Monday, September 22, 2003

Daily Grind

GE tests stress relievers

A cutting-edge deal between California-based Dock3 and General Electric might ease job and life stress for workers at GE's Evendale jet engine plant.

Dock3, a Solana Beach, Calif., firm, will manage some day-to-day needs onsite for the more than 7,000 employees at the factory: DVD rentals, dry cleaning, shipping packages, photo offerings.

Officials at GE said about one-third of the work force has signed up for services.

"We are taking people and their existing behavior - going to malls or down the street for errands - and changing it," said Howard Katkov, 53, Dock 3 president and chief executive.

"But that doesn't happen instantly. The ordinary family spends four to six hours a week on these tasks. What we offer is doing these chores with technology, which brings convenience and great pricing."

For instance, a newly released DVD video cost $1 a night to rent through Dock3.

While GE managers and Katkov refused to talk about cost of the effort at Evendale, Katkov said other companies pay between $1 and $2 an employee each month.

Companies need to have at least 750 employees for the program to make sense, Katkov said, with acceptance and use by employees in the 80 percent to 90 percent range within a year.

A calendar must

Want to get shouted at and learn something, too? Check out the two-hour seminar planned for Friday featuring Doug Hall, a marketing and product swami of high credentials, and Jeffrey Stamp, Ph.D.

They are the authors of a new business book Meaningful Marketing..

The event at the Schiff Family Conference Center at Xavier University costs $49 for members of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and $99 for everybody else.

You can expect to get shouted at a lot by Hall, who speaks in only one volume - loud - though he often gets excited, too.

Expect, also, to leave with a good business book.

Published by Brain Brew Books, the book includes a 60-minute CD that has a marketing IQ test and "13 Virtues of Meaningful Marketing."

Hall is the founder, and Stamp is a cog at Eureka Ranch, a think tank in Newtown that regularly attracts Fortune 500 product developers, marketers and others interested in new idea or product development.



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