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JUL

09

AUG

Your products. Your colleagues. Your business.

A HIGHER

How to acquire competitive

intelligence to enhance

decision-making

GOING GREEN

Sustain Your

Business

Help your customers create

a greener office environment

School

Ties

Boost sales by

expanding into the

education market


DESIGNED WITH THE

ENVIRONMENT IN MIND

At HP, we’re committed to the environment.

We provide inventive, high-quality products and services

that are environmentally sound—from the very first

stages of product design through manufacturing and

distribution, customer use and recycling.

Our recent packaging innovations for Original

HP LaserJet and inkjet cartridges alone were estimated

to have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over

37 million pounds of CO 2 in 2007. 1

In addition, since 1991 we have offered the HP Planet

Partners program that provides free and convenient

return and recycling of Original HP print cartridges.

Thank you for your commitment to the environment.

1

Estimates are based on projected 2007 print cartridge sales in the United

States and Canada. Global warming gas (carbon dioxide equivalents)

emissions reductions calculated based on anticipated 2007 sales,

using packaging configurations before and after recent improvements.

Environmental impacts modeled with SimaPro 7 (PRé Consultants,

The Netherlands, 2006) lifecycle inventory software. Carbon equivalency

factors from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Calculations

from www.usctcgateway.net/tool/.

© Copyright 2009 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.

The information contained herein is subject to change without notice.

Business partner


S:11.5”

T:12”

B:12.25”

In the Box

16

A higher intelligence

look who’s talking

26

sustaiN your business

5

the line on ...

32

Promote your

Business

37

Mind your

Business

Ever fi nd papers hiding in the bottom of

a drawer? They end up there when they

slide into the gaps between the folders.

21

29

school ties

FEATURES

DEPARTMENTS

40

Great

Resources

44

cool stuff/

hot deals

46

the final word

Out of the Box

Make the Most

of the Coming

Good Times

There are some encouraging

signs that the worst part of the

recession might be over. The latest

survey by the National Association

of Business Economics reported that

members believe the recession could

end soon. The majority expect a modest

rebound in the second half of the year

leading to growth in the third quarter,

followed by steady improvement into

next year.

Encouraging signs to be sure, but

don’t ease up just yet. Employment

will most likely lag any recovery, so it

could be some time before your orders

expand in size or number. New business

remains a challenge, but don’t overlook

any opportunities that exist. As one

executive said recently, it would be a

shame to waste a good recession.

A recession is a great time to shake

up the marketplace. Competitors

are ripe for attack as they pull back

marketing efforts. Underserved customer

groups and undefended markets

abound. Buying behaviors are changing,

giving you the opportunity to respond.

It’s time to examine your priorities

and strategies. What critical initiative do

you need to work on? Do you need to

grow market share, sell more to existing

customers, or find new ones?

You’ve already proven to a core group

of customers that you’re more flexible

and able to deliver more personalized

service than your larger competitors.

The current economy highlights the

advantages independents offer better

than at any time in recent history. Your

fulfillment is quick and accurate, returns

are easy, and your pricing is competitive.

You offer advantages that captivate

customers and capture their allegiance.

Get ready now for the improved

times that are certainly coming. We can

help with our revised dealer marketing

materials to enable you to become more

competitive when the market comes

back. Next time you talk to your account

manager, ask how you can achieve

improved results with the consistent

marketing program laid out in our 2010

dealer marketing materials.

Michael Chazin

United Stationers Marketing | mchazin@ussco.com

PLEASE PRINT LEGIBLY.

You can’t miss with Hanging Accordion Folders.

Their one-piece design eliminates gaps

where papers can slide and hide.

Offer valid through 12/30/09. (Requests must be postmarked

by 1/31/10.) Purchase $50 total (your purchase price excluding

shipping and taxes) of any combination of qualifying products

listed on this fl yer. Send this completed form along with proof of

MAIL TO:

GW Hanging Accordion File Offer

c/o Globe-Weis

OFF CE

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3


Look what’s new for

Universal’s offering

has something new

for everyone.

Check out our family of

Universal office products

that look sharp and perform

impeccably. We’ve also

expanded our eco-friendly

product offering with many

products that help customers

meet green initiatives. All of

our products boast the

Universal trademark ‘quality

for less’. Here are just a few…

Stress-free mass mailings!

Universal’s new address labels won’t

leave damaging residue in your printer.

Heavy-duty jobs? No problem.

This compact and powerful stapler is capable

of stapling up to 60 pages with a single touch.

Bring it all together.

Made of quality, sturdy board, our new

binders keep you perfectly organized

and open with just the click of a button.

Easy-to-use, everyday.

Universal’s sleek manual stapler works

in a flash for everything you need stapled.

Don’t U look sharp.

Universal’s new, quiet electric pencil

sharpener is stylish and looks good

on your desk.

Retractable is all the rage.

Our retractable dry-erase markers, highlighters,

and permanent markers work longer and

better when there’s no cap to lose.

Pivotal new design.

Universal’s correction tape dispenser has a

swivel tip and is retractable.

IDs, flyers and signs.

Try our newly redesigned multi-sized laminators

for anything from business cards to 11 X 17

signs and documents.

Go to www.biggestbook.com

for more information.

Three new reasons to

print it.

file it.

staple it.

order it.

Perfect penmanship

and savvy style.

Our long-lasting pens come with

German ink and Swiss-made tips

in great affordable styles.


The Line On...

| ... News | ... Office Products | ... Tech | ... JanSan | ... E-Services | ... Promos | ... Paper | ... Kudos |

Write a Paper,

Plant a Tree

Raising green awareness one tree at a time

Federal Supply donated 1,100 trees to the

Northern Kentucky University Center for

Applied Ecology. The trees were used in

local reforestation projects and were

planted at several project sites in Boone

County to celebrate Arbor Day.

April is Federal Supply’s

“Green” month!

G

... Paper

In the office products world, we know

our business takes a toll on the environment.

As an industry, however, we are also

learning how to help our companies and our

customers become more responsible.

As part of its Earth Day activities, Federal Supply,

Erlanger, Ky., donated 1,100 trees to the Northern

Kentucky University Center for Applied Ecology for

use in local reforestation projects. The number of

trees donated is equal to the number of trees used

to produce all of the copy paper Federal Supply sold

to customers in 2008.

The trees were planted by student techs on active

project sites in Boone County, according to Mark

Leopold, environmental scientist at the Northern

Kentucky University Center for Applied Ecology.

During April, Federal Supply’s invoices (normally

printed in company blue) were printed in green ink

on 100 percent recycled paper to raise awareness

of earth-friendly products. Over the last eight years,

To celebrate, we donated 1,100 trees

to Northern Kentucky University

Center for Applied Ecology.

This replaces every tree that was used to make

all of the paper we sold last year, making

our customers 100% “Tree Neutral”!

www.MyFederalSupply.com (859) 586-9557

Federal Supply has participated in recyclable product

sales that have saved more than 20,000 trees—an

equivalent of 20 acres of forest.

“Many customers want to be green,” said John

Sherron, owner of Federal Supply, “but they don’t

want to pay the higher price for recycled content

paper. Therefore we donated the same number of

trees that were used to manufacture the less expensive

virgin paper, essentially offsetting our customer’s

carbon footprint for them.”

OFF CE

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The Line On ...

G

… Office Products

HEAD OF THE CLASS

Smart portable media cases

For students, USB drives are

now as essential as pencils,

and portable hard drives are as

necessary as dictionaries. As

students return to school, they’re

looking for just the right cases

to protect their portable

drives. USB protective

cases are the perfect accessories

to use as margin and sales

enhancers for your USB and hard

drive offering.

Case Logic carries neoprene USB

cases in all sizes. The USB cases fit from

one to six USB drives. And for portable hard

drives, Case Logic presents great, functional styles. The crush-resistant,

molded CLG-PHDC1BK is heavy on protection for an external hard drive

and also includes a separate compartment for cords and accessories.

Earn an A+ from your customers with Case Logic cases for all portable

media mobile essentials.

DISCOVER THE DETAILS Check out the full selection of Case Logic products on

www.biggestbook.com.

... E-Services

SEARCH

FOR MORE

Extend the power

of United Smart Search

to every product

you sell

United Smart Search has been a big success with resellers, giving their

customers a better online experience by driving better search results for 40,000

products sold by United Stationers. But consumers’ shopping needs may extend

beyond your United Stationers product offering. And for those types of products,

successful online searching is dependent on quality product content.

Now, United Content Services helps extend the power of United Smart Search

to items not currently sold by United, providing the same rich online experience.

GET THE E-POWER Details are available from United Stationers account managers.

… JanSan

Green JanSan

Solutions

“Green & Lean” offers a terrific

opportunity to expand JanSan sales

Every employer can benefit from the

implementation of a green program.

And now more than ever, with consumer demand

on the rise and competitive pressures

bringing prices down, there are many competitively

priced green products made by mainstream

manufacturers that can make going

green both eco-responsible and cost effective.

In response, United Stationers’ OfficeJan

Category Team has developed a new “Green

& Lean” initiative designed to give you solutionbased

sales tools to drive incremental JanSan

business, while helping your customers green

their workplaces.

“Green &

“g r e e n & l e a n”

offers a p r o g r a m

w i t h c o m p r e h e n-

sive greenfocused

sales

t o o l s, w h i c h p r o-

v i d e documented

b o t t o m-l i n e b u s i-

ness benefits to

y o u r customers.

Lean” offers a

program with

comprehensive

green-focused

sales tools, which

provide documented

bottomline

business

benefits to

your customers.

“Green &

Lean” includes

products from

United’s Green

Catalog, but it

also expands on that selection to offer dealers

a growth opportunity by combining green sales

and JanSan sales.

We’ve created a number of Green & Lean

program support materials, including a comprehensive

program overview presentation, dealerto-end-user

brochures, and free, customizable

promotional e-flyers. If you don’t make “Green

& Lean” a part of your current OfficeJan sales

strategy, you’re missing a terrific incremental

growth opportunity!

GET GREENER Visit the OfficeJan Resource Center

at www.officejan.com for complete details on “Green

& Lean.”

6 July/August 2009


Introducing

KLEENEX ® Naturals Facial Tissue

Quality and performance . . . Naturally.

Our new KLEENEX ® Naturals Facial Tissue is made with

SOFTBLENd* fiber, the perfect blend of soft, virgin fiber

and 20% post-consumer recycled fiber. The result is a quality

tissue that meets the high standards of KLEENEX ® Brand –

and exceeds EPA minimum standards for post-consumer

waste content in facial tissue.

®/* Trademarks of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Marques déposées de Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. © 2008 KCWW.

K01393 K2849-09-01 04/09

OFF CE

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The Line On ...

