1. In the few weeks since the meeting held in November, Filofax and myself have been able to establish good lines of communication between the Marketing Department and Philofaxy with additional input in to the New Product Development Team as well.
However, it is very early days yet as we have been discovering more and more about each other beyond the very quick overviews we gave at the meeting. Since then we have been looking in detail about the various aspects of the blog and all the other places we both exist in.
Additionally we are waiting for the new PR company to come on stream and I’m told they are looking forward to working with us at Philofaxy on product sampling/reviews and blog outreach. I believe too that we will be added to the media press release list so will automatically receive announcements at the same time as the media. I think this is very encouraging.
2. I have given some small hints and tips to help Filofax with their presence on Facebook, so they can now respond to readers and Filofax users in a more corporate manner and hopefully this will improve relations with our readers as well I’m sure.
3. One of the requests presented to Filofax at the meeting was for the tabbed monthly inserts to be changed so that the months were not printed back to back. As you will know if you have used these inserts, with them printed back-to-back you are unable to separate the months to be able to archive them or to interleave them with weekly or daily inserts.
I have sent Filofax some mocked up prototype inserts in a design that would solve this issue and allow people to separate the months in their organisers. These prototypes have helped the team at Filofax to better understand the issues with the current inserts and how the proposed changes improve on the use of this particular set of inserts.
Filofax are now putting these new inserts through their formal product assessment process to see if they could become part of the range or not. The change to the inserts has an obvious increase in production costs, so like any other change it has to go through a process to validate the impact on costs and the retail price of the product.
4. As a direct result of Philofaxy posts and comments, Filofax have also commenced an internal review of paper quality. As part of this they are looking at other paper on the market for consumers. I have been informed this is an internal business process review and not a study that will be made public. It is encouraging that they have heard the comparisons being made and are investigating.
5. I have been told that the 2014 diary inserts are already in production, many already printed. Filofax is a global business, producing diaries for 40 plus markets around the world and as such they work with considerably long production lead times. So any new paper will not be incorporated widely for some time. However, the Filofax Enthusiasts range that will be launched in 2013, which was spoken about at the meeting, could be printed on different paper stock, hopefully paper of higher quality. We will be told about this new range in the New Year.
The production of all of their products and the distribution of them is spread through out the year so there isn’t a huge peak in the demand on their distribution channels at the beginning of each year.
6. Whilst Filofax acknowledged the problems with the existing website at the meeting. We were told about a new improved website that will be launched in 2013. From discussions between Filofax and myself, I have put forward a couple of ideas to improve the descriptions of the organiser products on the website and these suggestions have been very well received by the team.
I’m hoping to meet up with the team at Burgess Hill when I’m over in UK in March, but a date has yet to be arranged/confirmed.
I hope you are happy with this update, I can’t promise to have updates on a very frequent basis, but I will try to up date you when there is something of significance to report. What I would also like to add is that I am very grateful for the time and effort that Filofax have put in to be able to respond to my calls and emails in the last few weeks – all of which have been responded to same day.
18 December 2012