Lessons of RISS/USSI

Lessons of RISS/USSI

Copyright 2002, Traffic World Magazine

While a most interesting article ("Black Eye," Feb. 11), either your reporter or editor seemed to use the unfortunate demise of RISS/USSI as a "bully pulpit" to present a biased point of view of the IMC marketplace. Instead of focusing on the causes, such as the na?ve and uninitiated leadership of WorldPoint, or an examination of the poorly thought-out market plan employed, your article instead uses this organization's failure to sully the entire industry.

That is very unfortunate because in the failure of WorldPoint there are some interesting lessons to be learned, such as:

-- Protect your core business: always take care of what pays your bills; ensure that sufficient assets are dedicated to service your important accounts.

-- Expand into markets you understand: ask yourself how this market relates to your core business; it also does not hurt to ask how does this expansion protects or enhances your core business.

-- Select leadership that knows the "ins and outs" (not just the strategic dream) about the business or market.

-- Communicate to both your customers and your vendors what your plans are: both groups may have some resident knowledge and experience that one could utilize to the benefit of all.

Despite my disappointment that the headline was derived from someone without the courage to be quoted, I also was encouraged to see that some draymen were sufficiently on "top of their business" to minimize their exposure, and at least one IMC had the good sense to apply due diligence to their planning. It is a pity Mr. Edwards could not have demonstrated the same talent.

Jay Hirst

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