Event Preview: EOPA 2020

And the nominees are...

It’s difficult to come up with new and exciting products and services year after year when there are so many other challenges to deal with in our industry. Add in the fact that office products – or at least a sizeable part of the portfolio – have become commodity items, and it’s even more impressive that entries for the 2020 European Office Products Awards (EOPA) were plentiful, innovative and incredibly broad in their approach.

And it’s great to see so many established as well as new operators entering the fray. There are dealers that excel in their particular region and those with a unique USP; entrepreneurs that dare to be different in their approach; or companies that well and truly think outside the box in terms of the products and services they offer and how they market and sell them to their channel partners and end consumers.

All entries were judged, as always, by a panel of industry experts. This time, the judging took place in the beautiful city of Amsterdam in early December, incidentally also the place where the EOPA Gala Dinner will be held on 9 March 2020 at the Hotel Okura.

This will be a night when the leading lights of the European business supplies industry will come together to celebrate the people – three awards are up for grabs here, among them the prestigious Industry Achievement accolade – companies, initiatives and products of our sector.

So take a look at the shortlist on the right and the brief synopsis on pages 50 and 51 to see who is in the running for an EOPA 2020 – and why.

EOPA 2020 shortlist

Product of the Year

  • ACCO Brands – GBC Foton 30 Automatic Office Laminator
  • Avery Europe – Labels with ultragrip technology
  • COLOP – e-mark
  • Duracell – Lithium coin cells with double child safety
  • Fellowes Brands – Levado Height Adjustable Desk

Reseller of the Year – revenues under €100 million

  • Commercial
  • GBR Rossetto
  • Lomax
  • Streit Service & Solution

Reseller of the Year – revenues over €100 million

  • Amazon
  • Banner
  • Böttcher
  • Bureau Vallée
  • New Office Centre

Wholesaler of the Year

  • Comercial del Sur de Papelería
  • Exertis Supplies
  • JGBM
  • PBS Holding
  • Quantore

Vendor of the Year

  • Durable
  • Essity
  • Fellowes Brands
  • International Paper
  • tesa

Sustainability Award – NEW

  • ACCO Brands EMEA
  • Bi-silque
  • Commercial
  • Essity
  • Lyreco

Video of the Year

  • BIC – Gel-ocity Quick Dry
  • OLOP – e-mark
  • Fellowes Brands – Meet Emma: Our Work Colleague of the Future

Marketing Campaign of the Year

  • Avery France – Back to School Campaign
  • Fellowes Brands – Meet Emma: Our Work Colleague of the Future
  • Office24 – Paper Paws
  • Office Friendly – Van-Tastic 2019

Initiative of the Year

  • Integra Business Solutions – i-merge: A Platform to Bring Businesses Together
  • International Paper – Reikan
  • Essity – Tork Clean Care, Office Trend Report 2019

Young Executive of the Year

  • Julien Barabant, Marketing Manager, Pilot Pen France
  • Esmeralda González, European Category Development Specialist – Workspace Management/Furniture, Fellowes Brands
  • Alexander Steffl, Senior Manager New Business Opportunities, Office
    Depot Europe
  • Huiru Zhang, Group Product Manager, Lyreco

Professional of the Year & Industry Achievement

No shortlist – winners announced on the night.

To book a place at the EOPA Gala Dinner – which is open to anyone – please visit www.opi.net/eopa2020

Product of the Year

ACCO Brands – GBC Foton 30 Automatic Office Laminator

This is a big-ticket product that shows innovation and solves a real need, saving users up to 98% of their time as a result of the automatic nature of the lamination process.

Avery Europe – Labels with ultragrip technology

Avery Europe’s address and filing labels have been successfully reinvigorated with their new ultragrip technology that promises straight feed, jam-free printing and precise label printouts.

COLOP – e-mark

The e-mark is a battery-operated electronic marking device for mobile printing. Based on inkjet technology, it works in combination with an app whereby imprints can be individually designed and sent to the device via wifi.

Duracell – Lithium coin cells with double child safety

With electronic devices getting smaller, so are the batteries powering them. Duracell fills a gap in the market with its lithium coin cells with extra security – through packaging and a sticker that tastes very bitter – to reduce the risk of ingestion by children.

Fellowes Brands – Levado Height Adjustable Desk

A newcomer to the furniture category, Fellowes Brands has developed the Levado desk to encourage users to add movement to their working day, in line with current health and well-being recommendations.

Reseller of the Year – revenues under €100 million

Commercial

This is a UK-based dealer that has sustainability at its very heart, but is also hugely commercially – no pun intended – successful.

GBR Rossetto

This Italian company is a family business that very successfully operates in the contract space against some mighty competition.

Lomax

Denmark-based Lomax has evolved from a supplier of core office supplies to a tech-savvy operator with a very broad product portfolio.

Streit Service & Solution

A regional player in the German market, Streit Service & Solution is regarded as one of the most progressive dealers in the country.

Reseller of the Year – revenues over 100 million

Amazon

It’s no surprise that Amazon is on this shortlist again. One of the criteria for this award is sustained growth and the online operator delivers that in abundance.

Banner

Banner posts consistently excellent results through a combination of extended product offerings, expert sales support, new service solutions and great vendor support.

Böttcher

Böttcher’s phenomenal success story continues, with outstanding financial results, ever-expanding product categories and key investments in its infrastructure.

Bureau Vallée

Investment and development is what Bureau Vallée continues to stand for, at a time when many operators are retreating, particularly in the retail sector.

New Office Centre

This Dutch company represents great entrepreneurship, having made some daring acquisitions in retail, among them Staples retail operations in the Netherlands and Germany.

