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qgrandomhero1313

Bay City, MI

#1 Oct 28, 2010
I want to share a story with all of you. Bear with me as I like story time and tend to wander with my thoughts. I have a four year old daughter. Recently, I was introduced, via her, to a motion picture called “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”. For those of you who may have children and have not seen this flick, I would highly recommend it if for no other reason than the part when Steve the monkey is throwing chocolate snowballs(trust me you will see the humor as I did). For those of you that have seen this picture, I want to bring your attention to a small segment that most people would overlook. When they are flying into the giant meatball in the sky, they have a quick 2 second shot of Manny the cameraman reading a magazine. What most see is a calm man reading in a time of distress. What did I see? He was reading Broadcast Engineering. Well what is that you may ask? It’s a monthly publication printed in Midland Michigan. At one of Quad’s plants. What is the significance of this? When I saw this clip, I was overcome with pride. I turned to my wife and told her to rewind it and pause it on that clip. I told her that we print that. She looked at me with some confusion, and understandably so, we print a lot of magazines. But they used one of ours as a cartoon prop in a cartoon movie. Now keep in mind I like story time and this comes in a couple parts. Also a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be able to sit down with our director and discuss some of the changes that Legacy Worldcolor Plants can look forward too. Furthermore, lets abandon the legacy this and legacy that talk. We are one company with one vision. We are one team. In regards to this meeting, our director made a few statements about quality. Mr, Schmidt, please accept my paraphrasing as word for word was over ruled with two simple words.“Ownership” and “creation”. If I may paraphrase, we need to take ownership of our creation. Now I am sure the Vatican may attempt to correct my usage of the word creation, but I “can” deal with them at another time. Rick, Sir, these two words went in my head to never go out. With them, you officially allowed me to close this post as I intend to. If someone were to build a car or motorcycle or house, they are creating something. They would use the best parts they could and pay attention to every detail. Not missing a step. Why?
qgrandomhero1313

Bay City, MI

#2 Oct 28, 2010
Because its theirs. They want to make sure that something they are going to tell their friends and family that they built, with their own hands, is something remarkable. They want to be able to take pride in their “creation”. How does this apply to us in our industry? Not all creations are made for the same demographic and not all will be treated as if Bill Gates, or Al Gore(<- joke) created the internet. Not all of them will be valuable to the masses. But it is still a creation none the less. So my question to everyone is, what do we do for 8 to 12 hours a day? Do we print something, or bind something, or ship something? A lot of people would say yes. What if I asked what did you create today? Very few people would mention that magazine, or book or insert. But what if we did? Today I noticed a memo on the ES board about how to keep print on paper rather than a monitor. I have given this a lot of thought. My answer, stop printing, stop binding, stop shipping and start creating. As many will argue with me on this point, I do not care how bad the economy is, I do not care how much postal rates increase. If we were to change the way we think about our jobs, and start to take “ownership” for our “creation” and we focus more on the end result rather than a production goal, do you believe that we could prove to our customers that our ink on paper far exceeds the quality of an HD monitor? I do. There is something intimate about reading a publication in its originally design form. There something powerful about that. Don’t get me wrong, after Five years of Philosophy and Law, I HATE READING! But every month, I receive my new catalog and when I walk in the door after looking at magazines and catalogs all day, I can not wait to pick it up and see what is in it. Does this sound familiar to any of you? There is no cost cutting or strategic plan that will stop the customer for going digital. There is only us. When we walk through those doors everyday, we need to understand that we are there to do a job. Produce a best in class product for our customers in a timely manner. It is our duty, our responsibility to provide them with outstanding customer service, top notch quality, and the chance to provide their customers with that wonderful feeling of the new catalog or issue that arrived while at work. To wrap all of this up, 2 words could change our industry, if we all make them a part of our ideology. I know most of you are thinking that this is all just talk and many probably have a hard time understanding how what we do is creation. If you do not believe me, ask Manny the camera man. Print will never die so long as yourself and I believe that we can “create” a better product than a micro chip or processor. My heart goes out to those whose future seems dark. You have nothing to be ashamed of or angry about. Hold your heads high. Be proud of all that you created over the years. I wish you all the best, and wish you could all be part of the ride, no matter how much longer it is. I tip my hat to you and thank you. Had it not been for those veterans of this industry, I would have never found print at the creation stage. My name is Ryan Bouchard. Sift Leader/Business Area Lead. Quad Graphics Midland. And this is MY BRAND!
FYI Clarksville

