Once in a Blue Moon

July 1, 2007
Change is good.

Here's a news flash: Vacations are a great way to spend time. In spite of what you tell your partner about leaving the office out of your vacation, you might, for example, actually work out some knotty problem while pretending to be fishing. When you come back to the office you're recharged and ready to go.

That's sort of where I was on May 31. I still had a buzz on from a great vacation. I get to the office relatively early (a good habit learned from the tuteledge of former Editor Bernie Knill) and a ringing phone at 7:30 a.m. is not a good thing. It was the boss. I don't mean that person who signs the pay check every couple of weeks. I'm talking about the boss who calls once in a blue moon and says something like, "Say, would you mind doing ..."

In my case it was the publisher. We exchanged all the pleasantries while my mind was racing. I glanced at my astronomical calendar on the wall and noticed it was, in fact, the day of the blue moon.

When he got to the cleche about change being good, I thought retirement was going to be a bit earlier than I had anticipated. Not so. He was asking me to take over running the magazine! I'm new at management. I said yes before I said how much.

What does this mean to you, the reader? Hopefully, nothing. Because there is a new editor does not mean you're going to see monumental changes in content or style. Since I've been working among you for the past 23 years, I think I have a handle on what you want and need in a business publication. At the end of the day (see, I know those business buzz phrases) my job is much like yours; to get stuff in the door, around the floor and out the door with a minimum of touches. And we both need the right quantities in the right place at the right time. That's what this magazine will continue to be all about.

Importantly, it's not my magazine. It's your magazine. The stories will be your successes. I'd love to print your failures and pain as well, however, a couple of decades of reporting on this industry leads me to think that ain't gonna happen. I want you to share your stories with your contemporaries. It's the way we all learn and get better.

I hear a lot of great stories all the time, only to have them squelched by someone who thinks the competition will find out what's happening inside your building. Guess what? Your competition already knows. It's probably doing the same thing. And by the time they read it here, you'll be on to bigger and better things.

The point is, there are thousands of companies out there who are not your competitors and can gain from your experience. That's what I want to take to the other 75,000 readers. That, too, is what this magazine will continue to be about.

Now, I have to get my duck in a row. Contact me if you have a good material handling story to tell—or a good fishing story for that matter. My challenge will be to explore all the possibilities and bring you stories that can be used as tools. In the process of exploring these new ideas, we'll head out for territory that might seem less sure and more challenging. However, I guarantee it will be more rewarding.