A tug of war
Resellers are being unfairly pulled in two directions. On one hand customers increasingly expect them to supply almost anything and provide it almost on demand; on the other, customers are buying fewer products and being more picky about what they buy – and being picky in a variety of ways, focusing on price, perhaps, or splashing out on an interesting design. So what with being asked for more and less at the same time, it’s all a bit confusing.
This issue’s Hot Topic looks at the growing need for resellers to expand their product selections and offer value-added services – and I don’t envy their task. They need to learn more, invest more and tailor their offerings even more. TriMega’s Charlie Cleary, the subject of our Big Interview, speaks about the need for independent dealers to branch out – and how it is up to the rest of the industry to support them.
Taking a stroll around this year’s Paperworld further illustrated to me that it’s not only dealers that need to step out of their comfort zones. Where were the facilities management exhibitors? The safety products vendors? If resellers are embracing these categories, shouldn’t the industry’s trade shows embrace them too? The number of visitors still demonstrates what an important show Paperworld is, but to keep those visitors coming the organisers are going to have to keep up with the evolving categories too.
On a more uplifting note, well done to the OPI behind-the-scenes team, pictured above with me and our charming presenter Gyles Brandreth, for this year’s European Office Products Awards dinner – it was fabulous!
Felicity Francis, Editor