SEPTEMBER 2008


IN THIS ISSUE

Never Too Old To Learn

ASI Users Seminar Featured Speaker: Bob Johnson

Risky Business: How Repeat Customers Can Jeopardize Your Business


New ASI Fax Number

Please update your contact information with our new fax number: 440-627-2089.


Tana's Tech Tip

Adding the Cost of
Rising Fuel Costs
In this time of rising fuel costs, every little bit counts.  Which is why we should point out that Visual Corporate Keeper (VCK) can automatically add a fuel surcharge to any work order where a delivery fee is charged.

The fuel surcharge calculates as a percentage of the delivery, stop, and/or over the box limit.


Register for ASI WebShare Webinars

WebShare provides ASI Users with online webinar training sessions including step-by-step instruction and review of neat features offered by ASI's many records and information management software solutions.

Sign up today for our upcoming webinars:

Tuesday, September 23
VCK: Different Ways to Input Data


Useful Links

ASI Learning Center
Here you can view all ASI product help manuals.


24/7 Software Support
Have an issue you need assistance with? Get help today by visiting our online Support Center with FAQs and more. Don't see an answer to your problem? Create a support trouble ticket. One of our support staff will respond within 24 hours, plus you can view the status of your support question at any time simply by logging in!


Upcoming Events

ARMA Annual Conference
Oct. 20-23, 2008
Las Vegas, Nevada


THE 411 ON ASI

Please send any payments, hardware and other correspondence to:

Andrews Software, Inc.
6900 W. Snowville Road
Cleveland, OH 44141

Toll-Free: 800-807-2093
(North America)
Phone: 440-546-9771
Fax: 440-627-2089

www.AndrewsSoftware.com
www.InfoKeeper.com

Never too old to learn
Scott Bidwell, President/COO

As many of you have done in these past few weeks, my wife Jocelyn and I watched as our three children headed back to school after enjoying their summer break. There was the usual rumbling and grumbling about the end of summer, but also a sense of anticipation at the prospect of seeing friends and embarking on new adventures. It started me thinking about how, as we grow older, we often forget to seek and absorb knowledge, to re-hydrate ourselves with new information. It’s as if, once we get that diploma, our education is over and we get caught up in the “doing” of our daily activities and spend less time in the “learning” of new ones or new ways to approach the same activities.

In our professional lives, particularly, it is easy to fall into a routine. Failing to continually educate oneself and employees about the latest techniques and technology can be detrimental on many levels. Individually, we find ourselves feeling uninspired and indifferent. Organizationally, it can lead to loss of market share and the exiting of valued, bright employees.

These are just two of the many reasons I and ASI strongly believe in and support our industry trade associations such as PRISM International and NAID. Nowhere else can someone in the offsite information management industry find as much comprehensive information and support as from these two organizations. Additionally, we’ve formed valuable alliances, relationships and friendships through networking with other association members. I know for a fact that I and other ASI staff members come away from these conferences and committee meetings feeling rejuvenated and re-energized.

We also attempt to recharge our batteries and assist our customers in achieving the same, through the ASI Users Seminar. This is just around the corner (Sept. 17-18th) and is a great chance for ASI employees and customers to learn from one another. Our clients gain in-depth information to more effectively utilize their ASI software solutions, while the ASI team gains valuable feedback to continue to enhance and expand our solutions.

I encourage you to be an active member of our industry.  Read industry newsletters and journals. Join PRISM and NAID if you haven’t yet done so. Get employees involved on committees or by attending seminars and conferences. It’s a great way to continually grow and learn. And let’s face it, that’s something we’re never too old to do.

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ASI Users Seminar Featured Speaker: Bob Johnson

This month, we’re highlighting NAID Executive Director Bob Johnson, one of our featured speakers at the ASI Users Seminar to be held Sept. 17-18, 2008, in Cleveland, Ohio. Bob's session “Information Protection Concerns & Growing Your Business" will be held Thursday, Sept. 18th from 11:15 – 12:00N. As the founder and Executive Director of NAID, Bob is often called on to speak and write on a wide range of issues related to the proper disposal of information, and is as comfortable talking about rebuilding a baler as he is about trends in global legislation. NAID (National Association for Information Destruction) is the international trade association for companies providing information destruction services. NAID's mission is to promote the information destruction industry and the standards and ethics of its member companies. Bob has also overseen the development of NAID-Canada, NAID-Europe, and NAID-Australasia, for which he also currently serves as executive director. He served by special invitation on the British Standards Institution’s committee responsible for developing practices and standards for information destruction firms in the UK. Bob also currently serves on the Information Asset Protection Council and the Information Protection Guidelines Committee of ASIS International.

