|Vol 0538, November 26, 2008|
Another reason to believe M&A activity will increase is that when a company struggles, it often leads to a sale or merger, says David Woods, CEO of Adventures in Advertising (asi/109480). "In more difficult economic times, people are more interested in consolidating," he says. "They often get financially extended and seek to team up with a larger company. They may not like the price, but they need to do something. People are considering business combinations that they wouldn't have considered last year. M&A activity will pick up."
Network Acquires GWS Inc.
Boundless Network (asi/143717) has acquired Minneapolis-based GWS Inc. (asi/200095), a family-owned distributorship with sales "of more than $7 million," according to a press release. Terms of the deal were not revealed. "GWS wants to run fast and grow," says Jason Black, Boundless CEO. "They are progressive, embrace change and have an appreciation for the value of technology. They fit our brand and culture, and that for us, is a key criteria."
GWS, formed in 1931, helps strengthen Boundless' presence in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. A new office will be opened that combines both companies into one location. Former GWS owner Michael Fink will stay active with Boundless as a managing director and continue to sell."Boundless is in heavy-growth mode and looking to find entrepreneurial distributors that see a benefit in partnering with us and creating a win-win relationship," says Black. "This industry has hundreds and hundreds of really talented distributors and they have built solid businesses that they want to grow but need a good partner to grow. We provide innovative technology and financial stability, which enables GWS and its principals to get back into selling, which they do best."
Promotes Eric Belcher to President
Steven E. Zuccarini, CEO of InnerWorkings, said Belcher impressed the company's board of directors with his leadership abilities. Belcher initially joined the distributorship in June 2005 as executive vice president of operations and one year later, oversaw InnerWorkings's sales, marketing and operations departments, to name a few, all while serving as COO.
"This promotion reflects [my] and the board of directors' confidence in Eric's ability to lead our organization to become the first $1 billion provider of outsourced print and promotional solutions," Zuccarini says. InnerWorkings posted $288 million in revenue last year and is expected to earn $450 to $490 million in 2008. The company grew 97% from 2006 to 2007.
"InnerWorkings is a tremendous company with a great future and significant growth opportunities in satisfying our clients' enterprise print and promotional needs," Belcher says. "I am proud of this recognition and I look forward to working with our leadership team to create a rewarding environment for our employees while continuing to deliver value to our customers, suppliers and shareholders."
InnerWorkings is a publicly traded company operating under the stock symbol INKW. The company's portfolio includes a range of clients, including those in the advertising, consumer products, publishing and retail industries.
Invite To ASI New York
Wondering about the best modes of transportation to get to this week's ASI Show in New York City? Well, so was Counselor Managing Editor Joe Haley. In this special video, Joe discusses the various ways that somebody can get into New York from different points in the area, and he even takes you along as he makes the trip across the river by ferry from New Jersey straight to New York's Javits Convention Center.
Ida Schaffer, mother of Soundline LLC President and Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York Past President Joel Schaffer, passed away in San Diego surrounded by her family on May 4. She was 92. Many remember her appearance at the Promotions East trade show selling T-shirts for the SAAGNY Foundation and the custom-made bumper sticker that hung from her walker during the hall of fame ceremony that read, “My Son is a Hall of Fame Inductee.” She is survived by son, Joel and his wife, Alyse; daughter, Mariellen; four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Activewear Rings In 20th Anniversary with Open House
Marketing director Margaret Crow said open houses like this one help foster customer and vendor relations. "This knowledge helps them in their [business] operations," Crow says. "Our customers have played a significant role in helping S&S Activewear reach the 20-year milestone, and the open house not only says ‘thank you,' but that we're also looking forward to many more years of doing business together."Founded in 1988, S&S Activewear is a national apparel wholesaler stocking 56 leading brands of imprintable apparel, from basic garments to fashion-forward styles.
