Upcoming Calendar dates

Upcoming Calendar dates:

20 – 23 May The National Stationery Show, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center 655 West 34th Street, New York, USA

9 – 11 June Australasian Scrapbook Papercraft Convention, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia

31 May – 2 June 2012 The 106th China Stationery Commodity Fair (China Stationery Expo and Office Supplies Fair),Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre, China 

16 June Youth Day

19 June  Father’s Day 

4 – 6 July International Stationary and Office Products Fair Tokyo ,ISOT 2012, Tokyo International Exhibition Center, Japan

4 – 6 July Office machines and Equipment Expo 2012 TOKYO Tokyo International Exhibition Center (tokyo Big Sight), Japan

6 – 8 July 2012 Office Furniture Japan, 2012, Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo, Japan

25 – 27 July Stationery & Officelink 2012, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

4 – 6 August China International Furniture fair – Office Show, Guangzhou China (Mainland). 

4 – 6 August Office Expo 2012, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India

BOOK NOW!! LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE – Booking Form Attached

You are invited to partake in our annual Western Cape Mini Trade Show that is schedule to take place as follows:

Venue:  Northlink College Hall (Encore Restaurant Grounds Panorama, Cape Town

Date: 18 – 20 June 2012           

Time: 09h00 to 17h00

Cost: R2000 per 1x trestle (1.8mx1m), table cloth and 2x chairs

Please note: the setup will take place on the 18th June 2012 at 12:00 till 17:00

The evening of 19 June; to have a social infotainment evening with cash bar, snacks and networking

NEED MORE INFO? Contact David Nkabinde at the shop-sa office on (011)880-1147 or Email: david@shop-sa.co.za OR Helen Goodson on (021)552-9680

Bloemfontein mini trade show

 

Shop-sa and the Gauteng regional committee would like thank you all for being a part of this year’s exciting Bloemfontein mini trade show.

We want you to know that your participation was sincerely valued and that it was a successful show. We would really appreciate your feedback or comments please comment below. 

shop-sa has already begun working on the next mini trade shows (Polokwane, Nelspruit, Cape Town and KZN) and will keep you posted.

 

 

 

With countless computer viruses threatening to cause major damage and loss to the IT system of a business, it is important to know your options in antivirus software available to protect your company against any virus disaster.

 

Viruses are a real threat in today’s business environment and it is important for business owners to be aware of how their information may be threatened. The list is endless, from spyware, phishing applications and keyloggers, which steal personal information and monitor your activity on the internet, to more dangerous applications like worms and Trojans, which infect your network and replicate across all workstations. Thankfully there are a myriad of choices for defending your network against these threats. 

According to recent studies, the following anti-virus solutions have scored high marks in defending systems best:

 

BitDefender Antivirus

Great for home and small business use, this powerful anti-virus application works silently in the background, eliminating threats as they appear. It will occasionally request user input to deal with more stubborn threats, but in general acts as a silent guardian, making sure your workstation is virus-free. This versatile application can be installed on Windows, MAC and mobile operating systems and is also reasonably priced. A recent review by a leading online reviewer stated the only language that BitDefender does not support is Klingon, making it easy to support and use worldwide.

 

Kaspersky Antivirus

An extremely powerful anti-virus solution, Kaspersky Anti-Virus recently gained top marks in market tests by detecting and eliminating 100% of threats, from old as well as new viruses. The product is easy to install and will run silently in the background, only warning you of threats as it eliminates them. Unfortunately the price is a bit high, but includes three user licenses, which means that it can be installed on multiple computers.

 

Norton Antivirus

This versatile anti-virus application has been around for years, always improving with each new iteration. Independent anti-virus labs love using Norton because of its ease of use and its efficiency at removing threats. Installing Norton is a breeze, even on systems rendered unstable by existing threats. Norton is a bit more expensive than BitDefender, but is still reasonably priced, and can be installed on any operating system.

 

ESET Nod32 Antivirus 5

This fast and efficient application is famous for eliminating a wide variety of threats quickly and easily without slowing down your system. It is perfect for home users and small businesses. Everything happening on the system is scanned in real-time and threats are eliminated silently and efficiently. If you are running on a laptop, switching from power to battery will cause the anti-virus to switch to power saving mode, so as not to create a drain on your battery life. ESET is priced very similarly to Norton and is an easy to use and efficient purchase. 

