Page 1






May 2021

Issue 310



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Data Direct is the UK’s leading independent dealeronly distributor of printer & copier supplies, consumables, parts & workplace solutions. Pantum printers are just one of a number of new and relevant product introductions we’re bringing to market to support you – our dealer customers. Together with our fantastic new website www.data-direct.co.uk you can count on us to help you RISE TO IT.

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Sustainability – a word we are all more than familiar with, but is it one we all take seriously enough? Most of us are aware that we must now put words into action when it comes to greenPRINTING SHOULD BE SIMPLE thinking and sustainability as the effects of climate change continue to have global impacts. We all have a role to play in looking after our planet, and this month’s BIG ASK questions the industry on what role it can play in helping consumers make greener choices. Following this theme, we also take a look at the part print plays in sustainability, how to choose the right sustainable products and how to educate the customer on why sustainable products are important. With hybrid working looking to become standard practice, RISE TO IT we wonder whether this will have a positive or negative impact on the industry. Picking up on the positive, Think Business Supplies tell us about how it’s managed to ride the wave (or multiple waves) of the pandemic, and we speak to industry veteran Mike James on why, despite years in the industry, his passion and desire to learn more remains undiminished. Our LIVE IT section, as usual, aims to bring a smile to your face, not least with another brilliant story from FATHER P. CLIP, where the good Father tells us how he fared in the ‘Stationer of the Year competition’! Cosmos wrap up the issue by telling us about the Weaver programme, and how it helped them achieve sustainability success. As always, don’t forget to chat to us on Twitter and let us know your thoughts and opinions: @dealersupport. May 2021

Issue 310

Print high quality documents on-the-go with the ultimate compact printer that is easy to use. Enjoy connectivity, space saving and budget friendly features from the mini printer that SMB, home users and office professionals rely on.

inspiring success

A new era for printing available from Data Direct Official Distributor Pantum Printers

Data Direct is the UK’s leading independent dealeronly distributor of printer & copier supplies, consumables, parts & workplace solutions.

Pantum printers are just one of a number of new and relevant product introductions we’re bringing to market to support you – our dealer customers. Together with our fantastic new website www.data-direct.co.uk you can count on us to help you RISE TO IT.

PUSHING SUSTAINABLE PAPER PRODUCTS Teaching consumers about your green credentials SUSTAINABE PRINT Why printing less is more


IT AIN’T EASY BEING GREEN Making the right sustainable choices

data-direct.co.uk | 01189 734 564 | pantum@data-direct.co.uk

DEVIRRA SAH PIHS OT YAW REISAE NA Ellie Potter Acting editor

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EDITOR Ellie Potter

CREATIVE TEAM Amanda Lancaster

HEAD OF SALES Matthew Moore

DIRECTOR Vicki Baloch

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Dealer Support is the leading monthly publication for dealers in the business supplies industry. It provides information on the industry (both in the UK and overseas), information for and about the UK’s independent dealers, as well as information and advice on running a small business. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the views of the publishers. Copyright of all the material published remains with Intelligent Media Solutions Limited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, copied, stored in an electronic retrieval or transmitted, save with written permission or in accordance with provision of the copyright designs and patent act of 1988. Printed in the UK by Buxton Press www.buxtonpress.co.uk Annual subscriptions are available at a cost of £68.00 for UK and overseas by surface mail, £90.00 for airmail. Subscription enquiries should be sent to the address opposite

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Intelligent Media Solutions We Work Building, 115 Mare Street, London, E8 4RU Tel: 0203 794 8555 Fax: 0203 794 8554 Email: info@intelligentmedia.co.uk Web: www.dealersupport.co.uk

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THE independent event for UK dealers PUT THIS IN YOUR DIARY! Thursday 21st October 2021 Ricoh Arena, Coventry

M AY 2 0 2 1

Contents INDUSTRY 06 NEWS AND VIEWS The latest news and views from the industry

10 CONSTANT CHANGE LEADS TO SUCCESS Mike James on why everyday is a school day

13 ANYTIME, ANYPLACE, ANYWHERE Is hybrid working a bonus or a hinderance?


How can the industry help the consumer make greener choices?



Think Business Supplies on its pandemic experience



Teaching consumers about your green credentials


38 IT AIN’T EASY BEING GREEN Making the right sustainable choices


Take a break and enjoy some lighthearted fun


Where did the good Father place in the competition of the year?

38 “The most effective way to encourage consumers to make good environmental choices is to make ‘green’ the default, and not the option.”



Becoming a success at sustainability



THE MONTH THAT WAS Keeley Travis returns and RAJA UK joins Advantia family Advantia has announced that Keeley Travis has returned to the Advantia family, and RAJA UK has joined. When Spicers went into administration Keeley Travis joined another dealer group in order to gain access to the other main wholesaler but, over recent months, they had become interested in the developing partnership between Advantia and Exertis.

RTC and CTS close deal for IBM branded toner cartridges

Product range extension, excellent service levels and price stability - together with the support available from Advantia - have been a huge draw for Keeley Travis. “We missed our relationship with Advantia, and all that the group offers,” said Paul Travis of Keeley Travis. “The strong working partnership that Advantia has with Exertis sets them apart in the industry.

Real Time Communication BV (RTC) has partnered with CTS for distribution of

We are excited to be part of the Advantia

IBM-branded toner cartridges in the UK and Ireland. These are manufactured by

family once more.”

the Turbon Group under a trademark and brand licensing agreement with IBM. Turbon is partnered with RTC to grow the IBM brand in Europe. “The IBM brand resonates with channel resellers and corporate end users

Packaging products company RAJA UK has now become a member of Advantia. RAJA UK stocks a wide range of packaging

alike,” said Mark Dawson, director at RTC. “It is synonymous with quality,

products and provides customised packaging

reliability, trustworthiness, technology and service. This toner cartridge

for their customers, as well as supplying

programme provides enterprises with an important cost-reduction opportunity,

office supplies and equipment, industrial

and the timing could not be better. The pandemic has been tough for many

equipment, cleaning and hygiene products

businesses and the focus on cost-reduction has never been sharper.

and safety and protective equipment.

“Steve Clayton and his team at CTS have built an organisation that is

“We are looking forward to strengthening

exclusively dedicated to supporting the reseller channel. They know how to

relationships with the Advantia group and

deliver important process efficiencies for their channel customers.”

Exertis, both as a member and a supplier to the

Clayton added: “Resellers are hungry for extra differentiation and the IBM brand delivers this. We are 100% trade only. Supporting the channel is

group,” said Tom Rodda, MD of RAJA UK. Steve Carter, MD of Advantia, added:

our mission. The IBM range of toner cartridges for use in HP devices will

“I was really pleased when Keeley Travis

help our reseller customers win share in the switch from OEM market space

approached us about re-joining the Advantia

and enhances our professional suite of cartridges for dealers to offer

family, and it’s really exciting to welcome

choices to their customers.”

RAJA to the group.”

[06] MAY 2021



Nectere announces partnership with EvolutionX and FusionPlus Data Nectere has announced a new partnership with online trading platform EvolutionX and FusionPlus, a data enhancement service provider. The announcement came as Nectere implemented several key strategic changes to the company in line with its expansion and dealer portfolio. The upgrade from its current website will give their dealers improved functionality and enhance their customers’ shopping experience online. The data capabilities of FusionPlus Data, combined with the functionality of the platform, allows Nectere to continue its range expansion, opening up the opportunity to trade with all of the certified vendors currently working with FusionPlus. It also allows Nectere to create its own, bespoke, product catalogues within the FusionPlus database, giving their dealers access to enhanced product ranges such as personalised clothing, workwear, PPE, medical and catering supplies. This additional functionality will boost Nectere’s marketing capabilities and target their dealers’ customers based on their product requirements, online shopping trends and trading patterns.


