Trade, swap and barter: A guide for plant professionals

The economy doesn't particularly smile down on the plant professional. Especially the one who needs some important item the current departmental budget didn't include. Trying to get past the gatekeepers who protect the corporate coffers for permission to buy what's so obviously needed won't be easy.

Maybe you can regress to the days of yore, when trading, swapping, haggling, and barter were the best we had in terms of something resembling a medium of exchange. Maybe your plant has something that, unbeknownst to you, has value for someone out there in the real world. Maybe they’d be willing to swap.

In the interest of helping you engage in reuse, recycle, reclaim, and all that other green sustainability stuff, I offer you some material you can research for ways that might help you get what you need, that stuff corporate money won’t buy for you.

Start with International Monetary Systems. This organization is all about strategic bartering at the corporate B2B level. Read the success stories to learn how the system operates in the big leagues.

Back in April of 2009, I wrote a column for Plant Services magazine and its Web site that explored the idea of barter. A few of the cited pages required some rather long URLs and it’s so easy to introduce one or more typographical errors when moving a long URL from the printed page to the browser. In an effort to circumvent any opportunity for frustration, I recommended a somewhat circuitous route to locate the specific pages on the Web.

Times and technology have changed and I’d like to revisit those links in pursuit of finding a way to get the stuff you need without having to spend your cash. Start by pulling up the original article, “Barter if you don't have cash,” on the Plant Services site.

That’s where you’re going to find an explanation of why these Web citations are relevant to the topic. There’s only one Web citation per subhead. The following list shows the original subhead and the article title. Simply click on the article title and you’ll go directly to the reference material that was cited when the article first appeared.

Getting started – “Why is corporate barter?

Case studies – “Corporate Barter: Out of the Dark?

Money source – “Logical emergence of money from barter

Everybody’s doin’ it – “Small Biz Owners Revisiting Age-old Tradition: Bartering

For the Pacific Northwest – “Trade Economics 101

Funky markets and pricing – “Towards the new barter economy

Worst practices – “Explaining rise of barter in Russia: Virtual Economy vs. Monetary Issues

Domestic barter – “U.S. Domestic Barter: an Empirical Investigation

Can Barter Help Increase Cash Sales and Visibility For Your Small Business?

When I first found the next reference, “Industrial Bartering Trade & Exchange,” I thought it was going to be paydirt. I suppose it could be golden if people began using what it has to offer. You’ll need to be the judge on this one.

Also, I’d be interested in learning about any barter arrangements your company might be using or had used in the past. I think your peers might also be interested in learning about your barter adventure.