... Kudos

Still Going Strong

Retail and commercial sales combine for success

In April, Palace Art & Office Supply, Santa Cruz, Calif., celebrated

60 years of doing business on the Central Coast. As part of the celebration,

Palace ran a big April sale with items

playing off the 60 th theme, such as

Sharpies at 60 cents and stretched

artist canvas at a 60 percent discount

at both stores—Capitola and

Santa Cruz. There was also a series

of Saturday classes and art demos

scheduled at the Capitola store.

In addition to the retail

stores, Palace has an extensive

business-to-business side to its

operation and it delivers office

supplies the next day, up and

down the Central Coast, to

more than 10,000 customers.

Another part of the business

offers commercial office

furniture and installation services

through Palace Office

Palace is the largest independent dealer

of art supplies, office supplies, and office

furniture on the Central California Coast.

Interiors, located in

Monterey. The company

is involved in the community

and supports

many area non-profits,

and especially enjoys

helping students,

teachers, and artists.

Since 1980,

Palace has grown

its business accounts, acquiring nine

other businesses on the Central Coast and marketing its products

to school districts, colleges, and local businesses. What once

accounted for only 10 percent of total revenue is now more than

half the business.

Roy Trowbridge, president, and his brothers/co-owners Frank

and Gary, anticipate many more years of business in Santa Cruz.

“We all grew up here, raised our families here, and always look

forward to helping our neighbors. We have survived the onslaught

of the chain stores, and even thrived. It’s hard to imagine Santa

Cruz without Palace.”

Locally owned since 1949,

Palace is a family business

with more than 80 employees.

... Tech

PSP

United’s Preferred Supplier Program recognizes suppliers in key product categories that share

our commitment to providing outstanding products, value, and dealer support.

t IT

esults

ion,

the

tions.

ironange.

ental

line

powerful

lain

s

ur and fun

Save money by

reducing waste

Improve IT’s energy

efficiency

Use IT to green your

business

Find listings of all our books

Choose from many

different subject categories

Browse our free articles

Compliments of

Green IT

Hewlett Packard Limited Edition

Go green

with IT

GREEN FOR DUMMIES

New guide offers tips for greening IT systems

preferred HP has launched a limited edition

“Green IT for Dummies” pocket book as

an introduction to help organizations go green.

The guide is intended to give organizations

simple and straightforward ideas on how to

reduce the environmental impact of IT systems

supplier

and harness the power of IT to reduce the wider

environmental impacts of climate change in society.

The guide, produced independently by research and analysis firm

Freeform Dynamics, provides guidance for where to start in greening an

organization and maps out a pragmatic yet comprehensive course of action

ranked according to expense and difficulty of implementation.

Exploit IT

for green results

Money, reputation,

and regulation

Money, reputation, and regulation are the

three primary drivers of most organisations.

You can look in vain for words like ‘environment’

or ‘green’, but this is about to change.

A conscientious approach to environmental

issues delivers benefits to the bottom line

and the brand, and helps you to avoid

regulatory nightmares. This book is a powerful

introduction to going green with IT.

Explanations in plain

English

Save money by

reducing waste

Improve IT’s energy

efficiency

Use IT to green your

business

Complime

Gr

Hewlett Packard

HOW TO GO GREEN To register and download your complimentary copy, go to

www.hp.com and type “Green IT for Dummies” in the search field.

‘Get in, get out’

information

Icons and other

navigational aids

A dash of humour and fun

Find listings of all our books

Choose from many

different subject categories

Browse our free articles

ISBN: 978-0-470-74349-2

Not for resale

8 July/August 2009


OffcLine_WJsheetProtectorsAD_OL.pdf 6/12/09 11:18:21 AM


The Line On ...

... Promos

... Paper

PSP

United’s Preferred Supplier Program recognizes suppliers in key product categories that share

our commitment to providing outstanding products, value, and dealer support.

Value in

Numbers

Office Products value

packs offer savings for

you and your customers

United Stationers has added

a variety of office product

value packs to the 2009 General

Line catalog and July new products

flyer. Value packs offer multiple

product counts and, in some

cases, feature better pricing, free

products, or both.

Value packs are a win-win for

you and your customers. They

increase the dollar value of transactions

and drive the value proposition

to consumers by reducing

order frequency and increasing

savings per item.

Currently available value packs

cover a variety of basic office

products and writing instruments.

Examples include 60 packs of

Bic stick pens and 10 packs of

Wite-Out correction tape. Other

products featured in value packs

include pens and pencils, markers,

tape, glue sticks, and correction

products.

TRUE VALUE Talk to your United

account manager for a full description

of all the value packs we have

available.

get your Green

in gear

Follow these tips for

helping the environment

preferred Being eco-friendly

doesn’t have to be

complicated, and

while you may not think

supplier you’re making much of

an impact, every little

bit can help. Here are three simple tips on how

to leave a lighter footprint on the planet.

Tip #1: Choose greener office supplies

Going green at the workplace is now even easier

with many everyday office products available

in environmentally friendly alternatives. Choices

range from biodegradable and water-based

cleaners and solvents to recycled copy paper

and more. Avery ® EcoFriendly address labels,

shipping labels, file folder labels, and name

badges use label paper and packaging made

of 100 percent recycled material and are printed

using soy- and vegetable-based inks derived

from renewable materials. After use, the label

paper and package are also recyclable. And with

Avery’s eco-friendly line of products—from PVCfree

binders to EcoFriendly Labels—consumers

can reduce their impact on the environment and

still count on the same high Avery quality.

Tip #2: Contribute to the recycling effort

Recycling helps reduce raw material consumption

and also helps reduce air and water pollution.

By using products that can be recycled,

users can reduce the amount of waste going to

landfills. Take the Avery Recyclable Binder, made

of 100 percent recycled chipboard. When ready

to be recycled, the binder’s removable rivets and

rings make it easy to disassemble so the binder

b e i n g eco-friendly

d o e s n’t h av e to b e

c o m p l i c at e d.

cover can be recycled with paper recycling, and the

binder rings can be recycled with metal*.

Tip #3: Reuse existing materials

A great way to cut down on waste is by reusing what’s

available. For instance, instead of throwing away old file

folders and purchasing new ones, consider extending

the life of existing file folders. It’s easy to restore current

folders by re-labeling them with Avery file folder labels

with TrueBlock Technology. Just place these labels

over existing labels or markings and completely cover

up what’s underneath. Folders look clean, professional,

and practically as good as new.

* Please check with your local recycling center or go to

www.recycle-steel.org to find a steel recycling center near you.

GO GREEN Talk to your United account manager for more

information on Avery Eco-Friendly products.

.

10 July/August 2009


Maximize

Employee Productivity

While Reducing Injuries

& Claims Costs * Yes, I Want to Increase Productivity!

Introducing Workanomics ...The Guide for Successfully

Integrating Ergonomic Product Solutions into Your Workplace.

Workanomics

Coaching Ergonomic Product Integration

- Increase Office Worker

Productivity

- Reduce Expensive

Health Claims

- Easy to Implement

- Complete Turnkey

Ergonomic Solution

What is Workanomics ? A user-friendly platform designed to

enhance your current ergonomics initiative with proactive ergonomic

training, workstation screenings and ergonomic product

recommendations.

How Does it Work?

1. Consultation: Visit with a

Fellowes® Ergonomics Specialist to

assess your workplace and

customize an ergonomics plan.

2. Coaching: Gain valuable insights

into successfully integrating both

the physical and behavioral sides of

office ergonomics to keep your

employees engaged in healthy

work habits.

Schedule Your FREE Workanomics Consultation Today.

Make an appointment with a Fellowes Ergonomics Specialist online at:

fellowes.com/Office

* OSHA studies show that ergonomic programs that include the introduction of ergonomically designed office products can reduce injuries & claims costs. For more information visit fellowes.com/Office/OSHA

People Focused. Productivity Inspired.


Item #

Description

Pack/

Unit

Units/Case

Selling Features & Benefits

Commercial

GEP-20887 BigFold Z Premium Towels 12/184 10.25" x 11" 2,208 per Case BigFold Z premium towels with a new emboss that

shouts quality, hand performance, and hand comfort

fit into existing C-Fold and Multifold dispensers.

GEP-19375 Compact Coreless 2-Ply Bathroom Tissue 36/1,000 13.85" x 4.05" 36,000 per Case Specifically designed to increase tissue capacity.

Compact allows you to convert existing dispensers

GEP-56781 Compact Coreless High Capacity Tissue Dispense r 1 per Case with the use of specially designed dispenser spindles.

GEP-10440 Safe-T-Gard Door Tissue Sheets 50/200 10" x 4" 8,000 per Case Mounted next to washroom exit doors, tissue is

used as a barrier between clean hands and doors.

GEP-59513 Safe-T-Gard Door Tissue Dispenser and Receptacle 1 per Case

Address

City, St., Zip

Phone

Fax

Website

©2007 Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP.

The Georgia-Pacific logo and all trademarks are

owned by or licensed to Georgia-Pacific Consumer

Products LP. All rights reserved.

The Line On ...

... News

… E-Services

Addressing United

Stationers

associates, broadcast

journalist Darryl

Dennard discusses

how people can

overcome cultural

differences and

communicate better.

Breaking Down

Language Barriers

Better communication leads

to more successful organizations

High Flyers

Enhanced JanSan Category

e-flyers now available

We’re Your Single Source For Savings

WE HAVE THE PrOgrAm THAT mAkES

BUYINg OFFICE ANd JANSAN PrOdUCTS EASY!

THE RIGHT COMBINATION

The trend today is for buyers like you to

consolidate suppliers. Now, through us, you

have one Single Source for everything your

office and facility needs: office supplies,

computer consumables, office furniture PLUS

janitorial and sanitation supplies (JanSan),

facility and maintenance supplies, and food

service and breakroom supplies!

THE RIGHT PRICING

Dealer Address

Address, City, State, Zipcode

Phone Number

Fax Number

Website Address

We’ve completely reworked our pricing

structure to give you a full range of product

choices — from a single se ling unit to fu l

cartons. We now provide you with new unit

of measure options: You can buy in cartons or

“eaches” on 100’s of JanSan items! With this

new flexibility, you can buy JanSan products at

prices and quantities that meet your needs.

THE RIGHT SELECTION

In addition to new units of measure, we

o fer you 100’s of new products as we l. An

expanded, comprehensive Janitorial, Facility

and Breakroom product mix encompassing the

items yo use in your offices and facilities day

in and day out.

THE RIGHT PROGRAMS ORDERING

We have the ordering mechanism in place to

accurately and efficiently bring you JanSan

products along with your office supplies a l

on the same order. Save time and money by

placing one order from a single source for

ALL of your supplies.

DELIVERY

Whether you are just down the street, across

town or have multiple facilities throughout the

Continental USA, we have the ability to

deliver on your schedule.