Staedtler celebrates milestone Noris birthday Staedtler UK has launched its campaign to celebrate 120 years of the company’s iconic Noris brand. ‘The ONE Noris – 120 years of creativity’ will honour the Noris brand and products including the yellow and black striped Noris pencil, which is widely used in schools across the UK and known across the world. The campaign will include digital marketing activities while also offering retailers a suite of online, and in-store, campaign assets to help them celebrate the Noris brand with their customers. Beginning in April, campaign elements will be made available via the STAEDTLER online ordering app throughout the year. In addition, STAEDTLER is introducing a limited edition Noris pencil set and POS display in the iconic pencil design. The new counter display is based on the look of the classic pencil and has space for 576 Noris pencils in different degrees of hardness.

www.dealersupport.co.uk MAY 2021 [07]



Jeanette Bresitz to be new Office Friendly managing director Office Friendly has appointed Jeanette Bresitz as managing director; she will join the company from Staples on June 1. Jeanette has worked in the office product industry since the late 90s when she joined Viking Direct in a merchandising role. She joined Spicers in 2004 and worked in several sales operations, marketing and merchandising roles before moving to Staples in 2017 where she led their merchandising and marketing functions and the online division. “We had over 75 high quality applications for the role,” said Office Friendly’s chairman, Gordon Profit, who will continue to deputise in the position until Bresitz starts. “Jeanette has emerged as the candidate that fulfilled all the board’s criteria. Not only does she bring a wealth of experience, she will also bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm to the role.” Jeanette added that she was “thrilled” to be joining Office Friendly. “With such phenomenal upheaval to business and the industry over the last 18 months there are so many exciting new opportunities for dealers,” she said. “I look forward to being part of helping independent businesses grow and flourish.”

Sponsored: Conferencing ‘with a clear climate conscience’ moves further forward In an era of agile working - with huge demand for conferencing and collaboration hardware - pioneering manufacturer Konftel believes that protecting the planet is just as important as connecting the world. The company was the first in the collaboration devices sector to earn official climate neutral certification – which has now been successfully extended for the second year in a row. Climate neutral certified status means that all greenhouse gas emissions have been offset - across all aspects of the business - from manufacturing and product packaging to transportation. Konftel continues to cut impact at source, too, with a series of new initiatives announced. Investing in worldwide ensures that carbon credits, forest conservation, renewable energy and carbon capture technologies all benefit; forest conservation in Zimbabwe, water filtration in Cambodia and renewable energy in India are some of the many projects to be supported by Konftel so far. “Konftel is certified for the second successive year with the climate neutral standard,” said CMO Stefan Eriksson. “This means we have offset all our greenhouse gas emissions and are taking action to further reduce those emissions. “Today’s hybrid working trends have triggered a huge explosion in conferencing equipment sales; buying from Konftel ensures that our customers have a ’clear climate conscience’ that there is no overall impact on the planet. We believe every company should #beclimateneutral. He continued: “Stealing a march on our sector rivals, and leading from the front, is part of our DNA. A climate neutral certified label is displayed on all our products, which we are rightly proud of.” Konftel has generated record annual sales, with an expanding portfolio of innovative video and audio conferencing solutions. Its environment-friendly credentials help give it the edge too – an ethos inherent throughout the company.

[08] MAY 2021





CSR becoming more important to employees, study finds CSR has become more important to employees since the start of 2020, with ‘reducing carbon footprint’ the number one initiative that UK employees would like their organisation to focus on, a new study has found


mployees at UK companies have become

that affect society as a whole - whether it be COVID-19 or

increasingly concerned about heir

climate change,” said Sally Winston, head of employee

employer’s corporate social responsibility

experience solutions strategy EMEA at Qualtrics. “But

(CSR) in the past year, according to a study

what the data tells us is that organisations that consult their

published by experience management

employees on CSR - and allow them to get involved in any

platform provider Qualtrics. Researchers

activities - are the ones that are more likely to see higher

polled more than 500 full-time employees in the UK to uncover the impact of COVID-19 on people’s attitudes towards CSR, and their company’s position in the community. Its key findings included that 59% of employees are more

engagement and retention. ”However, although a substantial number of businesses have responded to the pandemic with CSR initiatives, disappointingly few have looped their employees into the decision-making

likely to be engaged at work if their company participates in

around these projects – just 34%. Employees clearly have

CSR and/or charitable initiatives - an 11-point increase from

strong views, and contributions to make, when it comes to

2020’s survey. Meanwhile, 49% of organisations surveyed

CSR, but they aren’t being consulted enough about how their

launched a CSR initiative related to COVID-19 during 2020 and,

organisation lives its values.

of those, 72% of employees rated their company’s initiatives as

“Employees need to trust that their organisation is

‘effective’. Running CSR initiatives can also help to engender

committed, not only to them, but to society in general. Now

a sense of loyalty in employees – 82% of those who have the

more than ever, it’s clear that organisations need to step up and

opportunity to take part in CSR initiatives consider themselves

engage in CSR on a company-wide scale.”

‘proud’ of their company.

This focus on CSR, and especially reducing carbon footprint,

‘Reducing carbon footprint’ was regarded as the

is something that office products dealers and suppliers can

most popular choice for future CSR initiatives, followed

help customers with. Whether this involves sourcing more

by charitable giving and helping to rebuild communities

environmentally friendly products, or supplying the equipment

depleted by the effects of the pandemic.

to produce collateral for a campaign, dealers should be having

“2020 was the year many people started caring more about their employer’s reputation and its response to crises

conversations with their customers about what they can do for them to help them with their CSR goals and aspirations.

www.dealersupport.co.uk MAY 2021 [09]



Constant change leads to success

Industry veteran MIKE JAMES has been a fixture in the office products business for more than 40 years - but his passion for it, and determination to carry on learning about it, still burns bright


he office products and stationery

that have looked after their employees during this

industry has a history that can be

time; that’s a good reflection on our industry.”

traced back hundreds of years and, as Mike James observes, one of the


successes of the industry across all

It is an industry Mike has had a varied career in. He

that time is that it copes well with change. “We have changed over the past 600 years,

started at DYMO Corporation in the 1970s, then working for several companies, including rising to sales director

and continue to change today; we have emerging

at Esselte. Now, he is managing director of Dundale

companies, and we have different ways of trading, but

Associates, and non-executive chairman of Prima

I think it is a robust industry because what we do, and

Software. He also has a long-standing association with

produce, people still need.”

The Stationers’ Company, and is still active within it.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a good example

“It is an amazing institution,” he says. “We do a lot

of the industry’s ability to change quickly – many

of charity work and I get a tremendous buzz with the

dealers set up new, PPE-based product lines within

Stationer’s Company, working with some of the young

weeks of lockdown, for instance.

people we have now. People like Amy Hutchinson

In addition, the pandemic highlighted another facet

[CEO of BOSS Federation] and Ian Buckley [managing

of the industry – a sense of community. “One of the things

director of Prima Software] - both winners of the

I love about the office products industry is that a lot of us

Stationer of the Year award in the past five years – and

look after each other and that has shone through,” says

people from allied industries. It is amazing what you can

Mike. “We have had some great examples of companies

learn from other industries.

[10] MAY 2021



A thirst for learning is something that has been

entering the industry, or increasing

with Mike throughout his career. He says he has been

their presence through acquisitions.

“incredibly lucky” throughout his career to have learned

“It’s going to be interesting to

from some talented people, such as the late Jonathan

watch,” he says. “We could see

Straker, who was his “industry hero”.

companies emerging quickly.”

Even in his later years, Mike has found that he can

One of the biggest changes

learn just as much from younger people in the sector

to the market recently was the

who have different skill sets, such as Nigel Gunn, now of

demise of Spicers - which has

Office Products International. “I worked with Nigel, when

meant that independent dealers

I was fast approaching 50, and it was amazing what I was

don’t do so much business with

learning from him, someone who is 10-12 years younger

wholesalers. “The traditional

than me.”

wholesaler business is declining


Click here to hear more from Mike in the latest episode of the Dealer Support podcast, Tuned In, hosted by Steve Harrop.

by the day. We are looking at new suppliers coming into businesses, and traditional suppliers are looking at direct

The independent dealer has survived for centuries, and they will continue to survive

arrangements with some dealers,” he says. “I think we are going to see that trend continue.” But Mike expects the independent dealer sector to not just survive but thrive in the future, and the pandemic will have played a positive part in this. “The independent dealer has survived for centuries, and they will continue to survive,” he says. “The

Today, Mike says he learns a lot from Ian Buckley.

surprising thing is, if you look at the data, during the

“I am old enough to be his father – probably his

past 18 months or so, in these difficult times in general

grandfather – but I am still learning from him. He has

the independent dealers have done quite well because

this brilliant talent…of being a mate to the people who

they have been quicker to adapt.”

work for you but, occasionally, turning that key and they

He notes that some orders have been picked up by the

recognise you are the boss. That’s a difficult one to do,

independent channel as larger, office-to-office, players have

but Ian has got that talent. So I am still learning at my

been slower to adapt, whereas smaller businesses were able

greatly advanced age.”

to quickly open new sales channels and sell new items.

