How to sell: Paper perfect 

A simple guide to selling your customers the best paper for the job 

Paper comes in a vast array of colours, shapes and sizes, and it is very much a part of our everyday lives. To help your customers choose the best product for their purposes, you will need to understand what it is they want to do with it.

How paper is made

Paper is generally made from the fibres of wood, typically from pine trees. Trees are felled and delivered to a pulp mill in the form of logs, wood chips, waste paper or even paper pulp from other mills.

Making pulp
At the mill the logs are stripped of their bark. They are then either ground to fibres for mechanical wood pulp or processed to chips for chemical pulp. Recycled pulp is made using waste paper.
To grind wood into fibres, it is mixed with water and milled.
During a chemical pulping process, lignin, the natural “glue” that holds the wood fibres together, is dissolved. This frees up wood fibres. The resultant pulp is either sulphate or sulphite pulp, and the fibres are clean and undamaged. Paper made from chemical pulp is often called “wood-free” or “fine” paper.
Newspapers, cardboard boxes and magazines are de-inked as part of the recycled pulping process. This type of pulp is turned into things such as fluting (the middle layer of corrugated cardboard).

Whitening the pulp 
As a natural product, wood pulp is brown. It must therefore be bleached in order to make white paper. This is done with chlorine or chlorine compounds, as well as with oxygen or hydrogen peroxide. Chlorine-based processes have a larger environmental impact, and so chlorine free processes are used. 

Refining the pulp  
In order to give the pulp the exact properties for a particular type of paper, the bleach pulp has to be refined. This is done by passing the pulp through a system of rotating and stationary blades. This enhances the way the fibres mesh together, increasing their bonding properties and making them stronger papers.

The furnish
The mix, or furnish, consists of a blend of pulp. This blend is generally made up of differing proportions of hardwood and softwood, depending on the “recipe” for a particular type of paper.
At this stage, various chemicals are added depending on the particular specifications of the paper to be made. Chalk or clay may be added to enhance brightness and smoothness; dyes are added for shade control; optical brighteners are added for whiteness; and sizing agents are added to make the paper repel moisture.
All the components are dissolved in water and mixed with the pulps. Water is the most important component at this stage, and it takes approximately 100l of water to make 1kg of paper. This is then ready for conversion on the paper machine into a continuous sheet of paper.

The paper machine
This machine has three major components – the base sheet forming section, the press section and the drying section – and its primary function is to create a uniform web of paper.
The furnish is agitated to prevent the fibres from clumping. The furnish is rapidly de-watered, the fibres begin to bond and a mat is formed. From here, the furnish moves to the press section where it squeezed between a series of pressure rollers. From there, the paper moves to a drying section.
At this point the paper may have other elements, such as a surface coating with starch, added to it.
The paper is then wound into a large reel.

Calendering
Calendering is a finishing process used on paper. Sheets of paper are placed between metallic plates and passed through spring loaded rollers in a calendering machine. This is to smooth the paper out and enhance the gloss. The paper passes through up to 16 rolls which apply pressure and temperature to the coated paper surface. These rolls have different surfaces. Steel rolls and elastic rolls achieve the various glazing and surface treatments. This process is also used to achieve different textures.

Finishing  
At this point the paper is cut to the size required by the customer. The jumbo reels are transported to a finishing department, where they are dispatched for delivery as is or processed into specific paper sheet sizes on a sheeter. 

Characteristics of paper 

Texture
Paper is available in a range of textures, from very smooth to quite rough.
Smoothness is an important characteristic, especially if your customers are using paper to print on. The smoother the paper is, the sharper the printed image. Certain types of paper are optimised for different functions. For example, laser printer paper is optimised for use in laser printers. It improves printer performance, especially for colour and complex graphics. Inkjet printer paper ensures images print cleanly without bleeding.
Rough papers have greater texture, providing an interesting element to an art project or painting. Watercolour paper and handmade papers are very rough. 