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

Our Facility Solutions Flyer has been designed,

merchandised and priced to your advantage.

This quarterly flyer is 24 pages and comprised

of over 300 of the most popular and best selling

JanSan, Facility and Breakroom items at great

promotional prices.

Almost every business ha some kind of

breakroom. Whether large or small, each one

contains the potential for new customers and

additional sales. Our quarterly Breakroom

Essentials Flyer is designed with large, salesdriven

product images and contains over

200 of the most used breakroom, foodservice

and coffee items. There is a two-page spread

containing “green” products for the breakroom.

All priced right to help you generate greater

breakroom product sales.

Our Janitorial & Facility Supplies Catalog

is over 400 pages with more than 5,700

full-line JanSan, Facility and Breakroom

products. These products encompass the fu l

spectrum of items you buy each and every day

to run your facility. This is the one and only

catalog you’ l ever need.

YOU ASkEd FOr IT... ANd WE LISTENEd!

Let Georgia-Pacific Products

Enhance Your Ever yday Restroom!

TOWELS

BATHROOM TISSUE

BATHROOM HYGIENE PRODUCTS

Georgia-Pacific

Sale

Sheets Size Price

$70.99

$116.99

$36.99

$99.99

$86.99

In April, United Stationers associates at the

Field Service Center in Deerfield, Ill., had the opportunity

to enjoy a presentation on “Overcoming Language

Barriers in the Workplace,” presented by Darryl

Dennard, a broadcast journalist with more than two

decades of experience. The presentation was sponsored

by United’s Corporate Diversity Council.

Dennard drew on his extensive background in

minority news issues to illustrate how cultural differences

can be overcome, and meaning and cooperation

can be added to the workplace. He leveraged the

insights developed over the years to offer common

sense suggestions on how people can set aside their

differences to work and communicate better.

better communication l e a d s

to m o r e successful o r g a n i z at i o n s.

As a news anchor, Dennard is heard on several

Chicago-area radio stations. He has produced and

hosted, for tens of millions of homes, “The Black

Enterprise Report,” airing on WGN Cable and Satellite

feeds. He has also served as co-host of the nationally

syndicated Ebony-Jet Showcase.

Dealer Information

JanSan Category e-flyers are an ideal

way to expand a dealer’s product offering to

customers and prospects and to help convey

the single-sourcing message.

Beyond giving dealers a whole new product

line to offer their customers, e-flyers introduce

them to other influencers and purchasers

within targeted businesses, including facility

managers, maintenance managers, security

directors, cafeteria/food service managers,

mailroom supervisors, human resources

managers, meeting planners, and others.

And now, all JanSan Category e-flyers have

been reformatted so that they’re:

• Completely savable with full dealer

customization, pricing, etc.,

• Completely customizable with dealer

logos,

• Available in color and black-and-white

formats,

• Available in HTML format for posting to

Web sites or sending out via e-mail,

• Available with suggested consumer sale

pricing.

These newly enhanced e-flyers are available

exclusively on the OfficeJan Resource Center.

GET STARTED To use the JanSan e-flyers, visit

www.officejan.com and register for access to the site.

12 July/August 2009


Software Solutions for Office Products Dealers

Get Peace of Mind

Get DDMS

Software designed by dealers for dealers

• Complete vendor integration

• Tighter control of your margins

• Complete back office management

• Fully integrated web-storefront

• A trusted, experienced industry partner

“DDMS really understands how

we operate and what we need

to interface effectively with our

customers and suppliers”

Bert Light

Co-Owner, Artlite Office Supply

Get $0 down & 0% interest

on a new DDMS purchase. Act fast!

Offer ends August 31, 2009

Call TODAY for a free demo!

866-374-3221

866.374.3221 • w w w . E C i S o l u t i o n s . c o m / d d m s • info@eci2.com


The Line On ...

... Kudos

... E-Services

CUSTOMER CELEBRATION

Kyle Office Supply has served Alabama

customers for 80 years

In 1929, Leonard C. Kyle went to work for

the Underwood Typewriter Company. His

experience led to the launch of a successful

office supply enterprise. After 80 years,

the Kyle legacy continues.

Kyle Office Supply,

Tuscaloosa, Ala., celebrated

its 80 th anniversary this past

April. The firm celebrated the

event with an open house attended

by customers and suppliers

at its downtown showroom. The

event included lunch and product

presentations by 20 vendors.

“It was the first time we’ve

done this,” said Drew Kyle, who

owns and manages the business

with his brother, Chris Kyle Jr.

“The vendors were very pleased

with the turnout and the interest

customers had in their products.

It was a big success.” About 375

customers and guests attended the event.

Working out of a back office at Hanson Drug in Tuscaloosa, Leonard

C. Kyle went to work for the Underwood Typewriter Co. in 1929. That

entry-level sales position grew into Kyle Office Supply, which today is

a leading supplier of office products, printing, name-brand office

furniture, Xerox office machines, and fine stationery.

PRICING

POWER

System now

automates

ICAPS use

As part of its system for dealers, eQuality Internet Services (EIS)

now offers a new routine that will pick up an ICAPS file every morning

and update costs on the dealer’s system as frequently as the dealer

requires. The system does this automatically. The dealer only has to go

online to activate the pricing update, which is done quickly and easily.

The routine was introduced in April and in its first month of availability,

it was adopted by 80 percent of the United Stationers dealers that

work with EIS. According to Gilbert E. Walter II of EIS, “[ICAPS]

is the best system United has come up with, ever. I can’t think of

anything United has done that has helped customers more.”

ICAPS is United Stationers’ system for delivering item and price files

to dealers based on their needs, including price plans, and preferred

frequency and format. This powerful tool keeps dealers on top of the

frequent changes in today’s marketplace. Managing information on a

timely basis is critical to managing your business, and ICAPS helps you

do it.

BE COMPETITIVE To get started on ICAPS, go to the Reseller Classified Zone, read

the Quick Start Guide, and follow the instructions.

... Office Products

PSP

United’s Preferred Supplier Program recognizes suppliers in key product categories that share

our commitment to providing outstanding products, value, and dealer support.

STUCK ON YOU

Vertical markets bring lamination to life

preferred Though lamination is often seen

as a mature category, there are many

opportunities to lift sales with Fellowes ®

lamination products. Initially, Fellowes

supplier developed a new range of laminators to

attract consumers with fresh designs and

a simpler lamination process, but new product development is only

half the picture.

Marketing is the key to consumer perceptions and preferences—

and vertical marketing in the six markets shown here (see chart) is

one of the best ways for dealers to generate dollars.

Additionally, Fellowes laminators are virtually jam-free, cool to the

touch for safe operation, and easier to use with push-button controls

and streamlined designs. Most are portable and easy to store for user

convenience, so making the sale is easier than ever. For your customers,

trust Fellowes, a global leader in lamination products, to provide

quality, consumer-inspired solutions.

FEATURED To learn more about lamination opportunities available from Fellowes,

visit www.biggestbook.com.

Markets

BUSINESS (Offices,

Agencies, Home

Offices)

EDUCATION (Schools,

Colleges, Training

Centers)

HEALTHCARE

(Hospitals, Doctor’s

Offices, Clinics)

FOOD SERVICE

(Restaurants, Food

Suppliers, Clubs)

SERVICE (Govt. Offices,

Fire & Police Stations,

Museums)

LEISURE (Hotels,

Convention Centers,

Recreational Facilities)

Opportunities

Laminated ID tags, training materials, business

cards, luggage tags, training rings, display signs,

and maps can be used for this target.

Laminated flash cards, name tags, artwork, educational

tools, and class rosters hold up to years

of use by students.

Laminated business cards, ID tags, medical

licenses, display signs, and training materials hold

up to frequent handling.

Laminated menus, schedules/rosters, recipe cards,

and employee badges present a polished look and

prevent damage from spills.

Laminated permits, licenses, notices, awards, ID

badges, and building floor plans hold up to daily

wear and tear in public places.

Laminated hotel & convention center layouts,

notices, gym instructions, park rules, and badges

are protected from frequent handling.

14 July/August 2009


... Office Products

PSP

United’s Preferred Supplier Program recognizes suppliers in key product categories that share

our commitment to providing outstanding products, value, and dealer support.

The Cadillac of Sharpies

Make a statement in style with this new marker

preferred For high-powered execs and

no-frills doctors, a pen is

more than just a pen—it’s a tool

that grants permission or endorsement.

An ordinary writing instrument

supplier

doesn’t quite cut it. When it comes

to your ink, it’s nice to have style.

Sharpie ® from Sanford has taken permanent markers to new

heights with the debut of its new Stainless Steel Sharpie, a stylish,

refillable version of the classic Sharpie marker.

An innovative extension from one of the most widely recognized

consumer brands, the Stainless Steel Sharpie delivers the same

bold, smooth, high-quality writing experience of a Sharpie, with

a sleek stainless steel design. The marker also features an etched

Sharpie logo on the barrel and is the only Sharpie to feature

a refillable cartridge, making it a greener choice for everyone

concerned with the environment.

Like all Sharpie markers, the new Stainless Steel Sharpie

marker’s ink is AP Certified as non-toxic, quick-drying, and

fade-, water-, and smear-resistant when dry. The fine tip size

ensures crisp, precise, and consistent line-width, making these

markers ideal for bold marking, labeling, writing, and more.

The new Sharpie further delivers on the brand’s ongoing commitment

to consumer-driven innovation.

Customers who want to make a lasting impression with a

stylish writing instrument can carry it to meetings and use it

whenever they want to make a bold, permanent mark.

The new Stainless Steel Sharpie (SAN1747388) comes with

a refillable black ink cartridge (SAN1751000). The suggested price

for the marker is $8.64, and $2.22 for each additional refill

cartridge.

ON YOUR MARK Both items can be found in the United Stationers July 2009

New Products Flyer.

... Promos

PAPER PROMOTION

Your customers could win an Apple iPhone

The Navigator

2009 promotion

gives your customers

the chance to

win an Apple iPhone

3G. Consumers just

have to buy a ream of

Navigator paper, go to

the Navigator Web site,

enter the promotional

code, which is printed on the back of the ream, and provide some basic

information such as e-mail address, name, and country of origin.

Players will be challenged to follow Navigator through a series of videos

portraying unique and entertaining situations of daily office life. If the right

sequence is chosen, players will learn immediately if they have won one of

the 333 Apple iPhones.

This will be the fourth global campaign launched by the Navigator brand.

In 2008, more than 130,000 participants from all over the world played more

than 650,000 online games. The number of players has grown exponentially

since Navigator started these promotions, generating a total of almost one

million participants.

the bottom

line

$209

from

Billion

$400

to

Billion

The growth of green

product sales from

2008 to 2010.