Mike believes that senior people in the industry

“Now the independent dealer covers a wide range

should do what they can to help and mentor young

of products,” he says. “They have the support of dealer

people who are making their way through the ranks.

groups, and a strong e-commerce platform, and lots

Meanwhile, his top tip for young people starting out in the industry is to get involved with the company they work

are doing well.” While Mike admits that some dealers will fall by the

for, and the industry associations. “If you look at it as just a

wayside, he knows that many will prosper. “The future is

9-to-5 job you can do ok, potentially - but get involved and

always going to be tough, but the independent dealer

recognise the people that can mentor you.”

has a future. The past 18 months have, in some ways, reassured that future as people have had to change, and

CHANGE COMING While the past 18 months has seen many changes in the sector, Mike expects more to come, such as new players

have changed quickly. “They have new routes to market, and new suppliers, and it seems to be working for a lot of them.”

www.dealersupport.co.uk MAY 2021 [11]

Our new partner programme is now live Our partner programme is designed to support you and your evolving customer needs, even during these times of great change and uncertainty. At Brother, we pride ourselves on working closely with our partners, to understand your ever-changing individual challenges and goals.

To find out more about our new partner programme and your benefits visit brotherzone.co.uk



Anytime, any place, anywhere Post-pandemic, UK workers are set to embrace new ways of working, be it in the office, at home - or, third option - a coffee shop, pub or anywhere with decent wifi. Does this bring three times the opportunity for the OP sector – or three times the challenge?


he prolonged periods of lockdown

at home, for a variety of reasons, and are looking for

over the past year have affected

alternatives to the office. A pub can offer a socially-

pubs more than most businesses -

distanced table with a plug socket, free wifi, as well as

but, necessity being the mother of

lunch and unlimited tea and coffee – pints are off-limits, for

invention, some enterprising landlords

obvious reasons – for a small fee of about £10 per day.

have, in the periods when they have been allowed to

Venues like these have been popular, too, according to

open their doors, been offering their premises as a place

reports in the press. This demonstrates what is predicted

for people to work from, in a bid to raise their takings.

to be a developing trend as the country gradually reduces

It makes sense; some people may struggle to work

lockdown conditions – working from anywhere.

www.dealersupport.co.uk MAY 2021 [13]



Indeed, recent research by accountants and business

“The rollout of cloud native printing under

advice providers Theta Global Advisors involving more

Microsoft Universal Print, complemented by existing

than 2,000 people found that 57% of workers want to

applications like Brother’s iPrint&Scan, is also giving

choose how and where to work, going forward, in order

workers the means to print from anywhere,

to be more productive, safeguard their mental health,

supporting hybrid working.”

and achieve a better work/life balance.

Andy adds that Brother UK is itself currently transitioning to a more hybrid, flexible working


arrangement. “This means we’re well-positioned to

Andy Johnson, solutions and partner development

be by the side of dealers as they help businesses to

manager at Brother UK, believes that businesses will

facilitate their own switch to a hybrid working set-up.”

embrace more flexible working policies in the longterm after investing in the infrastructure and culture that helped people to work remotely during the pandemic. “Employees need the technology they would usually get in the office to support the productivity and flexibility needed for hybrid working arrangements to be successful, and this includes everything from laptop risers

This presents many reseller opportunities and very few challenges

and monitors, to high spec printers designed for homeoffice use,” he says. “The sector has these solutions in abundance, and dealers are finding success in packaging


them together, under managed services, to give

Jeff May, UK sales director at conferencing and

customers greater control over the costs and maintenance

collaboration specialist Konftel, agrees that the ‘work

of devices used by people working remotely.

from anywhere’ culture is here to stay. He stresses that

“The proliferation of cloud-enabled solutions also

resellers should embrace the wider hybrid workplace

puts the print IT sector in a strong position to enable

ethos, where people switch between their homes and

hybrid working. For example, printing via cloud is

offices, and back again.

allowing managed print services contracts to cover

“There’s no doubt the pandemic has brought about

devices located in offices and employees’ homes, giving

a seismic shift in where and how people work. The days

IT leads oversight of their print fleets while supporting

of working from 9am-5.30pm permanently in an office

employee productivity.

are over for many people. Flexibility, agility and working

[14] MAY 2021




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www.dealersupport.co.uk MAY 2021 [15]



many face-to-face meetings will be replaced by

Flexibility, agility and working from anywhere are taking over

online alternatives in the long-term. “As a result, understanding customers’ wants and needs has never been more important, which creates demand for better data collection and the need to give employees quick and easy access to information. 

from anywhere are taking over; this presents many


reseller opportunities and very few challenges.”

“Being able to facilitate this involves giving the

Jeffs adds that Konftel expects that, in the future,

‘anywhere worker’ access to controlled, secure online

most people will spend some of their time in the office

solutions that display all the core information they

and the remainder working remotely. “Technology

need,” Jayne continues. “Any dealer without online

enables this to happen,” he says. “At the heart of this

order process capability, CRM and analysis is not only

transition is video and audio conferencing, which is now

at risk of struggling, but also missing out on lucrative

a proven alternative to meeting face-to-face.

opportunities as businesses adapt to their new

And, when people do return to offices in bigger

normal. Buying patterns across business verticals will

numbers, rooms will need to be adapted to create

change, and those with the right tools in place will have

more space as part of safer working conditions.

been able to spot these trends early.

“Our technology is based on plug-and-play

“Sales meetings and interactions can now be

functionality which is easy to set up and easy to use.

carried out online, and it’s essential to give your

Take our new Konftel Cam10, which is proving hugely

team the tools they need to remain productive. These

popular. This is a business class webcam which, when

solutions can help recover lost sales, exploit trends,

paired with our compact Ego speakerphone, represents associated products and spend gaps, and enable a complete, high quality, conferencing system for the

dealers to conduct highly informed, knowledgeable

home, office, or wherever people are working.

conversations with customers.

“It’s always important to look and sound your best

“Knowledge is power – ramping up data collection,

to create the finest impression and a more productive

and recording key facts will give your business the

and professional meeting experience.”

chance to demonstrate a real understanding of the new

Jayne Hill, Vecta product manager, agrees that

[16] MAY 2021


norm, perfectly positioning you for future success.” 


get organised today with tomorrow in mind The colourful filing range made from 100% recycled plastics.

For more details please visit www.exaclairlimited.com or call 01553 696600



TOP 3 TIPS for improving wellbeing when working from home The blurring of the lines between work and leisure as most of us had to work from home this past year has been tough. To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May) LEITZ share tips for staying mentally well in the home office

A 1

full year in lockdown, and the struggles

when needed. The Cosy range offers everything from lever

of the pandemic - combined with huge

arch files to multi-drawer desktop filing units to promote

amounts of change - have really taken their

organisation in the home office. When the time comes

toll and highlighted the importance of taking

to permanently dispose of documents that are no longer

proper care of oneself. Here’s Leitz’s advice!

required – which are simply adding to the mess - shredding is the most secure option. Leitz’s IQ range offers manual and


auto-feed machines that fit unobtrusively in a home office,

Did you know that colour has been scientifically proven

helping to ensure safe and convenient disposal.

to impact mood and mental wellbeing? For example,

via décor and accessories is a great way to create the right


environment for supporting mental health. Leitz’s Cosy range

focus while battling symptoms. An air purifier can help provide

offers many office hero products and desk accessories in a wide

relief for pre-existing conditions and fend off future illness.

blue has been found to create a calming mood, while green helps creativity, and bright colours - like yellow and orange - boost energy levels. Bringing colour accents into home office

range of vibrant and stylish colours, making it easy to incorporate the benefits of colour psychology in a stylish and functional way.


AVOID ILLNESS Physical illness, especially in the case of long-term conditions such as asthma or allergies, can really take its

toll on mental clarity and overall wellbeing; it’s difficult to maintain

Leitz’s TruSens range traps pollutants, allergens and germs from the air and destroys them using UltraViolet sterilisation technology, delivering nothing but clean air back into the


room. New to the range are three specialty HEPA (high-

A cluttered inbox is stressful enough, but several

efficiency particulate absorbing) filters, including an allergy

studies have shown that physical clutter in the home

and ‘flu, 3-in-1 filter that captures 99% of airborne allergens,

and office environments can have negative effects on mental health, and are often linked to conditions such as anxiety and

and a pet filter that traps 99.97% of pet dander. We spend the majority of our waking hours in our office

depression. Filing products and storage boxes help to ensure

environments, and the atmosphere in these spaces plays a

that everything has its right place and can easily be located

major role in mental wellbeing. As many staff will continue to work from home in some form, these customers will be looking to design spaces that they actually feel comfortable and motivated to spend their time in. Resellers need to be ready to seize this opportunity to introduce their customers to products that offer solutions to major pain points and help to promote better mental health overall. Get inspired and help your customers create the perfect home office! Visit https://www.leitz.com/en-gb to find out more.

