Can This Book Be Saved?
Dave Dunn's foray into book rescue and repair was the result of bad luck that inspired smart thinking. "I worked 16 years for Colonial Press. They were purchased by a holding company, then sold to another holding company. They decided they wanted to do automobile manufacturing and I didn't fit," explains Dunn. "I left with the thought that all the things that [Colonial Press] didn't want to do, I would do for all manufacturers. No one wants to do the things like shrink wrapping little pieces together. So, I started doing the labor intensive things that no one else wanted to do."
Dunn's passion and knowledge of the industry are apparent immediately upon speaking with him. With more than 40 years of experience, Dunn has many manufacturing horror stories to tell. The stories are often comical, but Dunn realizes that the comedic value is not so obvious to the publisher and vendor in question. Although he and his team of 150 employees at the Book Trauma Center are equipped to handled nearly any book emergency, Dunn says this is not the goal of the business. "[We try] to deal with prevention in a way [as such] we're going to fix the problem so we don't get any more work. Our aim is to prevent illness rather than deal with a patient who is terminally ill. We are an emergency room."
Dunn feels that his business' niche in the marketplace is due to the high-production culture that is present at large manufacturers. "Large manufacturers today need to automate and minimize labor in facilities. To fix something, they have to shut down the line and address repairs. They're not used to doing that type of work, so they can't go that fast. To shut down the machinery means a loss in sales. It's far more cost-effective to load the books on the back of an ambulance. Our job is to get the inventory back in a short amount of time," he says.