Wholesaler of the Year

Comercial del Sur de Papelería

A long-standing solid player in the Iberian market, Comercial del Sur is now also making strong inroads in France, having invested there for years and recently buying the assets of OP superstore chain Hyperburo.

Exertis Supplies

An ever-evolving – and highly disruptive – wholesaler, UK-based Exertis Supplies continues to enhance its logistics capabilities, in the process growing sales at impressive rates.

JGBM

JGBM is consistently hailed as an excellent company to work with, a UK partner with great capabilities and always ambitious to up its game. 2018/2019 sales have been the best in its history.

PBS Holding

Austrian multichannel operator PBS Holding has carved itself an impressive wholesaling niche in Central and Eastern Europe, with big plans to further drive the business forward.

Quantore

Quantore in the Netherlands is another operator that is constantly looking for growth, investing in its capabilities, extending its reach and future-proofing the business.

Vendor of the Year

Durable

A long-established vendor with an extremely high-quality and ever-evolving  product portfolio that continues to create value in a changing  industry.

Essity

This Swedish company has become an integral part of what constitutes today’s business supplies industry. It’s always innovative and often best-in-class with products that end consumers want to buy.

Fellowes Brands

Fellowes Brands is a perennial award contender that excels in new – often adjacent – product development as well as in its outstanding partner relationships.

International Paper

An highly regarded manufacturer in a difficult and declining category that expertly supports its reseller partners and always comes up with new solutions and initiatives.

tesa

This is a manufacturer that is not a core OP operator, but one that its partners are really growing with due to its highly-relevant adjacent  product range.

Sustainability Award

ACCO Brands EMEA

With a comprehensive sustainability strategy in place since 2010, ACCO Brands EMEA regularly measures its ten core targets under three broad goals: impact, stewardship and relationships.

Bi-silque

For a manufacturer to achieve all-round sustainability excellence is no mean feat. Bi-silque has had a deep-rooted environmental commitment from its inception and is Cradle-to-Cradle certified.

Commercial

Commercial is known for its sustainability focus; it’s ingrained in everything it does, both from an environmental as well as wider corporate social responsibility perspective.

Essity

Essity is all about sustainably developing, producing, marketing and selling products and services. Its Tork PaperCircle service is one of its latest environmental initiatives.

Lyreco

Lyreco’s comprehensive environmental approach spans all areas of the business, from product, packaging, delivery and waste, to total carbon footprint.

Marketing Campaign of the Year   

Avery France – Back to School Campaign

This back-to-school campaign which set out to promote Avery labels to school children generated impressive results in a challenging category.

Fellowes Brands – Meet Emma: Our Work Colleague of the Future

A campaign with extraordinary exposure that created considerable awareness of the office well-being category.

Office24 – Paper Paws

With an aim to engage existing customers and attract new ones, Office24 showed real ingenuity with its catalogue campaign that, in the process, helped abandoned dogs.

Office Friendly – Van-Tastic 2019

This well-executed, competition-based initiative generated huge engagement by members and vendors, driving sales and promoting growth.

Video of the Year

BIC – Gel-ocity Quick Dry

BIC’s video perfectly meets this category’s criteria by capturing the viewer’s attention, using celebrity endorsement and influencing, while bringing the product to life and conveying exactly what it does.

COLOP – e-mark

COLOP’s electronic marking device e-mark is a brand new product that’s not necessarily easy to understand at first glance. This video seeks to show in just two minutes what the e-mark is and how it works.

Fellowes Brands – Meet Emma: Our Work Colleague of the Future

This video is part of Fellowes Brands’ Meet Emma Our Work Colleague of the Future campaign. It is highly visual and completely on trend as regards current concerns around working practices.

Initiative of the Year

Integra Business Solutions – i-merge: A Platform to Bring Businesses Together

Tapping into the perennial issue of succession planning, Integra’s i-merge initiative solves a current need in the market, helping its dealer members sell their business (or buy new ones). The platform has benefited numerous dealers since its inception a year ago.

International Paper – Reikan

A local, France-based initiative, Reikan aims to encourage end users to reduce their environmental footprint while at the same time dispelling the myth that all paper is bad and shouldn’t be used anymore. 

Essity – Tork Clean Care, Office Trend Report 2019

In its Office Trend Report, Essity highlights hygiene issues in the office environment and offers solutions to many of the challenges that are often not top-of-mind for facilities managers.

Young Executive of the Year

Julien Barabant, Marketing Manager, Pilot Pen France

Creative, engaged and always thinking outside the box, Julian Barabant is leading Pilot Pen’s digital transformation in France and was instrumental in developing its B2B web store concept.

Esmeralda González, European Category Development Specialist – Workspace Management/Furniture, Fellowes Brands

Esmeralda González began her Fellowes career as a junior marketing manager. A fast learner and supervising a small team herself now, she has become a specialist in the well-being category.

Alexander Steffl, Senior Manager New Business Opportunities, Office Depot Europe

An energetic go-getter who knocks down barriers, always challenges himself and everybody around him, Alexander Steffl is surging through the ranks at Office Depot Europe and is expected to go far.

Huiru Zhang, Group Product Manager, Lyreco

Inspiring trust, encouraging partnerships and exuding confidence and reliability – that’s how Lyreco’s vendor partners view Huiru Zhang. Fairness and total professionalism are other accolades bestowed on her.

Professional of the Year & Industry Achievement

No shortlist – winners announced on the night.

Presentation dinner

The winners of the 19th EOPA will be announced on 9 March 2020 at the Hotel Okura in Amsterdam, Netherlands.