[18] MAY 2021



Create the perfect home office! Our innovative product ranges Leitz IQ Protect Premium Shredders and selected products from the Leitz Cosy Range have been awarded with the 2021 Red Dot Design Award and Leitz TruSens Air Purifier with a 2019 Red Dot design award. Home Office Inspirations with Leitz!




How can the industry help the consumer make greener choices? There has been a step-change in demand for sustainable products so how can the industry improve its offering and make it easier for the end-user to make the green choice?

[20] MAY 2021



Emma Davies-Carolan, European


When it comes to driving more responsible buying choices,

director of marketing, ECI

we believe there is an opportunity to create targeted marketing

The COVID-19 pandemic created

campaigns, reaching out to customers who have previously

a new set of circumstances for

purchased sustainable options to notify them of other sustainable

businesses, prompting a shift in

products in stock. As offices begin to re-open, we expect a rise in

opinions around flexible working,

the number of businesses looking for more sustainable products.

efficiency and sustainability.

Boosting these with their own targeted marketing campaigns can

Many customers now want to enhance and promote their achievements in these areas.

lead to an increase in sales of sustainable items. It’s also important to ensure sales teams are briefed to

Viewed not only as beneficial in its own right, it’s a marketing

promote more sustainable product lines. Implementing a

tool that also helps with staff retention and recruitment.

customer relationship management (CRM) system will help

We encourage our customers to keep track of what’s driving consumer demand, to ensure they’re providing the expected level of service - and also desired product lines. The HorizonWeb

the sales team to prioritise initiatives and create plans to ensure they reach specific targets. Via a CRM tool, they can keep track of previous orders,

software ensures websites can be quickly updated, allowing

frequency, quantity and log customer feedback or key

dealers to easily promote more sustainable product lines when

requests. If a customer is keen to hear about new, more

they come in stock. It’s also important to have detailed product

sustainable, product lines, or interested in switching from one

descriptions, including information about its sustainability profile,

product to another, a CRM system can be relied on to keep

so that business consumers can be armed with all the relevant

track of this information and monitor new opportunities.

details to make an informed purchasing decision.

Promoting sustainable options shouldn’t just be viewed as

Dealers must keep their websites current, ensuring they

a way to drive income; if every business considers how they fit

display up-to-date stock levels, prices and delivery timescales,

within the ecological, social and economic environment real,

in order to avoid disappointing their customers.

long-lasting change can be achieved.

Rob Harper, marketing

their eco-friendly ranges.

director, Prima

However, this is not really the long-term, sustainable solution.

As a software provider, Prima provides

The most effective way to encourage consumers to make

various solutions in which we aim to

good environmental choices is to make ‘green’ the default,

help both the business supplies reseller

and not the option. Sustainability needs to be rooted in every

and the consumer to make the ‘green

product choice available to the consumer - ensuring that there is

choice’. Prima Marketplace provides

no wrong choice for them to make.

the reseller with access to a range of

As millennials and ‘Generation Z‘ become the present and

eco-friendly products and catalogues, helping them to source

future consumers, it’s important that resellers and manufacturers

and procure new, eco-friendly and sustainable products.

can meet the expectations of these consumers around health and

Prima’s central product database stores detailed attribute

sustainable living. These digital-age generations are more health

information, such as if a product is green, fair trade or recyclable;

conscious, socially aware and environmentally responsible, and

this enables the reseller to highlight these items on their

this means that future consumers will expect the same quality

webstores to promote sustainable sales opportunities. Resellers

products, with minimal impact on our planet.

can also create specific order pads containing collections of

By 2030, when buying a new car, it’s likely that we won’t have

sustainable products and promote these on their webstores by

the option to filter by petrol, diesel or electric - the green choice

displaying banners and images across their websites.

will be the default, and the sustainable decision will not be left

These features are very useful to both reseller and

with the consumer to make. It’s a huge change for production

consumer and, as a software solutions provider, we will

and manufacturing in all industries, but one that I believe must be

continue to develop similar features to help resellers promote

met if businesses are to remain relevant in the years to come.

www.dealersupport.co.uk MAY 2021 [21]



Steve Bilton, MD, FusionPlus Data

functionality of the webstores, it’s the lack of availability

I don’t think a week goes by without

of the product data.

our EvolutionX and FusionPlus

Now, the good news is that, thanks to BOSSFED, Martin

data teams being asked by

Eames (PPS) and a committee made up of wholesalers and

dealers, ‘How can we better identify

manufacturers, there is a plan A.

‘green/sustainable/recycled/ recylable’ products?‘ That’s a pretty reasonable

After numerous meetings, this team has now confirmed a selection of new data fields covering plastic inclusion and recycled/recyclable percentages, and we have a process in

question to ask, right? And you’d think it would pretty easy to

play, right now, to request that additional data from a sample

answer too, right?

group of pilot supplier partners covering various categories.

Well, today, it isn’t, but before I explain why not, and

Assuming this goes well, we will roll this same request

what the plan is to start sorting it (yep, there is a plan!) let’s

out to all current and future supplier partners, collate and

understand why they are asking.

store that data, and include it in the products files we make

In the main, this is driven by the dealers’ customers – from small, to medium, to corporate, dealers are increasingly being

available to the software house partners. However, let’s set some realistic expectations here. Firstly, the

hit with requests from their customers to help them more

responsibility of providing this data lies squarely with the product

easily identify, and order, products with ‘green/sustainable’

manufacturers – we, the wholesalers, re-distributors, etc., cannot

credentials - particularly on their e-commerce webstores

make this stuff up; we store and share what we receive.

because, guess what, they want to buy them! It’s not just limited to e-commerce – we’re hearing about

Secondly, even from the pilot submissions, it is clear that many manufacturers are not storing this data currently or, if

a growing number of cases where dealers are being asked to

they are, it could be out-of-date. Accuracy is critical in all things

PROVE they can provide these products before the customer

data, and this is no exception; the manufacturers of the products

will even consider buying anything from them, including

are best-placed to review, correct, keep up-to-date and share.

entire sections of tender documents from the larger customers. For the record, the problem is not the

[22] MAY 2021 www.dealersupport.co.uk

So, while there is a plan, this is not a quick fix…but it is underway!

Available in most popular sizes including 8, 12 , 14 and 21 labels per page: White Labels 70gsm A4 Die Cut Paper Labels on 80gsm backing sheet Pack of 100’s Available in 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 24, 65 Labels per sheet CD/DVD Labels 2 per sheet also available


Get in touch with our team to request a design template for these labels or to enquire about this product.

E: sales@ctstonersupplies.co.uk | T: 01543 474920 | www.ctstonersupplies.co.uk




Fujitsu scanners are helping schools, colleges and universities around the country to improve efficiency in the administration function and enhance learning experiences in the classroom and when required virtually


any industries are undergoing digital transformation, where business functions are

peaks and troughs of workflow. Security has always been paramount for schools - they hold

digitised to reduce the reliance on traditional,

some very sensitive information - but users can rest easy that

paper-based, systems. This process has been

Fujitsu’s equipment is fully secure to protect from any hacking

accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic,

attempts that may occur. It can also help to enhance GDPR

which forced many people to change the

compliance with all regulatory guidelines, throughout all school

way they work as they were now at home, impacting areas such as

departments, making it possible to address any subject access

the administration function within the education sector.

requests in an efficient and timely manner within the required with

Increasing numbers of education establishments are embracing digital technology, such as in the form of

the response and retention periods. Digitisation enables faster access to staff and student

scanners from Fujitsu, to help both improve their efficiency and

information, leading to improved monitoring and execution, and

enable employees to work from wherever they may be – with no

empowered decision-making. This is because information-capture

difference in performance or productivity.

is easier, and more effective, because of enhanced and improved data analytics which, in turn, lead to better-informed outcomes.


