In September I posted a news brief online that elicited some immediate feedback from printers who could relate to the story. In the note I was relaying a warning message I received via a phone call from Betty at Harbour Printing in Mississauga. She wanted to spread the word about some print buyers from Montreal, who were getting work done for a business that specializes in designing and distributing restaurant menus, because they weren’t paying their bills. Betty was burned, and she discovered she was not the first to be taken in by this group. Her concern was that they’re moving westward, seeking new victims.
Usually, searching for the perpetrators of these scams leads to dead ends, as Betty found out, and it’s seldom worth the cost of pursuing legal action, so the transactions ultimately get written off as bad debt.
In this issue our Finance Matters columnist, Bob Kadis, digs into this topic and offers some suggestions. “When checking references, always insist on talking with a previous printer,” says Kadis, a 25-year veteran in the business. “Try to develop a group of printer friends that you can informally touch base with about customers that you are not sure about. I know that it is tough to talk to your competition, but sharing stories about who has burned you can save you heartache and strengthen the whole industry.” He goes on to suggest some ways to avoid the bad debt trap (pg. 36).
In tough economic times, some printing businesses are willing to take on any work they can get, but beware, because there are crooks seeking to take advantage of desperate situations. Share your knowledge and help the community at large.
I’m saddened to report the passing of Jim Dutton, 55, an industry veteran who spent years with Kodak and Ilford Anitec before that. I served with Jim on the Board of the Digital Imaging Association, and he also wrote articles for me here at Canadian Printer. He was always cheerful, thoughtful and thorough. Jim lost his fight with cancer on Sunday, Oct. 26th. He is missed.