United States

#3 Oct 29, 2010
Very impressive and heartfelt post Ryan. You just created a perfect example, using a processor in digital media, why our craft has such a dark and dismal future. Had you created your message in print media and incurred the cost of materials, printing, shipping, etc to get your message across in a timely manner would have been economically challenging. With a few strokes of the keyboard you have defined our future.
jinx

Rochester, NY

#4 Oct 29, 2010
obviously Ryan, you are one of the reasons for Quad's success. Employees like yourself create a positive atmosphere around co-workers. I understand the pride you have of seeing your magazine in a movie. Every time I go to the supermarket I look at the magazine racks and take pride in being part of the production of many of the magazines and books.It is just difficult to understand why our Clarksville plant was closed. Most of the workers there took great pride in quality and production goals.Your theory is not new, it was put into place in Japan many years ago by a man named Demming who said quality individuals produce quality products, Quality starts at every level of production. Keep up the good work, and thanks for the post.
Not a printer

Brownsville, TN

#5 Oct 29, 2010
FYI Clarksville wrote:
Very impressive and heartfelt post Ryan. You just created a perfect example, using a processor in digital media, why our craft has such a dark and dismal future. Had you created your message in print media and incurred the cost of materials, printing, shipping, etc to get your message across in a timely manner would have been economically challenging. With a few strokes of the keyboard you have defined our future.
Good answer!!
You can create all you want, and you can "persuade" YOUR customers (also in the "print" business) that YOUR creation is superior to anything on the planet. The problem is, and will continue to be, that THEIR customers are not willing to PAY for something that they can get for FREE anytime they want it. YOUR customer caused this situation by offering the exact same "thing", for FREE, on the internet. They know they can reach many more customers that way and generate more sales that way. They will continue to print, in smaller and smaller quantities, until their "media" sales exceed their print sales. They already stopped supplying catalogs to their retail outlets, it comes via email, in electronic format now. They call it "going green". The "green" they are talking about is MONEY. They save all the postage, envelopes, paper and ink to print the bills and catalogs. This adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. What they do print is at a lesser margin (less profit for YOU), less expensive in and paper, and reduced print count. This trend WILL continue!
YOUR costs contimue to go up. Higher postage rates, more expensive shipping costs, more expensive materials, higher labor, insurance, and benefit costs, etc. The company is making less profit and spending more each year. The only way they can survive is to cut "costs". The only way left to cut costs is to get smaller and increase efficiency. Usually, increasing efficiency means more automated and faster equipment, which translates directly to fewer jobs.
I would start learning something else while you still have your present job........
Tired of the Games

Nashville, TN

#6 Oct 29, 2010
Not a printer wrote:
<quoted text>
Good answer!!
You can create all you want, and you can "persuade" YOUR customers (also in the "print" business) that YOUR creation is superior to anything on the planet. The problem is, and will continue to be, that THEIR customers are not willing to PAY for something that they can get for FREE anytime they want it. YOUR customer caused this situation by offering the exact same "thing", for FREE, on the internet. They know they can reach many more customers that way and generate more sales that way. They will continue to print, in smaller and smaller quantities, until their "media" sales exceed their print sales. They already stopped supplying catalogs to their retail outlets, it comes via email, in electronic format now. They call it "going green". The "green" they are talking about is MONEY. They save all the postage, envelopes, paper and ink to print the bills and catalogs. This adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. What they do print is at a lesser margin (less profit for YOU), less expensive in and paper, and reduced print count. This trend WILL continue!
YOUR costs contimue to go up. Higher postage rates, more expensive shipping costs, more expensive materials, higher labor, insurance, and benefit costs, etc. The company is making less profit and spending more each year. The only way they can survive is to cut "costs". The only way left to cut costs is to get smaller and increase efficiency. Usually, increasing efficiency means more automated and faster equipment, which translates directly to fewer jobs.
I would start learning something else while you still have your present job........
I read and enjoyed the last two posts and remembered many years ago before the days of Quebecor and World Color Press how good it was to work in the printing business first for Diversified Printing and then for Maxwell Printing. There was concern for the employees and especially for the finished product that went out the door. Then, after the sale of our company to Quebecor, a funny thing happened. New managers were imported, the old guard in management suddenly started resigning to "pursue other interests" and the new blood and corporate managers made it clear that our job was now from here on to be run as a business. The changes that came about were subtle at first, getting rid of the proof press to proofread the product before the job hit the pressroom floor, to thinning the inks down to a near water level after samples had been pulled and sent to the customers corporate office, pulling new jobs up on the presses without a dummy book for checking pagination or correct content. Another example is pulling a new job up before verification of customer comments and approval. Ceasing to use additives to make color just mmmmmph is another example. Other examples are running with bad impression rollers, and the biggie, in my opinion, demanding more speed and rediculous demands to meet the numbers that effect our bottom line. This led to the crews performing unsafe acts to work around problems and the unforgivable attitude of don't worry about the mechanical problems, we'll fix them on the next makeready or the upper managers refusing to order necessary parts for replacement because of the costs and effect on the bottom line. This even led to the company's delinquency in paying vendors. After all of this, is it any wonder that the company lost customers and eventually led to the bankruptcy of the company. Welcome to the real world of being a publicly traded company. And some people constantly wonder why the former World Color employees trusts no one and have bad attitudes. This does not even consider how the employees were lied to and had benefits taken away because of business needs and the all important bottom line. This eventually led to a positive vote of members to be represented by the GCIU after to failed tries. No wonder it passed.
jinx