Fujitsu’s scanners can also help teachers to be more

There are numerous benefits to digitising administrative and

efficient – something hard-working teachers will welcome.

educational processes - for instance, it means that less space is

The fast scanning of documents frees up more time to focus

required for filing and, in turn, less time to access information.

on other tasks, provide enhanced learning experiences, and

Digitisation offers centralised storage with enhanced security for

achieve a better work-life balance. Scanners can also help to

all information, including client records, authorisations, contracts,

provide enhanced learning experiences, such as using it to

identification and invoices – and it makes it easier to manage the

help teachers to engage with pupils.

[24] MAY 2021






There are various Fujitsu scanners that are ideal for any

Funding has been tight for schools, colleges and universities

educational establishment; for example, the ScanSnap

for many years now, and anything that can help to save money

iX100 is a popular education solution, capable of scanning

is welcomed; Fujitsu’s scanning solutions help to do just that.

anything from receipts, to contracts, to plastic cards. One

Indeed, most establishments that have implemented Fujitsu

of the iX100’s advantages is that it isn’t restricted to the

scanners have reported a full return on their investment within

desktop, but can be taken with you. Completely wireless,

18 months. Then there is the time saving – something that is so

and weighing just 400g, the iX100 brings mobility and

important, but harder to quantify.

wireless scanning to PC or Mac as well as smart devices. In addition, the iX100 offers:

“We are seeing the benefits in various ways,” says Sue Thompson, attendance and bursaries officer, student

• one-button searchable PDF creation;

services, at Ryburn Valley High School in Sowerby

• the ability to scan a colour document in 5.2 seconds;

Bridge, West Yorkshire, “such as communicating with

• ‘direct connect’ mode for Wi-Fi scanning anywhere;

teachers and parents, and improving the student learning

• a ‘dual scan’ facility, which enables two smaller

experience. The amount of time the scanner has saved us is

documents to be scanned at the same time;

astronomical! It’s amazing that one little machine can do so

• paper documents can be scanned directly to your cloud. •

much good.” With schools already preparing for the 2021/22


academic year, now is the time for dealers to be promoting

Meanwhile, the ScanSnap iX1600 is the evolved flagship

scanners to educational customers, explaining the many

model of the ScanSnap series, enabling scanning at speeds

benefits of going digital in order to save time and improve

of 40ppm/80ipm for A4-size documents, in colour, at 300dpi.

efficiency across schools, colleges and universities.

It comes with a 4.3 inch touch screen to bridge the gap where

For more information about the ScanSnap iX100

the physical and digital meet. The device comes with wifi

or the iX1600, including details of prices and how to

connectivity and connects to the ScanSnap Cloud without

purchase, please visit: www.fujitsu.com/uk/products/

access to a PC.


Both scanners are designed to be as easy-to-use as

More information on Fujitsu’s range of scanners for

possible - whether the person operating it has any technical

educational settings can also be found in this video:

knowledge or not - and the speed of these scanners takes time


out of the document administration process, meaning that staff are freed-up to focus on other duties. Teachers will be interested in the ScanSnap SV600

Embrace digital transformation with Fujitsu Document Scanners

contactless scanner, which provides a new perspective on document scanning. Art and craft work, newspapers, magazines, documents and books can all be easily scanned directly, without cutting or damaging them; its size and functionality makes it ideal for the classroom. The ScanSnap SV600 also includes one-button overhead

scanning technology; it can scan bound material and flat documents, scan an A3-size area in less than three seconds, and has book curve, image-flattening, technology – solving an age-old problem for all those teachers who need pages from the middle of a large textbook!

Join Fujitsu’s award winning partner portal today and access a wealth of enablement tools here: https:// partner.imaging-channel-program.com/English/

www.dealersupport.co.uk MAY 2021 [25]



THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX The past year has been tough for Think Business Supplies - but thanks in part to its partnership with Nectere the company has been able to ride out the pandemic. Here’s how they did it.


hen the coronavirus

been a stand-alone office supplies business.

pandemic hit the

“With Amazon and others trying to sell the

UK in March 2020,

same products, and squeeze margins, we

managing director

made the decision in 2017 to join up with

Gary Williams knew

a business partner, Nectere,” he explains.

he had to move

“Nectere source suppliers of things like

quickly to ensure that his business, Bradford-

PPE for Think Business Supplies; we can

based Think Business Supplies, would be

give advice on what we think we should

able to continue. “When the pandemic

buy, but we leave it to Nectere to source

started to kick in we realised that our normal

those products.

stationery and office supplies business wasn’t

“I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but it is easier as

going to be there, so we had to look at other

a small dealer with a large company behind

areas we could diversify into,” he says.

us. I don’t believe that, if we were a stand-

Spotting an opportunity, Think Business Supplies quickly launched a range of PPE supplies, with the help of Nectere, its

alone dealer, we would have been able to survive the past 18 months.” Indeed, Gary doesn’t believe that small

business partner. “This included sanitisers

independent dealers can survive in the

and masks and, at one stage, we were also

long-term today without either a buying

asked for things like body bags, which was

group or someone like Nectere behind them,

quite unusual, but it was what our customers

and he recommends that smaller dealers

wanted at the time; we were speaking to a lot

should consider partnering with companies

of hospitals and NHS Trusts.”

like Nectere. “My advice to them is to talk

Gary says that Think Business has coped

to the likes of Nectere and see what they

well with the effects of the pandemic, but

can do,” he says. “It isn’t right for every

that it would have been more difficult had it

business model but, if you want to grow your

[26] MAY 2021




business, they can help.” While Nectere take care of the sourcing and supply side of the business, Gary handles the everyday running of Think Business Supplies, as well as the sales side, with the help of a couple of account managers. BUILT ON RELATIONSHIPS In relation to sales, Gary is a big believer in getting on the ‘phone and – when conditions allow – visiting customers to develop long-lasting relationships with them. This is something he has fostered since Think Business was formed in 2005, after many years spent in various sales roles at other companies in the industry. “It’s what we do – pick up the ‘phone and ring customers,” he says.

We have to proactively talk to them about the products and services we offer “Customers don’t ring you, and they have so much choice now, with the likes of Amazon. Amazon promotes its business through its website but, as a small dealer, we can’t afford to rely on our customers looking at our website; we have to proactively talk to them about the products and services we offer. That’s how we have built the business up over the years.” Indeed, building long-lasting relationships with customers is at the heart of Think Business Supplies. “There is nothing like speaking to customers,” says Gary. “We do some e-marketing, but I always get people to chase that up. We are always on the ‘phone talking to customers

www.dealersupport.co.uk MAY 2021 [27]



deal with everything for them.

With us, you always speak to the same person. We’ll never be faceless

has changed. While many customers are

“Some of the bigger players chop and

tentatively planning a return to the office,

change account managers, put customers

Gary believes they won’t buy in the same

through to a call centre; you never speak to the

way they used to pre-pandemic. “Customers

same person. With us, you always speak to the

won’t buy, say, as much paper as they used to,

same person. We’ll never be faceless. We have a

as there aren’t as many people coming back

list of the products they buy and know when to

to the office; their buying patterns will have

give them a call and talk to them about it.”

changed in terms of quantity.


will change too; 2021 will be tough for any

competes with larger players in the

Looking forward, Gary is acknowledges that

dealer out there but, as long as we keep trying

sector. “The smaller dealers don’t beat the big

trading conditions are likely to remain trying

to provide customers with a service and

boys on price all the time – although

for the remainder of 2021, but is optimistic

products when they want them, and how

we are competitive - we offer a personal service

that Think Business Supplies will make it

they want them, we should survive this.

to our customers. We make sure they speak to

through and grow. “There is always more

the right account manager who has been with

business out there to go after,” he says.

about our products and services.” This is how Think Business Supplies

them for years and will go out to them, and

[28] MAY 2021


“The world has changed, and the industry

However, he accepts that the marketplace

“It won’t be easy, but you need that optimistic mindset to survive. Failure isn’t an option.”

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INDUSTRY NEWS AND INSIGHT Make sure your team are up to speed with the latest industry developments Sign them up now at www.dealersupport.co.uk

[30] MAY 2021

dealersupport.co.uk/contact | info@intelligentmedia.co.uk




Education is key for pushing sustainable paper products The paper and paper products industry has worked hard to be sustainable over the past 15 years, but consumers don’t always know about this – and this is something dealers and suppliers can help with


ith climate change and its effects

context of sustainable development. In the office environment, paper and paper

and paper products. “Trends in packaging in relation to plastic

climbing the news

products are some of the most-used resources,

waste have also brought paper packaging

and political agendas

so it is understandable that customers

products to the forefront; dealers need to consider

in recent years, the

are looking to ensure that they buy from

all paper products coming from sustainable

issue is also becoming

sustainable sources.

sources with a transparent supply chain.”

more of a concern for consumers, both

Brad Goldsmith, marketing services

businesses and individuals, who want to do


manager at Premier Paper Group, agrees

the right thing environmentally.

