It can sometimes be a challenge convincing family, friends and new acquaintances that office products is an interesting – let alone exciting – industry to be involved in. Putting together the annual news review for this issue of the magazine was a quick reminder about what a lot actually goes on in the OP world! Investigations and lawsuits, a sex scandal, mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcies, resignations and retirements, a possibly game-changing decision in the US – 2010 certainly couldn’t be described as a dull year by any means.
While the past year may turn out to be a pivotal one – especially for the US office products industry – the signs are that 2011 is going to be no less interesting. Three of the top four global office suppliers – Office Depot, OfficeMax and Lyreco – have new leadership and it will be interesting to see if there are any changes in direction or strategy. It will be a ‘proof of the pudding’ year for is.group’s US Communities contract and the battle for public agency business is sure to be a fierce one.
Meanwhile, uncertainties about the economy are set to continue and the employment situation in many key markets is likely to remain depressed, adding more pressure to the office supplies sector. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see another year of feverish acquisition and merger activity.
Industry launches Sustainable Office
The Hague, Netherlands
The Dutch office products industry has officially launched a new initiative that is aimed at providing a standardised environmental label for office supplies.
The initiative – called Sustainable Office – is the fruit of a two-year effort led by Marcel Jacobs, Senior Manager, Environment, Quality and Social Compliance at Office Depot Europe.
Jacobs has brought together other resellers in the Dutch market – Staples, Lyreco and Quantore – as well as a number of manufacturers and government/corporate stakeholders.
The Sustainable Office website – sustainable-office.eu – is being officially launched by Wiana Partakusuma, Director of the Dutch government’s interdepartmental programme for sustainable procurement.
The goal of the website will be to allow purchasing officers to identify and locate products that meet a standardised set of environmental criteria.
The first product category to be involved is filing products, in cooperation with leading vendors Esselte, Hamelin and Jalema.
Products will be given a grade from A-G, similar to the grading that is given to household electronic products such as washing machines.
It is hoped that further product categories will be added in the near future and that the initiative can eventually be extended to cover other European markets.
Lyreco names Bigeard successor
Lyreco has named the head of Xerox France as its new CEO.
Philippe Martinez will take over as Lyreco CEO as Eric Bigeard steps down on 31 December 2010.
49-year-old Martinez is currently Managing Director of Xerox France, a post he has occupied since the summer of 2008.
Martinez has been with Xerox for 26 years, starting as a sales rep in 1984, and joining the management team in France in 1996 when he was named Customer Service and Logistics Director.
Since then he has occupied a variety of senior management roles, including international experience as head of Xerox Italy and Business Strategy Director at Xerox Europe.
Prior to his appointment as Managing Director of Xerox France, Martinez was Xerox Europe’s Customer Service Director.
MWV to sell envelopes business
Richmond (VA), USA
MWV has said that it has agreed to sell its Envelope Products Group (EPG) to Cenveo, the Connecticut-based manufacturer and distributor of print and related products and solutions.
MWV confirmed that all 910 employees at the EPG – which is part of its Consumer and Office Products business – are expected to transition to Cenveo and that labour agreements will remain in place at EPG locations.
Cenveo is the parent company of Quality Park, one of the leading envelope brands in the US.
MWV’s EPG has around 15 locations in the US and produces more than 25 billion envelopes a year, but it has been hit by lower volumes in recent times due to a softening demand for direct mail products and the general downward trend in the envelopes sector.
The transaction is expected to have closed by the end of 2010. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
EOPA 2011: The shortlist
OPI is pleased to reveal the shortlist for the European Office Products Awards (EOPA) 2011, drawn from a record number of entries.
The number of entries more than doubled from 2010 and more awards categories were added, demonstrating the success of the past year in the OP industry despite a tough economic climate.
