Bright spots in these gloomy times have been few and far between. When I hear about them—even anecdotally—I can't wait to share them. Here's a couple.
Consider 3-ply toilet paper, which (forgive me), first rolled out last September. One of the most expensive bathroom tissues ever, its sales, apparently, have been booming. More good news closer to home (at least as far as this magazine is concerned) comes from Inpro/Seal. Sales of its bearing isolators reportedly are up by 14% over the same period last year. Just goes to show that some products are recession-proof. The right one at the right time always will find a market.
Reliability is the same type of product. There will always be a demand for it and for you, the individuals who regularly supply it via your lubrication programs and activities. Perhaps Washington and Wall Street should have turned to you for assistance with the deteriorating economy—which has been acting more and more like a huge and failing piece of critical equipment by the day. Too bad you weren't deployed early in this bizarrely unfolding situation to do what you do best. You would have rolled up your sleeves and begun delivering the right type of the right quality stuff, in the right amount, in the right place, at just the right time—and kept us up and running.
Instead, over-lubed, under-monitored and left to run too sloppily for far too long, our once-shiny economic engine has been experiencing one catastrophic breakdown after another for months. Who, in their wildest dreams, could ever have imagined this mess? Certainly not you and all the other actual working men and women who have kept your company's critical machinery and processes humming 24/7 for generations… Unlike so many of today's financial wizards, for you and the equipment systems you help manage, failure has NEVER been an option—and NEVER will be.
That said, until a "Whatever It Takes New Deal" begins breathing life back into our economy— and it WILL—there are plenty of ways smart lubrication professionals can spend their downtime. As our Contributing Editor Ken Bannister notes, now is a great time to evaluate and enhance your lubrication program. It won't cost anything to do so and will help your operations through the downturn. More importantly, you can bet it really will benefit your bottom line in the future. While you're at it, don't forget to expand your lubrication-related knowledge base and skill sets—and those your of your team. Using slow times to catch up on crucial training and certification needs can go a long way in helping your company get back to business quickly in a recovering economy. But that's not all you can do.
A new President now is working for all of us. Whatever your politics, please set them aside. Urge Congress to stop bickering with each other and the new Administration, and just get ‘er done—whatever it takes to put people back to work and our economy back on track. NOW.
My take on all this is simple. Everyone is entitled to a seat on the big bus headed for the American Dream. While we may have hit a pothole along the way, throwing fellow passengers under the bus won't help any of us reach our destination. We fell into this ugly situation together; we'll need everyone working together to dig out of it.