Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What should a Supplier do when they receive this type of email from an End Buyer?

From: Karen
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2012 4:22 PM
To: Jennifer Jaman
Subject: RE: Distributor Request from Promo Marketing User: Karen Sherrill

We’re not members of ASI, SAGE or PPAI.
But our corporate structure is such that we support 6 brands in the physical therapy industry –  so most suppliers (like Gold Bond, Hit, LogoMark, etc.) sell to us as a distributor.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012


We expect some of our customer orders will be delayed due to the pending Longshoreman Strike for all East Coast Ports.  The looming strike has a 90% probability to go into effect at midnight October 1, 2012.   Please be see the most recent news release

The shipping carriers have already introduced CONJESTION SURCHARGES in anticipation of the strike.  If the strike does happen more additional costs and delays will occur.  We cannot accurately estimate your delivery time and additional costs at this time; however, we are preparing our team to understand the costs and to discuss alternatives with customers.  We will be closely monitoring the situation and schedule a meeting with you to discuss timing and costs should the strike go into effect. 

Some experts think that since the government has the ability to step in and control the ports, the November elections could play a factor.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Unlimited Potential


Sometimes we are limited by our beliefs.  Over the last 7 years I felt that since Artistic Toy supplies plush toys exclusively to independent distributor companies that it would be biting the hand that fed us if I began attending community networking events where I would be introduced to more end user clients versus  distributors.  In the last 4 weeks, I started challenging myself around this belief discovered I am missing huge potential for our Company.


(1)   BNI Networking Meeting -   I attended my first meeting and decided not to join for a number of reasons; however, encountered an uncomfortable situation with a Distributor Salesperson that felt threatened by my attendance.  Today, Five Thousands FormsDavid Eiskowitz is visiting our office to meet our team and will be working with me to create a Character Marketing Presentation that I will deliver directly to his 30 BNI members on how and why they should use Plush Toys over other promotional products.


(2)   Business Partner Referral – Our Accountant’s Stortz& Associates recognized that one of their preferred providers KeystoneFinancial Management was placing an order for promotional products.  They emailed the Marketing Coordinator and told her to consider using us to help them source their products.  I spoke to the Coordinator and told her why toys were the best promotion she could use and to prove it to her I was sending a sample to her office.  In the meantime, I also noticed from an email copy that Don Spencer – Boundless Networks - Valley Brandworks was attempting to build a relationship with this end user.  Artistic Toy never worked with Don; however, after sending him a duplicate sample and speaking to him about this opportunity he was thrilled to work with us.  Today, I spoke with the Sr. VP of Sales Marketing for Keystone Financial Management who explained he would be placing an order with Don for a couple of hundred of our bears to give out into a school networking functions. 

These two experiences and several conversations PPAI Board Member, Team Member, and Editor have convinced me to think differently about the Supplier Distributor Relationships.  In business and in life we have to continue to re-define ourselves and think about how we are adding value.  I am happy to say suppliers can work directly with end users and maintain the integrity of the supply chain.  This truly is fulfillment of Artistic Toy’s Unique Selling Proposition…. “Helping You Build Character”