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Meet The New Face At Finishing Talk

January - 2009
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New EditorHappy New Year everybody! My name is Leah Greene and I'm the new editor here at Finishing Talk. I'm also new to the metal finishing industry and as you can imagine I'm eager to get more acquainted with this incredibly interesting industry. Much of the news about manufacturing and the metal finishing industry that I've read since starting this position has not been very positive. I've even talked to a few who fear that 2009 could even be worse.

So in an effort to help all of our readers stay competitive in such a interesting economy, I've put together a quick list of possible New Years eve resolutions that if incorporated into your organizations yearly business strategy, could pay dividends. Remember the key element in keeping your new years resolution is by making realistic ones.

Here are a few that I've picked up over the past few months here at Finishing Talk:

Identify Your Limitations Every organization has limitations, so identify yours because These very limitations, if left unidentified, will eventually erode the value of your organization. Once these areas are identified, consider bringing in some extra support to increase your efficiency. It's important to weigh the cost of early improvement against the cost of cleaning up a potential mess down the road - particularly one that could have been avoided.

Collaborate This is the recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together toward an intersection of common goals. Collaboration can be done with a key supplier, an industry alliance, or even with a competitor. It begins with a little brainstorming - but can easily lead to new innovative ideas. You will not only discover a hidden market or product, but you will also most certainly learn from other's perspectives and experiences, not to mention split up burdensome project responsibilities. Collaboration when done right helps make the two halves bigger than the whole.

Join an Online Network These online communities are popping up everywhere. There's a community for everything these days; from pets to hobbies to our very own metal finishing bulletin boards (we prefer www.finishingtalk.com). With a quick search on Face Book I found Finishing.com, Cache Valley Plating, and Dragon Powder Coating. Not only is Face Book a great way to reach out to a younger audience, it is an excellent tool for connecting with industry friends, coworkers, and even clients.

Use a Database All good marketing programs start with a good database. A couple of common programs for contact management today include Outlook and ACT. In either of these programs you can create a "master database" that you can add to over time. You also should add as much additional information about these contacts as you can. Try adding categories to your database like "Client, Prospect, Christmas Card List, and/or Vendor. You can even get a little more in-depth by adding categories about specialties such as Ni Plating, Anodizing, Powder Coating, etc. Also don't forget to capture all personal information you can about each contact such as birthday, spouse name, etc. Once all of this information is in place you can easily create sub-lists that allow you to begin target marketing your products and services. Use it often, and update it daily.

If you have any additional ideas that you'd like to share that our community could benefit from, please visit our forums at www.finishingtalk.com/community. I would love to hear your input on the newsletter - any ideas or questions you have, feel free to call or email me at leah@finishingtalk.com.

It is going to be an exciting New Year here at Finishing Talk and I am personally excited to establish a relationship with you all.