Rochester, NY

#7 Oct 29, 2010
Hey TIRED OF THE GAMES you hit it on the nose.Quebecor just kept expanding for contracts.They milked the employees for what they could get, and ran the already older equipment into the ground.We used a term called "Pissing the Color Out" once samples were off. When we needed necessary parts we were told "We Are Not In The Parts Business".Everyone doing more for less out of pride for the job, and fear of having to job hunt in a sparse economy with few available jobs.

Since: Nov 09

Naperville, IL

#8 Oct 29, 2010
As it was with our entire country, printing subtly began its decline in the '60s. I wouldn't want to be a teenager in today's world. Things just aren't looking up. At least that's the way I feel.
Hurry up Quad

Saint-laurent, Canada

#9 Oct 29, 2010
Nothing has changed at the W.C. legacy plants, it`s still going on. It will untill all the former W.C higher ups are gone. B.F. D.W.
Buddy

United States

#10 Oct 29, 2010
Tired of the Games wrote:
<quoted text> I read and enjoyed the last two posts and remembered many years ago before the days of Quebecor and World Color Press how good it was to work in the printing business first for Diversified Printing and then for Maxwell Printing. There was concern for the employees and especially for the finished product that went out the door. Then, after the sale of our company to Quebecor, a funny thing happened. New managers were imported, the old guard in management suddenly started resigning to "pursue other interests" and the new blood and corporate managers made it clear that our job was now from here on to be run as a business. The changes that came about were subtle at first, getting rid of the proof press to proofread the product before the job hit the pressroom floor, to thinning the inks down to a near water level after samples had been pulled and sent to the customers corporate office, pulling new jobs up on the presses without a dummy book for checking pagination or correct content. Another example is pulling a new job up before verification of customer comments and approval. Ceasing to use additives to make color just mmmmmph is another example. Other examples are running with bad impression rollers, and the biggie, in my opinion, demanding more speed and rediculous demands to meet the numbers that effect our bottom line. This led to the crews performing unsafe acts to work around problems and the unforgivable attitude of don't worry about the mechanical problems, we'll fix them on the next makeready or the upper managers refusing to order necessary parts for replacement because of the costs and effect on the bottom line. This even led to the company's delinquency in paying vendors. After all of this, is it any wonder that the company lost customers and eventually led to the bankruptcy of the company. Welcome to the real world of being a publicly traded company. And some people constantly wonder why the former World Color employees trusts no one and have bad attitudes. This does not even consider how the employees were lied to and had benefits taken away because of business needs and the all important bottom line. This eventually led to a positive vote of members to be represented by the GCIU after to failed tries. No wonder it passed.
You must have had Leonard Jefferson working as the "production manager" before he came to ruin Corinth as the "production manager". He is the most useless "manager" I have ever known. He can't write instructions that make any sense, has no idea how or why things work, and drinks like a fish.
guest

Jonesboro, AR

#11 Oct 29, 2010
tl;dr
soon 2B gone

Memphis, TN

#12 Oct 29, 2010
Quad, please get rid of Dean Wimer.He is
only out for whatever he can get to line his
own pocket. He has no redeeming qualities,
nothing but a backstabbing a**hole
Concerned in Illinois

Morrisville, PA

#13 Oct 30, 2010
Hurry up Quad wrote:
Nothing has changed at the W.C. legacy plants, it`s still going on. It will untill all the former W.C higher ups are gone. B.F. D.W.
all in favor say "aye"
seen it all cdn

