It’s 2018 and Time to Learn Outside of the Box!

Education Forums are designed with you – our member attendees – in mind.  Take advantage of the many opportunities to learn from your peers.  Just like ‘thinking outside of the box’, learning outside of the box is all about letting yourself be open to new ideas, new concepts, and new ways of problem-solving.  Our education sessions are open to all attendees, including all dealer group members and supplier partners.  Click on the Time Tabs below to view the different open-to-all seminar opportunities available during that time frame.

Sessions by Time

Assert Your Independence with the RDC – an IS Member-only Session

Change is constant, and never more so than in today’s Office Products Industry.  Is your sourcing keeping up? 

Learn how to maximize your profit dollars through direct-buy and rebates using Independent Stationers’ RDC model, the only comprehensive carton sourcing model in the industry. 

Who Should Attend:
IS Dealer Owners and Purchasing Staff and
anyone who wants to maximize turns and leverage the group’s best-in-class rebates

Moderator:
IS Dealers and IS Staff

Winning in Disposables the RJ Way – an IS Member-only Session

The leadership of RJ Schinner will provide a thoughtful discussion about the non-food disposable categories, within the Jan/San space, that they manage.

Learn about:

  1. How to partner with RJ Schinner to develop a brand strategy that differentiates you in the market place
  2. Implementation approaches which include the training necessary for your inside and outside people to have the confidence to sell solutions
  3. Selling strategies which will help your sales team move from taking orders to selling profitably.

This presentation is thoughtful and concise. You will leave this seminar with the ability to move forward with a plan to succeed in disposables “The RJ Way”.

Who Should Attend:
IS Owners and Sales Management

Moderator:
Michael Mirarchi and Jeff Heeren

R.J. Schinner

TriMega Only Board Town Hall

Open Q&A with Members of YOUR Board

Pose questions, share ideas and get in the know at TriMega’s Board Fireside Chat hosted by Ian Wist, Chairman of the Board, members of TriMega’s Board of Directors. Discuss group issues, share your feedback and ask questions on the TriMega issues that mean the most to you. This is your group, and we want to find out how we can better serve you. Plus attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions in advance of the session. We look forward to open and constructive dialogue during this Board Town Hall.

Who Should Attend:
Any TriMega Member Attendee

Moderators:
TriMega Board Members

2018 Online Marketing:  A Dealer Discussion

From search to social, the world of online marketing changes every single day. Not only is it hard to keep up with your digital presence, but we all struggle with what the best practices should be, execution of a solid online marketing strategy and of course delivering results. Jennifer Schulman, President of Fortune Web Marketing, is here to help answer all of those questions and more, as she hosts a dealer panel and taps into the audience for insights and discussion. You will walk away with a better understanding of:

  • The digital landscape and emerging online trends in 2018
  • The top 5 online strategies you need to execute
  • How to implement localized digital campaigns
  • What your colleagues are doing digitally and the success of their campaigns

Who Should Attend:
Marketers, Webmasters, Owners

Moderator:
Jennifer Schulman, President, Fortune Web Marketing

ERP Systems & eCommerce – Strategies for Your Future

This session will discuss how technology will affect your business today and into the future. We will discuss the history of how the industry underinvested in technology, and how that needs to change as the channel continues to evolve with the changes. The importance of eCommerce and controlling your marketing and search engines will be discussed as well as the strategy to deploy. The importance and difference of on-premise systems versus cloud-based technology will be discussed.

  • Importance of being technologically relevant
  • Traditional investment strategy and how we’ve gotten it wrong
  • eCommerce
    • Controlling your own destiny
    • Search engine strategy and ownership
    • Marketing
    • We’re losing the battle here with current 3PVs
  • Cloud based versus on-premise
  • Shared services in a cloud environment – removing supply chain costs
  • My way versus industry best practices
  • The real cost of customization

Who Should Attend:
Business Owners and senior staff, CIO, IT Professionals

Presenter:
TJ Crayne, President, PTC Associates

Business Succession Planning & 2018 Tax Law Updates

Gary Pittsford, CFP®, President and CEO of Castle Wealth Advisors will moderate a panel of four business owner members who will each share their business succession planning and execution stories. Every succession scenario is different based on individual family situations, and the panelists share what worked and what didn’t work for them. Last year’s scenarios included selling of the business to a daughter and son-in-law and how setting ground rules and being open and honest made a difference. Importance of a written plan, regular communication, having agreements in writing, preparing the next generation to takeover, and having clear goals/benchmarks for all parties was discussed by another panelist. Real life experience is helpful in learning how you might want/need to approach your own business succession plan, and this session provides many different scenarios.

Gary Pittsford will also briefly discuss six critical areas of succession planning, the new 2018 tax law changes and how those changes will affect your individual and corporate taxes. Audience questions for the panelists and Gary welcomed and encouraged.

Who Should Attend:
Any independent dealer thinking about selling/transitioning their business in the future would benefit from this session. Members planning on selling/transitioning their business in the next 3-5 years should attend, and those wanting to do so in 1-3 years should definitely attend. Next generation business owners will also benefit.

