(707) 784-6321


(707) 422-9770


IFB Title:



IFB No.:


Submission Date:

August 11, 2011 3:00 pm


The County of Solano is soliciting bids for an agreement for providing general drawing, reprographic, and related services on an as needed basis for various County departments such as Architectural Serivces and Public Works/Design and Engineering.


Karen Poole


(707) 784-6321


(707) 421-9770


Date of Posting:

July 20, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thomas Repro publishes video to introduce restaurant retailers to its Visualogistix service

This is a great example of “niche” marketing! I just watched the video and it is very well done. Congrats to the Thomas Repro team members responsible for the production of this video.

Here’s what Thomas Repro says on its web-site about this video and, afterwards, a link to the video:

“As part of our continued push into the restaurant market space with Visualogistix, today we have launched an all new promo video highlighting the benefits of Visualogistix. To get a peek at the new video, visit:”

Another wide-format Memjet-enabled ink-jet printer is introduced; this one by a Hungarian digital print solutions company

WideStar 2000 Sets New Standards in Speed and Affordability for 42-Inch Wide Format Printing

BRUSSELS, Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Labelexpo Europe,— OWN-X Kft, the rapidly expanding Hungarian provider of professional digital print solutions, today announced the WideStar 2000 high-speed wide format printing system powered by Memjet, a global provider of high-speed color printing technologies. OWN-X will demonstrate the WideStar 2000 at Labelexpo Europe in Hall 9, Booth F15 during the show from 28th September to 1st October.

The WideStar 2000 promises to change the way the market views wide format printing because of its ability to print single pass, full color, large format images on a wide range of substrates both exceptionally fast and affordably. It is the first Memjet-powered wide format printing system introduced in Europe.

Dr. Jules Farkas, Ph.D., chairman of OWN-X Kft, said, "We are please to bring the WideStar 2000 through this launch at Labelexpo. Memjet technologies and components are changing the way people print – and how they use commercial print – by bringing affordable, fast color where it was never before thought possible. This means color on-demand is now accessible to customers without waiting or doing large print runs to realize economies of scale – a significant shift for the industry."

Mike Puyot, president of Memjet's Wide Format division, said the WideStar 2000 heralds positive change for the wide format print space, print shops and end-users.

"We are seeing continued movement in the industry to more affordable and accessible traditional wide format color printing like technical documents and production graphics, as well as other new commercial print applications possible through fast print speeds and lower capital costs. Memjet technology now makes this possible." Puyot said.

The WebStar 2000 sets new standards for speed and affordability by delivering more than 3 billion drops of inks per second for print speeds up to 8 times faster than traditional inkjet technology. Thanks to the exclusive Memjet Waterfall Printhead TechnologyTM, the system delivers high overall throughput and can handle high volume with fast turnaround times delivering wide format architectural / engineering documents, maps, indoor signage, P-O-P displays, packaging, newspapers and more all on- demand.

Mr. Dan Ottolenghi, an industry expert and long-time reseller of wide format printers, said, "I am excited by the new technology in the WideStar 2000," adding that the OWN-X system's speed when compared to traditional wide format inkjet wide format printers "represents a revolution."

"OWN-X is a pioneer in commercializing Memjet technology, and its Memjet-powered labels printer, the SpeedStar 3000, has been selling worldwide for more than a year now," Ottolenghi stated. "I am sure that the OWN-X WideStar 2000 is a product that will provide high value and access to color for more and more people."

Memjet's color printing technologies were recently honored with the 2011 InterTech Technology Award from the Printing Industries of America. Among the companies announced partners are Lenovo China and LG in Korea.

WideStar 2000 Highlights:

Incorporates revolutionary Memjet technology and components for state-of-the-art production printing paired with OWN-X reliability, support and cost-effectiveness.