Weight
The weight of the paper is also important. The higher the weight, the greater the thickness of the individual sheets of paper.  Weight, or grammage, is measured in grams per square metre (gsm). Most paper for use in printers ranges from 80gsm to 160gsm. Tracing paper is very thin (40gsm) while card stock is between 200gsm and 250gsm.
 

Performance
Paper performance is usually determined by how well the paper is suited for the task at hand. As with most things, the more expensive a paper is, the more likely it will be to be good quality.
With regards to cut sheet paper, printing sharpness is important. How clear will the print be? Will the ink smudge or blur? Sharpness is provided via a combination of paper finishes and weight.
Cut sheet paper with consistent, reliable performance helps reduce printer wear and tear. Paper dust (a result of using poor quality paper) can harm printers in the long run. 

Appearance 
The appearance of paper is also important. Papers with a low opacity will allow light to shine through. In general, that means ink will show through too. Multi-purpose paper is fairly translucent, while thinker papers tend to have a higher opacity. Thicker paper will be resistant to ink bleeding through.
Another aspect of appearance is whiteness. When it comes to cut sheet paper for a printer, whiter is better. The white the paper being printed on, the better colour and black and white copies will look.
Coloured papers should not leech colour.

Sustainability
Some types of paper come with a Forest Stewardship Council logo (FSC). This means that the timber used to produce the pulp was grown in a responsible manner and has been certified as such.  

Types of paper 

When selling paper to your customers, make sure to ascertain their needs. There are many different types of paper, and they are used for different applications. To determine which paper will be most suitable for your customer, ask them what they plan to do with it.

Continuous form paper
Continuous form paper is usually perforated at regular intervals and is joined together like an accordion. It is typically used by impact (dot matrix) printers.  It can be single ply or multi-ply, with carbon paper between the layers. The highest grade of continuous paper is similar to typing paper, with a fine perforation. The most common sizes are 241mm x 279mm and 381mm x 279mm.
Continuous form paper is commonly used by businesses that are required to give customers copies of invoices, such as mechanics and couriers.

Cut sheet paper
The standard, white paper that your customers buy in a ream and use in their inkjet and laser printers is called cut sheet paper. It ranges in size from A5 (148mm x 210mm) up to A0 (841mm x 1 189mm) in speciality printers. Variations are offered in thickness, smoothness or a combination thereof. Paper is often supplied by printer manufacturers to ensure the best colour reproductions.  Be sure to ask your customers what type of printer they use to ensure you sell them the correct paper.

Photograph paper
Customers who want to print their own photographs will require special photographic paper, which is coated with specially developed chemicals for a glossy finish. The chemicals also ensure there is no bleeding or smearing of ink. The paper itself can be thin sheets of plain paper or thick, multi-layered paper. Different types of photo paper have different thicknesses and textures. Some photo papers have the grain and weight of watercolour paper or art canvas. 

Thermal paper 
Thermal paper is a fine paper coated with a chemical that changes colour when exposed to heat. The paper, which comes in rolls, has a protective top-coating to prevent fading. Despite this, the paper is light sensitive and fades easily. This type of paper will usually be used by customers who print receipts, such as those with tills and credit card machines.

Security paper
Security paper is a type of paper that incorporates features that help to authenticate a document as original. This is done through the use of watermarks or invisible fibres.
This type of paper is used for identification documents such as passports; certificates; and government documents.