Source: National Marketing Institute

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16 July/August 2009


How to acquire

competitive intelligence

to enhance decisionmaking

There is nothing mysterious or covert about competitive intelligence

(CI). In fact, most every company knowingly or unknowingly engages

in some form of CI on a daily basis. What is intriguing, however, is that

information-rich CI programs are possible not only for large enterprises,

but also for smaller businesses eager to become larger.

The Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP)

defines competitive intelligence as the legal and ethical

collection and analysis of information regarding

the capabilities, vulnerabilities, and intentions of

business competitors. The result of this process

gives companies enough accurate information

on which to base intelligent business decisions.

“It certainly is important for our independent office

products dealers to understand the reasoning

behind what the competition is doing,” says Curt

Heick, United Stationers business development manager.

“This is particularly true right now with the

economy the way it is, and with consumers buying

only what they need and less of what they want.”

Dealers view their main competitors as the

national power channels and, therefore, they are the

competition they need to focus on most, according

to Heick. He feels dealers are reacting to situational

intelligence or anecdotal information that may not be fact-based or

accurate. In turn, they could have a knee-jerk reaction that brings

negative results. If they apply factual data upfront, they could address

a specific situation more effectively and not dilute their profitability

or earnings, he claims. Precise information is what the science of CI

offers resellers anxious to graduate from an unreliable process to a

professionally driven competitive intelligence program.

CI is much

more than

just learning

about your

competitors—

after all, the

practice is

not called

competitor

intelligence.

—David Kolanowski,

Proactive Worldwide,

Inc.

Why So Curious?

Awareness has created an interest in CI, says Heath Gross, managing

partner, Sedulo Group, New York City. “As people learn more about

what we do, that it’s not corporate espionage, and how it can dramatically

benefit their businesses, they become increasingly interested

in competitive intelligence.”

CI probably grew out of market research, according to Michael

Sandman, senior vice president, Fuld & Company, Inc., Cambridge,

Mass. Recognizing that market research focused on why buyers buy,

the next question to ask was “Why do sellers sell and how do competitors

act in the market?” People interested in understanding the marketplace

increasingly recognize that they need answers to such questions.

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10 Key Elements of a CI System

Competitive intelligence gives businesses the opportunity to gain and maintain a competitive

advantage by possessing comprehensive, timely, and accurate information that

helps them develop better business strategies. While each CI system is unique to each

company, all systems contain certain basic elements.

Organizational

Commitment

Each business must make a

strategic commitment to create,

operate, and utilize competitive

intelligence.

ONE

Goals and

Objectives

TWO

Each CI system must be created

and operated with specific goals

and objectives in mind—strategic,

tactical, operational, etc.

THREE

System Design

The design of the CI system

depends on the level of the intelligence

you’re seeking. The more

competitive intelligence that’s

sought, the more sophisticated the

system and resources required.

FOUR

Participation

Individuals who will be actively

involved in the collection of

competitive intelligence should

actively participate in the

system’s design.

FIVE

Communication

All businesses wanting to create

a CI system should proactively

communicate with everyone

who will be affected by it.

Those who have been doing business in the same way for a long time

are challenged by new competitors. And as we look at the world today,

nothing suggests that the intensity of competition is going to diminish

in the foreseeable future. If anything, it appears to be getting more

intense, according to Sandman.

Critical Components

Experts say there needs to be someone within the company who is

the CI champion—someone either in senior management or who has

the ear of someone senior within

For competitive

intelligence to be

done well, management

has to ask

what is it that we

would like to know

about our competitors

and how would

that knowledge help

us make a good

decision?

—Michael Sandman,

Fuld & Company, Inc.

the organization. That person must

understand how it works, what it

does, and at the same time, have

open communication with those

who make key business decisions.

“For competitive intelligence to

be done well,” says Sandman,

“management has to ask what is

it that we would like to know about

our competitors and how would

that knowledge help us make a

good decision?” Significant questions

that need answering could

pertain to how a company goes

to market, how it manages to

reduce supply chain costs, how

it positions itself in the market, or what is its level of effort within

customer service.

“You have to understand the needs of all your internal stake holders,”

says David Kolanowski, president, Proactive Worldwide, Inc.,Rolling

Meadows, IL. “This includes people in marketing, sales, operations,

finance, and all the other disciplines within an organization.” This

needs analysis process is vital to developing your key intelligence

topics and questions. Then you actually have to collect information

through primary or secondary research—through phone interviews,

attending trade shows, analyzing those findings, writing up intelligence

reports, disseminating them to the right individuals, and finally linking

that intelligence to decision-making.

Conducting primary research means you need someone who

understands how to find the people who have the information and

how to get them to give it to you, according to Gross. Secondary

research requires having someone who understands where to find

information, what’s good, what’s not, and how to take that information

and analyze it to produce intelligence. Sandman suggests using the

Internet to find information, reading what’s available in print, and picking

up competitor catalogs and promotional materials. Learn more

about a company from what they say about themselves. “Go beyond

that and begin talking to people who interact with your competitors,”

he says. Question suppliers, customers, and anyone else who has

a connection to them. But be precise in your questions. Don’t waste

time asking any that aren’t relevant to the decision-making at issue.

What to Expect

Businesses that adopt a formal CI initiative can expect to see more

focus, says Tom Safford, retail industry product manager, QL2

Software, Inc., Seattle. “You establish benchmarks from which you can

evaluate whether your goals were too lofty or too short-sighted. Then

you can adjust more rapidly.” Just as important, CI will give

a company a succinct picture of its competitive landscape made up

of competitor, market, and customer, says Gross. They’ll be in a

18 July/August 2009


NINE

Action

A CI system will become worthless

unless the intelligence

gathered is quickly acted upon.

Strategies and tactical responses

must be developed and put into

place as quickly as possible to

be of maximum value advantage.

TEN

System Dynamics

Competitive Intelligence Systems

are not marketing research

projects that have definitive temporal

boundaries. They operate

continuously. Likewise, system

parameters also are dynamic in

that areas of focus change as do

the people who operate them.

SIX

Training

SEVEN

Operation and

Transmission

The system should establish just

how it will operate and share

information—outline procedures,

policies, and methods of information

distribution, which should

be kept simple, direct, and

actionable.

Everyone involved must know

the specifics of their involvement—what

is competitive

intelligence, where is it located,

how are their findings communicated,

etc.

better position to outperform

the competition. Kolanowski

adds that the ultimate benefit of a CI program is improved decisionmaking.

The main reason companies engage in competitive intelligence

to begin with is to avoid surprises. By avoiding surprises you’re able

to do a lot to reduce your reaction time. You become more proactive.

When you gain insight into your competitors’ pricing, operations,

strategies, marketing, customers, financials, strengths, and weaknesses,

you’re able to capitalize on the opportunities and threats that exist.

You can improve your short- and long-term planning, increase

productivity, realize hidden opportunities, and ultimately, gain a

competitive edge.

Information can be a powerful negotiating tool with regard to your

vendors, according to Safford. “When a stocked item runs out, I’ve

known small-business owners who will shop their competitors for the

same item. If they see the same trend among all competitors, there’s

less of a problem than if the replenishment issue was unique to their

business.” Such information enhances the business owner’s relationship

with the vendor. CI can peel away the mystery about the

independent dealers’ competition and help them leverage that

knowledge to their advantage,” says Heick.

Qualifying CI Professionals

Knowing how to measure the services of a CI firm can be challenging.

Scip.org is the best place to become familiar with the industry

and its professionals. Enough information is available so that resellers

can become more comfortable in knowing what they need, what

questions to ask, and how to qualify potential professional CI partners.

“Make certain the CI firm has an awareness of your marketplace,”

EIGHT

Feedback

Each participant must receive

feedback as soon as possible

relative to the quality of the information

and what action was taken.

Information for the 10 Key Elements of a CI System was taken from material

provided courtesy of Troy A. Festervand, associate dean of Graduate

and Executive Education, and professor of Marketing, Jennings A. Jones

College of Business, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN.

recommends Rosie Hauser, vice president, marketing, QL2 Software.

“Choose one who will empower you to make decisions on your own,

not one who will make decisions for you.” Also, be sure firms can verify

that the data they are collecting is accurate and fresh. “You’ll be making

some very strategic decisions off that data. So you want to make sure

that there’s industrial strength technology underneath it,” she says.

Ask if these providers have their own staff, suggests Kolanowski.

Are they trained? Are they following processes? Have they been in

the business long enough? Verify that they are true CI experts, not just

pretenders.

Available Resources

Workshops on competitive intelligence are offered by SCIP several

times a year, according to Sandman. SCIP’s Web site features the CI

Foundation that conducts and supports research on emerging issues

and key trends that affect the practice of CI and its ability to support

key decision-makers and their organizations. The CI Foundation also

makes existing and developing competitive intelligence knowledge

visible, available, and relevant to the competitive intelligence practitioner

through targeted publications, including handbooks, studies,

and survey reports. SCIP is the business professional’s best available

resource on the subject of competitive intelligence.

The fact remains that CI is much more than just learning about

your competitors and is why the practice is not called competitor

intelligence, according to Kolanowski. It is competitive, meaning

it involves collecting customer intelligence, supplier intelligence,

environmental intelligence, and economic intelligence, so all

businesses can compete intelligently, and help shape their own

competitive environment. O | L

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Trade Secrets

Customer Satisfaction

Jerry Lewis is the founder

and owner of Charleston

Business Machines,

Charlston, W.V. After 34

years in business, this

family-owned-andoperated

dealership gets

the majority of its business

from repeat customers.

L o o k W h o ’ s

Whenever anyone ponders the efficacy of advertising and marketing

strategies, word-of-mouth contact always comes in at or near the

top of the list. Building strong word-of-mouth campaigns depends on

getting knowledgeable and satisfied customers to spread the word

about your company or product. Not only can you gain the attention of

prospective customers, but word-of-mouth efforts can be far cheaper

than traditional advertising; it’s often said that a strong word-of-mouth

campaign is 10 times more effective than TV or print advertising.

Talking

Satisfied customers of Charleston Business Machines are on the front lines

getting the word out about the unmatched service and hard-to-find products

this independent dealer has to offer

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Trade Secrets

Priced to sell (Left) Charleston Business

Machines owner Jerry Lewis says that

United helps him keep prices down so that

he can be more competitive. He estimates

that his items are priced the same or lower

than items from the big box stores at least

85 percent of the time. (Right) Jerry Lewis

and his son, Perry W. Lewis.

Companies that treat their employees well

often get much better word-of-mouth efforts from

those employees and their products sell better.

