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|Thursday, August 20, 2009|
Brother Gerald Mathison, the assistant manager of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey Bookbindery, thinks the Abbey bookbindery’s product has never been better.
Mathison proudly notes that many of the bookbindery’s customers — almost 30 college and university libraries in the Willamette Valley and San Francisco Bay Area — have regularly used the bookbindery for two or three decades. One of five industries generating income covering the Abbey’s operating costs and charitable giving, the bookbindery, he says, was the Abbey’s primary source of income.
But because of the recession and increasing digitalization of magazines, periodicals, and other print media, that’s no longer the case.
Five years ago, the Abbey’s bindery bound an average of 1,000 books each week. Mathison says the bindery now binds between 600 and 700 books a week and annually earns $250,000. “We’re holding our own, but the numbers are definitely down,” he says. And for the first time since its founding in 1955, the bookbindery is finding itself needing to develop new clients.
“We’re not anxious to put on a suit and go out and get new customers,” Mathison says, explaining that the monks live a cloistered life. “That’s a contradiction to our way of life. Nevertheless, we are in the business world.”
What might have been an uncomfortable marketing campaign was made easy by a suggestion made by a younger monk, to use the very thing causing the bookbindery to lose business — the Internet.
Six months ago, Mathison assigned two monks to use the Internet to seek out customers. Already specializing in thesis and dissertation binding, as well as binding for college and university libraries, the bookbindery is further specializing its niche by targeting smaller colleges.
“Sometimes a smaller school, when they have lighter numbers for binding, have difficulty getting a reasonable rate from large book binders,” Mathison says. He says a dozen schools have shown interest in doing business with the bookbindery.
If web searching does not make up for the loss in orders, the bookbindery may add on-demand printing in addition to binding services.
“There’s a huge amount of business out there for that,” Mathison says. “It’s one thing being considered.”
Mathison does not predict the bookbindery will close. He also thinks many clients will remain loyal. “The customers we have have been delighted in our product,” he says. “We put a lot of emphasis into customer service, and that’s been a big deal.”
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
BY DEBRA RINGOLD | GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
How can we strengthen the performance of institutions charged with teaching what Francis Fukuyama calls the social virtues (reciprocity, moral obligation, duty toward community, and trust) necessary for successful markets and democracy itself?
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BY ERIC FRUITS
Because they have little chance of working for someone else, today’s teens need to be entrepreneurs. But, first, we must teach our teens that entrepreneurship starts small.
Monday, March 03, 2014
Check out interviews with employees from some of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon winners and find out what makes their company a great place to work.
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BY AMY MILSHTEIN
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014
BY SOPHIA BENNETT
There is one bright spot in Oakridge’s economy: tourism, specifically its growing reputation as a major destination for mountain biking.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
BY BRANDON SAWYER
In this age of jobless recovery, workers have increasingly turned to part-time work in lieu of a full-time job, often cobbling together two or more jobs in order to make ends meet.
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