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Last Update: Monday December 18, 2017

Key Idea: Let Customers Build Products Online

At Modern Postcard, customers build print products online.     More...

Key Question:

A: 

Let customers do what they want to do when they want to do it.

In an e-culture the paperless office is in sight. Orders, accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory, order tracking, and customer support can be done online through extranets and intranets. Some companies like ModernPostcard teach customers to build products right on their web sites.

Through the years we have looked at companies who now have an e-culture. Tejas Office offered online ordering as early as 1998 and now most customers wouldn't order any other way. Texas Nameplate's customers have been tracking their orders online since 1999. International Wine Accessories Internet orders continue to skyrocket. David Arnold has been doing his accounts payble and accounts receivable online since 1998.

Go further: Review the study guides of those businesses we have visited earlier. All are early adopters of technology and all are winning in their respective industries:
» Tejas Office, Lupe Fraga
» Texas Nameplate, Dale Crownover
» International Wine Accessories, Bob Orenstein
» SII, The King Company, David Arnold

Each has a goal to minimize redunancy and mundance tasks and reduce the amount of paper that flows through their office. We love Lupe Fraga for his ebullience in recognizing that even as we minimize the use of paper, we are actually using more of it in rather new ways.

Q:  In an e-culture people are released from doing mundane tasks so they can begin doing one-to-one marketing, sales and support. Modern Postcard has been teaching their own people, their customers, and their vendors to use technology to minimize redundancy and mundane tasks. When was the last time you had a top to bottom review of all your business processes to see where new efficiencies could be introduced?

A:
This is not a rhetorical question. There are several fundamental technologies that we touch upon and discussed in this show. All are as important to the future of your business as the Internet was to business in general back in 1995.

Think about it


What mundane tasks could be delegated to technology?

Clip from: E-Culture - Online Everywhere All The Time

AROUND THE WORLD:  Some of the best, the most-creative among us, will more-fully integrate some aspect of the greatest corporate convergence in history --  Broadcasting - Information - Communications - Education - Publishing - Systems. The result will be "the next big thing." The audacious, out-of-the-box thinkers, will lead us. Because these new efficiencies and abilities require one to pick up and run quickly, essentially "small business" can have, and will have, the biggest impact on the unfolding of the future.

This convergence redefines everything.

Go to all the key ideas and videos of this episode...
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Modern Postcard, Inc.

Steve Hoffman, CEO

1675 Faraday
Carlsbad, CA 92008
7604317084

Visit our web site: http://modernpostcard.com

Office: 7604317084

Business Classification:
Printing, publishing

Year Founded: 1996

Let Customers Build Products Online

HATTIE: Within an e-culture all your transactions -- orders, tracking, accounts receivable and accounts payable -- can be done online.

Through the years we have looked at companies who now have an e-culture.

(Voiceover) Tejas Office offered online as early as 1998 and now most customers wouldn't order any other way. So whatever happened to the paperless office?

LUPE FRAGA (founder, CEO): Right. Exactly. Hey, this has been one of the biggest, biggest misconceptions. We're selling more paper now than we ever have. We saw the trend was through Internet ordering and over the Internet and having to supply reports for customers, you know. And so we were out front.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Texas Nameplate's customers have been tracking their orders online since 1999.

International Wine Accessories Internet orders continue to skyrocket.

David Arnold has been doing his accounts payble and accounts receivable online since 1998.

Modern Postcard is my favorite e-culture. The founder caught the vision early and taught his customers first to do business via fax. Then he migrated us to the Web.

STEVE HOFFMAN (Modern Postcard, founder/CEO): Yeah, we originally used the Internet primarily to educate our customers, because we found that the biggest challenge with small businesses was actually providing enough information to them so that they could make good decisions.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Steve Hoffman is owner of Modern Postcard. He has 250 employees who produce over 100 million postcards a year for some 150,000 customers, many of whom are very small businesses like us.

STEVE: Fortunately, we started with technology first. When we went to Modern Postcard, the only that we could do it was to have everything internal be digitized. Everything was digital from the very beginning of Modern Postcard.

HATTIE: 1993!

STEVE: Yes, 1993.

HATTIE: You said, `We're going out there. We're not staying with old stuff. We're going forward.' STEVE: If you're going to get 32 images on a plate, how do you get that? The key things with color is it has to be on register and the color has to be good. And the only way you can do that is through digital technology. We solved the problems back in 1993, '94 in terms of doing that. And so internally we had a completely digital workload. Now it was a question of: How do we take people's information and stuff from the outside inside?--because we already knew where the land mines were.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) To build a postcard online, you just go to modernpostcard.com and choose `build online.' Stock artwork is provided, or you can send in your own photos and artwork. We've done both. Write your copy, submit the card, give them your credit card and voila. And you can also e-mail your mailing list so that you never lift another finger until you receive your own copy in the mail.

STEVE: Our main problem is getting the rest of the world to catch up to where we know it should be. And that just takes time.

HATTIE: So are you optimistic about that?

STEVE: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Oh, everything's totally heading the right direction. It just takes, you know, time for people to understand some of the details.

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