VISSTUN®, DIGISPEC® & COUNTERPOINT® HIRE THREE NEW SALES COUNSELORS

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA (November 25, 2014) – The Visstun®, Digispec®, and CounterPoint® family recently hired Seth Everard, Dan McQuarrie and Tracy Derx as Sales Counselors.  Everard joins the Visstun® & Digispec® brands; while both McQuarrie and Derx have joined the CounterPoint® team.  In their new roles they will be responsible for educating distributors on the brands’ products, how to sell them, who to sell to and how they are used.

Prior to joining the team, Seth Everard spent six years in the signage industry working for two different companies; including Alliance Sign Company where he served as Director.  His experience also includes the automotive, garden & pet industries.

Dan McQuarrie brings more than 35 years of sales experience to CounterPoint®   and spent the bulk of his career in managerial positions with companies including ACE Hardware.  He’s lived in Las Vegas for four years and has B.S. in Business from the University of Utah.

Tracy Derx spent 22 years in the food service industry before joining CounterPoint® and served as the General Manager of the second best steakhouse in Wyoming.  Her unique animal training skills have also placed dogs and horses all around the world.

“We’re thrilled to have all three in the Visstun, Digispec & Counterpoint family,” said Jennifer LeBarron, director of operations. “Their unique skills and past experience fit directly into some of the same industries where our brands’ products our found.”
About Visstun®, Digispec® & CounterPoint®

Visstun®, Digispec®, and CounterPoint® are all part of a family of companies producing American-manufactured products from the Las Vegas headquarters. Founded in 2006, Visstun® launched the world’s first Hi-Definition convolute cups. This unique, state-of-the-art technology eclipses traditional cup imprinting methods by first printing high-quality corporate images on flat polypropylene sheets and then forming them into cups on custom engineered machinery. Digispec® is the industry’s largest mouse pad supplier and manufactures both hard and fabric surface mouse pads in a variety of styles, size, shapes, and thicknesses, as well as specialty mouse pads. Launched in May 2001, CounterPoint® is the leading manufacturer of point-of-purchase counter mats, which are produced using a unique manufacturing process that utilizes high-quality polymers, plastics, and base materials not normally available from local printers and generic POP suppliers.

For more information visit us at www.visstun.com, www.digispec.com, or www.doyoupop.com.

VISSTUN®, DIGISPEC® & COUNTERPOINT® HIRE NEW MARKETING MANAGER

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA (November 25, 2014) – The Visstun®, Digispec®, and CounterPoint® family is excited to announce the hiring of Mike Doria as its newest Marketing Manager.

In his past roles, Doria served as the Public Relations & Marketing Manager for two firearms companies and as the Public Relations & Social Media Specialist for The Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas.  He spent 11 years as a TV news reporter and is currently a freelance reporter for the national celebrity magazine, Us Weekly.  He has a BS in Broadcast Journalism at Brockport State University.   As part of his new role, he will assist in the marketing and public relations for Visstun, Digispec, & CounterPoint.

“We’re excited to have Mike on our team,” said Jennifer Lebarron, director of administrative operations. “With his many years of journalism, public relations, and marketing, he will be a valuable asset.”

About Visstun®, Digispec® & CounterPoint®:

Visstun®, Digispec®, and CounterPoint®, are all part of a family of companies producing American-manufactured products in the Las Vegas headquarters. Founded in 2006, Visstun® launched the world’s first Hi-Definition convolute cups. This unique, state-of-the-art technology eclipses traditional cup imprinting methods by first printing high-quality corporate images on flat polypropylene sheets and then forming them into cups on custom engineered machinery. Digispec® is the industry’s largest mouse pad supplier and manufactures both hard and fabric surface mouse pads in a variety of styles, size, shapes, and thicknesses, as well as specialty mouse pads. Launched in May 2001, CounterPoint® is the leading manufacturer of point-of-purchase counter mats, which are produced using a unique manufacturing process that utilizes high-quality polymers, plastics, and base materials not normally available from local printers and generic PO suppliers.

For more information please visit us at www.visstun.com, www.digispec.com, or www.doyoupop.com.

