Comment June 2017

The horizon widens.


Last month we took an in-depth look at Australia and the various things happening there. And while there’s still plenty of unfinished business, of course, the Platinum Equity/Staples deal has now gone through. 

Platinum buying Staples’ ANZ operations is just the latest of many private equity deals that appear to be getting more prevalent in our industry. Private investment firms clearly like our sector. But why? Find out more in our Hot Topic.

The focus this month for the OPI team is very much on Europe and the US. Europe because of the OPI European Forum that will take place in Berlin, Germany, from 12-14 June and where Europe’s leading business supplies executives – and several intrepid travellers from the US, Canada and Australia – will be convening for a few days of high-level talks and networking. 

At the same time, the OPI team is preparing for the eighth North American Office Products Awards (NOAPA), which will be hosted once again by US wholesaler SP Richards during its forthcoming Advantage Business Conference in Orlando, Florida.

I do like an awards ceremony. I particularly like an ‘office products’ awards ceremony, maybe because I have a vested interest in this industry doing well. So I read with great interest all the shortlisted products of this year’s NAOPA. And I found it to be quite an eclectic mix which, in just five categories, comprised most of the trends we’re currently seeing in our industry. 

I have to admit, I’m deeply cynical about superlatives such as ‘world’s first’ and ‘best-ever’ – hard to quantify and quite possibly not always true. But perhaps that’s not the point. Innovation from manufacturers aside, what is important, in my opinion, is that this year’s shortlist – again – comprises products that historically have been completely outside the realm of the traditional OP dealer. It shows the broader outlook that resellers have today and the potential revenue streams that they are now beginning to tap into. 

As one of Europe’s most successful resellers points out, it’s all about the one-stop shop (check out our Big Interview with iba’s Christa Furter).

Have a great month.