R2: The art of connection

R2 is a new solutions firm set up to help independent dealers grow sales affordably. OPI's Heike Dieckmann spoke to co-founder/CEO Mark Hampton to see what it's all about

OPI: Tell me a bit about R2 Mark – what does it mean?

Mark Hampton: R2, our ‘handle’ for Resourcing Revenue, is a new suite of very affordable solutions for independent dealers designed to help them grow revenue.

Two of our products focus on connecting category-specific experienced talent with dealers that want to grow legacy categories or expand into new ones, such as cleaning and breakroom, MPS, furniture, etc. Our other two products are business development related and help dealers find and acquire new customers. We’re all about providing Resources to drive new Revenue.

Steve Hilleard, CEO of OPI, and I are business partners in this new venture and we’re in the process of launching in the US, Canada, the UK and Ireland, with expansion plans for additional countries later in the year.

OPI: How did the idea for the venture come about?

MH: Last September Steve and I connected on one of his trips to the US and we discussed industry trends, events and environmental changes on the horizon. Back then the Office Depot/OfficeMax merger was becoming more and more likely, and the effects of a merger and integration had some pretty far-reaching implications, including a significant reduction in headcount.

With the belief that much of that skilled talent could be a huge benefit to independent dealers, we brainstormed how to help make those connections. That spawned our two talent solutions and then the business development solutions emerged almost by accident.

OPI: Can you give us a brief summary of your services?

MH: Sure. R2 Match is a database connecting jobseekers with independent dealers. When the enrolment profile attributes on each side match, we make an introduction. Jobseekers should think about it as Match.com for their career. Dealers should view it as the first signal that experienced talent is looking for a new job.

Then we have R2 Search. When a dealer wants to get assertive and proactive about finding talent in a given geography with category specific experience – say in jan/san or MPS, for example – we identify that talent and then let the dealer handle what they do best – recruit, screen and hire. Our flat fee is typically 80% less than that charged by a traditional recruiter.

R2 Prospect – it’s a little like Search but instead of finding people to hire, we help dealers find specific named decision-makers at targeted businesses to market to, engage and acquire. Very targeted marketing – it’s like trading in your shotgun for a sniper rifle.

Lastly, we have R2 Track – R2 is an exclusive referral partner for netFactor and its web analytics tool called VisitorTrack. Think of it as caller ID for your website. It outputs detailed contact information for key decision-makers at companies visiting a dealer’s website.

We believe we’re offering unique solutions and we’re told by many they are quite timely given the power channel consolidation and many dealers’ desire to expand into new adjacent categories and rev up their business development efforts.

OPI: You launched a couple of months ago. How has your proposition been received by the dealer community?

MH: We’re pretty blown away by the initial response. The US dealer groups all sponsored our initial introduction to their members, and we’ve taken over the follow-on marketing. We have engagements in all four service categories and we can see the momentum gaining
 each week.

Visit www.resourcingrevenue.com for more information on R2.

To contact Steve (UK) or Mark (US), email InfoUK@ResourcingRevenue.com or InfoUS@ResourcingRevenue.com respectively.