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Martin Fairbank

Blogs - Martin Fairbank

Using Consultants in the “Gig Economy”

Using Consultants in the “Gig Economy”

One of my first summer jobs as a teenager was playing the organ for weddings at various churches. It was my first experience as a freelance employee, or what musicians call playing "gigs". After university, I worked full-time in the paper industry for thirty years. I'm now a freelance consultant, in what some have called the "gig economy". This term refers to new models of business done primarily on a freelance or temporary basis, made easier thanks to mobile phones and the internet. Well-known examples of contractors in the gig economy are Uber drivers and Airbnb hosts. The result of such business models is often cheaper, more efficient service.

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Blogs - Martin Fairbank

The Business of Handmade Paper

The Business of Handmade Paper

According to the Greeting Card Association, Americans still send 6.5 billion greeting cards every year, about 1.6 billion of which are for the Christmas season. In a surve...

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Blogs - Martin Fairbank

Ikea and the forest products industry

Ikea and the forest products industry

A few years ago, I visited a major department store to purchase a sofa, but the item I wanted was out of stock and had to be back-ordered. I arranged to have it delivered...

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Blogs - Martin Fairbank

A Tale of Two Cities and their Newspapers

A Tale of Two Cities and their Newspapers

If you don't live in one of Canada's two largest cities, Toronto and Montreal, you might have missed the latest skirmishes in the battle between paper and electronic form...

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Blogs - Martin Fairbank

Getting high on problem-solving

Getting high on problem-solving

One of my favourite activities is hiking to mountain-tops. I start out with a clear objective to get to the top, and when I arrive there I'm rewarded by great views! It's...

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Blogs - Martin Fairbank

How to use paper mill downtime profitably

How to use paper mill downtime profitably

At one period in my career, I was working at a paper mill where I had a lot of projects that depended on the mill running. I needed live data to analyze so that I could t...

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Blogs - Martin Fairbank

The rise and fall of recycled content in newsprint

The rise and fall of recycled content in newsprint

In March 2017 the newsprint mill in Thorold, Ontario was indefinitely idled. Ontario Paper Company started up this mill in 1913 and was a pioneer in the field of recycled...

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