4 Ways to Improve Success and Creativity at Work

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on May 23, 2017

4 Ways to Improve Success and Creativity

Quiet Time Isn’t a Luxury – It’s a Valuable Tool

In a post last week, I talked about the importance of “quiet times” in your day to help make you more creative and productive. An article in the Harvard Business Review laid out several scientific findings that help document the value of those times in combating the always-communicating, always-thinking-of-what-to-say-next frenzy we live under today.

Evidence suggests, for example, that quiet times restore our central nervous systems, resupply our energy stores, and better condition our minds to adapt and respond to our complex environment.  At the end of Thursday’s post, I promised that today I would share four ways to introduce quiet time into your workday to improve success and creativity.

Four Ways to Make Quiet Happen

      1.  Insert quiet time between—or even within—meetings.

Don’t let your day become unproductive due to a series of meetings. Build in gaps of five minutes or more during which you can mediate, reflect, or just think by yourself. It may even be beneficial to have everyone do that during a meeting in order to refresh, recharge, and think about the implications of what has been discussed.

2. Enjoy nature amidst the challenges.

There is something about the way nature keeps going about its business regardless of your participation. Creative thinking is just a little easier after two or three hours of wandering through something bigger than your problems.

3. Take a break from media.

We’ve talked about this one before, but it’s a great reminder. It is important to be “unavailable” at some point during our day, especially during family time. Turn off the email. Don’t check social media. If you do it for just a few hours every day, then the time you do spend on your job will be more productive and valuable.

4. Try a meditation retreat.

I can hear many of you saying something to the effect of “eeeew, no thanks.”  Too bad. You might be missing an excellent chance to hone your listening and intuition skills. And a total immersion experience like this can help you bring out your thoughts.

Meditation isn’t some far-out mystic concept. Think of it this way. You have a lot of quality thought and opinion to bring to any situation. But your busy life keeps you playing “defense” – always responding to stimuli from others. Meditation helps ensure that your valuable contributions get the chance to surface.

I believe in this process. I think these periods of quiet thought and reflection will make me a better businessman.  The time I spend on my boat, out on the water, is an important part of strengthening my business acumen.

How to Find That Quiet Time

There is a pragmatic side to all this. There are only so many hours in the day. What do you have to give up to spend that time quietly? That’s easy: nothing but antiquated practices that are unproductive anyway.

You see we take this “time” thing pretty seriously at Superior. It is ingrained into the fabric of each one of us. In everything we do, we try to make it as efficient as possible. And we work to pass those time (and cost) savings on to our customers too.

Although each client’s needs are different, there are always efficiencies we find that provide not only cost savings, but also savings in time. Our technologies and individualized, process improvements create efficiencies for clients in their print supply chain and promotional product management; helping sales to accounting, and everyone in between.

We have taken pride for almost 100 years in helping people find the time in their workday for the things that really matter. We were founded in 1924 upon creating efficiencies to make time in the workday to increase sales and help our clients live their best lives.

I would like to find out if we can help you as well. If you are interested in creating efficiencies with your print supply chain and promotional product management, contact me today or reach out to one of our award winning sales reps for a promotional item and print supply chain management review.



Can You Improve Your Creativity and Success with Quiet Time?

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on May 18, 2017

Can You Improve Your Creativity and Success with Quiet Time?

Quiet Your Mind and Your Environment for Success

We all deal with constant “noise” in today’s world. Physical sounds are certainly part of it. A guy roars down your street on his unmuffled motorcycle, the constant backdrop of blaring televisions at every restaurant you frequent and technology is always “on”. But I’m also talking about noise of a different kind.

It’s the commotion in your head as your mind fights to prioritize work and family-related issues and concerns. Or it’s the pressure felt by that internal “traffic cop” that helps you sift through phone calls, voicemails, and emails.  Perhaps it surfaces in the form of  emotions jogged by that social media posts that makes you either nod your head or shake it–and feel the need to respond. So many demands and not enough bandwidth in our brains. read more…


Thank You WOOD TV8 eightWest for Having Us On!

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on May 16, 2017

West Michigan Business Is Ready For Its Closeup

On Monday morning, I appeared as a guest on a popular local morning television show. More specifically, it’s a “magazine” format show called eightWest on WOOD-TV Channel 8, here in West Michigan.

Two other guests joined me on the show. One was Dan Malone from Consumer’s Energy. The other was Tim Mraz from The Right Place organization. The Right Place is committed to attracting businesses and encouraging their success in West Michigan.

The program focused on a beneficial collaboration, between the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Pure Michigan, called Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC). It helps local small and mid-sized business to make connections with other businesses that will help them grow.

Fact: many large local companies have millions of dollars to award annually in contracts for services, raw materials and more. However, they often don’t realize that there are extremely capable local companies that are qualified and eager to fulfill those contacts. read more…


2 Ways to Cut Operating Expenses Forever

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on May 11, 2017

2 Ways to Cut Operating Expenses

Spend Less, Get More in Printing and Promotional Items

Superior Business Solutions was started by my grandfather in 1924. After almost 100 years in the print and promotional products business, we know a thing or two about staying ahead of the game. If you own or manage a business, you should always be on the lookout for ways to cut operating expenses.

And in today’s business world, you’d better realize that whatever works today will likely be improved upon tomorrow. If you’re standing still, you’re falling behind. Supply chain management is no longer a buzz word. It’s the way to maximize result, minimize costs, and see the benefits show up on the bottom line.

Today I am going to tell you about two ways we help clients cut their operating expenses. One is by improving their print supply chain management. The other centers on more efficient and effective handling of their promotional item needs. Each starts with a thorough analysis. read more…


How to Save Time in Your Workday with Managed Print Services

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on May 9, 2017

How to Save Time in Your Workday with Managed Print Services

How Will You Spend the Time Managed Print Services Will Save You In Your Workday?