Moderator:
Gary Pittsford
CFP®, President and CEO, Castle Wealth Advisors, LLC

 

Process, Productivity & Prospecting in the Digital Age

New business is the lifeblood for any organization. This powerful session is built for Sales Professionals in the supply industry, to help you stay in control of the sales process and utilize the most up to date methods for driving new business, increasing your sales productivity and winning with effective outbound prospecting in today’s highly competitive market.

Key takeaways:

  • Converting a pipeline from a wish-list into a realistic forecasting tool with expected order dates
  • The 12-touch sales process from cold call to gaining a repeat order commitment
  • Leveraging the mix of phone calls, emails, social selling, and good ole fashioned snail mail
  • The 5-touch process to get to the Decision Maker; winning with voicemail and email
  • Improving productivity and key information to know when selling across generations

Materials: A recap of all points covered will be provided to attendees, including sample voicemails, emails and resources for digital age selling.

Who Should Attend:
Field and Inside Sales Representatives & Sales Managers

Moderator:
Marisa Pensa
Founder, Methods in Motion

Grow your Government Business with EBE

This session will include information about our current Federal (GSA, FSSI and ICPT) and Public Sector (National IPA) agreements. Every dealer has opportunities to grow their business by selling to local and federal government accounts. We will focus on proven sales strategies, how to cross sell other categories such as jan/san, print/promo and more to these all important customers, and hear best practices from the EBE team and successful dealers. We will reserve the last 15-20 minutes for Q & A, or for brief one-on-one meetings with an EPIC team member.

Who Should Attend:
All dealers interested in growing their business via national accounts.

Presenters:
Scott Zintz, Toby Tobin, Nita Turpin

Strength in Numbers: How “Buy Local” Campaigns and Local Alliances Are Helping Indies Thrive

Year after year, independent businesses in communities with long-term “buy local and independent campaigns” report higher revenue growth than independent businesses not served by such efforts — nearly double the sales growth in the latest annual study. This presentation and follow-up workshop will show you keys to launching effective local campaigns and sustaining collaboration to shift local culture and spending toward independent businesses. 

You’ll see examples of the best materials, events, and ads from Independent Business Alliances across the country. We’ll review keys to effective message crafting and delivery, storytelling, audience targeting, funding and other essential elements to help you instigate action at home.

Note: Attending this session is a prerequisite for the Instigating Buy Local Initiatives Workshop.

Who Should Attend:
Business Owners, Sales Managers

Presenter:
Jeff Milchen, Co-Director, American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA)

Winning in Print with HP

We’ll discuss the trends and priorities that your customer’s Purchasing and IT decision-makers should consider in evaluating printing technology investments, and how independent OP dealers can bring greater value and cost savings to customers by leveraging HP’s portfolio of programs.

Seminar Focus:               

For Dealers – See how your peers are protecting their existing supplies business, and pursuing new profit streams by using valuable ink and toner usage data to offer cost savings and recommend strategic upgrades to your customer’s aging printer fleet.

For Customers – Uncover significant cost savings by utilizing HP Qualified Partners, and see the benefits of upgrading your customer’s installed base of older printers to provide a more secure print environment, reduced energy use, less maintenance, improved page yield and increased print speed, all of which reduce the overall cost of their business printing.

Who Should Attend:
HP Qualified Partners wanting to better understand the key dynamics driving customer investment decisions, and how you can gain a bigger portion of that business.

Presenters: 
Hewlett Packard

Amazon, the Invisible Competitor – Does Your Company Have a Plan?

Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos, as an online bookstore in 1995.  Even though their sales now exceed $200 billion they have remained amazingly invisible.  Like the Robber Barons of the railroad industry, Amazon has harnessed a new technology and used it to stifle competition across multiple industries. Incurring losses to steal market share and using manufacturer’s and dealer’s data against them to bring products and customers under Amazon control.  At the same time Amazon has made securing government favors and avoiding taxes an integral part of their strategy, collecting no sales tax in many states and paying an average federal tax rate of 2%.

In this session we will do a brief history of Amazon’s growth since 1995, showing significant events and a timeline of Amazon’s expansion.  We will share examples of how Amazon’s tactics are

  • destroying competition and leaving consumers with fewer choices.
  • eliminating more jobs than they are creating.
  • driving down wages and working conditions across sectors.
  • leaving our communities and cities with more vacancies and less tax revenue.

NOPA will share ways you can protect your business and educate your customers on the value of local small business:

  • Learn how to engage and talk with local officials
  • Strategies for working with other businesses in your community
  • Training/marketing materials for use with customers and employees

Who Should Attend:
Owners, Commercial & Government Sales Managers and Representatives

Presenter: 
Mike Tucker
President & CEO, National Office Products Alliance

 

Hiring, Training & Retaining Great Sales Professionals

Hiring, training and retaining great sales professionals involves taking a hard look at previous team members who excelled in your culture, along with those who were not such a good fit. It takes finding the right people to hire, plus a pig-headed determination and discipline to build a culture of coaching. This session is built to provide the essential tools Managers need to create a well-oiled machine when it comes to successful onboarding. It introduces a systematic process, both for onboarding and for ongoing training.

