March 30, 2009

Bailout times numbered? Probably not...

I love how things are coming along. First you got Gas prices going to infinity. Then, you have the financial institution crumbling to shambles not because of "actual" assets, but of "bets". Then you have the economy going to shambles because a section of our society wanted to make tons of money and had a wonderful mindset that "YEAH, we can keep the "assets" moving so we can push them off to other countries. THEN you got......

I get mad every time I try to make some sense in this whole thing, and the more you read about it you just keep going in circles. At least Dilbert makes it easy to understand:


Another one that is equally as funny and a bit more in depth.

Governments of course have been scrambling to get the financial situation under control, and it seems it keeps on getting worse and worse. More so with the United States it seems, but maybe I am being a bit biased since I'm in the middle of this. Even more so with a small printing company within the Boston area. Talking to many people all around the area makes it even more depressing.

Why doesn't the printing industry get a bailout? Who knows, figures as much that the American industry that needs the bailout has had decades of mismanagement. How can you fix that in a matter of months while your getting handed free money? The mismanagement stems within the top-end management side and the representatives of the workers. Such "change" created a larger debt for our future generations while not producing anything. And how is our new and awesome administration fixing this? Firing people of course!

Rick Wagoner got the boot on Sunday and it spread like wildfire. Was this the best course of action? My right side of the brain says probably, my left side says no.

Why or why not? Does it really matter? Someone had to take the fall. That's what I see in this. Whether you agree with Rick or not doesn't matter, what matters is they needed someone to take the fall to make it look like the government was "cracking down" on the evil company of GM.

What about the whole board of directors? Why not the management of the unions? Why just him? It's very clear to me that this was all driven by the want to look like something actually happened, when in reality all that happened was some ruffled feathers within the media. Nothing changed, nothing progressed forward. All that was created was a public soap opera where the kids asked for too much candy, and finally the one who didn't necessarily eat the most but looked the easiest to pick on was singled out.

Is 60 days enough time to get the company going? Probably not, but will that stop the bailouts? Again, probably not. A whole industry is on the line and the government does not know what to do. They keep trying to put a band-aid on the gash. Its not going to help. The only viable, and appropriate, solution that should have been done months ago is bankruptcy. That is what is suppose to happen, that is how capitalism works. Some businesses fail and some succeed. GM failed, and its time that a new set of people came in to make it work again.

The price of American manufacturing is almost at its knees. Seems to me a little Lean Manufacturing could go a long way for the company. But what do I know, I'm just a lowly printer.

March 27, 2009

Tri-Certification completed, next project...

As some of you might be aware there is a beautiful thing that has happened within the printing industry. This totally awesome and beautiful creation, notice the sarcasm, is called Chain of Custody Certification. What is that you might ask? Some of you know of course that it involves the responsible management of the worlds forests. Forests are "certified" with specific certifications ensuring that the logging company is observing sustainable practices that will insure everyone throughout the "chain" that the trees are apart of a sustainable forest.

Some explanation of each certification:

FSC - Forest Stewardship Council - "An independent, non-governmental, not for profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world's forests."

SFI - Sustainable Forestry Initiative - Organization just like FSC but created by a collaboration of paper producers.

PEFC - Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification - "Promotes an internationally credible framework for forest certification schemes and initiatives in European countries."

These non-profit organizations have been around for quite some time. Most started within the 1990's but their popularity have increased with the whole shaping of the economic crisis. With printers competing heavily for a shrinking market these certifications have become a hot item. To acquire these certifications there is a very complex audit that needs to be done in order to insure all standards are met for these certifications. I lead a team at my company for the past 5 months to get this going. Believe you me, this was a chore!

My company, Smith Print Inc., successfully completed the Tri-Certified audit and will be officially certified in the next few weeks. It was a lot of work but we did it and I thank all my co-workers here at Smith Print for making this happen.

This is my first post and I wish to create more, but I thought this would be fitting for this blog to get started. Hope to get more in along the way!

P.S. - I have a website I wish to create for my own personal use and family purposes, I'll post that when it has been completed.