Pro Towels Continues Product Safety Leadership, Early Adopter of Industry’s ‘Product Safety Aware’ Compliance Program

Pittsburgh, PA 11/17/2014 – Pro Towels (www.protowels.com), today announced it is among the first to achieve ‘Product Safety Aware’ status in the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Product Safety Awareness Program. This means Pro Towels has met or exceeded the PPAI product safety training and education requirements.

Pro Towels has demonstrated its commitment to product safety by actively engaging its workforce and adopting a corporate culture prioritizing product safety compliance training and a commitment to continuing education.

Aaron Gunderson, Pro Towels, National Accounts Manager, said, “Meeting the evolving product safety compliance expectations of the promotional products industry requires regulatory knowledge and an ongoing company commitment. We are proud to establish a proactive leadership position in the industry through our commitment to PPAI’s ‘Product Safety Aware’ compliance program. Product Safety Awareness gives us a strong competitive edge and increases the value in the client-supplier relationship; it’s a win-win for both of us.” 

“With Pro Towels & Superior Decorating being Socially, PROP 65, and CPSIA Complaint going into the Product Safety Summit, it was great to have that re-enforced throughout the sessions. However, the world of compliance and product safety is constantly changing, it is vital that we stay proactive as a company.” 

PPAI, founded in 1903, has a long history of leadership in the development of training and education programs meant to enhance safety programs in the promotional products industry. The Association is the world’s largest and oldest not-for-profit trade association for the $18.5 billion promotional products industry and is the leading provider of promotional products safety and compliance training and education with more than 50-years of professional development and certification.

Pro Towels is the largest full-service beach, golf, and rally towel supplier within the Promotional Product Industry that offers large format screen printing.  With corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA Pro Towels has manufacturing and decorating facilities located in both South Carolina and California.

Pro Towels Continues Product Safety Leadership, Early Adopter of Industry’s ‘Product Safety Aware’ Compliance Program

Pittsburgh, PA 11/17/2014 – Pro Towels (www.protowels.com), today announced it is among the first to achieve ‘Product Safety Aware’ status in the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Product Safety Awareness Program. This means Pro Towels has met or exceeded the PPAI product safety training and education requirements.

Pro Towels has demonstrated its commitment to product safety by actively engaging its workforce and adopting a corporate culture prioritizing product safety compliance training and a commitment to continuing education.

Aaron Gunderson, Pro Towels, National Accounts Manager, said, “Meeting the evolving product safety compliance expectations of the promotional products industry requires regulatory knowledge and an ongoing company commitment. We are proud to establish a proactive leadership position in the industry through our commitment to PPAI’s ‘Product Safety Aware’ compliance program. Product Safety Awareness gives us a strong competitive edge and increases the value in the client-supplier relationship; it’s a win-win for both of us.”

“With Pro Towels & Superior Decorating being Socially, PROP 65, and CPSIA Complaint going into the Product Safety Summit, it was great to have that re-enforced throughout the sessions. However, the world of compliance and product safety is constantly changing, it is vital that we stay proactive as a company.”

PPAI, founded in 1903, has a long history of leadership in the development of training and education programs meant to enhance safety programs in the promotional products industry. The Association is the world’s largest and oldest not-for-profit trade association for the $18.5 billion promotional products industry and is the leading provider of promotional products safety and compliance training and education with more than 50-years of professional development and certification.

Pro Towels is the largest full-service beach, golf, and rally towel supplier within the Promotional Product Industry that offers large format screen printing.  With corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA Pro Towels has manufacturing and decorating facilities located in both South Carolina and California.

Jetline Announces JetColor™

Ganey, SC, November 17, 2014 – Top 50 Industry Supplier Jetline (asi/63344, ppai: 113558) today announced the addition of JetColor™, full color inkjet-direct imprinting, as a decoration technique that will be available on a wide range of products. The company recently added three new X2 UV inkjets to its existing X-Jet system, enhancing capacity, capability and redundancy in this emerging decoration space. “JetColor™ represents the realization of a process that has been in the works for some time,” says Jetline CEO Eric Levin.
“We are very pleased to be able to continue to invest in innovative printing technologies that dramatically improve the end user’s buying experience.”
The company expects to formally launch the JetColor™ program at the end of the year on a wide variety of sku’s including stress relievers and vinyl-based products that have traditionally been dicult to decorate.