 

Symantec Endpoint Protection

I’ve saved the best for last. Symantec Endpoint Protection is an all-round winner. It can be installed as an unmanaged client on a user’s machine, functioning as a normal anti-virus, or it can be installed as a fully fledged enterprise solution running from a server. When running in server mode, it will monitor and manage all clients installed on computers throughout the network, silently distributing updates and dealing with any security threats that arise. It is capable of full reporting for network administrators and is very easy to use. It is one of the highest rated anti-virus solutions available and is reasonably priced as well. It is the one I would recommend for all your security and threat removal needs.

 

There is no shortage of well-priced, powerful applications available. These are but a few of the multitude of choices. While there are free versions of anti-virus solutions available, they don’t protect nearly as well as the applications mentioned in this article. As the saying goes, being cheap always costs more in the end. 

 

Essential Supplies

It’s important for office productivity that a business always has a ready supply of office consumables such as teas, coffees and cleaning products. However, a large part of the valuable office budget can be squandered if this expense is not properly managed. Make you and your staff’s life easier by using wholesale office suppliers who source best price and buy in bulk to offer a variety of choice…. And have all delivered with your monthly stationery order.

One of the main benefits of buying bulk is that reputable office consumables companies tend to know their business. They deal in large quantities of products, often for large companies. This gives them the knowledge and experience to pre-empt the needs of their customers.

Many companies that specialise in bulk office products and break room supplies also offer complimentary products, making it is easy to get everything you need in one place. For example, if a company sells bulk hand soap, they should also sell soap dispensers. With a company that knows what you need, you gain the advantage of knowing that your needs will be met timeously.

Buying supplies in bulk from a reliable supplier is the best way to ensure you have plenty of time between purchases, making the hassle of restocking a less frequent occurrence, allowing you to spend time on those things more important to running your business. Another benefit is cost savings. All businesses want to cut the amount they are spending and buying your everyday office products in bulk is a great way of doing this. Buying office supplies bulk is a cheaper and more efficient way of getting the supplies you need without sacrificing quality.

The amount of things that you can buy bulk is remarkable. If you have a look around your washroom, supply closet office and kitchen, you will be able to identify many things you can buy in bulk that will save you money and allow you to hassle less about. Almost anything you need to replenish the supply of regularly can be bought in bulk. Running out of toilet paper and paper towels in your washroom is a barrier to happy staff and customers. Using large rolls of toilet paper and having a bulk supply available mean less time spent re-filling and re-stocking, and a large quantity in reserve means that you will be better able to keep well-stocked washrooms. 

Hand soap and sanitiser can also be bought in bulk. These are supplies that are essential to maintaining a clean and hygienic work environment since preventing the spread of illness and sickness should be a primary concern of all businesses to keep everyone at work and healthy. Cleaning supplies are products that offices go through fairly quickly. Cloths, cleaning chemicals, mop heads, rubbish bags and bin liners are a few examples of things you often need and may regularly run out of, making them an ideal place to start buying in bulk and saving money. 

A well-stocked tearoom or kitchen makes for a happier and more productive team. Tea, coffee and sugar are all things that can be bought in bulk – no more finding out that there’s no coffee left on deadline. Plastic cutlery and dinnerware, coffee stirrers and the like are a great alternative to breakable items that need washing, however they do tend to go quickly. A good supply of these will keep you running full steam. In every workplace there will be more things that you could save time and money on by buying in bulk – stationery, paper, consumables… the list goes on. So contact your local stationery supply office and find out how buying office supplies in bulk is a perfect way of keeping these small things under control, which gives you more time to concentrate on the most important part – running your business! m

Call shop-sa on 011 880 1147 to assist you in sourcing a supplier of break room supplies.

Managing the Pipeline

A Sales Pipeline is a valuable model used by sales managers, individual sales staff and the owners of small businesses to quantify the demand for their products and services. Regardless of what you’re selling, by effectively managing your sales pipeline, you can forecast customer demand and create a more stable sales cycle with reliable results.

