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Old coffee cups and T-shirts

Over the years, I have been given many tokens by mills—coffee cups, T-shirts, jackets and so forth.  As I look back, it strikes me that when I received these, the one proffering each item was proud of where they worked, implicitly and goes-without-saying believing their facility was a rock of refuge in the storm of competitiveness.

You would not believe how many cups in my collection represent facilities closed and names forgotten.  Just this weekend, I was wearing a T-shirt around the house from the International Paper Mill in Courtland, Alabama.

Most of these trinkets were collected since I started Talo Analytic International 22 years ago.  When received, all, I am sure, thought they would complete their careers at the same place, under the same banner as they were then.  Things change.

We don’t have any idea what facilities will close this year for sure.  Here at Paperitalo Publications, we are keeping our eyes on a few we think are on the edge.  However, rumors can push conditions to a tipping point, so we’ll not reveal our hand and thus avoid being thought of as one more entity that just piled on.

But what about your facility, what about your company?  Is it around for the long term?  Take a hard look.  Then decide what actions you need to take, as a responsible fiduciary for the company and a responsible breadwinner for your family.

Nothing is constant except change.

Jim Thompson is Executive Editor of Paperitalo Publications. He can be reached by email at jthompson@taii.com.

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