August 2010





How often have you had to estimate the cost of outlandish pie-in-the-sky printing projects that you knew were going to be financed on a shoestring budget? Should you have even bothered to work up such quotes? A completely forgettable personal episode illustrates the dilemma.

Another topic that gets debated regularly is digital versus copies. When is a copier not a copier, and what really separates it from a digital machine? As you'll see in this month's video, there isn't much of a difference any more, thanks to big leaps in technology.

Finally, the Gold. A demo version has just been uploaded, with the September release now imminent. Check out the Flight Engineer plug-in that comes with the download.

Hal Heindel
Unitac International Inc.


How quoting can hurt you


Years ago, while working in the Export Department of Bausch & Lomb, I received a request to quote on an unusually large number of our most expensive 7x50 binoculars, the kind used by the U.S. Navy. The request arrived on a postcard - from Algeria.

It was my first year on the job, but I had already received enough crackpot inquiries to recognize three marbles in a can when I saw them. No sane person would try to save a nickel on postage to initiate a sixty-eight-thousand dollar business transaction. The postcard sat burried at the bottom of my in-box for days until second thoughts began to haunt me. What if the inquiry was bona fide? What if the potential buyer was real and sent a follow-up letter to the higher-ups? So I quoted. And promptly got the order, along with an authentic, good-as-cash certified letter of credit.

Later that year I read how a man in Sweden, unshaven and dressed in dirty work clothes, walked into a new car dealership and said he wanted to buy four Volvos. That's right, four. He was unceremoniously shown the door. Turns out the man was one of four fishermen, straight from months at sea. Each had decided to buy a new car but thought they'd get a better deal if they pooled their cash and let one man do their bidding.

Later still I discovered that the binoculars I had sold ended up in the hands of Algerian rebels. Much later, thankfully, because it was common in those days for clandestine arms suppliers to end up underground - literally!

Our industry is rife with million dollar ideas floating on ten dollar budgets. But ignoring unrealistic expectations is as risky as quoting exorbitant prices that can ultimately earn you a reputation of being 'expensive.' Damned if you do, and damned if you don't? Not if you walk the high ground in the center, the way Craig suggests on the Morning Flight Forum:

"I simply ask this question first. How much do you have budgeted for this job? Once they tell me the answer I'll explain to them that their ideas are completely outside their budget, and then tell them how we can get some of the same look but keep it within their budget, too."

Sounds like a pretty good strategy. If you don't mind sharing your own solution, we'd love to hear from you.




Gold Edition V2010.3 with Flight Engineer


Morning Flight Gold, our soon to be released flagship product, will add My Way Pricing, Job Tickets, Job Tracking, and Invoicing to the Silver Edition. A pre-release demo version is now available for downloading. All that's missing is the help system.





Video of the Month

Copy or Digital?

Screencasts are a great way to learn how to use Morning Flight.

Click here to watch our August video on when to quote digital and when to quote copies.