During my career, I worked in two industries that at one time or another could have been considered dinosaurs or dying industries. Both the newspaper and office products industries have had to reinvent themselves. For the newspaper industry, it has been a difficult transition. Newspapers have a storied history that dates back hundreds of years. The giants of this industry were instrumental in our nation’s birth. It has been hard for them to realize that today, most people get most of their information, including news, from the internet. That has prompted most of the major newspapers to take their daily offering online. My guess is that this is too little, too late. Soon we will see major consolidation, which will leave only the most powerful standing. The office products industry has done a much better job reacting to the changing business environment. Standalone copiers and printers have been replaced by multi-function units that print, scan, transmit and store. Dealers who formerly sold just one product now offer a wide range of products from copiers to IT services.
Change can be a difficult thing, especially when it disrupts your way of living. In the office products industry, things have become much more complex. The employees need more education to understand the offerings whether they be for service, sales, or administration. In eighteen years, I saw how it affected people who were afraid. They were left behind, followed by a group of better educated and more innovative employees. While some of us who are older reminisce about the older, simpler days, it has been an awesome learning experience.