The paper industry has been focusing on

that most paper available in today’s market

sustainability for some time. “In the pulp and

is sourced from sustainable manufacturers,

in where things come from and how they

“Generally, there is an increasing interest

paper industry, well-managed sources have

produced to the highest environmental

are made, heightened by COVID, and their

been high on the agenda for over 15 years in

standards, and recyclable. “The bigger focus

connection to local surroundings,” says Dr Liz

relation to global forestry standards - PEFC,

is still a reduction in carbon emissions;

Wilks, European director for sustainability and

FSC and, latterly, the EUTR,” explains Liz. “The

evidence of this can be seen in the popularity

stakeholder engagement at APP. She notes that

industry has been working in this vein and, for

of Premier’s carbon capture programme with

Globescan, in its Global Sustainability Leaders

some customers, the industry is already ahead

over 600 companies now fully signed-up

Survey 2020, showed that climate change was

of expectation having defined what is to be

to this environmental initiative that allows

the top concern of the private sector in this

expected of ‘environmentally friendly’ paper

businesses to mitigate the CO2 emissions

www.dealersupport.co.uk MAY 2021 [31]



“Our web and social media activity supports our education on the benefits of climate-friendly products, along with the fact our products are manufactured in the Yorkshire Dales, reducing the emissions that would be created if transporting from further afield.” Lawrence Savage, marketing manager at Exaclair, adds that for dealers to effectively educate customers, they primarily need to be able to build and tell the environmental story around the item. “To enable them to do this, suppliers should be able to highlight what makes the product ‘eco-friendly’ and illustrate how this impacts positively upon the environment or society,” he explains. “As well as being awarded the DIN 6738 standard - which guarantees 50 years of archival quality - most from their paper purchases, and directly

of our Guildhall professional and legal filing

support the Woodland Trust.”

is Blue Angel™ accredited, which is a stringent

In order to ensure that customers understand this, and purchase products in line with their ethics, education is important, says Brad. “The relationship between dealers and their customers is important and, as such, it’s part of the dealer’s role to help educate their clients on the best environmental products and

There is an increasing interest in where things come from and how they are made

practices - helping them to make an educated

marketing support materials to help dealers to firstly understand these credentials, and then to transfer this knowledge on to the consumer.” WILLING TO PAY Education is important because evidence shows that consumers are willing to pay a little

decision when it comes to choosing the right product for them,” he says.

environmental standard. We offer a range of

more for paper and paper products that are and succinct format in the shape of the ‘Green

sustainable. “With greater access to the details

Star’ system. This scheme awards a zero-to-5

around eco-friendly products, people are


star rating on all paper and board, supported

becoming more aware of the processes involved

Paul Savill, product manager, office and digital

by an easy-to-follow matrix. It acts as a guide

in their manufacturing. A key report has

at Antalis, agrees that education is needed.

indicating to purchasers the environmental

indicate that consumers are willing to pay up to

“Every day consumers are presented with a

origins such as FSC, PEFC and recycled

5% more for environmentally-friendly items,”

variety of messages on packaging or online

content, as well as the manufacturing processes

says Lawrence. “Additional research also shows

whenever they purchase goods or services.

of each individual product, such as ISO14001

that 74% of consumers state that they would

Some of this can be simple and easy to

and the EU Ecolabel.”

pay more for sustainable packaging.

understand, but some of it is bewilderingly

A spokesperson for Sinclairs also

complex, often leaving the purchaser unsure

agrees that getting the message right on the

growing number of organisations are

about what they are buying,” he says. “While

sustainability of products is crucial. “At Sinclairs

now implementing ‘green office’ initiatives

it’s clear that buyers and consumers want to

we’ve led the UK climate-friendly development

and developing more environmentally-

do their bit for the environment, the question

in the core stationery category, which the

aware procurement policies. Naturally, as

would appear to be, ‘Are we doing enough to

wholesalers have all been highly supportive for

innovations within ecological

help them make these informed choices?’

many years. We attempt to educate office-based

manufacturing techniques continue to

consumers via the dealer community, who are a

advance, we should see the associated

vital link in the education of B2B consumers.

costs become more effective.”

“For several years Antalis has looked to assist buyers and consumers using a simple

[32] MAY 2021


“It’s not surprising to see that a

C O M PAT I B L E S inspiring success


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IT PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 What to expect for the year ahead

PHIL JONES Brother UK’s MD talks learning and leadership


MARKETING Why now is the time

0203 794 8555 info@intelligentmedia.co.uk [34] JANUARY 2021


Issue 296





2020 VISION New products and categories

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February 2020






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January 2020


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DELIVERING WHAT’S BEEN PROMISED Steve McKeever’s advice for dealers BREAKING INTO EDUCATION Making your way in a lucrative sector



Print plays its part in sustainability Environmental concerns among businesses mean that printing is being looked at in order to try and reduce waste and CO2 emissions - but it goes much further than just printing less... he coronavirus

customers are adopting different tactics

deployment’, applying the perfect balance

pandemic has

over and beyond print management. For

of minimising your carbon footprint while

had many effects

example, data analysis solutions help identify

maximising productivity, and MPS is a

on business over

which processes can be easily automated

perfect vehicle for realising this even further.”

past months but,

to improve outcomes, ultimately helping

Michele Mabilia, head of product

arguably, one of the

them print less through the deployment

marketing at Kyocera Document Solutions

few positives was the acceleration of digital

of workflow automation solutions. Our

(U.K.) Ltd, agrees that customer demands

transformation for numerous companies,

customers’ sustainability targets also mean

are changing. “Environmental sustainability

which has helped to drive efficiencies,

they look to their partners/the supply chain

has become a significant motivator for

including in printing.

to ensure they’re doing all they can to reduce

decisions in every strata of society” he says.

their own carbon footprint.”

“Critically, more organisations are publicly


“As part of this transformation, more processes are automated or digitised to

Richard Wells, head of business sales

seeking to reduce their environmental

achieve efficiencies, so the knock-on effect

at Epson UK, adds that ‘print as a service’

impact through more sustainable business

is people are printing less,” says Cameron

has grown in popularity. “The term ‘fit-

practices, supply chains and procurement.

Mitchell, business unit leader (partner

and-forget’ is how we like to describe

Sustainability in office printing has become

channel) at Konica Minolta Business

the relationship businesses have grown

a key aspect of wider corporate social

Solutions (UK) Ltd. “A positive by-product

to expect with their printers,” he says.

responsibility objectives.”

is the sustainability aspect of printing less.

“All of the function, none of the burdens.

At the same time, customers are demanding

Consequently, ‘print as a service’ has

sustainability audits find plenty of

print solutions that enable them to be more

boomed as a further means of minimising

opportunities to leverage print in a more

proactive in terms of controlling what

the hassle for businesses in buying,

environmentally positive way.” Michele adds

they’re printing, as they strive to reduce costs

maintaining, replenishing and generally

that these break down into three areas:

and be more sustainable.

managing their printers.

“Konica Minolta’s print management solutions provide this control - but

“Epson’s approach to outfitting the workplace is to encourage a ‘green balanced

“Organisations that undergo

Choosing the right equipment vendor, based on their track record and demonstrable commitment

www.dealersupport.co.uk MAY 2021 [35]



says. “Pull print and ID printing functionality is cutting paper waste, for example, while new inkjets are providing lower power alternatives to energy-conscious customers.”

98% of the spent cartridges were being recycled/ repurposed, with the remaining 2% incinerated as energy fuel RECYCLING

to sustainability, e.g. ISO 14001

journeys and associated environmental impact.

Gemmer adds that recycling also plays an

environmental certification

Similarly, this data is also used for preventative

important role. “Customers increasingly

Understanding the environmental

maintenance on devices, which keeps them

want sustainable ways of disposing their

sustainability of vendors’

running smoothly with less downtime – again

print cartridges and toners,” she says. “More

manufacturing processes for

minimising trips to our client’s sites.”

than 159,000 toner cartridges were returned

printers and MFP components ●

for recycling by UK customers to our

Evaluating to what extent using


dedicated plant in North Wales, up 10% on

printers and MFPs can contribute to

The drive to sustainability is also

the previous 12 months.”

sustainability objectives throughout

encouraging innovation. For instance,

their life cycle.