Saint-laurent, Canada

#14 Oct 30, 2010
[ AYE ] what quad has to do now is stop the maddness and do work that is profitable. it my mean a little more time before the work comes back our way but vertis and the like are not going to make it running jobs at a 35 to 50% loss retailers like sears and walmart are going to have to pay the "market" rate if quad and rr donnally stick to their guns. as for commerial work its going to get smaller and smaller in north america and bigger and bigger in asia the quicker quad figures that out the quick they'll get back to profitablity
Standing By Observing

Red Deer, Canada

#15 Oct 30, 2010
Hurry up Quad wrote:
Nothing has changed at the W.C. legacy plants, it`s still going on. It will untill all the former W.C higher ups are gone. B.F. D.W.
The sooner the better they are not doing anything for the morale of the Canadian plants that's a fact for sure.
nothappy

Pickens, SC

#16 Oct 31, 2010
Standing By Observing wrote:
<quoted text> The sooner the better they are not doing anything for the morale of the Canadian plants that's a fact for sure.
Amen, not doing anything for the morale in other plants either, u can't lift morale when HR can't get their act together. Example: Employees spouse is in CICU with heart failure, they say employee has 3 vacations days to take, a month later, employee is told ooops we can't do our job, u didn't have any vacation days, now pay us back! Then takes a month for employee to get FMLA because HR doesn't understand spouses condition even when dr. office tried to explain condition the HR person didn't understand and the only FMLA employee gets is only to take spouse to dr. and then, like in school has to bring in a note. DUH! Quad needs to replace management starting with HR and working their way up!
R and R

Salmon Arm, Canada

#17 Oct 31, 2010
nothappy wrote:
<quoted text>
Amen, not doing anything for the morale in other plants either, u can't lift morale when HR can't get their act together. Example: Employees spouse is in CICU with heart failure, they say employee has 3 vacations days to take, a month later, employee is told ooops we can't do our job, u didn't have any vacation days, now pay us back! Then takes a month for employee to get FMLA because HR doesn't understand spouses condition even when dr. office tried to explain condition the HR person didn't understand and the only FMLA employee gets is only to take spouse to dr. and then, like in school has to bring in a note. DUH! Quad needs to replace management starting with HR and working their way up!
The problems in HR started before Regis but he perfected the art of a$$hole. People like Mona whats her name and R.C and R.F. were sent around to all the QW shops to give workshops on how to be insensitive, uncaring, indifferent and when the opportunity arises an a$$hole. They do what they are told! Local State or Province laws be damned. This is where guys like Weiner and his other remaining cohorts need to get the big flush not the big severance. They continue to further damage a past good company. What they know about printing you could put on the end of a pin. Proof in point the whole QW leadership group are bean counters.WTF? A monkey could fire people cut their wages and take away holidays and benefits. It takes a leader who has skill in the trade to bring it back from the brink. Not these clowns. Sunday football bout ready to go. Go Vikings!
qgrandomhero1313

Waterloo, Canada

#18 Oct 31, 2010
Apparently, my intentions have been mis understood. As with so many other topics, it has turned into leadership bashing. Are those managers running the machines? Do they make the call on what's acceptable 24 hours out of the day. If we change the way we think, those "bad" managers would no longer be needed. Keep in mind, that they are not all bad. Some, actually care about the employees and the company. But we can go back and forth all day on it. Fact of the matter is, until those creating the product begin to take ownership for it, we will never be able to produce a better ink on paper. To the earlier comment that I have proven why the future of print is bleak, I respond with, I'm not producing a marketable product here. These are simply words. They are not intended to sell a product. I thank you for your respectful responses to the original post. But the point was missed. Sure a publisher could go to digital media. And it would be cheaper. but what if that media fails to compare to the more expensive ink on paper? Surely noone will argue with the fact that consumers will gladly pay more for a better product. If they didn't we would all drive chevettes. Technology has a shelf life. You can never re invent the wheel. Only make it better. Ultimately, the wheel will still be needed. This is we come in. We are in the position to make print better. We are the ones that can make a book sell. By giving it everything we have. Not worrying about what that manager did or didn't do. Worried about if we are producing a product the our customers will take pride in selling to their customers. If we stop trying to "create" the best in class piece, then their customers would have no choice. So long as we continue to change and adapt our methods, we will always be able to produce a better product. We seem to forget, being that we work in a production of mass proportions, what the end result is. The customer at the tail end of the chain, wants to be able to dog ear that page with the great sale, or place the book mark in to be able to pick up where they left off. That consumer doesn't care about the cost of print or digital media. They "will" pay for what they want. Ask around, and you will see. The average consumer prefers the news in print rather than digital. Its empowering to them. The average consumer would mach rather read a book than an ipad. Because after they are done, they can place it on their bookcase as a trophy. As much as we market to our first customer, they market to the end. We need to prove to that customer that print will never die. And they in return will continue to read the printed word. Again, we are the ones that can do this. Every piece we create ends up in one set of hands. That is who we need to create for. The fact the I am typing this rather than incuring the cost of print, has a simple answer. Very few, if any, of the end customers would pay a cent for the majority of garbage people write here. My goal is to not convince the customer through this post, but you, the experts, the printers and binders, the creators. We have been to hell and back because a ceo didn't believe in what we do. Now we have a whole corporation standing proud of it. Stop bashing the leaders and the hard decisions they have to make. When you wake up, eat a roll of pennys. Don't just identify the problems, become part of the solution. Become a creator. Hell, drink the metaphorical kool aid. You might find it refreshing compared to what you had to drink before. But for god sake, believe in this adventure and believe in yourselves. You all know who I am, but I will say again, this is my brand. Let's make it ours
qgrandomhero1313