Paper for arts and crafts
In general, the paper used for arts and crafts is different from other papers in that it is brightly coloured or patterned, and has different texture.
Tissue paper – this is a type of very thin paper with a smooth surface.  It is available in a range of bright colours and is best suited to wrapping, packing or craft projects.
Tissue paper for crafts is usually sold in sheets. It is inexpensive but does tear easily.
Tracing paper – this is a very thin type of paper (around 40gsm) that is transparent enough to see through it onto the paper below. It is used in arts and crafts to trace and transfer patterns and images.
Crepe paper – this is another type of thin paper but it has a crinkled (creped) surface. This makes it slightly stronger than tissue paper and it can be stretched. Crepe paper is not colour-fast and will bleed if wet. It is used for craft projects and gift wrapping or table decorating.
Origami paper – this is a thin type of paper that is made with folding in mind. It is sold in squares and is often patterned on one side and plain on the other, although it can be found in solid colours or plain white. It is used for origami, scrap booking and card making. Origami paper is relatively expensive.
Construction paper – also known as sugar paper, this is a light- to medium-weight multipurpose paper with a slightly rough surface. It is available in a wide range of colours and is used in arts and crafts projects like papier mache, decoupage, printing, picture making and scrapbooking. It is especially popular with children as it is brightly coloured and relatively cheap.
Brown paper – this strong paper is ideal for wrapping, covering schoolbooks and making papier mache. It can be bought in sheets or rolls.
Parchment – also known as vellum, this is a thin but tough paper which a translucent quality. Parchment is ideal for crafts such as card making, stamping and embossing. It can be plain or patterned and is made from vegetable pulp that has been treated with sulfuric acid.
Watercolour paper – this is a type of very thick paper with a rough, textured surface. It is usually white and is used by artists who work in watercolour paints. Watercolour paper needs to be primed before use. Wet the sheet of paper and stretch it. Allow to dry before using.
Card stock – also known as pasteboard, this type of paper is thicker and more durable than normal paper, but thinner and more flexible than cardboard. It is available in a range of colours and finishes and is ideal for making cards and using in craft projects.
Paperboard – this is a thick type of paper that is available in a range of colours and finishes. Paperboard is always thicker than standard paper, and starts at 225gsm. It is ideal for book covers and school projects. Although it is a heavy duty paper, it is easy to cut.
Cardboard – this is considered to be any paper with a weight greater than 130gsm. Corrugated cardboard is a type of card with two or more layers of paper with a fluted layer in between. Corrugated card is usually brown, but it is found in other colours. This type of paper is ideal for craft projects because it is stiff and holds its shape. 

Debunking paper myths

The paper industry often gets a bad rap from environmentalists and consumers alike, but all is not as it seems.
Did you know that:
* The paper industry is one of the most eco-responsible industries and contributes to reforestation.
* One person consumes 212kg of paper per year, on average. This is the equivalent of 500 kWH of energy consumption – but a computer consumes 800 kWH.
* Sending 10 e-mails a day for one year results in the same carbon emission as driving 1 000km by car.
* Paper can be recycled up to seven times without losing any of its original quality.
* A page displayed on a screen for three minutes consumes more energy that the printed equivalent.
* An electronic invoice sent via e-mail releases 242g of CO2 – the equivalent of the production and dispatch of 15 paper invoices.
Visit www.antalis.co.za  for more information.
Source: Antalis

Acknowledgement: Sappi, Antalis

Reminder: shop-sa AGM

The Chairman of shop-sa, Hans Servas, and fellow members of the board cordially invite you to attend the annual shop-sa breakfast AGM at Killarney Country Club.

Date: Thursday 25 October 2018
Time: 08:00 for 08:30
Venue: Killarney Country Club
Address: 60 5th Street
Houghton Estate
Johannesburg
2198
Join us for a delicious breakfast as we review the year that has been and what the future holds for shop-sa.

RSVP to Wendy on 012 548 0046 or wendy@shop-sa.co.za.

Source: MyBroadband

MWEB and Absa clients have been targeted in a new e-mail phishing attack, where they are asked to open an attachment aimed at stealing their private information.

The email asks users to open an HTML attachment, which in turn opens a form in a browser which steals the victim’s personal details.

In the past, executable keyloggers were attached to emails to steal account information from victims.

However, most security services now block users from opening an attached executable file, as most of these files are malicious.

Scammers are now using HTML pages as attachments, where users are asked to provide their personal details in what appears to be a legitimate website.