 

The two primary sets of people responsible for creating the sales forecast are the sale reps and their mangers, and neither have stellar reputations for accuracy.  So how can you put a formal selling process in place that improves forecasting accuracy and allows the senior leadership team to make company-wide decisions confidently?

 

It starts with having a defined sales opportunity stage methodology that has been agreed to by sales and the executive team.  Sales reps must follow this methodology closely for it to be effective.  When you define the activity that occurs in each stage, and not merely naming the stage as many company’s do, it allows for less ambiguity.  Here is sample of an opportunity methodology that can be used.

** SOW: Statement of Work

Sales pipelines are only as accurate as the opportunity data entered into them.  One common challenge is that sales people can become overly optimistic about the deals they are working.  Since sales mangers can’t be with every rep to validate every opportunity, the overall pipeline data can lack consistency as you go from rep to rep and deal to deal.

Sales leaders can help pipeline accuracy by helping their teams focus on buyer behaviors and sales process actions, rather than the subjective ratings by the sales rep.   In an example using the chart above, until the sales person has delivered a full solution to the prospect (including pricing and timelines) the opportunity cannot advance from stage 4 to stage 5.

Another process device that can greatly improve forecasting accuracy is CRM tools.  By moving away from spreadsheet forecasts, which are clumsy and only as accurate as the last mass update, and integrating forecasting into your CRM tool it becomes very beneficial.  Almost every CRM application out there has a forecasting package available and the reports it can produce are real time.  If a rep makes a change to a close date or adjusts the value of the opportunity the system provides real time updates to the executive team.

These products also track the accuracy of the predicted event versus the actual event, which can reduce the forecast variance as you move forward.

Sales leadership today is about data management more than ever.  The larger your sales team and bigger your quota the more important it is to drive continuous improvement in this process.

 

The process

A sales pipeline works by placing cohorts of leads or prospects at the different stages of the sales process/sales cycle, and then measuring their progress through the pipeline, from unqualified lead to satisfied repeat customer.

At a gross level, sales pipeline management is nothing more than estimating incoming cash flow. Look at leads and prospects, make some estimates of the likelihood that they’ll eventually buy your products and services, and feed that information along with their expected spend into your projections to find out how much revenue you’re expecting to make.

The real power of sales pipeline management becomes clear when you establish proper metrics and put processes in place to respond to changes in those metrics. 

By analysing the sales pipeline and the particular points within the sales process you are able to determine that for example, the biggest problem staff had was not in closing sales, but in opening a dialogue with customers. This enables management to run training courses and create training aids designed to assist staff in opening a sale and keeping a conversation going.

There are several benefits to managing your sales pipeline effectively:

By focusing on the entire pipeline instead of taking a short-term focus on closing sales, or getting a single high-value contract over the line, demand for your services will be smoother and your cash flow more reliable.

Making incremental improvements of as little as 1-2% in your conversion rates can increase your sales by much more

An in-depth analysis of when and why your leads and prospects leak from the pipeline will pinpoint specific areas for improvement and help you get far more value for your training Rands.

If you keep track of which prospects leak from your sales pipeline and which prospects don’t, you can construct a profile of prospects who are more likely to buy and prospects who are less likely to buy. This knowledge will help you to focus your marketing material and allow you to more accurately qualify your leads, leading to a more streamlined, more efficient and less costly sales process.

Once you have established an accurate sales pipeline, you can use it to plan for new product launches. If you were to plug all the information about your new product into an existing sales pipeline, you would quickly get a pretty good idea of how many leads you’re going to have to generate to reach your new product’s sales target. This will in turn assist you in deciding how to launch the product, and give you an idea of how much it’s going to cost. If you’re going to need 10 000 leads to reach your sales target, you’re probably going to have to look at a mass market advertising campaign. 

A healthy pipeline

There are two commonly accepted measures for assessing the health of a company’s sales pipeline:

The number of opportunities in the pipeline. This is measured either by the total number of opportunities, or the number of opportunities at each stage, or both. 

The Rand value of deals in the pipeline. Unfortunately, failure to effectively address the quality of opportunities in the pipeline is where it all frequently falls apart. Placing emphasis on the quantity of deals in the pipeline over the quality of those deals directly leads to all too familiar scenarios.

 

That is, opportunities that:

Have been forecast at a late stage that, upon further review, should realistically be forecast at an earlier stage.

