Maybe it's coincidence, but as I'm writing this column in late March, we're being hit by another bout of snow in Chicago. Similarly, the day after I wrote my good weather-inspired editorial last issue about our "spring planting" hopes to add several new departments to CSE, we were hit with snow yet again.
Maybe it's coincidence, but as I'm writing this column in late March, we're being hit by another bout of snow in Chicago. Similarly, the day after I wrote my good weather-inspired editorial last issue about our "spring planting" hopes to add several new departments to CSE , we were hit with snow yet again. Like the groundhog who crawled back into his burrow after seeing his shadow this past February, maybe the snow's a sign the economy, like spring—or the size of this publication—is simply going to be slow to bloom. In fact, as I'm writing this column, I just received a note from our CEO urging managers to find ways to spend money more wisely. He pointed out the company spends some very surprising numbers per employee annually on non-critical items, particularly office supplies, overnight packages and cell phones.
Such belt-tightening efforts bring us to the topic of this month's M/E Roundtable, which focuses on designing cost-effective laboratories. Establishing a project budget, of which M/E systems consume 40% to 60%, is a key issue when dealing with these expensive facilities. But overwhelmingly, our panel of participants asserts that fully functioning labs can be both cost effective and architectually attractive, so long as early communication exists and there's a commitment to cooperate among the entire building team—an effort that should perhaps pervade more of the design and construction industry and business in general.
New Tag. Back to the subject of my own company, the more detail-oriented of our readers may have noticed the orange vortex and "Cahners" name no longer occupy their traditional places on the cover. In its place is something that looks like a stylized "c" or "e," but is actually the logo for our company's new moniker: Reed Business Information . We haven't been acquired, but are simply reflecting our parent company Reed-Elsevier's desire to instill company-wide unity and values to bring customer focus, innovation and a "passion for winning" to the table.
As I reflect on these new values—and the call for reining in spending—the advice of our roundtable participants pops back in my head: better communication and a commitment to cooperate with our fellow internal associates may be just what we need to deliver a quality product with a limited budget. With that in mind, what is most important to you in the pages of CSE —Features? News? Professional Practices? Case Studies? New Products? Which would you see expanded—or even contracted? Please let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org .
P.S. On the subject of products, the reader service card, which was removed the past three issues in favor of an electronic format, will return next month.