Talking Heads

Jul 01, 2001 9:30 PM  By

Has the current economic slowdown affected your business?

It has certainly affected our business. As the economy and the electronics industry go, so go the custom manufacturers such as ourselves. As demand drops off for products from our major customers, our manufacturing requirements are reduced. A lot of our manufacturing goes across country borders. So a slowdown here, a slowdown in Europe, a slowdown in Asia — they’re all intertwined. It’s a supply and demand issue, and demand has dropped off overall.
James D. Molzon
VP, Global Logistics
Solectron Corporation
San Jose, CA

Certainly, my department has not seen a decrease at all. We sell sex. Our average order size is up. There is no change in the dollar amount per order, at $50. We made a decision to reduce prospecting — we’ve reduced mailings. This has increased our profitability.
John Laures
Cross-Sell Manager
PHE, Inc.
Hillsborough, NC

For one thing, you have a “normalization,” not an economic slowdown. It is a flushing out of the fluff of products — only the true “rocks” are going to stay. What we’re seeing is because there is competition among companies that use the Internet to sell to consumers, they’re looking for innovative and new approaches to e-commerce. This includes impulse buying through a very media-rich environment — eDISC provides this, taking away the limitations and restrictions the Internet companies have. When the rain goes through and the “rocks” are left, you’re going to see the best of each class of e-commerce products standing there.
Stephen B. Joyner
Director of Business Development
eDISC Systems, Inc.
Fern Park, FL

It’s been great for us. With the economy going the way it is, people are looking to outsource.
Joe Blasingame
Manager of Client Services
Returns Online
Covington, GA

Very little. We’re still focusing on our values and letting our customers drive our services. We’re still growing at 20% to 25% a year.
Joel Acay
Director, Call Center
Great American Business Products
Houston, TX

Payment processing is one of those segments that has been affected by the recent economic downturn. However, one of the benefits of our technology is that we are converting customers to newer, more efficient payment processing technology and not trying to sell a totally new concept.
Danielle Kruft
Director, Marketing
Paymentplus, Inc.
Reston, VA

Our business has been down. A lot of important projects have been put on hold, and people are deferring major investments. But we’re fortunate in that the supply chain business is somewhat recession-proof. We’re getting many clients in Asia, and some companies have had a good second quarter, so things are slowly turning around.
Michael C. Dempsey
eSync International
Chicago, IL

GFF: We would have grown faster in the last year or so had we not had the loss of some pure-plays to contend with. Actually, we said no to eight out of ten pure-plays.

We’d rather work with clients who have a multichannel proposition. Brick-and-mortar retailers know in aggregate what their buyers do. Catalogers know that at a different level. It turns out that cannibalization was the fear of the unknown.

DH: We took some bets on some companies that we thought were unusually well-funded and had a good business plan. As a result, we’ve emerged relatively unscathed.
G. Fred Forsyth
Greenwich, CT
David Himes
Sr. VP, Technology Solutions
Burke, VA