True single pass wide format printing utilizing 5 Memjet 8.77" (222mm) Printheads for a total of 352,000 ink nozzles (70,400 per color CMYKK)

Print speeds of 6 inches/sec (15mm/sec) or 12 inches/sec (30mm/sec)

Resolution up to 1,600 x 1,600 dpi print quality at 6 in/sec (15mm/sec)

Standard D size or A1 size plot printed in 2 or 4 seconds

Print on a broad range of media and sheet sizes from A4 up to 42" (1067mm) x 100' (30m) for the ultimate in versatility

Offers 2 liter or 10 liter CMYKK ink tanks for cost-effective operations and low consumables costs while ensuring vibrant color reproduction.

Runs variable data/personalization of individual pieces at full speed for efficient production of high-impact and high-response rate customized materials.

About OWN-X Kft

OWN-X Kft is a Hungarian subsidiary of AM Trading Holding AG based in Switzerland. We are a rapidly growing technological company developing solutions to market-driven needs in printing. OWN-X formed in 2008 as a financial and trading company for digital printers and is focused on bringing to market solutions powered by Memjet technologies, including the SpeedStar 3000 and WideStar 2000. OWN-X sells and services its products through a European reseller network. For more information, please visit

About Memjet

Memjet is the global leader in color printing technologies that provide remarkable speeds and affordability. The company supplies technologies and components to OEM partners across the printing industry. Memjet maintains its corporate office in San Diego, and has offices in Dublin, Sydney, Taipei, Singapore and Boise, Idaho. The company is privately held. For more information, please visit

Contacts for Memjet:

Jeff Bean



Debra Benson

Illume Public Relations

+1-(310) 228-1300

Contact for OWN-X:

George Kozmann



What do your employees say about your company and about the management of your company

Occasionally, I take time to visit to read employee (and former employee) reviews of companies who are involved in reprographics, copying, printing, etc. Some of the reviews are interesting, some are concerning, some are hilarious and some are obviously “whining” in nature.

The other day, I found a review posted by a former employee of Fedex Office (which most older people still refer to as Kinkos. These comments were posted on Sep 24, 2011 by an employee who left the company in 2010.

I read reviews not just to see what employees think of the companies they work (or worked) for, but to consider how I would feel, and what actions I would take, if the employee making the comments was my employee, meeting with me to share his thoughts and concerns. Business owners and managers can certainly learn a lot from listening to what their employees have to say. We used to say in our businesses, “constructive criticism is welcome, destructive criticism is not.”

FedEx Office Center Manager in Petaluma, CA: (Past Employee - 2010)
“Overwhelming, stressful, and yet fun if those are traits you thrive on.”

Respected brand.

Able to work your way up from entry level to upper management.

Very good pay.

The employees are some of the brightest and most talented people I have ever met.

The benefits are outstanding.

Rigidly inflexible upper management in regards to 'pet' projects and their usefulness.

A great deal of favoritism is involved in how far a team member can climb the ladder.

HR is definitely more concerned with the firm than with the justness towards employees.

The organization has become so politically-correct that team members can no longer wish 'merry Christmas' or whatever religious holiday wish they personally patronize and instead can only say 'happy holidays'. This made me sick.

FedEx has no real understanding of what it is to run a successful document business. So far, the changes made have alienated most of the historically loyal customer base and one by one they are leaving.

FedEx marketing insists on contacting customers numerous times at home, has managers contact customers at home, has a service level survey contact them at home too. Many customers can expect to be contacted up to 5 times for one small order. Many of my customers have stated this is too much. And a few have even told the service survey that the number of calls turned them off and they would not be back because of it.

Advice to Senior Management
Remember that you are only as successful as your team members. You earn your paychecks on their backs and you should treat them as such. Good team members should be rewarded. You push rewards and recognition but only allow managers to spend 50-75 bucks on team member relations per month. In a store with 18 team members this doesn’t add up to even a decent pizza party for the monthly meeting. Good team members need more to remain good. You should stop listening to inexperienced college grads about what's best for your company and go out to the field and see for yourselves.

Also, stop threatening team members with their jobs all the time. My center was consistently over 100% to plan and I was still being pushed to tell team members their jobs were on the line if performance was not improved. In my eyes, with the income statement backing me up, my team members were doing a fantastic job and still my SCM told me not to 'coddle' them so they would not become complacent. This is a poor culture to cultivate and a large part of why I left.