Warwick, RI

#19 Oct 31, 2010
To clarify one statement, if we stop trying to create a best in class piece, the their customers would have no other choice but digital media because they would no longer be able to see the value of print. This is a journey for all of us. It could end for me tomorrow. But damn it, I am gonna walk out with my head held high if it does. And be glad I was given a chance to help make it better and to work for a company who's ideology is built on such a solid foundation. This "culture" is unique to one brand. My brand.
Tired of the Games

Nashville, TN

#20 Nov 1, 2010
qgrandomhero1313 wrote:
Apparently, my intentions have been mis understood. As with so many other topics, it has turned into leadership bashing. Are those managers running the machines? Do they make the call on what's acceptable 24 hours out of the day. If we change the way we think, those "bad" managers would no longer be needed. Keep in mind, that they are not all bad. Some, actually care about the employees and the company. But we can go back and forth all day on it. Fact of the matter is, until those creating the product begin to take ownership for it, we will never be able to produce a better ink on paper. To the earlier comment that I have proven why the future of print is bleak, I respond with, I'm not producing a marketable product here. These are simply words. They are not intended to sell a product. I thank you for your respectful responses to the original post. But the point was missed. Sure a publisher could go to digital media. And it would be cheaper. but what if that media fails to compare to the more expensive ink on paper? Surely noone will argue with the fact that consumers will gladly pay more for a better product. If they didn't we would all drive chevettes. Technology has a shelf life. You can never re invent the wheel. Only make it better. Ultimately, the wheel will still be needed. This is we come in. We are in the position to make print better. We are the ones that can make a book sell. By giving it everything we have. Not worrying about what that manager did or didn't do. Worried about if we are producing a product the our customers will take pride in selling to their customers. If we stop trying to "create" the best in class piece, then their customers would have no choice. So long as we continue to change and adapt our methods, we will always be able to produce a better product. We seem to forget, being that we work in a production of mass proportions, what the end result is. The customer at the tail end of the chain, wants to be able to dog ear that page with the great sale, or place the book mark in to be able to pick up where they left off. That consumer doesn't care about the cost of print or digital media. They "will" pay for what they want. Ask around, and you will see. The average consumer prefers the news in print rather than digital. Its empowering to them. The average consumer would mach rather read a book than an ipad. Because after they are done, they can place it on their bookcase as a trophy. As much as we market to our first customer, they market to the end. We need to prove to that customer that print will never die. And they in return will continue to read the printed word. Again, we are the ones that can do this. Every piece we create ends up in one set of hands. That is who we need to create for. The fact the I am typing this rather than incuring the cost of print, has a simple answer. Very few, if any, of the end customers would pay a cent for the majority of garbage people write here. My goal is to not convince the customer through this post, but you, the experts, the printers and binders, the creators. We have been to hell and back because a ceo didn't believe in what we do. Now we have a whole corporation standing proud of it. Stop bashing the leaders and the hard decisions they have to make. When you wake up, eat a roll of pennys. Don't just identify the problems, become part of the solution. Become a creator. Hell, drink the metaphorical kool aid. You might find it refreshing compared to what you had to drink before. But for god sake, believe in this adventure and believe in yourselves. You all know who I am, but I will say again, this is my brand. Let's make it ours
If you are speaking of the crew leaders, if they are like ours, they are merely mindless puppets of management that have been totally brainwashed.

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