By Karen R. Smith, WC&P Executive Editor
By now, you’ve undoubtedly received your annual WC&P Buyers Guide. Gathering the data for that edition takes many hundreds of staff hours each year in a process that has grown from making several dozen telephone calls – back in the day when there were a mere handful of manufacturers! – to faxing and emailing more than a thousand such companies in every country of the world. Data entry professionals then input that information, which then must be vetted by an individual from each of those companies, preferably the one who gave WC&P the information in the first place.
As if that weren’t enough, the entire rigamarole then needs proofreading, of course! Accuracy is critical when it comes to names, addresses, phone and fax numbers. But deciphering a fax sent from halfway around the world, mangled by the machines at each end, can be darn near impossible, which sends our staff back to the phones in attempts to confirm. Where the language barrier can derail even our best efforts.
You get the picture. We’re committed to excellence and we’re committed to running basic listings in the Buyers Guide at no charge. Yet the bigger and better we make this valuable resource, the more unwieldy the process becomes.
We are extremely pleased to announce a change that will guarantee accurate, up-to-the-minute Buyers Guide listings. From this moment forward, if you are a manufacturer or a supplier, whether you are here in the States or halfway around the globe, you can create or update your own listing on our website – and we will print directly from what you enter. No intervening steps between what you type and what we print!
Year round, you can modify your listing whenever your company wishes. Add a new trade name, for example, or a new service to the description section. Change an email contact address. Note a new manufacturing location. Your firm’s listing will be in your hands – completely current, completely accurate. At your convenience, 24/7.
Thanks to both programming and website advances, the Buyers Guide will literally be created directly from your online input. This eliminates the many steps formerly necessary, as well as the many opportunities for problems. You – and you alone! – will produce your company’s listing and it will go directly from the website to our printer.
Making the best use of today’s technologies is about more than hardware and software. It can happen only because of the relationship between WC&P and the companies that comprise this industry. We know with the opportunity to keep your listing current and accurate, your company will find our Buyers Guide a better marketing tool than ever before. The ultimate beneficiaries of this new approach will be each and every WC&P subscriber, because they will have the information they need at their fingertips!
Until the new system becomes second nature to each and every manufacturer and OEM, we’ll put reminders out regularly. In the meantime, starting right now, please send a copy of this column (available on our website, www.wcponline.com) to the folks in your public relations, advertising and marketing departments. That way, as they have new announcements, they can go right to your listing and make the changes necessary.
If you’d like to see what information we currently have for your corporation, you can do that on the website as well. If you prefer, contact our office and we’ll be happy to help. If you’d like us to train the person who will be doing the updates, call us and we’ll walk them through it by phone. But do take a look first — it’s user friendly and anyone familiar with a drop-down, fill-in-the-blanks format will breeze right through it.
Since the actual listing process will be automated from here on out, we’ll spend our time working on making the Buyer’s Guide a better resource than ever!