At GMG, the customer is mightier than the pen

The folks at GMG Pen have a bit of a secret. While the New Jersey-based company is a leading importer and manufacturer of writing instruments for the promotional products industry, the company’s main line of business is not pens.

So what is GMG’s primary product? Pull out your Slimster pen from the Ultra Penworks line and write this down: C-u-s-t-o-m-e-r S-e-r-v-i-c-e.

“The bottom line is there are thousands of distributors selling pens,” said Jay Soltan, Director of Sales for GMG Pens. “We understand what it’s like to be in our customers’ shoes and do whatever it takes to make the process easier.”

If “good service” as a point of differentiation seems a bit overused, consider GMG Pens has been in business only nine years. That the company has been able to grab a foothold in this most competitive of promotional product categories, establish a solid customer base and then continue to grow is evidence good things are hap-pening beyond the basics of product selection and price.

“We’re so focused on service and building customer relationships, it’s literally like the products are an after-thought,” Soltan said.

That said, the “pen” is center stage at GMG. While many suppliers include writing instruments as but one of multiple and varied product offerings, at GMG the pen is currently the only focus. As an exclusive pen supplier, GMG’s sole focus is offering an extensive array of plastic and metal pens that meet customers’ expectations for quality and pricing.

GMG features the Ultra Penworks lines of plastic and metal pens. USA-made pens are also in the company’s product mix, as well as increasingly popular and in-demand stylus pens. The GMG team aggressively seeks out new designs and styles, always with an eye to overall quality and writing ability.

“If a pen doesn’t write well, it’s not going to pass first base,” Soltan said. “That’s why we devote a lot of research not just on style and popularity, but also to the writing quality and ease of use.”

Soltan said during GMG’s early years, the company’s biggest challenge was getting customers’ attention. Doing so required competitive pricing, waiving fees and aggressively asking to “give us just one shot.” When that was accomplished, the providing of no-holds-barred customer service resulted in earning repeat business.

“Our goal at the end of the day is we want our customers to be our friends,” Soltan said.

Friends know how to stay in touch. GMG is a believer in face-to-face connections and thus includes a mix of trade shows and personal visits in its marketing mix. GMG customers can expect to receive several mailings a year, always with a product catalog that’s accompanied by snacks or goodies or something fun.

With over 60 employees, GMG is centrally located in Lakewood, N.J., and just a couple minutes from the Jer-sey Shore. The company is equipped with the latest high-speed screen imprinters. The investment in service-conscious employees and in technology relates directly to the importance of taking care of the customer’s needs right away.

“From the moment any one of us walks in the door, it’s all about doing what’s right for our customers, under-standing their needs, and customizing programs for what they need,” Soltan said.

This commitment to customers is also driven by the loyalty of GMG’s employees.  “As a career salesperson, I was overwhelmed by the dedication the entire GMG staff has towards their customers,” said Jason Shanik, Na-tional Accounts Director. “After working at GMG Pen for the past three years, I am here to stay”.

According to Michelle Newhouse, Special Account manager, “The training, devotion and efficiency of the CS staff has made GMG Pen a great place to work.”

Get The Freight Right

Use Technology To Calculate Freight Rates With Quotes And Orders

Kaity Morris and members of her customer service team are certainly sympathetic when customers express frustration about having to calculate freight quotes when ordering promotional products. They’re mostly quite pleased the frustration is not directed at them.

Morris is Customer Service Manager at HandStands, a Salt Lake City-based supplier focusing on air fresheners and technology accessories. When HandStands quotes a price for an order, shipping costs are included up front. No waiting. No guessing. No problems.

“It’s an extra plus in our customer service,” Morris said of having a real-time freight quote tool included in pricing calculations. “Our customers know shipping costs right up front.”

Obviously the technology to calculate freight costs when placing an over-the-phone or an online order is nothing out of the ordinary. Imagine the hesitation if consumers placed online orders at everyday retail websites with the expectation that yet-to-be-determined shipping costs would be added to the posted cost.