Have significant revenue associated with them that, upon deeper scrutiny, should realistically be forecast for a much lesser amount.

Have been forecast to close at a certain date that, when examined through the lens of quality and not quantity, should be forecast to close at a later, more realistic date.

Have revenue that gets pushed back month after month.

Should never have been included in the pipeline in the first place.

First you need a consistent ‘flow’ of opportunities to work on to grow your sales. If there is a lag in the flow, there will be short falls relative to your sales success. Second, you need to establish an ideal customer profile to begin your pipeline.

Before placing a sales opportunity into the pipeline, you need to know exactly what a good to excellent customer looks like in terms of total sales, frequently of sales, average sales size, number of product lines covered, credit worthiness and other factors that are important with your best current customers.

Third, only sales opportunities that match your ideal customer profile such be placed in the sales pipeline. Any exceptions are just that – exceptions – and should be treated as such with good explanations relative to what purpose you are placing this account in the pipeline.

Fourth, each sales objective should be listed by itself to insure proper scheduling or forecasting of delivery dates. The key is to consider each sales objective, even if to the same company, to insure proper allocation of resources and most importantly to select the proper decision makers for each sales opportunity.

Finally you will need to assign deadlines for each sales objective. This allows you to see if you have a balanced pipeline relative to outcomes, results and forecasts. The more accurate you can make your deadlines, the more accurate will be your b2b sales forecasts. Accurate sales forecasts are important for you and more important to the sales management and the sales team’s credibility with senior management.

There are only three main sales strategies that all sales people, no matter what they sell, have to do. They need to find some customers, they need to manage those customers and then they need to close some business –  that means… filling the pipeline, managing the pipeline and closing the pipeline. Ultimately, pipeline management is about managing your portfolio of opportunities to meet your target and then ensuring it is enacted within the team towards a common goal, that of targeted business sales. 

 

 

Silveray Statmark Company leads the way

Silveray Statmark Company, the wholly owned subsidiary of the Bidvest Group Limited, is looking forward to a prosperous future if its wide variety of leading branded products and recent successful sponsorship initiatives are anything to go by.

Silveray Statmark Company (SSC), a leading manufacturer, supplier and distributor of commercial office products, printer products, services, stationery and packaging products, through a wide network of outlets in southern Africa, is currently going from strength to strength.

What sets SSC apart from the rest?

The company has a diverse range of quality products catering for the needs of many industries, enabling them to service the office, school, home and corporate gifting markets. SSC boasts over 6 000 office products and school stationery lines for writing, drawing, presentation, binding, shredding and sticking and has been a classroom and boardroom name for 25 years. It has earned its reputation for being committed to delivering on its promise, providing exclusive brands and remaining customer focused. 

SSC markets its products through resellers such as office product dealers and retail outlets and some of the company’s popular global brands which they have exclusive distribution rights to include Croxley, Esselte, Helix, Maped, Rotring, Sellotape and Stabilo Boss. One of the company’s key strategies is to provide promotional support aimed at the end user on behalf of its’ various partners. It is an established and sustainable stationery company providing job and growth opportunities through the supply of high quality, exclusive stationery brands. This is as a result of longstanding and supportive relationships with international and local suppliers, customers and loyal staff members who have been integral to development. 

Successful new developments

In March, Stabilo took to the rugby fields with its sponsorship of the FeLions, the MTN Lions cheerleaders, for the 2012 Vodacom Rugby Super 15. Shaun Attwell, marketing manager for SSC, says the fluorescent colours of the Stabilo highlighters were used to create a funky look for the uniforms of the cheerleaders creating a synergy between the team and the brand. He says when the FeLions go onto the field to cheer their team on to victory in every match, Stabilo has been matching their youthful energy. Also in March, Croxley became the sponsor of Jacques Rudolph, South Africa’s double century left-handed cricketer, who has made a come-back to the Proteas Test side this season after five years away from the international arena. The Croxley brand appeared on Rudolph’s bat cementing Croxley’s association with style and quality. Trevor Girnun, managing director of SSC, says they are proud to be involved in such sponsorships which reflect the company in a positive light. 