New Hires Are Top Biz Concern
A severe lack of available talent is the top concern among American businesses, according to a recent survey conducted by Deloitte Consulting LLP and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS). Nearly three-quarters of the 400-plus human resources professionals surveyed were most concerned with the lack of available talent right now. Sixty percent of organizations with annual revenues of less than $100 million ranked "shortage, motivation and retention of qualified talent" as their top challenge over the course of the next three years. These findings are cause for concern for distributors who are having trouble finding staff. However, the silver lining is that the trend presents a wealth of business opportunities for distributors, as clients will increasingly be looking to implement incentive programs to attract and retain their best employees
"The workforce is shrinking and our clients want to make sure they keep the people they enjoy having there," says Lisa Buehler, owner of Allegra Print & Imaging (asi/372419). "They don't want them to go somewhere else." Buehler's clients offer gifts for Administrative Professionals Week (mouse pads and other desk items) as well as gifts for the holidays (umbrellas, polo shirts and jackets).
Regular recognition is best, says Win Oppel, president of AD-MERICA (asi/107275), "employers need to say thank you on consistent basis to have a more loyal employee base. … We've seen a cultural shift in our country. Employees used to stay at a job for 40 years. Today, my kids may have 12 or 13 jobs before they retire."
The dwindling talent pool, though, has affected some distributors as well. Jan Mitchell, owner of Express Yourself (asi/190996), was recently put in an uncomfortable situation. Her salesperson and friend asked for a significant spike in her commission percentage. "It was a touchy situation because she is a friend. I met her halfway. … The grass is always greener on the other side. Small companies can't afford to fight to keep people if they want to leave."
Exporting For Growth Seminar
ASI member affiliate UPS, in conjunction with the U.S. Commercial Service, is offering a free seminar next month that's titled "Exporting for Growth." The session, which is geared specifically toward small and mid-size companies, is designed to give American firms advice on how to tap into the global marketplace and expand their business internationally. The seminar will take place on May 15 and will be held in the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. For more information and to register, go to www.ups.com/exportgrowth.
Americhip (asi/120935) won four Elan Awards for card
manufacturing excellence from the International Card Manufacturers
Chocolate Inn (asi/44900) unveils its new 2008-09 catalog on May 15.
Crystal D (asi/47759) provides staffers with a monthly fuel card through its Employee Fuel Assistance Program. The amount varies based on the commuting distance to work.
CSE (asi/42970) was named one of the "Top 10 Small Businesses of 2008" by the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Times.
Hospitality Mints (asi/61820) and A La Carte (asi/30350) have partnered to create a new line of Hospitality Mints packaged in A La Carte custom containers. The initial line includes three Hospitality Mint products offered in six different A La Carte gift and promotional containers.
One Stop (asi/75085) has released its 2008 Enza "It's All in the Details" catalog.
Promotional products speaker and coach Rosalie Marcus has launched www.promobizwoman.com, an educational and networking site for women in the ad specialty industry.
Pro Towels Etc. (asi/79750) now offers the Cutter & Buck golf towel collection.
The Vernon Company (asi/351700) honored the winners of
its 2007 Galaxy Awards competition for excellence in promotional
product program planning and execution:
On The Move
Absorbent, Ink. (asi/295819) hired Mark Eckert and Dustin Holt as client services assistant managers. Laura McCorkill also was promoted to this post.
Commotion Promotions Ltd. (asi/166010) named Mandy Husted as account executive in its Phoenix office.
Newton Manufacturing Co. (asi/283300)
has hired13 new sales representatives: Colleen Pace, Richard
Sistek, Jeannie Compter, Dean Gayle and William Shaw in the
Eastern states; Ron Sudduth, Gooder Grafix Inc., Patrick
Hebert and Janet
Opre in Southern U.S.; and All In One Promos Inc., Nancy Fine,
Don Strasser and Main Street Inc. in the Central states.
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The following are the dates and locations for The ASI Show in 2008:
Plus, don't miss the ASI Advantages Roadshow, the industry's #1 traveling show. Visit www.advantagesroadshow.com for the complete 18-week schedule!
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