Okay, I won’t deny it. This post is aimed at getting you to do something. But honestly, it’s just as much about what you ought to stop doing. That is, wasting costly amounts of time and money getting your printing needs met. Because your business can be more streamlined, productive and profitable with managed print services.

Chances are, you are incurring plenty of unnecessary costs and squandering hours of time (both yours and your employees’) on things like:

  • Having different people, often in different company locations, specifying and ordering what ought to be the same forms. They may match, and they may not. Errors can creep in. And control of costs is very difficult without central oversight.
  • Even if they do happen to create acceptable versions of the same form….and even if the price is reasonable…you’ve lost money paying people to duplicate efforts. Needlessly.
  • What about specialty print projects, like brochures and promotional materials? Quality is even more important (because your image is at stake). And staff experience with this kind of printing is likely even harder to come by. That means more time wasted. And more risk of trouble, since knowledge of printers and the ability to deal with them isn’t a skill set you went out of your way to hire.

read more…


7 Promotional Marketing Items to Increase Sales at Auto Dealerships

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on May 2, 2017

7 Promotional Marketing Items to Increase Sales at Auto Dealerships

You Won’t Get Their Business If You Don’t Get Their Attention with Promotional Marketing Items!

Running an auto dealership is no small undertaking. It requires complex planning and financial acumen, as well as a great understanding of what customers are seeking. But the most important thing perhaps, is getting those customers in the first place (and keeping them). In this department, there may be no more effective tool than promotional marketing.

Certainly, the automotive manufacturers who make those vehicles face many challenges. We talked about those recently in a two-part series about automotive industry supply chain solutions. But those of you on the retail end face challenges all your own. You have to work very hard to ensure that car shoppers do three things.

First, they must be aware of you and find their way to your dealership. Secondly, they must purchase their vehicles from you. And finally, even after the sale, they should continue to feel good about the experience, helping to ensure you get the benefit of repeat purchase, service business and great word-of-mouth advertising.

Promotional Marketing Gives Your Dealership a Point of Difference

Promotional marketing items call the right kind of attention to an automotive dealership. The inset below features seven ways to grab and hold the attention of those prospective customers. All are great ways to make sure those passers-by don’t pass you by, and  instead stop in to talk. read more…


5 Ways to Make Your Products Sell with Custom Labels

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on April 27, 2017

5 Ways to Make Your Products Sell with Custom Labels

Custom Labels Add Value and Attract Attention

If you market a product, its packaging does a lot more than contain it. When your product sits on the shelf or other marketing display, that package is the last and the best chance you have to grab a potential customer’s interest. Not to mention dollars. Therefore, it’s more than worth the effort to present that product to its best advantage. And that means custom labels.

Certainly, a product label must contain information; it has to identify the product. But it also should help the product sell itself through visual appeal, information and many other factors you probably never thought about. That’s where I’d like to help today.

5 Ways Custom Labels Move People – and Move Product

read more…


Printing Thousands of Envelopes Each Month? Save Money and Manpower with Print-To-Mail

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on April 25, 2017

Printing Thousands of Envelopes Each Month? Save Money and Manpower with Print-To-Mail

Printing Big Envelope Quantities Could Mean a Big Opportunity

If your business goes through large quantities of envelopes each month, you know that can be costly in both money and manpower. We are happy to help, of course, in printing and supplying those envelopes efficiently at a very competitive price. Furthermore, we pride ourselves on delivering them where and when you need them right on schedule.

But we could be doing—and saving you—even more. That large number of envelopes suggests that you are also spending a great deal of time and effort preparing, printing and mailing a similarly large number of invoices, monthly statements or other communications with your customers. That, of course, incurs costs far beyond those of simply printing envelopes. So why limit your savings to one small part of the process? read more…


Visual Management Tools That Lead to 5S and LEAN Manufacturing Success

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on April 20, 2017

Learn How Supply Chain Management Combined With Visual Management Tools Lead to 5S and LEAN Manufacturing Success.

Combine Visual Management Tools with Supply Chain Management Technology for 5S and LEAN Manufacturing Success

In my last post I talked about addressing the 7 wastes identified in LEAN Manufacturing. Today I want to talk about 5S methodology and LEAN implementation with visual management tools and supply chain management technologies.

LEAN manufacturing and 5S methodology focus more than anything upon eliminating any obstructions, physical or procedural, from a manufacturing or other process. It also calls for every workplace to be designed (or redesigned) to foster maximum productivity. It also attempts to ensure that every process occurring in that workplace is simple, streamlined and easily repeatable. For example:

  • Fewer steps in a process are better than more. With proper planning, some can be combined, others eliminated.
  • A shorter distance for materials or workers to travel is better than a longer one. A business that understands this will study workflow patterns and rearrange or reposition equipment and redirect processes to happen as smoothly as possible.
  • Every employee must understand the operation and how each task must be performed the one correct way, regardless of who is doing it at any given time. This is where the value of visual management tools becomes obvious.

read more…


Knock Out The 7 Wastes in LEAN Manufacturing with Corporate Kiosk Supply Chain Management

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on April 18, 2017

Knock Out The 7 Wastes in LEAN Manufacturing with Corporate Kiosk

LEAN Adds Logic to Supply Chain Management Solutions

We have addressed the seven wastes in LEAN manufacturing in previous posts. LEAN manufacturing is a relatively new concept to American business, and it required vision and plenty of “getting used to” to understand its value. However, that is certainly not the case today.

Today, supply chain management solutions help power almost any successful business. That includes manufacturing facilities, warehousing operations and almost any organization marketing to consumers or to other businesses. At the heart of the best supply chain management solutions is a commitment to LEAN manufacturing. read more…