“Who’s going to buy something online if they don’t have the freight? As a consumer, can you imagine going to Amazon and then waiting two days for them to send you the shipping costs?”

That’s Jason Nokes, President of DistributorCentral and one of the team members who developed a freight calculation tool for the promotional products industry. It’s been just over a decade since DC made this function available, yet Nokes knows there’s some reluctance on the part of both suppliers and distributors to have shipping costs included in quotes and pricing, usually because of concerns about accuracy.

According to Nokes, the ability to nail down shipping costs is actually simple and easy. Accurate freight rates can be calculated in advance using real-time data from shipping providers and incorporating internal product and packing standards. The more data and variables plugged into the equation, the more precise the quote.

“Now suppliers are able to present shipping processes and pricing in a manner that’s accurate and positive,” said Nokes. “Helping customers determine how shipping will impact pricing becomes an appreciated aspect of the sales process.”

Feel the love
Tom Mertz, President and CEO of TradeNet Publishing, manufacturer of printed promotional products near Kansas City, offers no pretense about his reasoning for incorporating DC’s Freight Quote function in every quote and order.

“We want the distributor to love TradeNet,” said Mertz. “We realize our customers are busy people and are often working on a quote at night or on the road. If they can tell their customer what the freight will be, we’re making it easier for them to make the sale.”

Mertz said distributors have acknowledged they want to know freight costs up front. “A distributor will take the path of least resistance,” he said. “If they can get an accurate quote from one supplier and not from another, which supplier gets the business? It positions TradeNet as being in partnership with distributors by helping them make the sale.”

Economics is no small part of the equation where TradeNet is concerned. Mertz said a review of customer service calls prior to implementation to Freight Quotes was that 25 percent of incoming calls were related to inquiries and issues associated with shipping costs. Now those calls are rare.

“TradeNet was ultimately able to direct our Customer Service team to spend more quality time with distributors,” Mertz said. “We were able to better concentrate the efforts of our CS team to make it easier to make the sale and to do more business with us.”

Distributors sing a similar song. Rich Graham, Chief Imagination Officer at Dallas-based Big Promotions!, said having accurate shipping quotes at the time of sale is something “you just gotta have and that’s pretty much how it is.” Graham said Big Promotions! relies on the DC freight calculator, indicating it’s especially required for customers who make online purchases during the nighttime hours or on weekends.

Dave White, DEW Ad Specialties, Kansas City, said it’s important to have access to a freight calculator function because of ever-changing costs. “It’s hard to keep up with fuel surcharges that seemingly change on a daily basis,” said White. “It helps us to know we’re being provided accurate shipping pricing without any surprises.”

Simplified and Customized
While online Freight Quote programming is robust and detailed, the ability for a supplier or a distributor to add it to online or over-the-phone price quoting is not. Where DC’s tool is concerned, it’s a matter of the supplier or distributor completing a spreadsheet with as many shipping standards as possible, including product dimensions and weight per shipping quantity. The more detailed the standards and the shipping criteria, the more accurate the quote.

“We hear stories about suppliers using whatever boxes they can find to ship products in,” said DC’s Nokes. “The process of including shipping costs in quotes typically results in improvements of processes and functionality.”

Nokes said the DC software interacts with FedEx and UPS to generate real-time rates. The integration with the two primary shippers factors in the fluctuating fuel surcharges and thus keeps pace with changing rates.

TradeNet’s Mertz said the accuracy of freight quotes through DistributorCentral has exceeded his expectations. Over years of implementation and across thousands of orders representing hundreds of product lines, the quotes are directly aligned with actual costs.

“At the end of the day, we’re looking for a quote that’s fair in the aggregate to TradeNet and the distributor,” Mertz said.

Fully customizable, the Freight Quote tool allows suppliers and distributors to provide customers with shipping discounts or free shipping on selected products or special offers. The DC freight tool is automatically integrated with DC-hosted websites and can also be integrated into custom third-party websites.

“With this freight tool, suppliers are actually helping the distributor sell on line and give more precise quotes,” said Nokes. “Distributors, through their suppliers or on their own websites, benefit by making easier for the end user.”

