The Web is Dead
Too bad. It was a great concept, quite promising in its infancy. But ultimately, it just wasnt the panacea that transformed the retail sector into a profit-churning machine on autopilot.
Thats not to say were not optimistic. Heck, were out on the Web daily, printing out Yahoo Driving Directions and checking out the competition.
But perhaps were the exception. While others are bargain hunting for Arizona desert lots on ebay, Im checking out the Web page my brother-in-law designed for the next family reunion.
The Web aint dead. Its a tool thats occasionally utilized to fulfill its highest and best use. And it has nothing to do with 40 x 80 lots in the barrens of the western U.S.
Thats where we come in. For example, we have a client that brokers truck shipments across the country. They already have a Filemaker Pro database, and were using it as a back-end to publish their available loads on the Web.
A commercial printer prospect wants their customers to be able to determine the status of their current jobs and generate histories of past projects by visiting a secure Web site. No problem.
Truth be told, notwithstanding all Internet viruses and terrorist threats, the Web is here to stay. The guys that envisioned it were downright clever, and the sum is so much greater than its parts.
While nothing is invincible, the Internet comes pretty close. Go to www.isoc.org/internet/history/ and read all about it.
And for one of the highest and best uses of the Web Ive seen, visit my family reunion site at www.mammaw.org. Lets mystify my brother-in-law with an inexplicable spike in hits weeks after the event.
A Necessary Evolution
Their Project Managers have satisfied some of the most demanding corporate marketing departments anywhere.
In their model, a Project Manager is a turnkey solutions provider - a combination of Account Executive, Estimator, Production Manager and even Proofreader.
Its not an uncommon model, and it will serve many organizations well into the future.
But in this case, management knows its time to evolve. One job involves eight versions of virtually identical mailers. A major project dormant for weeks springs to life and the deadline is moved up. A clients accounting department provides cost center descriptions that need to be on every estimate starting tomorrow.
Its become obvious that one Project Manager cant do it all forever. A few projects with reasonable deadlines are never a problem. Throw in a couple with compressed schedules, and things get pretty exciting. Try juggling a dozen or so that are all due in the next three weeks and you may as well set up a cot in the lobby.
A team of specialists best manages an array of complex projects on tight deadlines.
Weve developed a plan, and management wants employees to literally sign off on it. It includes a job-tracking database to replace their informal handwritten job ledger. It ties in to an estimating form that accommodates the variable fee structures unique to each client, and calculates everything.
Theres a free timer module in QuickBooks were deploying to all employees to replace handwritten timesheets. Were migrating users to Microsoft Outlook to take advantage of its reminder and calendar-sharing functions. And were training everyone.
Management has bought in wholeheartedly, to the point of agreeing to be beta testers prior to the live rollout. Without that kind of commitment, a successful transition would be almost impossible.
Well let you know how it goes in next months newsletter.
Meanwhile, lets stay in touch.