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Six Seeds For Growth In Today's Economy

26 Jan, 2009 By: John Mancini imageSource

Six Seeds For Growth In Today's Economy

The next 12-18 months are NOT going to be pretty.  But as is often pointed
out, it is during downturns that the seeds for the next round of growth are
planted.  That’s fine, but what can you do to help your customers and prospects
realize that?  How can YOU help them set the stage for the next round of growth
for their organization?  What should YOU do during the next 12 months?

1. Work with prospects to remind management about the cost-reduction role of
document technologies. Cost reduction sells well during a recession.  Our
industry has the tools to help end users do more with less and do so quickly, a
valuable asset in a tight economy.

2. Help customers sharpen their pencils.  In the next year, quick and
hard-edged ROI will be king for users.  Hard dollar savings are much more
important than 12 months ago. In this environment, massive implementations won’t
get done. Nimbleness and quick implementations will be the order of the day;
they will likely need returns to cover expense increases within the year and
will need to implement in no longer than a quarter.

3. Prepare to hop on the next wave of document-related regulatory “reform.” 
We’ve all had our fill of “Sar-Box” and industry and country specific business
documentation regulations, and new rules of federal civil procedure.  But given
the mess of the last few months, there is a new wave coming.  A new wave of
litigation as the blame game goes around and a new wave of regulatory mandates
as Members of Congress find someone to point fingers at other than themselves.

4. Leverage what you have.  You need to differentiate your company and your
people.  Training is a way to do it.  I, of course, recommend using the AIIM
certificate program to make your organization stand out (www.aiim.org/training).

5. Watch your bottom line.  Recessions are when marginal resellers and
integrators and suppliers are squeezed, and this one will be no exception.  What
will be different this time is that marginal companies will not only be squeezed
on the top line – revenues – they will also be squeezed by their creditors.  All
that fine print in loan and contractual terms will become bold print and

6. Remember that each customer is unique.  There will be wide variations in
approach to investing in the downturn, even among organizations ostensibly in
the same “industry.” Even within an industry as troubled as banking and
financial services, there will be a lot of variation when it comes to document
spending. Consider a credit union that may have come through the past months
relatively intact vs. a big bank with multiple acquisitions to digest. Take
advantage of the opportunities that are there.

So what are you waiting for?  Get started in setting the stage for your
organization’s next round of growth.  It may not feel like it right now, but the
timing couldn’t be better.

John Mancini, President, AIIM. He can be contacted at 301-755-2613. Email:

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