In these scams, users are encouraged to open the attached email file, which opens in a browser and requests their username and password for a service.

This information is then sent to the criminal’s email address using a basic PHP script.

MWEB and Absa scam email
This is the method used in the latest email scam which is targeting MWEB and Absa clients.

The email, which claims to come from MWEB – but is sent from “info@mailsynk.co.za” – tells users that their “invoices and/or receipts and statement that you requested attached to this email”.

The attachment is the phishing page, which in this case uses the domain “jehovalchristofficeinternatona.co.za” to host the scripts.

Without looking at the HTML code, there are many warning signs that this is a scam email:

  • The email does not come from MWEB or Absa. It should be noted that an email which comes from an @mweb.co.za or @absa.co.za does not automatically mean it is authentic.
  • The email is poorly structured and contains poor grammar.
  • There is no personalisation in the email, with a user’s name or account details.
  • It mentions a PDF file, but the attachment is a .htm file.
  • Users are asked to provide their personal details to view a file – a clear sign it is a phishing attack.

Bidvest on Monday reported a better set of first-half results, leveraging off the diverse nature of its portfolio.
Easily one of the better proxies of the local economy, its portfolio spans services, freight, automotive, office and print, commercial products, financial services and electrical companies.

Trading profit rose 12% to R3.1bn in the six months to end-December, as revenue rose 10.7% to R39.9bn.
The services, freight, and office and print divisions were the standout performers, with increases in trading profit of 24.3%, 18% and 12.7%, respectively. The automotive division disappointed though, with trading profit down 6%.

Bidvest SA also counted on the acquisition of facility management services group Noonan, as well as the additional three-month contribution from Brandcorp.

The share of profits from associated companies, before capital items, was up 26.4%.

Bidvest holds investments in pharmaceuticals group Adcock Ingram (38.5%), airline operator Comair (27.2%), Mumbai Airport (6.75) and a 52% interest in Bidvest Namibia.

But trading profit in Bidvest Namibia slumped 68% as a result of what the group said was sluggish economic growth
in that market, and fishing industry and operational challenges.

All in all, group headline earnings per share (HEPS) rose 12.5% to R5.74 and interim dividend per share 12.3% to R2.55.

By Andries Mahlangu for Business Day

Five of the world’s leading and most progressive Office Supplies Dealer groups have today announced the formation of an international alliance for the purpose of sharing the vast knowledge, experience and intellect of globally recognised companies and executives within the Office Products market.
Office Choice (Australia), TriMega Purchasing Association (USA), Novexco (Canada), Office Friendly (United Kingdom) and Inovocom (South Africa) will join together under the IOPA banner (International Office Products Alliance) to drive collaboration amongst the management teams of each company in the areas of Private Label sourcing, Best practice sharing, Corporate & Dealer benchmarking and Business model enhancement.
Pioneered by Office Choice CEO Brad O’Brien, this alliance has been born as a direct result of the desire for increased collaboration by each company to build and enhance the support and services provided for the benefit of the members of each dealer group. The alliance will see a yearly schedule of online meetings and international conferences to bring the companies together. The 1st meeting will be held in June 2018 in conjunction with the OPI European Forum in the UK, where the roadmap for the next 2 years will be determined.
Office Choice CEO Brad O’Brien says ““Office Choice are delighted to have been able to bring these great companies together and I am looking forward to working with each company to fulfil the ambitions of the alliance. Each company has been successful in their own market and so pooling resources and learning will be extremely advantageous for all involved.” O’Brien continued “We have built a strong relationship with each company over the past few years and it is a testament to the progressive mindset from all involved that we have been able create this alliance”
“We are pleased to be working with these progressive organizations from around the world and look forward to benefiting from their experience and know how as we share best practices across our platforms”, commented Mike Maggio, President of TriMega Purchasing Association. Ian Wist, Chairman of TriMega remarked, “The primary focus of each of these unique organizations is to better serve the independent dealers in our respective markets. By better understanding how similar organizations operate, our Board of Directors will create a stronger organization for our Members.”
“The IOPA is an exceptional opportunity for Novexco to pursue further its strategy, enhance knowledge and provide ingenious solutions in its market. Novexco, the largest Canadian owned distributor of office and furniture supply in Canada, is delighted to join this alliance. We look forward to sharing and capturing best practices and new trends, with an end-goal of maximizing our customer experience”, said Denis Mathieu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Novexco.
Office Friendly Managing Director Julie Hawley commented “Office friendly is delighted to become part of this illustrious and inspiring international Alliance. The UK office products market is evolving at a fast pace and in turn we are evolving our strategic direction for the benefit of all our members. By aligning with likeminded groups, globally recognised in their own countries as market leaders, IOPA is the next natural and progressive step.”
Inovocom Founding Director Craig Noyle commented “The Inovocom Group , which includes the Office Active, Office Club Africa and Alliance Furniture Dealer groups is honoured to have been included within this prestigious international alliance. Being the leading dealer group in the Southern African region, we look forward to sharing our knowledge of the African market with our peers, as well as the solutions that we have had to adapt for the African market. We believe this alliance will bring huge benefit to our dealers as well as our local industry by exposing us to international trends and best practices within the office products industry. Inovocom looks forward to working with our alliance partners.”

