Monday, April 16, 2012

The Cutting Edge

I was groaning to my S.O. Florie about how much work I had left to do as I was getting ready to put this 237th SouthStar Bulletin to bed. Then it occurred to me that as much effort as it still takes, it's a lot easier than it used to be. Frankly, this Bulletin is on the cutting edge of technology!

When we started in 1989, I had to clip out pictures of the products from vendors' brochures and sometimes even draw the products by hand, carefully paper clip it all together in a big folder, and carry it over to the printer. His "paste-up girl" then had to size the pictures to fit, type the copy I had written by hand, and finally call me to come proof it. It usually took several days before I got that call. Meanwhile we had to print the mailing list on a dot matrix printer and get it over to the mailing service, where it was sliced and diced and glued to each Bulletin. It was weeks between starting on a new Bulletin and finally having it in the mail.

As years passed we got PC's, desktop publishing, scanners, web-based resources, and so on, things my kids take for granted but each of which made a night and day difference in this production. Now I can do the whole thing on a laptop, including the mailing list, and upload it all to the printer. They have machines that print and fold and sort the entire piece including individual addresses all in one process in a matter of hours. If I've really got it together I can get everything updated and to the printer in a single day. Amazing! This is exactly what economists mean when they say that Americans' productivity has increased.

I am fully aware that what you our customers do, defies such automation. Indeed, your sewing jobs are a lot faster than they were 100 years ago, if not 25. But manual labor and artistry are still the essence of what you do in the rag trade.

So it seems that you Sew-Biz folks are the ones on the real cutting edge!

We thank you for choosing us to be a part of your great work.

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Go to SouthStar SewBiz Resources Page.

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