Breathing New Life into Holiday Packages with Branded Packing Tape

Enhance Brand Awareness this Holiday Season with Custom Packing Tape from Lancer Label

Omaha, NE (PRWEB) November 13, 2014

Promo Packaging Tape

Branded Packing Tape from Lancer Label
“Companies are always looking to make a good first impression, and branded packing tape is one of the easiest ways to do just that.”

Businesses many not think about it, but packing tape serves a variety of purposes in the office, ranging from tamper-proofing to branding. This is why Lancer Label, a high-quality printing company, offers customers branded packing tape that can be used any time it is needed!

Brand awareness is critical to the success of any business, as it establishes the firm as an entity instead of simply a provider of products and services. The more exposure companies can generate for their brands, the better they will be able to foster relationships with customers and turn them into regular patrons.

Custom Packing Tape Comes Home for the Holidays
For the 2014 holiday season, many people are hoping to dodge the winter cold and long lines at retailers by shopping online. This means companies will be sending packages to their customers by the dozen, providing the perfect opportunity to use branded packing tape to drive home the presentation. When customers arrive home and see a package with Amazon’s trademark arrow logo, they know immediately from which merchant the order came. If companies want to achieve a similar effect and stand out from the sea of other bland cardboard boxes, colorful branded packing tape is the perfect way of doing so.

“Companies are always looking to make a good first impression, and branded packing tape is one of the easiest ways to do just that,” said Fred Nelson, general sales manager at Lancer Label. “Branded packing tape can greatly improve brand recognition – people will not just see a package lying on their steps, but a package from their favorite company.”

Of course, packing tape can also be used for other purposes as well, such as protecting against theft and tampering through one-of-a-kind tape seals. Firms could also use packing tape to identify fragile contents so handlers take special care. Of course, this branded tape can serve functionally just as well as standard packing tape, allowing senders to secure shipments and communicate any other necessary company information as well.

Regardless of any business’ specific requirements for its packing tape, Lancer Label can produce an end product that fits its needs. Some of our packing tape product features include:

  •     The choice between white or clear tape
  •     Up to three spot colors
  •     Two- and three-inch widths available
  •     Packing tape rolls of 55 or 110-yard lengths
  •     A finished three-inch core
  •     Low minimum orders, allowing any company to get the packing tape they need

For those ready to order, Lancer Label is now offering 15% off custom printed tape orders now through 12/19/14. Use promo code TAPE15. Minimum quantity is one case and available as a full case only. This offer cannot be combined with other offers or promotions.

About Lancer Label:
With over 50 years of experience in the label industry, Lancer Label is dedicated to providing distributors quality label solutions from a supplier they can trust. Lancer Label offers the gold standard customer experience, quality products and versatile printing capabilities all at a great value. We make selling labels easy! For more information and to place orders online, visit LancerLabel.com. For the latest news and labeling promotional offers, find Lancer Label on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google .

Hub Pen Company Hires Robyn Squier as Customer Service Representative

BRAINTREE, MASSACHUSETTS (November 13, 2014) – Hub Pen Company is pleased to announce the hiring of Robyn Squier as a customer service representative.
The California native comes to Hub Pen with a long career of helping people,
first in San Diego as a human resources assistant and after relocating to
Massachusetts as a customer service rep for an IT staffing company.
Robyn is an avid gardener and walker, walking three miles each and every day.
She brings that same energy and tender loving care to her customers at Hub Pen.

“I truly enjoy helping people and was pleasantly surprised by how approachable
and helpful everyone here at Hub is.  There is a great spirit of teamwork.”

Customer service manager Chris Ford added, “We are very pleased to have Robyn on our team.  She brings a lot of great experience to the table and is a pleasure to work with.”

Robyn is the dedicated customer service rep for Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Bay State Specialty Co. Adds New Product to their Line

D412 - SafetyCaps Outlet CoverD412 – SafetyCaps Outlet Cover
- Insert in outlets to protect them from ‘Little Ones’ inserting objects in them
- Provides safety from unintended electrical shocks
- Reduces air flow through outlets
- Meets CPSC pacifier standards
- Made in theUSA