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Some people accuse me of being reckless,”too pushy” or dangerously aggressive.  Perhaps this is so, but I suspect that remaining patient and keeping my opinions to myself are likely to lead to a most painful descent into business failure.

As one who comes from a business and financial background (over 20 years in international banking), I have found that owning my own business to be a liberating experience.  No longer do I have to put up with bureaucrats and disingenuous business managers making silly and harmful decisions to further their own careers at the expense of shareholders.   Sadly, it was far too common in my previous line of work.

Being independent and “calling your own shots” is certainly liberating, but when key  ”partners” in your business success take decisions which drastically affect the nature of your business relationship, it gives rise to concern.  Readers who follow this Blog regularly are aware that I have been particularly outspoken about the many “apparently” silly decisions  taken by Crane to restructure their operations.

I use the qualifier “apparently” because I have no idea whether the management decisions taken by Crane are “silly” or “brilliant.” As a “Muppet” there is no reason why I should have been consulted by the “Masters of the Universe,” but I know from much experience in my previous life that outside consultants rarely have anyone’s interest at heart other than the person who hires them.   In fact, the mere mention of “outside consultants” generally indicates that “something is rotten in Denmark” and that a palace coup is underway.

Sadly, my misgivings were worse than I anticipated and I am still uncertain whether Crane will be able to “right the ship” and reemerge as a positive influence on the stationery industry.   While still rather pessimistic,  I have noticed some positive signs beginning to emerge on the Crane website.

  • The silly link to Paperless Post is now down (or at least I had difficulty finding it on the Wedding Page);
  • You can now find Crane personalized holiday cards on their website rather than links to Mother and Father’s Day cards;
  • The website is beginning to look as though someone is taking the time to update it and add graphics and images that are somewhat professional.

These are very good signs that suggest that change is afoot at Crane.  I, for one, certainly hope so.  Maybe they will even get around to reinstating an affiliate program and help its dealers promote the Crane line.  That would be nice.

Richard May
Founding Member of the Stationers Guild

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