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Houston, Texas, United States
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Monday, October 27, 2008

SMB Planning in Bad Economy - Counting our blessings (assets)

Well it has been a week since we decided to assess our current situation. Putting on paper the assessment was a very interesting process. We had to take a step back and look at everything with a fresh set of eyes. We played a little role playing game: The rules - explain to someone who does not know anything about our company:
1. Who we are
2. What we do
3. What we have to offer I am sharing with you a summary of this assessment.

Our Base - About 80% of our business is devoted to serving Chemical manufacturing Plants. The software our principal owner helped developed almost 15 years ago for the production of chemical hazardous labels was our main line. Over the years we have constantly improved on it and expanded it based on our customers' request and needs.
Assets -

1. Software: We have two main software packages:
  • DrumWizard Suite - a full featured software that includes a product manager, print manager and very sophisticated label design we integrated in (Nice Label Pro).
  • DrumWizard UPM (Universal Print Manager), it is very similar in nature. The difference is that The UPM connects directly to a company's own data source. Of course we have it as a stand alone or enterprise level.
  • Variety of small barcodes and label applications we created for small businesses.
2. Experience: Vast experience in labeling needs, planning, assessments, designing solutions, integration and implementation..
  • Knowledge of industry, business processes, software, databases, hardware,
  • Reputation: we have great reputation among our current customers and vendors we work with. (I think that this was one of the most important assets we have. We just never thought of it in terms of asset.)
3. Loyal customer base: our customers include companies such as General Electric, AirProducts, Shell Canada and others like them. (This is not an endorsement from any corporations, but we do have letters of recommendations from them and others.)

4. Good relationship with vendors: Example is NiceLabel. We have worked with them almost since they started marketing in the U.S. . We have integrated their software into ours to the satisfaction of many customers.

5. Excellent employees - our employees are loyal and are totally buying into our plan.

6. Financial resources: Good relationship with banker (although we do not trust anything to do with the bank.) Access to several small credit lines. Now it is "off to see the wizard" - taking the assessment and turning it into a workable plan.

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