And those customers who promulgate positive

messages about your products and services tend

to be extremely satisfied, which makes them

more likely to pass your message along. Jerry

Lewis, owner and founder of Charleston Business

Machines, Charleston, W.V., an avid practitioner of

word-of-mouth advertising, is less concerned with

the theory but is sold on the results. After 34 years

in business, this family-owned-and-operated dealership

gets the majority of its business from repeat

customers.

“When people are trying to find something,

others will tell them where they can go to get it,”

says Lewis. Lewis attributes much of the success

of the company to his wife, Ann. “When I started

my business in 1975, Ann took over all of the

accounting. She did this while holding a full-time

day job, and raising our two children for the next

18 years.” The couple recently celebrated their

48 th wedding anniversary.

Business machines are the heart of the operation.

Before opening the doors at Charleston

Business Machines, Lewis had sold and serviced

copiers and calculators. When he went into business

for himself, he continued to sell and service

business machines, and for a time the business

was essentially a one-man operation. After a few

years, Lewis brought in his son Perry to work on

sales and at that time he added office supplies and

furniture to the CBM offering.

The company name still

focuses on the words

“business machines,” but it

actually sells the full range of

business products, including

supplies, furniture, janitorial,

breakroom, and printing.

Even though supplies account for roughly

75 percent of the business, it’s the company’s deep

knowledge of business machines and availability

of hard-to-find items that keeps it in front of

customers and prospects.

One of the three outside salespeople handles

machines sales and service. “He not only sells the

machines, but he can service just about anything,”

says Lewis. The company sells Brother printers,

Fellowes shredders, and Samsung and Sharp copiers.

In addition to the lines that are sold, his techs

will service almost anything—HP printers, Canon

printers, Sharp printers—and the service expertise

22 July/August 2009


extends to time clocks, laminators, and hole punching

and binding equipment. “If we can get parts for

them, we can fix them,” says Lewis.

New account acquisition is left primarily to the

sales force. Each of the three outside salespeople

is expected to make at least one or two cold calls

on a daily basis. “You have to keep your people out

in front of customers telling them who you are, what

you do, and where you’re located,” says Lewis. “If

you keep knocking on doors, a couple out of every

10 is going to consider doing business with you.”

At the front desk, Debbie Stone takes all incoming

calls and has a calling list that she goes through

every day seeking out new customers. Stone has

been doing this for years and no matter how

unclear the information coming from the other

end of the call, she can usually direct callers to

the exact item they’re trying to find.

A Niche Market in Typewriters

Typewriters are an eagerly sought item by certain

sectors of the marketplace, and Lewis fills that

need. “People still want them; it’s kind of amazing,”

he says. He buys used electronic typewriters from

schools and government offices at auction and then

refurbishes them and sells them for a small profit.

“It’s not surprising to sometimes sell two or three

a month,” says Lewis.

Typewriter availability is one of those prime

product areas that keeps Charleston Business

Machines on customers’ lips. “Our customers

advertise our capabilities to others,” explains

Lewis. “When people say they’re trying to find one,

our customers tell them, ‘You can get a typewriter

over there.’”

Remanufactured laser cartridges are another

solid component of the business, and one that

Lewis is trying to expand. About four years ago, he

hired a full-time, experienced service technician to

produce remanufactured cartridges. That business

has grown—more than 30 different models are

now offered on a regular basis. He collects empty

cartridges from customers and supplements those

with purchases from national sources.

Used cartridges are torn down and rebuilt with

new toner, developer, and plates. They’re tested inhouse

and then boxed for customer delivery. “We

don’t do a terrific job on packaging because every

corner I can cut saves the customer money,” says

Lewis. “As long as the cartridge works, they don’t

care if we bring it in a bag.” Customers can save

as much as 50 percent of the cost compared to

virgin cartridges using his remanufactured product,

and Lewis still makes a good profit.

It was just a few years ago that Charleston

Business Machines started to do business with

United Stationers. A big motivator for the switch

was the expanded service and marketing support

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Trade Secrets

that United offers, which Lewis wasn’t getting from

his former wholesaler.

“United helps me keep prices down and be

more competitive,” says Lewis. “You wouldn’t

believe how often our pricing is better than Staples

or OfficeMax.” He estimates that his items are

priced the same or better at least 85 percent of the

time. He also appreciates the competitive advantage

he gains through the availability of United’s

house brands—Universal, Innovera, and Alera

brand items are actively sold and have achieved

a high level of customer acceptance. While he

can’t always match supply prices offered by his

big box competitor, Lewis reminds customers that

inexpensive supply prices don’t always carry over

to machine sales and that he typically beats their

machine prices by significant margins.

Shop Online

United also provides content

for the CBM Web site. This

online presence offers a

26,000 item catalog where

customers can place orders

using an engine supplied by a

third-party systems provider.

“Customers love the online

catalog; it has everything,”

says Lewis. No matter what

customers are shopping

for—furniture, breakroom

products, janitorial items, or

computer products—they

all can be found on the CBM

Web site. The system was set

up so orders go directly to

the front office instead of to

the warehouse. “That way we

can catch any mistakes,” says

Lewis.

The warehouse is located

a short distance away from the main office and

retail store; it stocks critical items such as copy

paper and storage boxes, as well as many of the

machines the company sells. Deliveries come to

the warehouse overnight, and orders are readied

to go out the next morning. All priority deliveries

are made first, no matter how many deliveries

there are for that day.

Next-day delivery is a prime service promise

and goes hand-in-hand with the CBM priority

delivery commitment. Lewis makes sure that these

priority deliveries happen first, as he is frequently

the one in the field making deliveries. This gives

him the opportunity to meet face-to-face with his

customers, handle any complaints or concerns,

work on add-on sales, and when necessary, do

a little on-site machine service.

We will

just

go out

there,

work

harder,

knock

on more

doors,

and be

there for

more

people.

The retail store is located in a high traffic area of

Charleston, and with its prominent awning and window

signage, it offers a beacon for anyone in need of

business supplies. West Main Street has been named

an historic area, and the government has provided

grants to businesses located there. Lewis used some

of the money to redo his storefront and he will also

run space in a special advertising section that his

local newspaper produces four times a year.

As yet, the economic downturn has not had a

big impact on his business. Lewis suggests that the

multifaceted nature of his operation—machines,

supplies, furniture, breakroom, printing, and cartridges—enables

the company to withstand harsh

times. “When one goes down, another one picks

up,” he says. He’s hopeful that the beginnings of a

turn-around are just ahead. “If the economy doesn’t

turn around, we will just go out there, work harder,

knock on doors, and be there for more people.” O|L

Faces of CBM (Clockwise from top): Bob

Manley (on the phone), Shawn Anderson, Jeff

Bricker, Debbie Stone, and Glada Stone and

Jerry Lewis.

24 July/August 2009


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Going, Going Green

Every business is looking for a differentiator that

gives it a unique foothold in the marketplace. According to Ian Davidson,

director of new business development at Chicago Green Office

Company, tapping into a customer’s desire for a greener office environment

garners positive attention and, if executed correctly, forms a

sturdy bond between the customer and the resellers.

“If customers are measuring two businesses and they’re very similar,

a big part of the decision process is going to be comparing corporate

citizenship and sustainability policies of those two companies,” says

Davidson.

Chicago Green Office, located near the University of Illinois–

Chicago, was founded in July 2006 as an outgrowth of Technology

Reclamation Systems (TRS). A million-dollar company that recycles

ink and toner cartridges, TRS had many clients asking for green office

solutions, so owner Joanna Wisz decided to take advantage of the

synergistic possibilities and expand her reach. As a United dealer,

Chicago Green Office offers thousands of sustainable office supplies,

along with items from the General Line Catalog. But it leverages its

environmental knowledge and credentials to create lasting customer

relationships, in effect selling more than just products.

Open Office

Chicago Green Office offers free quarterly environmental audits and

recycling pickup for customers. Representatives perform a carbon

footprint calculation, walking through the client’s workspace for

roughly an hour and suggesting ways to cut down on energy usage

and waste. Recommendations might include choosing EnergyStar

appliances, incorporating a reuse center, or plugging all electronics

into power strips that are shut off after use. Reps also regularly take

away recyclables and e-waste. The company profits from recycling,

and by reselling the collected materials, though returns have shrunk

because current rates for paper, aluminum, and glass have dropped

below 2008 levels. But the real value of the audits and recycling

programs is establishing constant customer contact.

“We’re at our customers’ locations every week,” says Davidson.

“It gives us an opportunity to create an understanding between companies

and show we’re accessible. We want to develop a relationship

that’s more than just selling paper, toner, and pens.”

Davidson says that companies following a green strategy need to

adopt an approach that’s one-part cheerleader, one-part mentor, and

two-parts student of green. Resellers need to get clients excited about

going green (or greener), educate them on initiatives and products

that can save them money, and continuously show them innovative ways

to reduce costs over the long term.

“If you truly believe in going green, single sourcing is the way to

go,” says Davidson. “You have one delivery and one invoice. That’s as

green as you can get. Ordering from multiple vendors is not only an

inefficient way to purchase, but it costs the organization an incredible

amount of money to go back and forth with various vendors. We try to

educate purchasers about the drawbacks of using multiple vendors.

We may not be the cheapest dealer on the block, but you’re going to

save money with single sourcing, especially compared to the cost of

shopping around.”

Sustain Your

Business

The Chicago Green Office

Company uses environmental

office audits and free recycling

programs to connect with clients

In addition to customer communications, Chicago Green Office

seeks out like-minded individuals, organizations, and businesses with

green initiatives to find possible clients. For instance, the company

is in touch with city officials working on the Chicago Green Office

Challenge. Finding forums where your company’s message is clearly

heard and appreciated is important.

“This isn’t a new industry,” says Davidson. “It’s a tough game right

now because there are so many options for the consumer.”

(Not So) Tired Refrain

In addition to a well-executed strategy to attract and bond with

customers, Chicago Green Office also has a solid marketing plan.

Part of the plan includes United materials, such as the Green Catalog,

that resonate with customers looking for alternative options, says

Davidson.

“As far as we’re concerned, United marketing programs are

second to none,” he says. “They have been a tremendous help getting

26 July/August 2009


GREEN STRATEGY

Ian Davidson is

director of new

business development

at Chicago

Green Office Company,

which helps

organizations

achieve more sustainable

patterns

of production and

consumption.

If you truly

believe in going

green, single

sourcing is the

way to go.

‘‘

You

have one delivery

and one invoice.

That’s as green

as you can get.

—Ian Davidson,

Chicago Green Office

‘‘

our name out and bringing in business.”

He also appreciates Green Resource Center assets, like the customizable

PDFs and e-mail flyers that allow his company to tailor the

content and frequency of its client outreach. Many big box companies

bombard stores and potential customers with messages, so it’s

refreshing to have more control over outreach. Plus, by funneling orders

through an e-commerce solution designed by Synaro in Denver,

the company drastically reduces overhead and simplifies the ordering

process. It’s another example of green being a practical, considered

response to business realities in addition to a salve for ecological

problems.