Nick Brooks, commercial manager

Toshiba has a range of hybrid MFPs that

at CTS Toner Supplies Ltd, agrees. “All

Much of this comes down to being

can print with erasable blue toner as well as

our product has the crossed-out wheelie

responsible and transparent with partners

standard toner. “Most printed documents are

bin WEEE symbol which encourages

and customers, says Deyon Antoine, product

thrown away the same day they are printed,

appropriate, environmentally-friendly

manager for Toshiba Tec UK. Deyon believes

creating an enormous amount of paper

disposal. Awareness of managed disposal has

that managed print services can help from

waste. This device allows users to use the

increased, and CTS is happy to work with

environmental standpoint. “Ease of servicing

same sheet of paper over and over again.”

dealers to provide a suitable solution.

and repair is very much in the interest of

Gemmer Crozier, sustainable

the manufacturers and this has resulted in

development co-ordinator at Brother

partner, Zero Waste Recycling, that boasts

devices that can long outlast printers which

UK, agrees, saying that new systems are

zero landfill and, from our recent data,

are not designed for this business model.

increasingly being scored against their ability

98% of the spent cartridges were being

to help firms to cut waste, energy use or

recycled/repurposed, with the remaining 2%

connectivity in their devices to benefit the

emissions, and suppliers’ green credentials

incinerated as energy fuel.”

environment. Our service teams diagnose

are being put under the microscope as buyers

issues remotely, meaning they can ensure

strive to reduce the environmental impact of

written off from a green perspective either.

they have the correct part to fix a device

their supply chains.

“These are also fully recyclable, if handled

“Toshiba has been leveraging the greater

before attending the client’s site – hugely

“The sector has a wealth of products,

“We work with an independent recycling

He adds that compatibles should not be

correctly, and all the constituent parts –

increasing the first-visit fix rate. Fewer trips

tools and services that are collectively helping

plastics, metals, residual toner powder – can

to the site drastically cut the number of

clients to achieve their sustainability goals,” she

be repurposed into other products.”

[36] MAY 2021




Can you give your customers big business benefits for a small price?

Xerox® VersaLink® family of office printers. Big features. Small price. Built-in security. Offer a true differentiator to customers and new ongoing profitable revenue for you. xerox.co.uk/partners ©2019-2020 Xerox Corporation. All rights reserved. Xerox® and VersaLink® are trademarks of Xerox Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

www.dealersupport.co.uk MAY 2021 [37]



It ain’t easy being green Increasing numbers of office products are being labelled as ‘environmentally friendly’ and ‘sustainable’, but what really makes a product ‘green’ - and how can dealers help customers to make the right choices when it comes to such products?

onsumer buying habits


some time.

“A combination of factors plays into

shifted in many ways

“It’s not just the younger generation

whether a product can be considered ‘green,’

during the pandemic

taking notice,” says Elisabete Wells, regional

such as the materials it is made of, how it is

– most notably the rise

marketing director, ACCO UK and Ireland.

produced, and how recyclable it is once its

in online purchasing

“With the rise of working from home, users

usable lifespan has ended,” says Elisabete.

– but we also saw an

have become choosier and are making more

These are criteria which ACCO

increased focus on buying environmentally

conscious decisions about the products they

strives to meet in the products it offers, as

friendly products. Research by energy

bring into their homes, and spend their

demonstrated by the fact that no fewer than

company E.ON found, in a survey of small

own money on. As a result, we are seeing

2,300 products carry third party certified

business owners and consumers from across

more and more customers choose greener

eco-labels such as FSC and Blue Angel, she

the UK, that 65% felt it’s important that the


points out. “We have also gathered further

products or services they buy do not harm the environment. This shift to ‘green’ products has also

However, there is no set definition

indicates that these products are made of

different manufacturers have different

recycled materials, and are easily recycled.”

been experienced in the office products

interpretations - although it is accepted that

sector, and the trend has been developing for

there are certain traits which must be there.

[38] MAY 2021


green credentials data on 1,400 SKUs, which

of what constitutes a ‘green’ product, and

Stuart Seymour, European sales and marketing director at Hopax Europe Ltd,



AD www.dealersupport.co.uk MAY 2021 [39]



agrees that green credentials are important.

compromise on quality or performance.

“An increasing number of consumers are

Consumers have every right to expect

searching for ‘green’ products, so the supply

that an environmentally-friendly pen, for

with less’ principle which represents the

chain, manufacturers, importers, wholesalers

example, writes without drying up after a

company’s aim to reduce the ecological

and resellers all have a responsibility to develop

few hours’ use, and doesn’t skip or blob.

impact of its production while preserving

and fulfil the needs of the marketplace. “Knowing that you have easy-to-

“The majority of our EnerGel range and our mechanical pencils - are refillable,

materials,” he says. He adds that Pilot has a ‘do better

their standards of quality and innovation. “Pilot Pen UK is now a climate-neutral

understand products with green credentials

so there’s no need to throw away a perfectly

company under the Climate Partner

can help dealers to demonstrate that they share

usable product,” she says. “End-users are

Programme,” he explains. “This means that

similar ethical beliefs to their customers.”

currently more prepared to buy refillable

we have calculated our greenhouse gas

products than at any other time, with many

emissions, and we are continuously looking

options in its ‘stick’n’ sticky note brand, each

For instance, Hopax has developed four

now actually seeking refills for their pens

to reduce them, and address unavoidable

with distinct features and benefits for the

and pencils. Dealers have recognised that,

emissions through carbon offset projects.”

environment, such as making them from

far from being low-value items that some

Paul Smith, director of sales and

recycled consumer and factory waste or,

were reluctant previously to stock, end-user

marketing for Mitsubishi Pencil Co. UK Ltd,

in the case of its ECO Notes, using 64gsm

demand for refills means that they are now

adds that sustainability isn’t about ‘green-

paper, rather than the usual 70gsm paper,

becoming mainstream products to offer.

washing’ or the products a company makes.

so that fewer trees are cut down. “Also, the

“In the case of pens and markers,

“Rather, it’s about being honest; looking at

lighter weight of each pad makes less of an

longer writing length also results in less

the business as a whole and putting tangible

environmental footprint when the product is

waste, which is important for non-refillable

actions in place to reduce the impact on the

being transported,” Stuart adds.

products. Longevity, combined with quality

environment,” he says.

products that are fit-for-purpose, not only


results in less waste, but offers better value

In the pen sector, too, there are several

for money too.”

factors to consider in relation to what makes

The Pilot Pen Company (UK) Ltd, agrees

longevity, says Wendy Vickery, marketing

that there are various factors which go into a

manager at Pentel.

‘green’ product above just being made from

“So-called ‘green’ ranges should address no one-size-fits-all definition of a ‘green’

recyclable material, or presented in plasticfree packaging. “You need to look beyond the end-

product, Pentel believes that having a

product to the philosophy of the company

minimum of 50% recycled material, or being

that makes the it, and the manufacturing

refillable - ideally both - are key differentiators

processes, as these are often more impactful

between ‘green’ and standard products.

on the environment than the products in

“But, of course, there should be no

terms of CO2 contribution and use of raw

[40] MAY 2021


our products and limit plastic consumption.

Stuart Barker, marketing manager at

a product ‘green’ - such as refillability and

key issues of sustainability and, while there’s

“Our refill pen ranges extend the life of

Products with green credentials can help dealers to demonstrate that they share similar ethical beliefs to their customers



Each note leads to a greener world

FSC® COC Certified

Recycled Notes

Kraft Notes Earthy touch for all nature lovers Multiple sizes to choose from Ideal material for handcrafting and drawing

www.dealersupport.co.uk MAY 2021 [41]



Our plastic-free packaging (PFP) leads the way in the industry. Made with vegetable inks, using an eco-friendly manufacturing process, this completely biodegradable packaging is available across our key ranges. Since introducing PFP we have seen a 77% reduction in our plastic use. Our PFP has another environmental advantage; it is slimmer, so you can fit more product in the same amount of space. The result? A saving

e-commerce sites, as well as dedicated

I believe that there will be a renewed vigour and interest in the purchase of sustainable or green products

catalogue pages. Across all channels, there should be clear and consistent icons used that indicate green credentials, so the customer knows exactly what they are getting, at a glance.” Julia Vorley, marketing manager at AF International, adds: “To promote these products effectively, manufacturers seek to provide dealers with as much marketing

of 30% space, on average, meaning fewer

support and educational material as

road deliveries.”

possible, illustrating the differences

He adds that the company has taken other measures to increase its environmental credibility. “Moving to new premises in 2018

appropriate communications channels such

between a green product and one that

as emails and magazines.

does not consider sustainability.

