August 21, 2021


I received feedback from loyal readers (here's the article I'm referencing). I did not receive any feedback from the vendor community to explain the challenges they face.

A few notes before I move on to more important topics.

Quote:  "I've been told that printers are having a hard time hiring people."
  • That might be true. 
  • If it is true, then printer/paper Management failed you. In the past half-decade, Lyft/Uber/Amazon/Grubhub/DoorDash among many others busily created jobs that didn't previously exist. If a job is going to pay absolutely nothing, the job better darn well have flexibility that offsets low wages. If you can't offer flexibility, then you hare going to have to pay for talent. I'm tired of the "NOBODY WANTS TO WORK" trope. My goodness, that statement illustrates a profound misunderstanding of how the nature of work changed. Do you want to make $27,000/year as an Uber driver and pick your hours or do you want to do widget quality control on an assembly line for $11/hour?
Quote:  "Nobody can get product, including e-commerce brands. The Global Supply Chain is broken."
  • True.
  • Now, how does the e-commerce brand deal with this? They have enough merchandise breadth to offset the challenge. If all you sell is paper, then you don't get the benefit of the doubt, because your product line is too narrow. Smart businesses diversify and have a strong contingency planning discipline. Fewer Products = More Risk. You're seeing the "More Risk" side of the equation.
Quote: "How come you didn't jump all over the USPS when they couldn't get a catalog sent to your home last year? Why pick on paper/printing people?"
  • Do not get me started.
  • If the USPS, paper people, and printers are all struggling to serve you, what are you doing to move on? What does that say about the state of the industry designed to support you?
Quote:  "These are good people, and they're trying hard."
  • True!
  • You're a good person as well, and you're trying hard. What would happen to you if you couldn't get a list prepared for a future mailing, causing the mailing to be in jeopardy? What would happen to you if you couldn't get your daily email campaign out the door? What would happen to your merge/purge vendor if they couldn't ... you know ... merge/purge?
  • We seem to offer more grace to our vendor partners when they have problems than we offer to our own co-workers when they have problems. Why? And this is a 30 year old problem.
Quote: "If we get mad at them, we alienate them. We don't have choices like we used to have."
  • You don't have printing/paper choices.
  • You have nearly unlimited commerce choices. Why aren't you exploring unlimited commerce choices in greater detail?
Start focusing on commerce. Selling. You are smart, you are talented, you have the tools to build a better future. Start doing that!

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