“You don’t have too much of an opportunity to leave a legacy

when you’re gone, and this is a legacy—leaving the Earth as you

found it,” says Davidson. “That’s the basic definition of sustainability.

Exceptional companies make change, and mediocre companies

chase it. We are making change.” O|L

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Innovera ink and toner color cartridges are

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28 July/August 2009

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High Performance.

Outstanding Quality. Better Value.


Niche Market

Boost sales by

intelligently

expanding into the

education market

On the surface, standard offices and schools

appear to be similar markets for office supply

resellers. Both require everything from JanSan

supplies to furniture, and according to United

Stationers, over three-fourths of all consumable

purchases made by elementary and high schools

are regularly offered in the United catalog. Factor in

a steady need for products and a yearly purchase

schedule—United pegs the annual expenditure per

student on supplies at roughly $225—and it’s clear

an opportunity exists.

“It’s a wonderful return,” says Marlene Kee,

owner of The Office Works in Plano, Ill., which

does roughly $2.5 million in sales annually. “When

you sell to schools you’re locking in money. It’s a

base you’ll have the whole year, and there’s also

a summer surge when districts spend the rest of

their budget.”

Advanced Placement

Converting your sales pitch and customer relationship

model to the education market isn’t simple.

Locking in yearlong contracts or convincing

school administrators to switch suppliers can be

a difficult task due to increased bureaucracy,

timing, and budget fluctuation.


Niche Market

“It’s a challenge,” says Gary Trowbridge, owner

and vice president of Palace Art & Office Supply,

a small locally owned chain in California’s Central

Coast region. “You don’t know if you’re going to

get a 20 percent increase or 30 percent decrease

in education funding, depending on how well or

how poorly, in most cases, your legislators run

your state.”

Sellers also need to adjust to a different chain

of command in the education world, which can

vary significantly by district and involve multiple

decision-makers. Smaller districts might have

centralized purchasing through business managers

or the superintendent’s office, while larger

districts may give more power to individual

schools and principals. Kee, whose company

has a 25-year track record with Plano schools,

believes it’s vital to establish those relationships

over time, get very comfortable with the payment

system, and make sure every detail in the

invoices and paperwork is understood.

‘‘

Plan a School Presentation

Pursuing school sales begins with recognizing

and strategizing around the purchasing process.

Many institutions have a July 1 to June 30 fiscal

year, so dealers need to have long-term sales

strategies and connect early with buyers and

administrators. Palace, which has made great

strides in regional school districts like the Pajaro

Valley Unified School District and derives over

35 percent of its annual sales from education,

normally starts contacting schools that are potential

customers in the fall, aiming to develop a

relationship by the next school year.

“We try to convince them to allow us to service

one department, and then we build the relationship

by demonstrating how we’re different and can add

value,” says Trowbridge. “We build the relationship,

and then when we hit the first of the year, we want

to meet with either the purchasing manager, business

director, or service director.”

Overcome Peer Pressure

Another key aspect of tailoring your strategy is

focusing on value and service in ways that appeal

to schools; this approach is particularly relevant

as many are strained by budgetary pressures.

Positioning yourself as a knowledgeable, locally

owned, and value-oriented player gives you

leverage over faceless big box retailers, and

I have to go in and

neutralize the price

game and convince

the district and

school that I offer

something more

valuable—a relationship

that helps them

get what they need

every day.

‘‘

—Gary Trowbridge,

Palace Art & Office Supply

allows you to emphasize the quality customer

service that is vital. According to Trowbridge,

Palace realized it needed to change the paradigm

by pitching itself as a service business. The company

discovered that school districts in the area

needed to pay for warehouse space to store supplies.

Palace decided to offer warehouse services

for schools, becoming a just-in-time retailer that

saved school administrators significant rent and

maintenance costs. They started the approach

10 years ago, Trowbridge says, and it has “spread

like wildfire.”

“What we want to do is give you more for

your budget,” says Trowbridge. “We believe the

best way to do that is to have focused purchasing.

We’re going to tell customers to buy 80–90

percent of their items from us, including their

bulk paper, construction paper, paint, brushes,

crayons, etc.”

Preaching and delivering added value can make

a big difference when courting long-term deals.

Office Works doesn’t charge freight or handling

fees for schools, pointing out in presentations

that those savings translate into needed supplies.

Palace also helps schools by creating a mini-contract

catalog that helps contain school expenditures

by focusing on standardized buying. They also

hold seminars to train buyers how to use Palace’s

ordering system.

Business Schooled

United provides great support, according to

both Kee and Trowbridge, offering an expanded

product line, marketing material, and a large

school-focused catalog.

“The school program has grown tremendously,”

says Kee. “They’ve added more products and

they’re gotten much better with their catalog layout.

Elementary schools like to see pop and color. And

they’ve been very good about helping us get

product samples to teachers.”

“At the end of the day, for an independent,

like us, it’s always about relationships,” says

Trowbridge. “We’re not going to win the price

game because our competitors spend millions

of dollars telling customers they can sell cheaper

than I can. I have to go in and neutralize the price

game and convince the district and school that

I offer something more valuable—a relationship

that helps them get what they need every

day.” O|L

30 July/August 2009


Niche Market

United

Stationers

Seeks Reseller

Input on Public

Sector

Public Sector Update

A growing and significant revenue opportunity exists for resellers in

this tough economy—selling to the public sector (i.e., local, state, or

federal governments).

United Stationers would like to take this opportunity to solicit your

input on what role we can play to assist your company’s efforts in

penetrating the public sector market. Some recent suggestions from

our customer partners include:

• Assist the reseller community to capture state business by developing

an e-business solution that addresses a single-order-entry

requirement and provides a method to ensure fair allocation of the

business for all parties involved.

• Provide focused support, such as market intelligence, pricing,

marketing approaches, product content, and supply-chain factors, to

resellers that are currently eligible to sell into the government space.

Several factors indicate that the current environment is well-suited

for resellers to compete for business in the public sector:

• Government agencies value independent businesses with

“advantaged-status.”

• Instability with existing incumbent vendors is causing

procurement officials to audit those relationships to ensure that full

value is achieved. Government agencies are re-evaluating selection

criteria—traditionally reserved to price—to include non-pricing

criteria (e.g., ethical practices, dependable service, operational

excellence, etc.).

• Representatives of the reseller community have had successful

local lobbying efforts in states such as Georgia, North Carolina,

and California.

We understand the obstacles smaller companies face in winning

government business; however, resellers and wholesalers can collaborate

on many creative approaches to fulfill specific bid requirements.

As you may be aware, United Stationers

recently worked with a group of resellers

to explore pursuing the state of California

office supplies contract. The state is

“required to award its business to a single

entity, serving as the primary point for

warehousing, data collection, reporting, and

distribution of office supplies to the State.”

United Stationers is not interested in

establishing direct selling relationships

United Stationers

is dedicated to

increasing its

attention and

resources to the

government area

on behalf of its

resellers.

with end consumers; accordingly, the company collaborated on a

number of proposals involving smaller, independent businesses.

California agreed to consider two of these proposals:

1. A single, primary reseller bid—that reseller would select a subgroup

of resellers;

2. A wholesaler-sponsored bid on behalf of California resellers.

Despite vocal dealer requests for United Stationers to pursue

proposal two, the company chose not to pursue the opportunity due

to the limited time to gather relevant input from the broader reseller

community. Therefore, to ensure United Stationers is acting in our

resellers’ best interest, we are looking for your feedback to create

a dialog around the many questions that surround these strategic

efforts—specifically around pricing, customer service, and the alignment

of reseller partners—all of which warrant continued

discussion with the reseller community. O|L

We welcome your input on how we can

help independent resellers penetrate this

sector. Please send your thoughts and ideas

to dhaugh@ussco.com.

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. Promote Your Business

See Spots Run…

and See Spots

Succeed

If you structure your

promotions right,

low budget doesn’t mean

bland or basic

Independent office supply dealers are communitysustaining

local businesses that provide value to their

customers. But it can be difficult and costly to broadcast that message

in a fragmenting media environment, especially on a budget. But inexpensive

doesn’t have to mean ineffective promotions. In a world of increasingly

transparent communications, consumers are more willing to hear about new options and

spread positive word-of-mouth. Small innovations, new mediums, and traditional techniques

can all pay big dividends when reaching out to the public.

32 July/August 2009


Style often makes a difference when tailoring a message, no matter

the medium. Flashy graphics and copy can grab attention, but unless

your promotions communicate a clear, concise, and direct appeal,

such as pushing your company’s local roots or community focus, that

attention will be fleeting. Kathy J. Kobliski, author of Advertising Made

Easy and owner of Silent Partner Advertising, says cost-focused and

aspirational messages grab attention if framed correctly.

Positive and Powerful

“Cost-focused promotions will work if you can compare your prices

to that of a competitor, which can be powerful as long as you’re positive,”

says Kobliski. “Aspirational promotions also work. But you must

be sure that the audience isn’t in love with the message itself and

can’t remember the name of the sponsor.”

Finding an affordable outlet can be tricky, but there are many local

options. Tom Egelhoff, an author and marketing and sales expert who

runs smalltownmarketing.com, says dealers can really benefit from

sponsoring local sports teams and joining local business and community

organizations, which gets your name out in front of potential


Promotion needs

to be an investment,

not an

– Tom Egelhoff, small-business expert

expense.”

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. Promote Your Business

customers and builds a positive association. Empowering employees

to network by supplying business cards and offering incentives for

referrals can also boost your networking effectiveness. It’s an inexpensive

way to target specific customers, which provides better returns

than a media campaign.

“Promotion needs to be an investment, not an expense,” says

Egelhoff. “You have to identify your customers and target them. Many

people think about advertising in terms of cost per thousand impressions.

I’d rather talk about cost per customer.”

Utilizing all points of contact with potential clients, whether it’s adding

your Web site address to the side of delivery trucks or your listing

in the Yellow Pages, also pays off, says Egelhoff. Print coupons on the

bottom of your receipts and invoices to draw repeat business and

reward referrals. Offer an upsell opportunity and showcase new items

and services. Coupons are often used by customers already predisposed

to your business, so it’s important to expand on the opportunity

to build the brand and relationship.

Changing Channels

Evolving media habits also provide new ways to reach customers.

More companies are now appearing on local review sites like

Yelp.com, and positive customer feedback can be a big draw.

According to Mac McIntosh, a business-to-business sales expert who

runs SalesLeadExperts.com, it’s vital in this environment to have a

visible and fully functioning Web site.

“Your Web site is a silent salesperson for your company,” he says.

“When you are referred to someone, the first thing they do is look for

you on the Web.”