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Successfully Riding the Trends Impacting The Destruction Industry
Bob Johnson, Executive Director
NAID

Did you know that it is against the law to bathe a donkey in a bathtub on any but the first floor of a building?  You didn’t?  Did you know that it is against the law to spit on the sidewalk in most urban areas?  That is a little easier. You probably did know that, even though you also probably don’t worry about it too much. You don’t know about the donkey bathing law because it is so obscure.  You don’t care about the “anti-spitting” because it is not enforced.

What does this have to do with information destruction? Well, up until a few years ago, laws against tossing out sensitive information suffered from exactly the same maladies – no awareness and no enforcement.  Then things started to change, first on the awareness side, and then, on the enforcement side.

As a result, this is without question, one of the most exciting times to be in the secure destruction industry.  Media coverage of incidents involving improper disposal, combined with regulatory enforcement, have dramatically changed the sales and marketing landscape.  It is now less about convincing companies that they need to destroy sensitive information, and more about why they should use one option over another.  So differentiation is a key factor – and meaningful differentiation at that.

But success in our industry today is also about intensity.  Know it or not, like it or not, anybody in the secure destruction business is now in a foot race for the office space real estate that lies underneath the console or containers that collect the materials they destroy.  You are watching an industry hit its tipping point. Once fully tipped (which will take years), the nature of the opportunity will be significantly different than it is today.

I hasten to add, however, that there is a concurrent trend affecting our industry that is just as significant and it is compounding the volatility in the marketplace.  Not only is demand for secure destruction services spiking, but it is happening at a time of record high waste paper prices, the causes for which may be sustained for far longer than the normal cycle – perhaps indefinitely.  Demand for the service is exploding while, at the same time, the underlying revenue and business models are evolving.

I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet those of you who will be attending the ASI Users Seminar where we can further examine how these and other trends will impact the secure destruction business now and in the future. In the meantime, I feel very comfortable saying that you will not get into too much trouble if you wash your donkey in the second floor bath tub.

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Risky Business: How repeat customers may jeopardize your business
Jeff Mowatt, Customer Service Strategist

When I speak at conferences and corporate meetings about customer service I often hear managers reminding their team members about the importance of repeat business. The assumption is that if customers keep spending their money with you, they must like you. But is that really true? Many business owners and managers are unaware of the harsh reality that some folks who spend their money with your organization may not enjoy doing business with you at all. The consequences of this can be staggering. Consider the example of my local video store.

For three years, my wife and I lived in a neighborhood where most weekends we'd rent one or two movies at the local video store. That meant that every year we visited that business literally dozens of times. We recognized the handful of the store's employees. And I'm sure they recognized us (at least after our first hundred visits)! Yet, the service that we received went something like this. They'd ignore us completely as we'd enter the store. When we'd approach the cashier, place our video selection on the counter, a gum-chewing employee would avoid making eye contact with us, stare at our video, shift his or her gaze to the cash register while simultaneously muttering, "Phone number..." We'd obediently supply the information, and our hard earned money, not just for one visit -- but repeatedly for three years!

Of course, it's crazy to support a business where the service -- isn't. But since it was the only video store in the neighborhood we didn't think it was worth driving an extra 20 minutes out of our way just to pick up the same 'new release." So, we kept going back. In other words, we were repeat customers -- but we certainly weren't loyal. Businesses that are run like that accept a huge risk. The moment a new competitor starts-up within the same vicinity, the existing store doesn't lose some of its customers -- it loses most of them. And the loss has nothing to do with selection, décor, or pricing. It happens when management assumes that since they have repeat customers -- that means they have loyal customers. Big mistake. Incidentally, when a competitor did eventually open a store in the neighborhood, the first store did indeed close down and laid off all the employees. Not a happy ending.

As a manager, how do you know that your customers are in fact loyal? Ask. In a round-about way, that is. As a part of your day to day customer service operations ask your regulars, "We want to make sure you're happy doing business with us... so how are our products and services working for you?" Most often the customer will not want to offend and reply that you're doing fine. The key then is to follow-up with, "Is there anything you think we could do to improve our service?" That's when customers tell you what they really think, and what you really need to hear as a manager.

Repeat
customers do business with organizations because they feel that they have to; since there's no convenient alternative. Loyal customers do business with you because they want to. Proactively checking-in with your customers to ensure you're still meeting their needs is easy. And it's essential if you want to prevent your employees from becoming complacent and your business from becoming obsolete.

Reprinted from: ConnectIT; June 25, 2008.

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