Comment October 2017

Who's who and why?


Everybody likes a good list, it appeals to people’s need for categorisation and compartmentalisation. Top 100 movies, top 100 songs, top 100 comedy moments, top 100 best places to work, top 100 rich lists… take your pick. 

Find out who’s who in the business supplies industry in 2017 – our annual definitive guide to the top resellers in our sector. Except, of course, that it’s not definitive and by its very nature somewhat subjective (it’s also, importantly, not ranked within the top 100 entries; nobody takes precedence over another). 

Some personality inclusions are no-brainers, if not necessarily for their current successes at their respective companies, but for the sheer influence of the organisations they work for. Others are not so clear-cut and that’s the trouble with compartmentalisation. 

Where, for example, do you start and finish with some of the standout progressive independent resellers in our industry, especially across the globe; with the dealer groups (the combined UK contingent alone would make up 10% of the entire list); or indeed with the many organisations that have crept in from adjacent sectors and are now becoming ever-more important (Grainger, Bunzl, Manutan, Takkt, Raja Group and, of course, Amazon Business to name but a few)?

The OPI team, together with members of our advisory committee, have spent many hours debating, dismissing and ultimately collating what we feel is the definitive 2017 list of reseller personalities, taking into account different channels, geographies and diversified products sold (feel free to differ – write to

Elsewhere in this issue, we explore that same diversification and evolution of our industry. What, for example, is the blockchain and how is it (becoming) relevant? And how can we deal with the unsavoury side effects of digitisation – cyberattacks? 

On a more upbeat note, I was able to delve a little deeper into our industry’s philanthropic efforts this month and found it utterly heartwarming as well as vindicating to have picked this sector as my chosen one. 

Have a good month.