He suggests optimizing your site for local searches, such as “office

furniture in Elgin, Ill.,” or similar terms that key in on geographic

queries. In addition, simple URL names, like smithbrothers.com, make

it easier for people to find your company. Owning your keyword

can also help draw traffic.

Tailoring your message to social networking sites such as Twitter,

which amplify word-of-mouth advertising, can also be valuable, as

long as you focus on quality and give contacts the ability to opt in and

opt out. According to Egelhoff, dealers should broadcast a blend of

beneficial information. Send out links to articles on improving ergonomics

or office productivity along with the occasional sales promotion,

branding yourself as a valuable resource, not just a low-cost

leader. This same approach can be used with the media. Sending

out press releases to local outlets about national trends affecting local

companies and positioning yourself as an expert can provide free

exposure and credibility.

“If you put out good information, that’s what’s going to make people

flock to you,” he says.

The transformational power of online communications really just

amplifies the traditional brand-building efforts dealers undertake in

10

Low-Cost

Enhancements to Reinforce

Traditional Advertising

1. Style makes a

difference—flashy

graphics and copy can

grab attention.

2. Find affordable outlets

like joining business

and community

organizations.

3. Utilize all points of

contact with potential

clients.

4. Print coupons on your

receipts and invoices.

5. Showcase new items

and services.

6. Maintain a visible

and fully functioning

Web site.

7. Tailor your message to

social networking sites.

8. Broadcast general

information that’s

useful.

9. Build your brand.

10. Team up with

complementary local

businesses.

34 July/August 2009


the real world. By telling a consistent, compelling story that focuses

on experience and reputation, and “living the brand” whenever

coming into contact with clients, small businesses can stand out from

faceless national chains. Telling a story that explains the ethos of

your business and delivering on that promise makes a big impact.

A distinctive name and logo can also amplify your message.

Brand Association

“The biggest opportunity you have to make your own advertising

is to build your brand,” says Kobliski. “Your brand needs to be

nurtured and watched every day you’re in business.”

Teaming up with complementary local businesses and sharing

promotional costs or swapping flyers works well. But always make

sure you concentrate on keeping current clients happy. No matter

how sharp your promotions plan may be, bad feedback can easily

counter your best effort.

“An angry client will do a great deal of harm in keeping others

away,” says Kobliski. “Word-of-mouth works both ways!” O|L

United’s Low-Cost Option

SmartDeals gives United Dealers a launching pad for success

The SmartDeals Campaign presents an affordable,

turnkey solution that combines the successful

SmartDeals flyers with promotional e-mails.

Dealers only have to submit a contact list to receive

all the benefits of this multichannel, multi-touch

growth and retention tool. Dealer-branded e-mails

featuring SmartDeals offers are scheduled to touch

consumers after the flyers are mailed. This campaign

approach is a cost-effective way to reach out

to multiple client contacts with attractive offers and

competitive consumer pricing.

“While the flyer has become established over

the past year, the e-mail campaign components

are growing at a much faster rate as dealers and

consumers benefit from the online marketing,” says

Philip Foy, consumer marketing manager at United

Stationers.

Adding an e-mail aspect comparable to the

competition’s programs, the SmartDeals Campaign

delivers value to both dealers and consumers. It

can be broken down into an office products campaign

and a tech-focused campaign to provide wide

coverage for dealers looking for more targeted

promotions.

Contact your account

manager to sign up today!

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Esselte Corporation 36 and July/August / or its affiliates. 2009 © 2009 Esselte Corporation.


. MIND Your Business

A Common Vision

Recalibrate and realign

your sales environment to

push positive behaviors and

energize your sales force

Sales is often considered a personal part of business—

one-on-one interaction built on individual relationships

and client contact. But when analyzing the sales strategies

and organization of a whole company, it often pays to have a wider

perspective. Good salespeople may be born with talent, but providing

them with proper support and the right environment can give them greater strategic

knowledge and superior results.

In today’s challenging business environment, it’s important for the entire staff to

review and refine sales messages and methods. According to Colleen Stanley, president

of SalesLeadership, Inc., it’s beneficial for businesses to get back to basics. That means

reviewing the characteristics of the ideal client and how to pursue that type of customer,

rethinking and reformatting your value proposition, and even introducing negotiation

training.

“Statements and messaging points that worked two years ago need to be tweaked,”

she says. “People are buying differently and sales teams need new talking points.”

Get Leads, Follow Up, and Get Out of the Way

But the message won’t sell unless it’s being heard by the right people. Providing your

sales professionals with quality leads makes the effort of going through contact lists

more bearable and ultimately more worthwhile. According to Mac McIntosh, a businessto-business

sales expert who runs SalesLeadExperts.com, one good source of leads

is frequently misunderstood, free, and usually under your nose. Steering salespeople

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. MIND Your Business

toward existing clients—with an eye toward nurturing long-term relationships—often

generates better results than going for the quick deal

to meet sales goals.

“You don’t have to start at zero to convince them why to buy from

you,” he says. “Unless there was a problem, you’re halfway to the sale

if they have a need.”

McIntosh believes the key is being proactive, asking clients about

maintenance needs, and offering service and support instead of

always “holding out your hand” pitching a sale. Decision-makers

will remember this useful communication when they make purchasing

decisions and friendly referrals to colleagues. McIntosh also

recommends that resellers invest in client management software that

organizes sales information and contacts in a way that mirrors your

existing process. Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics CRM are

the big players in the market, but smaller firms make products such

as GoldMine, Maximizer, and SugarCRM, which are relatively affordable

options for smaller firms.

Cross-Training

Increased training is another structural change to the sales process

that can reap long-term benefits, as long as you keep your employees’

specific needs in mind. For instance, veteran sellers who feel

turned off by new techniques and technology need to be sold on

the advantages.

“This is a new environment and it’s not the same game it was five

years ago,” says Stanley. “Veterans can get introduced to social networking

tools like YouTube and LinkedIn, and gain strategic and

tactical skills.”

Stanley also says it’s important not to get carried away with new

communications tools, since they alone can’t close sales. Oldfashioned

principles of influence and a compelling value proposition

are still necessary to make a sale.

If you have young members on your sales team, it’s important to

approach their training a bit differently, according to Cindy Ventrice,

author of Make Their Day: Employee Recognition That Works. They

value face-to-face networking, informal mentoring relationships, and

feeling connected. Give them the ability to cross-train so they gain

a broader perspective of the company and how it operates.

Support the Troops

Providing better training and more leads won’t pay off if your sales

staff doesn’t have time to sell. According to McIntosh, research shows

that most salespeople overestimate how much time they actually

spend selling during the week. Many spend close to 60 percent of

their time solving problems for customers or doing administrative

work. Hiring a sales coordinator or customer service representative

can help alleviate paperwork and customer service issues, streamline

your office, and allow your sales force to focus on developing new

Providing better

training and more

leads won’t pay off

if your sales staff

doesn’t have

time to

sell

clients. In addition, if you already have a support staff, it’s important

to motivate them as well.

“The sales support staff is so critical to sales success,” says

Ventrice. “Many play critical roles and they tend to get ignored.”

She recommends managers set up programs that reward the sales

support staff, or allow them to share in the success of the sales team.

One company she spoke with gave out wingman awards to recognize

the work their support staff does. It’s an important symbolic

step and makes it clear that management makes it a priority to help

employees succeed.

In many ways, the sales organization can be approached as a

logistical challenge. Finding the best way to structure your organization

and your message to turn suspects into prospects and prospects

into sales is a difficult puzzle to solve. But it makes your employees,

your most important resource, function at full strength. O|L

38 July/August 2009


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.

GREAT Resources

training is key Attendees

at a recent UDT session held

at the Field Service Center in

Deerfield, Ill., included (front

row, left to right) Dan Garvey,

Garvey’s Office Products, Niles,

Ill.; Bob Broadwell, United

business development manager;

Phil Barnette, manager, United

Dealer Training; Ken Smith,

United director, field marketing;

and Jeff Gardner, Maximum

Performance Group. Also

pictured—additional dealers

attending the session.

Gaining

Through Training

United offers dynamic,

affordable workshops

to refine the skills needed

to compete in today’s

business products industry

Are you striving to achieve better results, but continually

finding that the outcomes bear a striking

resemblance to your previous efforts? It’s time to

update your knowledge base and renew your portfolio of sales tools.

As the business products industry becomes more sophisticated,

buyers expect much more. Throw in a challenging economic environment, and it’s easy

to see the need to acquire a powerful new arsenal of tools and techniques to enhance

your business performance.

In the past, it might have seemed that most of your success was ensured just by

showing up. But today’s sales professionals play a much different role. They must

become expert consultants who can help their customers become more productive.

Translation: They need to develop the professional selling skills necessary to create

trust and credibility with their customers.

Betsy Hughes, vice president of sales and marketing at Friends Business Source,

located in Findlay, Ohio, with locations in Toledo, Columbus, and Mansfield, and Amy

Brown, director of sales at Friends, recently attended a United Dealer Training (UDT)

workshop on sales leadership. Says Hughes, “When we received the e-mail about the

workshop, we first thought of other people who could benefit, but then we realized the

importance of sharpening your own saw. It’s a great opportunity to network with other

individuals, to get new ideas, and to confirm that what you’re doing is right.”

40 July/August 2009


United Dealer Training

Using ongoing training to enhance the skill set of a dealer’s staff

sets the foundation for expansion. As a result of participating in

United’s training workshops, Friends has branched out by adding

a specialist for the school market and concentrating more on the

JanSan marketplace. “Right now, everyone is cost-conscious, but

dealer training is an investment in the future of the company,” says

Brown. Many experts agree, suggesting that even during tough

economic times, it’s important to invest in future growth.

Open the Possibilities

United offers the only well-rounded training in the OP industry.

To cater to a variety of learning styles and scheduling needs, the

training is delivered through a multitude of learning modalities,

including face-to-face workshops, podcasts, webinars, and online

training. UDT workshops help independent resellers in three key

areas: how to secure appointments with new prospects, sell more to

current accounts, and win back lost customers.

Doug Apicella, Shanes Office Supply, Downers Grove, Ill., who

attended a recent workshop, praises Phil Barnette, manager, United

Dealer Training, who is one of the facilitators at the workshop. “He’s

a tremendous resource with a lot of dealer experience and he has

helped guide the direction of our business. Phil has been integral

in helping us articulate our vision and implement practices to make

our business successful.”

Phil Barnette, manager,

United Dealer Training

Convenient, practical,

and effective

More than 18 instructor-led workshops

are offered, and more topics are

offered online, including sales leadership,

margin management, exceptional

customer care, and converting prospects

into customers. Training material is

communicated in a variety of ways:

Online. An e-learning portal gives 24/7

access to receive training anytime, anywhere.

