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January 31, 2017

In my previous post, It’s Time to Say Goodbye, I mentioned that I was possibly selling the trademark and blog. As it happens, there are people interested but I have struggled to find a way to price it in an appropriate manner. While there are other trademarks I’ve found for sale, they’re not in the same industry, packaged with something besides a blog, and just aren’t quite a good comparison.

If anyone out there has suggestions, I would be excited to hear them. I’m trying to take my time with the process but I don’t want too much time to go by that the interested parties lose interest, either, so any suggestions are welcome.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

It’s Time to Say Goodbye

January 11, 2017

My big news for 2017 is that I find it’s time to say goodbye to all of you. I am taking a permanent W-2 job with a local establishment.

After years of being in charge, taking the best projects to work with, and getting all types of opportunities I probably never would have other received, it’s time to do something else.

I started this business almost 21 years ago knowing I could provide the best quality of services and do it better than the other services firms. I committed myself to providing an excellent implementation experience to a variety of customers in many industries.

I’ve worked with the LabWare products for almost 21 years – almost as long as they’ve been commercially available and longer than just a small handful of people in the entire world. I’ve worked with Thermo Fisher Scientific’s SampleManager for 27 years. This year, 2017, is my 30th anniversary with LIMS, with the great majority of those years in providing external services to customers.

What Happens to GeoMetrick Enterprises and Its’ Customers
GeoMetrick Enterprises, as a registered company, needs to stay around so that Dr. Slomczynski can continue to use it for his own work. The registration is still in good standing, the insurance is all paid-up. He might as well continue to use it.

As for my customers, I have spoken with each of them, individually, about what works best for them and how to ensure that they are properly taken care of. I take my customers commitments quite seriously and no-one has been abandoned.

What Happens to This Blog
Dr. Slomczynski has enough to do with his own blog HPLC’N You. In addition, he doesn’t work with LIMS, so he won’t be taking this over.

A number of people have suggested I continue to write it, myself. However, I’ll be moving into a position where I’ll no longer be working with the issues about which I wrote. I won’t be watching what the industry is doing, speaking on matters of small businesses, or working with a variety of customers.

It doesn’t cost much to keep the name and leave the blog running so that people can continue to search the information it contains. However, blogs that don’t get new posts don’t get read. Search engines track new content and, without routine new content, this blog will one day no longer even show up in the search engines.

The Next Step for the Blog/Trademark
One thing that I don’t plan to do is to give this blog away. This blog is an artifact of my marketing strategy. It’s part of this commercial venture. I worked diligently to build the readership and to attract readers.

I trademarked this name, defended it and maintained it as required by trademark law and am willing to sell it. It’s a recognized name in the industry and selling it is actually what I’d intended to do when I retired, many years from now. My initial plan was that that would provide a little extra money for my retirement.

If there is anyone interested in buying the trademark from me, please contact me at your earliest convenience. We can discuss plans for the transfer.

Is This the Last Post?
I’m not sure if I’ll make any more posts. If any of the other awards the company has won are formally announced, I would probably come to announce those, for instance. Other than that, I’m just not sure if there’s anything else to say, except for this:

Thank you to all who have been my customers and to all of those with whom I’ve had interesting and educational conversations, over the years. Thank you to all who have given me the opportunities that allowed my business to continue for so long and for me to grow as a professional. Best wishes in all your projects!  🙂

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

GeoMetrick Enterprises: The Award-Winningest Company in the Industry

January 5, 2017

A few months ago, I was excited to announce that GeoMetrick Enterprises had won an award. For more information, see this post: GHP 2016 International Life Sciences Awards

Just in the past couple of months, suddenly, GeoMetrick Enterprises has won as many as half a dozen awards. So, in twenty years of business, nothing, and just in a couple months, an award bonanza. What’s going on? I started to feel EXTREMELY suspicious of all of this. But, for one, I think that winning the first award brings a company to light in a way where other awards will find you. But I then had to question how many of these were valid.

Upon spending a little time looking at some of these awards, I can’t say that they’re not valid. I didn’t spend a dime to get them. I didn’t “know the right people” because I don’t know anyone at any of the places giving the award, that I know of. I didn’t ask for them. I didn’t apply any pressure to get them (as if I had any to apply, that is). So, I suppose GeoMetrick Enterprises got them based on the merit of something it’s done.

Also, I suppose it’s perfectly valid for media outlets to come up with awards that will make an issue interesting and different from the usual news.

At the same time, I do also know that they don’t take everyone who is nominated because, upon winning one of the awards, I put in a candidate for another related award at one of these media groups and the company I nominated did not win. So, it’s not a case of everyone who is nominated being a winner just to make everyone have a “feel good” moment.

With that said, I realize that, just because a media group is small and possibly not someone I’d heard of before makes their awards any less valid than anyone else’s and I do appreciate their efforts in including GeoMetrick Enterprises.

Note: In the past, we laugh about how everyone claims to be “#1 in LIMS” and, now, you can laugh as I now claim to be “#1 in LIMS” but my category is “#1 in LIMS in Winning Awards.”  😉

With that said, I suppose I should get motivated to gather these awards together, verify they’ve all been officially announced, and post them just for posterity. After all, if the company has won them, I should mention them and put a link back to the group that gave them as a thank you. It’s the least I can do, really.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

“Safety” is the 2017 Word of the Year

January 3, 2017

I keep hearing customers talking about wanting “safety.” Past years are gone when “quality” or “best practices” were the buzzwords. This year, the buzzword is “safety.”