Key takeaways:

  • The Methods in Motion coaching model for onboarding new representatives
  • The 5 pipeline problems during the ramp-up of new representatives
  • Converting a pipeline from a wish-list into a realistic forecasting tool with expected order dates
  • The 8-week onboarding coaching plan and displaying leadership over strictly managing
  • Essential onboarding – 90-day and annual reviews
  • Creating a realistic rhythm of regular one-on-ones and how to keep team meetings from getting stagnant
  • The missing step when it comes to finding the best candidates for many telephone sales positions and how to build this step into your hiring process
  • Employees are coin-activated; creating levers to drive the desired results

Materials:  A recap of all points covered will be provided to attendees, including an 8-week coaching plan for Managers to immediately put the strategies to work.

Who Should Attend:
Inside and Outside Sales Managers & Owners

Presenter: 
Marisa Pensa
Founder, Methods in Motion

Grow Your Healthcare/Commercial Business with EBE

This session will focus on successful sales strategies and how you can use the EBE contracts (Premier, CHAMPS, etc) to retain your existing business and win new large opportunities. You will also see how to use these tried and true sales strategies to approach regional and national commercial accounts in your market. We will begin with a very brief explanation of the contracts, and then cover an A-Z sales process on how to be successful in this all important vertical market. We will cover current opportunities, and how to best work with EBE to grow your local business in these important categories. We will reserve the last 15-20 minutes for Q & A, or for brief one-on-one meetings with an EPIC team member.

Who Should Attend:
All dealers interested in growing their business via national accounts.

Presenters: 
Scott Zintz, Toby Tobin, Nita Turpin

WORKSHOP: Instigating “Buy Local” Initiatives and Independent Business Alliances

This interactive discussion will provide you with an understanding of organizing principles and offer key resources to enable you to successfully instigate action in your community that will help local businesses prosper. While participant interests will drive this session, expect to learn: how to attract interest toward launching your initiative, funding your group, whether and how to incorporate as a non-profit organization, engaging your local government, choosing your initial communication channels, and more.

Note: This session is limited to people who attend the “Strength in Numbers” seminar during the previous hour.

Who Should Attend:
Business Owners, Sales Managers

Presenter: 
Jeff Milchen, Co-Director, American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA)

Leveraging Technology and Data to Compete in the Age of Amazon

Like it or not, Amazon is driving competition today. Staples, WB Mason, Wal-Mart and many more are chasing Amazon. Independents have to stand out in this crowd of copycats by stepping up their technology and effectively leveraging available data.

The industry shopping carts of the past, stamped out like identical bottle-caps, won’t cut it in the Amazon age. The dreaded “click here to shop” is a one-way ticket to oblivion for your business. If your entire site is not search engine friendly, you will not thrive in the Amazon age.

If you don’t show competitive prices on your site, like every one of your competitors, then don’t expect to attract any new business. If your website pricing is not open to the public, then neither are you. You may claim you’re B2B only, but you’ll never know how many businesses went to your site and left, because you were closed. You wouldn’t stop at a gas station that said “come in for price” and today’s Amazon-trained consumers won’t stop at your site either.

All of this is fixable, but you have to be willing to change. Come to the seminar to find out how to grow in the age of Amazon.

Who Should Attend:
Owners, Marketing Leaders, Technology Leaders

Presenters: 
Rick Marlette, OP Software

Strategies for Increased Jan/San Success

Join Jan-San industry expert David Frank as we break down the specific action items to grow your Jan-San business and product categories.  During this interactive and intimate session, David will provide you with the trade secrets to bring your company to new levels through the Jan-San industry.  

Who Should Attend:
Business Owners, Sales Managers, Purchasing Professionals, Janitorial Category Specialists  

Presenter: 
David Frank, President, American Institute for Cleaning Sciences (AICS)

Timeless Purchasing Strategies for a Changing Marketplace

With uncertainty in the industry, there’s never been a better time to discuss the known unknowns as they relate to sourcing.  Gross margin dollars start with the PO, so are you taking you purchasing strategy as seriously as your sales strategy?  Share and gain new insights into how to grow your profitability on the buy-side.

Who Should Attend:
Owners, Purchasing Managers, Sales Managers

Presenters:
IS & TriMega Staff:  Ty Blankenbaker, Tom Hoffman, Grady Taylor

New Opportunities with EBE

If you want to know more about the future of EPIC Business Essentials, then this is the session for you. Come and learn more about how EBE can help you to sell more categories, to more customers, utilizing national contracts. EBE is more than just office supplies, and can help you enter the markets of energy solutions, national furniture contracts, print/promo and more.  Come for the information, stay for the best practices, and set up some one on one time with the EBE team. We will reserve the last 15-20 minutes for Q & A, or for brief one-on-one meetings with an EPIC team member.  

Who Should Attend:
 All dealers interested in growing their business via national accounts.

Presenters: 
Scott Zintz, Toby Tobin, Nita Turpin

Header photo courtesy New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau; Paul Broussard, Photographer,  Preservation Hall