A look back at the past

Hans Servas, former managing director of SSC retired from the company after 30 years as a passionate brand specialist in the industry on the 5 August 2011. SSC was formerly known as Esselte and Servas originally was employed as the general manager of Esselte, South Africa during 1980. Esselte, South Africa was then was sold to Waltons in 1986 and the name was changed to Statmark. In 1997, the Waltons Group including Statmark was acquired by Bidvest and in 2004, the merger of Silveray and Statmark took place resulting in the company becoming Silveray Statmark Company in 2005. From the early days, it was Servas’ vision to create a basket of great and exclusive brands. He continued to add international brands to the Statmark stable. The key to success was his ability in forging relationships both locally and abroad. Statmark’s growth was based on the additions of new brands, mergers and acquisitions.  Servas took Statmark through a series of changes with the Rotring, Twinlock and Helix brands being taken on and integrated successfully, as well as the Parker, Waterman, Papermate and Sharpy brands being acquired too.

Fulfilling future ahead

The stationery industry has become complicated and to be successful, companies must have a comprehensive understanding of every aspect of their business as businesses pop up all the time, but few endure. Management at Silveray Statmark Company understand their business and with Trevor Girnun, the new managing director on board, they are set to soar to new heights experiencing positive growth. Management at SSC is committed to be an essential supplier and provide exclusive brands and with a national sales and distribution network in Johannesburg, Durban, CapeTown, Port Elizabeth, East London, Pretoria and Bloemfontein behind them, they are able to provide their brands across the country. The company is also backed by a highly experienced and motivated staff compliment who have spent many years working in the stationery trade and are able to ensure clients enjoy solid, long term dealings with the company. Ongoing product development is especially important to management at the SSC as it ensures they continue providing innovative and quality products to the market. 

Face of the New Board of Directors

Dear Members,

Having accepted my appointment as the new Chairman by the newly elected shop-sa board, I feel it is important to convey the reasoning behind it.  From a Board perspective it was felt that the Chairman should be somewhat independent, yet have an understanding of the Industry.

 

I, on the other hand, have always enjoyed being part of the industry. Following my ‘retirement’ and subsequent sabbatical I am pleased to be able to again make a small contribution to the Association. Also, sitting outside, looking in, puts issues into a slightly different perspective. 

 

THE IMPORTANT MESSAGE today is the following:

 

It became clear, during the first Board and Strategy meeting a few weeks ago, that the challenges facing shop-saare enormous and quick action was required to ensure that the Association remains financially viable.

Eugene Kleynhans, the incumbent Executive Director, presented the Board with the Financial ‘state of affairs’.  It was clear for us to see that Eugene and his new team had worked hard to find solutions to the problems that they had inherited. The conclusion from that meeting was that a Finance Committee would be set up to find quick solutions to the problems.

 

At the subsequent Finance Committee Meeting, Eugene proposed the following to improve the financial position of the association:  a.) Voluntary Retrenchment of a number of staff members including himself and b.) Curtailing other variable costs/expenses.

 

The proposal was then discussed at an emergency meeting of the Board and it was agreed to accept the offer of Voluntary Retrenchment put forward by  Eugene Kleynhans and Trish Swanepoel.  

 

We certainly owe Eugene and Trish our gratitude in putting the welfare of the Association first!

 

WHAT NOW?

 

The remaining staff members have been fully briefed and are committed to keep the back-bone of the Association going.

A working committee, consisting of: Ryan Bidgood, Gary Pickford, Bill Bayley, Allan Thompson and Herman Botha plus the undersigned, has been formed. Their task is to:

  – Manage and support the shop-sa office

– Set priorities and propose short and medium term objectives

– Allocate specific tasks to Committee and Portfolio members.

 

The key components to sustain shop-sa, apart from financial health, are:

a.)
The magazine, which without advertising support is not viable

b.) Paying Membership (without Members, there is no Association).

 

The industry and general environment has changed but we believe that it is now even more important than ever  to maintain a forum to the benefit of all players.

The Board is committed to go the extra mile!

However, without the support of new and existing members, the Association will not continue to serve the best interests of our industry into the future. I therefore appeal to all members, readers and all advertisers for your on-going support in our efforts to revive and re-vitalise our industry Association. 

Hans Servas

 

 

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