Office paper remains a strategic category for many independent resellers despite the well-documented structural declines in the paper segment. Whether it’s Boise’s own branded products or private label solutions, the US paper firm is well-placed to meet the needs of the independent dealer community.
OPI spoke to Boise Paper’s east coast Field Marketing Manager Michelle Learman.
OPI: What can you tell us about the new owners of Boise Paper?
Michelle Learman: Boise Paper became part of Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) last October. Our new leadership is experienced in running paper mills and will help Boise continue to be the trusted source for office papers.
OPI: How broad is your range of products?
ML: Our range of products covers the entire office or business setting. We offer a full line of branded papers through our Performance and Impact categories which include X-9, Boise Polaris, Boise Aspen, Boise SPLOX and Boise FIREWORX.
Basis weights range from 16-110lb, brightness ranges from 92-98 and we have 26 vibrant coloured papers. Boise Aspen is a recycled line – manufactured in Jackson, Alabama – that contains either 30%, 50% or 100% fibre from post-consumer waste. Our breadth of products allows us to offer complete programmes for our customers covering all their needs.
OPI: You mention the environmental qualities of Aspen. How important is sustainability to Boise Papers?
ML: We are committed to delivering excellent value to our customers and generating superior returns for our investors while managing our businesses to sustain environmental resources for future generations.
Along with our third-party forestry certifications, FSC and SFI, we also have a programme called Project UP. Founded by Boise, Project UP revitalises communities by developing urban park spaces for residents to enjoy. This project is funded by proceeds from our Aspen line.
OPI: What would you say are your products’ main qualities?
ML: Boise products have been in the market for decades. We have a solid reputation for our paper that is all manufactured in the US.
Our X-9 is known for solid reliability for any print job. It carries a 99.99% jam-free performance guarantee and has been certified by Buyers Laboratory (BLI) for its overall performance. BLI is the leading global independent office equipment testing lab. If a paper has been certified by BLI, it has been tested and evaluated rigorously for misfeeds, multisheet feeding, curl, dusting, etc.
In addition to X-9, our Polaris line (97 bright, and available in 20lb, 24lb and 28lb) also carries the 99.99% jam-free performance guarantee and the BLI certification.
OPI: There is a tendency to treat office paper as a commodity. Why do you think it’s important to buy from a trusted source such as Boise Paper?
ML: With the Boise name you get consistent quality and that is critical in the marketplace. Too often we hear about other lines of paper that offer inconsistent quality, lack of support, etc. Many resellers tell us that using these types of products eventually hurt them if they have quality or availability issues, but Boise provides the logistical support they need and deserve.
We also work with our customers on their private label programmes. We have the ability to offer Boise products in reams and cartons that have customised art and labels. This private label option gives our customers the ability to market and promote their name in their respective markets. The paper carton stays in use for a long time and hence their name is out there for people to recognise and consider when they need to purchase paper.
OPI: What specific support do you offer to the independent channel?
ML: Boise believes that independent dealers deserve the best sales and marketing support. We have a dedicated team that is committed to helping independent dealers succeed in a tough marketplace. We recently launched our Boise Dealer’s Choice programme which bundles a full ‘Made in the USA’ product line with flexible marketing and sales solutions.
OPI: How do you back this up with end-user marketing support or promotions?
ML: Boise has a strong marketing team that recognises the need to support and promote our brands with end users. Each of our customers has different needs depending on how they service the market. Whether these needs require co-branded collateral, consumer and end-user technical support, sales support at events, images for websites, etc, Boise is there to help.
We have many dedicated strong individuals in our marketing group that can develop a campaign for all needs – large or small.