Podcast. UDTradio.com can be accessed

by anyone with an Internet connection.

Webinars. A bimonthy series that

offers two webinars each month on a

selected topic.

Face-to-face workshops. Private

sessions are offered with a UDT facilitator,

and public sessions are attended

by many dealers.

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Each year, United schedules over 100 workshops in convenient

locations across the country. To accommodate a variety of needs,

UDT workshops can be taken through one of the three subscription

programs or as an à la carte program. Participants sharpen their

skills in sales, marketing and management, customer care, and category

sales. Attendance at the workshops keeps accelerating: United

trained more dealer reps in the first quarter of 2009—almost 1,000

dealer attendees at 47 workshops—than during the first five months

of 2008. Sessions include a rich mix of video presentations, lively

exchanges, small group discussions, large group facilitator-led discussions,

individual exercises, dynamic simulation, and Q&A sessions.

The cornerstone of UDT is the sales leadership workshop. Topics

that are covered include creating a sales culture, critical success

factors, staffing, motivating salespeople, measuring sales performance,

hiring and firing, planning, supervising, communicating,

and developing salespeople.

Learn from Other Attendees

Kyle Office Supply in Tuscaloosa, Ala., is a third-generation business

specializing in office products, furniture, and commercial printing,

which is celebrating its 80 th anniversary this year. Says Chris Kyle,

who attended a recent sales leadership workshop, “I attended an

inside sales workshop led by Phil Barnette, and I’m taking three

salespeople to Phil’s next training session in Memphis. I can see

tremendous benefits from the workshops, and I would encourage

dealers to attend. They are a worthwhile investment of time and

resources. I especially like the participation by other dealers because

they’re in the trenches just like me.”

Other popular workshops include the selling skills workshop, which

teaches vital skills designed to dramatically improve sales performance,

workshops on margin management, how to increase profits

without selling more, and converting prospects into customers.

So why should a reseller take the time to participate in UDT? First,

constant training is a critical element in being a sales professional.

Second, UDT develops individuals’ ability to round out their skill sets,

including gaining a broader understanding of the

industry and the competition. Finally, it’s critical to be

up-to-date. The UDT program continually addresses

emerging technologies, and adds new data that’s

based on current research so ideas remain fresh and

relevant. Remember—learning never ends. O|L

Enhance Your Skills

Betsy Hughes (right), vice

president of sales and marketing

at Friends Business Source,

Findlay, Ohio, and Amy Brown

(left), director of sales at

Friends, recently attended a

United Dealer Training (UDT)

workshop on sales leadership.

Ongoing educAtion

Matt Koom (left), Forbes

Office Equipment, Newton,

Iowa, and Chuck Firmin,

Firmin’s Printing, Texarkana,

Texas, pay close attention

during a United Dealer

Training workshop.

workshop attendees

D.V. Johnson, Friends Office

Products, Marinette, Wis., shows

rapt attention during a United

Dealer Training workshop. In

the background, Dan Garvey,

Garvey’s Office Products, Niles,

Ill., looks on.

42 July/August 2009


UniteD

Extend the Power of United Smart Search

to Every Product you Sell

While United Smart Search gives your

customers a better online experience by

driving better search results for 40,000

products, their shopping needs may extend

beyond your United Stationers product

offering. And, for those types of products,

successful online searchability is dependent

on quality product content.

Now, United Content Services helps extend

the power of United Smart Search to items not

currently sold by United, providing the same

rich online experience.

Ask your Account Manager for more details.

OFF CE

L NE

43


Cool Stuff / Hot Deals

C

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charitable contribution

offers

supplies

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projection capability, Imation’s Wireless Projection Link gives your

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spend time considering the logistics of

unreliable technologies as well. The Imation

Wireless Projection Link takes away that hassle.

It creates a USB-based connection from any

notebook PC to a digital projector, allowing for

seamless transitions between different speakers and

presenters. No software installation is needed. Compatible

with almost all projection systems and computer

monitors.

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Instant and Expandable Archiving

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DVDs, yet shield their sensitive surface from dirt and scratches.

AND MORE | This durable nylon 3-ring binder keeps your data library of CDs and DVDs organized

and in pristine condition for office or travel. The 4-up, 2-sided pages can be easily arranged and

rearranged to archive data in your logical order. Don’t hesitate to expand the 208-disk capacity with

available refill pages (CLG-CDP-200).

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Nothing says power like

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44 July/August 2009


GREEN

EFFORT

Here’s an opportunity to

buy green. Spend $45 on

Cardinal XtraLife ClearVue

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a $10 gift card for McDonald’s

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binders are made of 50

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are safe to use with any

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rebate.

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Basyx VL441 Series Hi-Back Executive Chair

SIT BACK

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touch. Padded arms, tilt and lock control, and

a contoured seat keep you comfortable all day.

Burgundy fabric, black frame, 5-star base.

SKU: BSXVL441VC62

List Price: $230.00/EA

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COOLEST FEATURE | When the next flu

epidemic strikes, you’ll be prepared with

these deluxe germ guard face masks that

can also protect against flying debris and

smoke.

AND MORE | If you’re working in an environment that makes you cough and may

damage your lungs, protect yourself with this 30-piece pack that contains supplies to

minimize exposure to airborne particles and germs. Contains two N95 masks that filter

at least 95 percent of particulates that are 0.03 microns or larger (this includes most

bacteria and viruses). Also includes alcohol cleansing wipes, exam-quality vinyl gloves,

sanitizing gel, and tissue packs. Plastic case with 30 pieces.

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a premium padholder. With

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Pendaflex Recycled Colored File Pocket

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these expanding file pockets protect both your documents and the planet.

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PRINT CAREFULL

Name

Company Name

Street


the

Final

word

by Kathy Ireland

❘ Chief Designer ❘ Kathy Ireland Home ® by Martin

❘ CEO ❘ Kathy Ireland Worldwide ®

Please Make It Personal

GIVE US YOUR

FINAL WORD!

Share your valuable experiences with readers of

“The Final Word.” If you could give a new dealer

just one piece of advice, what would it be? Can you

describe your most challenging sales call and how

you responded? Send your submission to:

OfficeLine

c/o United Stationers

One Parkway North Blvd.

Suite 100

Deerfield, IL 60015-2259

or via e-mail to:

officeline@ussco.com

subject line “The Final

Word”

Even in this economy, there are opportunities for dealers to purchase products

from an assortment of manufacturers. In the past, small- to mid-sized

independent furniture dealers too often weren’t able to tap into the finest

assortments because of minimum sales requirements and opening orders

larger than budgets would allow.

United Stationers Direct Access program levels the playing field for

independents. Dealers who are part of Direct Access can buy products

in any quantity from participating suppliers. Cataloged merchandise

delivers in consolidated shipments and gives these dealers the same

purchasing power as larger dealers.

With all this good news, and a level playing field, many dealers still

don’t speak to the personal needs of the customers they sell to every

day. At Kathy Ireland Worldwide ® , we make it personal, because it

is. We make every effort to be aware of the wants, needs and, yes,

sometimes eccentricities of the invaluable friends who are also our

customers. Dealers miss opportunities when they don’t learn about

the personal needs of their customers, who also have home offices

that need TLC.

You have the opportunity to build a lasting relationship with your customers

when you serve their home office requirements. In today’s climate

of anxiety, we must not neglect a single opportunity to build upon our

relationships. When you make it personal … when you furnish someone’s

personal spaces … they enjoy a relationship with you every day. Yes, that’s

good business; it’s also personal and priceless.

The difference this one sale can make in your relationships is huge. Always give

more than your customers expect; always find new ways to serve them. The public

mission of Kathy Ireland Worldwide is “…finding solutions for families, especially busy

moms.” Our B2B mission is less well known and powerfully followed—“…finding

solutions for people in business.”

Many years ago, when I met Gil Martin, president of Martin Home Furnishings, my

home office was our family kitchen table. As the years have passed, my home office

has changed. When I look at my desk, credenza, entertainment wall, and more,

I reflect upon powerful relationships between Gil’s company and our team. Yes, it’s

business. It is also deeply personal. My suggestion to each and every one of you

is that to grow your business today, please make it personal! O|L

DIRECTORY OF ADVERTISERS

acco. page 9

alera. page 39

Avery. page 25

Brother.

back cover

C-Line . page 41

Durable. page 33

ECI. page 13

Esselte . page 36

fellowes . page 11

HON. page 20

HP .

inside front cover

innovera. page 28

kantek . page 41

kimberly-clark. page 7

tennsco. page 33

Universal. page 4

United stationers. page 43

United stationers. inside back

cover

xerox. page 23

OfficeLine is published bi-monthly by United Stationers Supply Co. for the benefit of its independent resellers and suppliers in the office products industry. To obtain a complimentary subscription, please visit ussco.com/resellers/gi_officeline.shtml

or contact your local account manager. The publisher reserves the right to deny subscriptions based solely on its discretion. Advertisers may contact the publisher at officeline@ussco.com for rates and schedules.

46 July/August 2009


Technology Keeps Marching On –

Keep Pace with the Right Partner

Technology’s pace isn’t slowing. That’s why you need a wholesale supplier that’s continuously

working on new solutions, to keep you moving in speed with all the potential advantages.

United Smart Search

User-friendly consumer search and

navigation on your web site.

Content

Robust product Content on nearly

40,000 products, to elevate your

multi-channel marketing efforts.

ICAPS

Item Content & Pricing System –

Timely, automatic updates of price

and product changes, sent to your

email box.

ItemSub

Automatic substitution of items

that are out-of-stock, to maintain

strong customer service.

eBill

United Stationers statements,

invoices and other paperwork –

online, on-demand.

System Automation

Integration of our system with

yours to automate transfer of key

business documents including

purchase orders, order acknowledgments,

invoices, Advance

Shipping Notices (ASNs),

and more.

Make sure you have the

right partner to keep you in

pace with technology – ask

your United Account Manager

how you can leverage all we

have to offer.


Perfect printers for those who know the predictable choice

isn’t necessarily the best choice.

Welcome to Plan b.

Up to 21ppm

HL-4040CDN

Network Ready Color Laser Printer

HL-4070CDW

Wireless Color Laser Printer

MFC-9440CN

Color Laser All-in-One

Plan A is following the crowd. Plan A is doing the expected. When it comes to printing, Plan A is not your best choice. It pays to look

a little closer and then choose Plan B from Brother. ® We make printers and all-in-ones that give you more. More features. More

affordability. And up to 21ppm 1 color and monochrome output speeds. It’s the

value we build into all our products. And your reward for being smarter. And

choosing Plan B. Visit us online at www.brother.com

1

pages per minute.

© 2009 Brother International Corporation, Bridgewater, NJ

Brother Industries, Ltd. Nagoya, Japan

USS-011

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