In the QC Pharma/Biotech area, they talk about how they’re not picking products necessarily best for their situation but those that have been selected and audited many times, previously. In these days when so many products have similar features, they seem to believe that it the product doesn’t matter as much as the reduced risk. I can’t argue with that.

Even where customers don’t like the product they’re selecting for one reason or another the safety factor is still important-enough that they feel they can put aside their misgivings about concerns such as technical issues.

In addition, in all areas, customers are looking to make purchases that make them feel more secure. In the services area, that would be to select the largest companies offering whatever services they need to purchase and waiting until enough resources are available and hopefully in the budget year when they need them.

With all the terrible projects that go on, it’s no wonder that customers are now looking for “safety” over all other factors. As usual, I should add that this is not true of every single customer but is my generalization of what is going on in our industry.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

More on Security

December 19, 2016

I made a post regarding security in Passwords – Not the Ultimate Security Tool. Today, I want to speak about having your system ransomed back to you.

First of all, one benefit to networking with businesses outside our industry is that I hear more details about these types of issues. One such company that was informative to speak with was Virta Labs. They specialize in cybersecurity for healthcare and this is a particularly-interesting post of theirs Don’t Let Ransomware be the JBOSS of You.

However, what they were talking about being of issue is ransomeware. This is when your network or web-site, for a couple examples, are taken over by hackers and ransomed back to you. This is a problem on the rise in heathcare. However, even outside their industry, they told me this is an increasing problem.

Note to those of us with small businesses: we’re becoming a particular target. By the way, the hackers aren’t asking for millions of dollars for ransom from us but asking quite reasonable sums that any of us would be able to afford. The point is that they just want the money and to give you your network or site back, basically, not to spend a lot of time in negotiations are waiting for you to try to dig-up the money.

So, this is a warning to all of us to use proper security. Don’t leave your logins set to the installation settings, for example. Scan for viruses. Use two-factor authentication. Do all the things you need to do to be secure. Not just for those of us with small businesses but, if hospitals and clinics are being targeted, how long do you think before pharma/biotech and others are targeted, too? They possibly are already being targeted but we don’t hear about it because it’s the standard to keep it under wraps if you’ve been hacked. Most companies won’t admit it, publicly.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

The Work-Around Trap

December 14, 2016

Workarounds might keep you working but they can be traps, as well.

One trap is that we create a workaround and we never find a permanent solution to whatever it was that we just patched-up as a temporary fix.

The other problem is that we sometimes think we’ve provided a solution but only really provided a workaround.

Even people like me fall into this trap. I have been writing some C# programs for marketing automation. It’s not that I’ve actually automated my marketing with them just made the process somewhat less manual. In this, I’ve created some workarounds and I increasingly create more of them.

I have realized that now is the time to “stop the madness” and create a permanent solution. For me, when I needed new features in my C# programs, it’s as easy as deciding I need a new feature in my programs and adding it. I don’t even have to go through an approval process. But I’m now at a point where I do that too often – I realize that I need “real” marketing automation.

Sometimes, when customers ask for new programs, they become too comfortable with the process of getting the budget and asking for the programs. Once the program goes to someone to work on, it is kind of an “out of sight, out of mind” situation where the customer might not realize that what they really need isn’t more programs in their current system but possibly some add-on that would do a better job at the task.

How Do You Know?
So, how do you know when you’re really just doing workarounds rather than solutions? There’s a fine line to this. One guideline is that, if you’re asking for programs too often, or too many changes or additions to your system, it might be time to consider buying an add-on (or completely different system) as a more economical and better way to address what you need. Notice I used some words in my advice that are still subjective. What does it mean that it’s “too often,” for example? Once, again, I’ll say this is tricky. You have to keep track of how much work you’re asking for and, as a team, evaluate whether it might be getting out of hand.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: More Comments About Writing

December 12, 2016

I’ve written in the past about the act of writing. Recently, I made this post: Notes on Writing

On that topic, here’s a great drawing of myself and my writing process, although, my nose isn’t really quite this big nor my computer quite this antiquated:

After the “Notes on Writing” post, several readers have asked what time I write, since I made a comment about finding times to write. Actually, I don’t write, every day. I have two basic ways to get my writing done: 1) If I have several ideas, I set aside some time to start several blog posts, some of which might get finished right then and there and others might just be an initial idea to which I will return at another time, but it’s not every day; 2) I wake up in the morning with something I want to say and I just write it, usually before I start my chargeable work but, if there are fires to fight, might do it during a break later in the day.

However, and back to the comic strip (or, to some of you, bande dessinée), like this character, I do try to remember that I need to find interesting things for people to read about. In addition, I need to remember to make them relevant to the readers of the blog. So, in the comic strip, where the character comes up with LOTS of plot twists then thinks about how to tie it all together, I do sit in front of my posts thinking things such as, “And what was the point of this supposed to be that I wanted to get to people? How do I wrap this up?”

In any case, writing isn’t that hard in and of itself but, even when you’re used to doing it, I find that it helps to step back from it and rethink it if the post gets too long or too far off the point. Even with that, don’t spend too much time perfecting it. Nothing, including your writing, will ever be perfect so just do your best and move along. That’s the best writing advice I can give and it’s basically what I do, myself.

As another comment, too many of you spend too much time wordsmithing and never get your writing finished and out-the-door. While we all want it to look professional, there’s a certain point where you just have to publish it and live with it, which I personally think is better than spending all your time writing things that no-one will ever see. I know all this because so many of you tell me this.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises