Corrections or additions?

This article by Barbara Fox was

prepared for the March 19, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All

rights reserved.

QLM: Downsized, But Heads Up

Bob Lipsky — ever the promotional marketer —

has a good story of how down-sizing helped him reinvent his business,

QLM Marketing. Last year he had 32,000 square feet at Research Park

and occupied his own building. Now he occupies only the space that

his photography department once had (470 Wall Street, 609-683-1177;

fax, 609-924-8007, www.qlm.com).

"British Airways was one of our largest clients, and they stopped

spending money after 9/11," says Lipsky. "We are doing more

consulting and market planning rather execution." Other current

clients are Johnson & Johnson, Tfal, Hershey’s, Church & Dwight, and

Sara Lee.

He explains that because communication is taking place through

extranets,

and because communication is getting more basic, billings are lower.

"Clients are not looking for complicated design elements that

take a long time to download. We are more involved in the strategic

and upfront thinking."

"I saw, as we downsized, that there were too many empty

offices,"

says Lipsky. "Instead of us having the whole building and

subletting,

we took over the photographer’s space and created an open space

environment."

(The photographer, Dan Engongoro, has moved his studio

(www.studioeimaging)

to Lambertville.) "Everybody who was left enjoyed the energy.

All of a sudden we are in fresh new space and everybody is together,

and everyone who is here is busy and working."

The space is painted white with big panels of bright colors instead

of bulletin boards. "And we are hanging photos of our work. My

one perk is that one whole wall has my photos on it," says Lipsky,

an avid photographer who markets his work as greeting cards. He has

no private office but shares space like everybody else.

There was some trepidation about the open space plan at first.

Employees

were used to having a private office, and they worried about others

listening to the phone calls. But soon no one was listening to the

phone calls. And those who need to make a personal call can use the

conference room.

Lipsky turned the downsizing negative into a team-working positive

in other ways. "We looked at every single item on the expense

line and have reduced every single one, from big items like people

and rent to the smallest things." One person suggested saving

$1,200 a year by not using the Pitney Bowes postage machine and

offered

to be the designated stamp-purchaser. "When you have five clients

instead of 25, you don’t have the same volume of mail," says

Lipsky.

"And we are communicating more by E-mail."

— Barbara Fox


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