Michael Shaughnessy asked how he could smooth the transition from closed-book to open-book management ("Opening the Books," October, [Article link]). We suggested resources and highlighted a company that had made that move. Another satisfied practitioner speaks up:

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Nearly 18 months ago we opened the books to our 45 employees. Profit-and-loss statements are issued to all managers and to any employee who requests them. Employees also have access to the numbers on gross payroll, gross sales, shareholder distribution, and net profits. Consequently, misconceptions about where the money goes, as well as a lot of the mistrust between management and staff, have evaporated. The result is a staff that "owns" the company in a meaningful way. When things are bad, employees ask tough questions. And when things are good, everyone knows it -- and everyone shares in the wealth.

Mark E. Smith


Vector Engineering

Grass Valley, Calif.

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Berthe Marquart wanted to learn how to run a 99 Cents store ("Discounts 'R' Them," September, [Article link]) The International Closeout Directory is a guide to more than 2,800 national and international suppliers of merchandise for resale. Each entry includes the company's name, address, and phone and fax numbers; the products it supplies; the percentage of business it does with discount stores; the areas of the United States it serves; and contact names. The guide is available from the Closeout Network (800-326-8811, $100 plus shipping), in Cherry Hill, N.J. n