The winners will be announced on 31 January 2011 at a presentation dinner held during Paperworld in Frankfurt. This evening is now established as the largest networking event in the fair – to book your place or for more information please visit
The shortlist is as follows:
Best Product – Traditional Office Products
Accentra – PaperPro Generation II Stapler
Acme United – Non Stick Titanium Bonded Scissors by Westcott
Esselte Leitz – Leitz NeXXt Series
Really Useful Products – Really Useful Products range
Best Product – Non-Traditional Office Products
No winner – no entry was deemed to meet the criteria
Best Product – Technology Products
Apple – iPad
Brother Europe – MFC-6890CDW A3 Colour Inkjet Multifunction Duplex Printer
Energizer – The Intelligent Charger
Best Product – Environmentally Friendly Products
3M Europe – Scotch Magic(tm) 900 adhesive tape
Floortex – Ecotex 100% Recycled RPET Chair and Desk Mats
Linex – Linex Nature range
Newell Rubbermaid – Paper Mate Biodegradable Pens
office2office – Banner Closed Loop 100% Recycled Copier Paper
New Product Innovation
ACCO Brands – Nobo Kapture Digital Flipchart
ACCO Brands – Rexel Auto+ 100 Personal Shredder
Falcon International Bags – The Non-slip Bag Strap
Hamelin – Oxford Papershow
Hewlett Packard – HP Officejet Pro 8500A Plus
3M France – Post-it brand 30th Anniversary ‘Keep it Simple’ integrated communication programme
ACCO Brands – Nobo’s ‘Bring South Africa to You’ campaign
Avery Office Products – Green Office Week 2010
Esselte Leitz – Leitz League
Esselte Leitz – Leitz Diamonds
Staples Norway – Norway’s Best Paid Job
Avery Dennison Zweckform – Christmas Software
BIC – Tipp-Ex Viral Campaign on You Tube
Brother UK – Maximising the potential of the web
Pilot – www.teamfrixion.com
Spicers UK – The Spicers Academy
Really Useful Products
Corporate Social Responsibility
Office Depot Europe
Schneider Writing Instruments
Vendor of the Year
Reseller of the Year
Regional Reseller of the Year
Codex Office Products (Eire)
Dacris Impex (Romania)
Hedera (The Netherlands)
Dealer Group of the Year
Integra Office Solutions
The Superstat Group
Wholesaler/Distributor of the Year
Professional of the Year
Winner announced on the night
Winner announced on the night
Lyreco and Askul in alliance
Lyreco and Japan’s leading business products provider Askul have entered into a strategic alliance.
As a result of the alliance, Lyreco will close its very small subsidiary in Japan and rely upon Askul to take care of its international customers’ requirements in the country.
Commenting on the news, Lyreco’s CEO Eric Bigeard told OPI: "Our two companies have had regular contacts and exchanges for many years. Askul and Lyreco share a very similar culture."
Bigeard added: "I am delighted to provide our customers with an unbeaten level of service in Japan as well, thanks to this new alliance. This was not just a good solution for our customers, it was the best solution."
Askul started its operations in 1993 as part of Plus Corporation and was spun-off four years later. For its latest fiscal year ending May 2010, the company reported sales of ¥189 billion ($2.3 billion).
All change at Systemcare
Doug Skeggs and Simon Rex have left Systemcare, the business they sold to US industrial group ITW in 2008.
Skeggs and Rex, Marketing Director and Managing Director respectively, acquired the private label cleaning and hygiene products manufacturer in 1998, and remained with the business after the sale to ITW.
"It is always a sad time when it comes to moving on, but there is a new generation of management ready to take the helm at Systemcare and grasp new opportunities as part of the ITW family," said Skeggs.
New General Manager Bruce Campbell will have officially started on 1 January 2011. Campbell – who has been with ITW’s Fluids and Polymers division for several years – is joined on the management team by Samantha De Costa (Commercial Manager), Adam Whiteley (Financial Manager), Laurent Chodkiewicz (Sales Manager) and Peter Cole (Operations Manager).
Katun acquires MSI’s toner business
Minneapolis (MN), USA
Katun has acquired the toner cartridge business of fellow aftermarket manufacturer Media Sciences International (MSI).
The $11 million transaction sees Katun acquire the tangible and intangible assets of MSI’s toner manufacturing business. In addition, Katun will become the exclusive master distributor of MSI’s ink stick product line for Xerox printers for a period of three years.
Katun and MSI also entered into a license agreement that allows MSI and its affiliates to continue using its business name and websites for up to two years.
Katun said MSI’s selection of colour toner cartridges and solid ink sticks effectively complements its own existing colour and monochrome product lines.
For MSI it means a slimmed down business, and the transaction has prompted several management changes.
CEO Michael Levin and COO Bob Ward have both left the company and former VP of Operations Marc Durand has been named as MSI’s new CEO.
It has also been announced that CFO Marc Applebaum will leave MSI at the end of the year, with long-time controller Denise Hawkins taking over the role.
Opti brand relaunched in Europe
Correction products brand Opti is being relaunched in Europe after a five-year absence.
The established Malaysian manufacturer Widetech – maker of the RETYPE correction brand – has acquired the Opti brand and moved production to Malaysia.
Managing the Opti brand in Europe is Germany-based sales and marketing firm Eurasia Agencies.
Eurasia’s Managing Director Thorsten Köhler told OPI that the company is targeting all European countries and is currently looking for exclusive distributors in all markets.
The plan for the relaunch is to develop both the consumer and B2B channels although some channels, such as the hard discounters, may not be deemed appropriate for the brand, commented Köhler.
When it was asked whether there was room in the market for another correction products brand, Köhler said that Opti was an established name that still had a lot of brand equity.