This past year has taught all of us a lot about ourselves, the way we run our businesses and the true relationship we have with our customers. In a golden age of excess, businesses have let go of efficiency and have allowed their budgets to become bloated with unnecessary waste. As with any crisis, Wall Street's financial meltdown allowed us to hold up a mirror to examine not only our nation's spending habits but the very notion of a free market.

Recovery of any kind is always a slow, arduous and, sometimes, painful process - yet this healing mechanism allows for introspection or an evaluation of one's actions. As economic conditions have demanded businesses to "do more with less," transactional document producers have exposed their own operational money pits. For so many of us out there, this critical moment in time and how we respond to it will define our business and the industry as a whole. Those organizations that use the weakened competitive landscape to their advantage will find themselves within striking distance of recovery.

As I have mentioned in other issues, constant evaluation is the lifeblood of sustainability. Evaluation of your people, processes, technology and even yourself should never stop. Too often, constrained budgets dictate the importance of such assessments. However, the continued education of your people should be your priority. Though education is a constant mission of ours, this year we believe it could be the difference between closing your doors or serving your customers for the foreseeable future.

With this in mind, we encourage you to explore the many sessions at the DOCUMENT Strategy Forum that were hand-picked to guide you through the complex changes of the market. Topics such as TransPromo money-savers, document output, electronic solutions and mergers and acquisitions offer best-in-class practices and applicable solutions. Our special keynote, Jeffrey Fields, CIO of SafeAuto Insurance, will share the challenges his organization faced and how they focused its efforts on modernizing its technology infrastructure and content applications to support this new multi-channel economy.

I look forward to meeting all of you at the DOCUMENT Strategy Forum this October 5-7 in Chicago. If you have not signed up, don't hesitate to call 866- 378-4991. Remember, the status quo will not save your enterprise. You must strike now to remain viable.

See you in Chicago!


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