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Publisher's View

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Herb Carpenter

The turn of the 21st century brought with it remarkable innovations in technology – smartphones, flash drives, Skype, Google, the Human Genome Project, YouTube, Bluetooth, electric cars, and 3D printers to name a few.

Now, as we look to the next decade and beyond, we have been told to expect even more dramatic changes from things like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation, Smart Homes, Blockchain, Stem Cell Research, drone deliveries, driverless cars, and robotic trucks.

In this issue of Strictly Business, we take a look at how improved technology has allowed North Country businesses to make procedural changes and improve their bottom line.

Our cover article features Fujitsu Frontech, a division of Fujitsu Japan, that makes U-SCAN self-checkout machines that expedite our trips to places like the grocery store. Located on Route 3 in the Town of Plattsburgh this innovator employs 45 and ships its products world-wide.

Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel, well-known throughout Vermont and Northern New York, embraced the pandemic as an opportunity and created Store #7 – an online shopping experience that is designed to make shopping with them seamless.

Texas Roadhouse Plattsburgh is one of 650 locations in the U.S. and six other countries. Famous for its good food and family friendly atmosphere, the staff took the opportunity provided by the pandemic to make changes that allow customers to dine in safely or choose convenient curbside pick-up.

Operating a store without staff is impossible! Or is it? Rachel Dutil of Ice House Farm Stand in Mooers and Ashlee Kleinhammer and Steve Googin of North Country Creamery in Keeseville have found a way to make it work. Don’t miss the story of their unusual approach.

Fastenal is an amazing story of growth, from the smallest fastener distributor in the U.S. in 1967 to the largest by the 1990s. Today the company has 3,200 locations in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, and Asia. Its on-site locations offer an innovative way to work with customers to ensure mutual success.

Our Insight feature this month is Sue Matton, Vice President for Economic Development at the North Country Chamber of Commerce. Twenty-seven years with the Chamber has made her a familiar face for local businesses and a huge asset to the area when things like hurricanes, floods and a pandemic hit.

To learn more about cryptocurrency and to understand the idea of a blockchain – its pros and cons – make sure to read Colin Read’s article “The Future of Transactions.”

And then Garry Douglas wraps up this issue with a celebration of the opening of the U.S. Canada border and all it means for North Country businesses and families.

A look back at the scope of change over the past 20 years makes it clear we should expect remarkable transformation as research and innovation accelerate.

And hopefully that will be good for business.

Herbert O. Carpenter, Publisher

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