I must admit that I have been getting quite a bit of stick from my OPI colleagues in the past month about supposed similarities between my photo below and the one of Independent Stationers’ Tom Ashburn who was featured in our 5 Minutes With… in the March issue. I can’t see it myself and also have absolutely no idea why someone at a US trade show last year who I’d never met would come up to me and give me a massive hug before she realised I was not who she thought I was (sorry, Tom!). Still, it makes a change from the Bill Murray lookalike comments I invariably get when I cross the Atlantic!
Turning to more serious matters, I said in last month’s Editor’s Comment that we could well see accelerated consolidation in the vendor channel following the mega consolidation taking place on the reseller side. While that hasn’t happened just yet, we have seen two major vendors in the US taking steps to ‘right size’ their operations due to market changes – see this month’s Hot Topic for more on these developments and on industry consolidation in general.
All these changes make creating and developing personal relationships more crucial than ever, and I’m pleased to report another successful OPI Partnership event and European Office Products Awards evening, both of which took place in Amsterdam last month. We’re also building on these value-added services by launching a new VIP membership programme for senior level executives.