“In their communications, it’s important

“An example of this would be to provide

has resulted in a 45% efficiency saving, and

to highlight why these are better choices

rich content to dealers illustrating green

we’ve decreased our C02 emissions from

for the environment - if possible, they can

icons/logos, explaining them, and offering to

company cars by 42%.”

also offer an introductory price to entice

produce completely bespoke material focusing

consumers to try and purchase these - and,

on the ‘green’ range. We as manufacturers


to build loyalty, they can also run a form

have to be the champions of our products and

There are clearly many green ranges

of loyalty programme or eco-partnership

illustrate the features clearly.”

available – but dealers need to know all

that incentivises consumers for continuing

about what makes them green so that they

to choose ‘green’ office products. As a

purchasing of green products will only

can sell them effectively to customers.

manufacturer, we can easily provide them

continue in 2021 and beyond. “Following a

A spokesperson for Avery says

Julia believes that the trend for increased

with the right products, assets and content

horrific year, in which the world has been

awareness and education are key to

to help promote these.“Dealers should,

dominated by the pandemic, I believe that

promoting eco-friendly office products.

therefore, make it as easy as possible for

there will be a renewed vigour and interest

“Dealers can then list ‘green’ products

their customers to find these products.

in the purchase of sustainable or green

alongside the standard range, and provide

Green products deserve their own landing

products because climate change as an issue

visibility of these on their website and

pages, categories, and clear visibility on

has not vanished!”

[42] MAY 2021





CREATING NEW FROM OLD The STABILO GREEN plastic pens are manufactured from up to 87% recycled plastics – meaning that natural resources such as water and energy are conserved and piles of rubbish are reduced. For more information on the STABILO GREEN range of products please contact us on sales.uk@stabilo.com or 01628 769170 www.dealersupport.co.uk MAY 2021 [43]



LIVE IT Life hack Polish copper with ketchup. Put a dollop of ketchup on a rag, sprinkle salt on top, then rub the mixture on your copper pots or mugs the next time you’re in a rush without a proper polish.

Hugs for heroes


BBC News has reported that a group of volunteers have raised funds for up to 2,500 goody bags to be given to staff at a hospital in Wrexham. ‘Hugs for Heroes’ was inspired after an ICU nurse ‘broke down’ on the ‘phone over the stresses of the pandemic while she spoke to local jeweller Ruth Rees. Ruth said that she had sent a letter


informing a customer, the ICU nurse, that her payments were overdue; the nurse explained that she was sorry, and “under a lot of pressure” right now. This made Ruth realise how hard the pandemic had been on NHS staff, and she wanted to thank them for all their hard work. The bags include thank you cards, vouchers, chocolates and hand creams, which are all designed to be ‘hugs’. The Wrexham Maelor Hospital Shooting Star


cancer support unit said staff felt thankful to be shown this appreciation.

Quote of the month Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong. - Ella Fitzgerald

[44] MAY 2021





Did you know?

In 1981, a black lab named Bosco was elected honorary mayor of Sunol, California.

A unique purple sea sponge has been named by a nineyear-old girl, a decade after it was first discovered, BBC News has reported. The new sponge species was found in the north Norfolk chalk beds by volunteer divers in 2011, and had remained nameless since then. In January the Marine Conservation


1. Which colour is found on 75% of the world’s flags? 2. If you were to watch the Marvel Cinematic Universe films in chronological order, which would come first? 3. What is the name of the evil headteacher in Matilda? 4. What year was Irn Bru invented? 5. What is the collective noun for a group of rattlesnakes? Answers: 1. Red 2. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) – it takes place during WWII 3. Miss Trunchbull 4. 1901 5. A rhumba

Playing the name game

Society (MCS) asked local schoolchildren to suggest ideas. Langham Village

Knock me down with a feather

School pupil Sylvie chose ‘Parpal Dumplin’ because

Monkeying around

“the sponge is purple and

Elon Musk’s brain implant company, Neuralink, has released a video

it looks like a dumpling”. A panel of MCS experts

showing how it has taught a monkey - Pager, a nine-yearold macaque - to play the video game Pong with its mind alone, Sky News has reported. The video follows Mr

‘unanimously agreed’ that

Musk’s assertion in February that the company has “a monkey with a

Sylvie’s suggestion should

wireless implant in their skull, with tiny wires” which it uses to play video

be the official name. “The

games. Neuralink Corporation previously claimed to have implanted similar,

spelling gives the sponge a strong connection to

coin-sized, wireless sensors in the brains of two pigs. According to the company, the technology could contribute to finding a cure for neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia and spinal cord injuries.

Norfolk”, they said.

www.dealersupport.co.uk MAY 2021 [45]



Bringing hope, peace and unity to the good brethren of the business supplies community

The good Father discusses his hopes for winning the ‘Stationer of the Year‘ competition


ell folks, its that

building, and everyone chanting and

with the flies in your hair and the

time of year again

waving banners proclaiming me as the

piranhas at your feet...

when stationers

king of the office supplies world.

from all over the land gather to hear

Some people act as if they can’t be

My only hope is that my application has arrived in office

bothered to enter - to them it‘s almost

products headquarters and that, this

the results of the most prestigious

like an insignificant event that

year, my name might be mentioned as

competition in the office supplies

doesn’t seem important enough to

a finalist. I‘ve listed my achievements

industry - Stationer of the Year.

even take part in, and I just can‘t

over the last 40 years and, as usual, I‘ve

understand that. Where is their

pointed out that we are a traditional

dashed but for one office supplies

sense of achievement? Are they

stationer and not one who uses fancy

company it can mean that their

content to sell office products and

computer systems to send out our

lifetime‘s ambitions can be fulfilled

make no money and deal with

goods. Everything is still done in the

in one clean shot. I‘ve entered the

shortages and customer complaints

old way - although I have to admit we

competition each year for the last

without any reward? Surely not.

have a fax machine now, so I hope that

Hearts are broken, hopes are

45 years and while I‘ve never been

The prizes themselves are worth

doesn’t count against us.

included in the top 20 I still nurture

competing for, although the prestige

the dream. The dream of parading

would be the real prize for me. A week

desire to enter, and that you do well in

around the village with the king of

canoeing in the Amazon without oars

the competition; after all, we all need

office supplies crown perched on my

is on offer this year; just imagine that,

something to cheer us up now and again

head, bunting flowing from every

free-flowing up the mighty Amazon

even though we love the industry.

[46] MAY 2021


I hope that your business has the



Becoming a success at sustainability COSMOS tell us about their sustainabilty journey which includes taking part in the Weaver programme WHAT IS THE WEAVER






Weaver is a social sustainability

Through initial direction provided

programme for businesses, designed

by Weaver, our sustainability team

to assist in implementing sustainable

were able to identify new suppliers,

practices relating to carbon footprint,

strengthening our sustainable

waste management, single-use

offering. We can now offer sustainable

packaging, sustainable products and

alternatives for 45% of the non-

social responsibility. Since day one we

sustainable products we sold in Q1

have always looked for opportunities to

last year.

implement sustainable practices within our business; the Weaver programme


provides a platform for us to measure our


progress in the most prominent areas.


Given the global pandemic, and the WHAT DOES SUSTAINABILITY MEAN

effect that had on the demand of


single-use PPE products, our PPE

Sustainability within Cosmos means

recycling offering was the most

consciously choosing to behave

effective sustainability strategy

responsibly and to contribute to more

implemented over the past year. PPE

than our own success. We are committed

recycling boxes, sent with prepaid

to making a difference, and that means

return labels, proved an easy way for

looking outside our own company, and

customers to recycle PPE products

giving back where we can.

such as masks and gloves.


The Weaver programme was easy to follow, and its points system made it clear from the outset what was required to achieve the gold accreditation in each area and,from the outset, Nicola - the head of our sustainability team - was relentless in pursuit of gold accreditation in all five areas. The support we received was excellent, and the feedback provided throughout was invaluable.

www.dealersupport.co.uk MAY 2021 [47]

THE independent event for UK dealers PUT THIS IN YOUR DIARY! Thursday 21st October 2021 Ricoh Arena, Coventry

Profile for Intelligent Media Solutions

Dealer Support May issue  

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