Wihan Oosthuizen has resigned as CEO of Office National.

Andre de Beer is acting CEO for Office National Africa until a suitable replacement has been recruited.
An official press release will be issued after Office National’s AGM at the end of January.

“In the meantime, I can assure you, it is business as usual,” says De Beer.

OPI acquires Independent Dealer e-zine

OPI has acquired the US-based Independent Dealer e-zine (ID) from De Groot Resources.

ID was first published in January 2007 by its founder and editor Simon De Groot, building on a 30-year career writing about the office products industry for the National Office Products Association (NOPA) and the now demised OfficeDEALER publication.

Having successfully championed the cause of the US independent dealer channel for more than a decade, and after 40 years of meeting almost daily publishing deadlines, De Groot has decided to transition slowly into a more balanced lifestyle that allows him to spend more time with his family.

As part of the handover agreement, De Groot will remain at ID as a consultant for a period of two years, assisting new editor and publisher Rowan McIntyre who will head ID’s already established team of experienced writers.
McIntyre is an experienced B2B journalist who is very familiar with the US business supplies industry, having written for OPI in a freelance capacity as well as writing and publishing for several years the official publication for the annual EPIC trade show on behalf of co-organisers Independent Stationers and TriMega Purchasing Association.

Commenting on the announcement, former independent dealer and now OPI’s CEO Steve Hilleard said: “I am delighted that Simon De Groot has entrusted us to continue the excellent work he has done with the ID e-zine and we look forward to building on that success.

“The publication’s mission will remain the same: to celebrate success in the independent dealer channel and to point the way to new opportunities for dealers to grow stronger and more profitably.”

De Groot added: “The good thing from my point of view – and for ID’s readers – is that the new owners, OPI, are well known to just about everyone in the industry and come to our publication with an outstanding track record of publishing excellence and journalistic integrity. Steve Hilleard and I have been competitors and friends for many years and I know he and his team are going to do a great job for the dealer community.”

A list of FAQs can be accessed here.

Source: OPI

A message from the chairman of shop-sa

Another turbulent, interesting and sometimes depressing year is almost over.

Just as we thought “Little else can happen, apart from waiting for the all important outcome of the ANC conference” Steinhoff hit us!

All these factors impact on business confidence. However, our industry and SA as a whole have once again shown great resilience, which bodes well for the future.

It is in times like this when being part of an association like shop-sa is critical and as important as ever.

To communicate effectively, the former My Office magazine, successfully moved from print to digital, opening up new possibilities and keeping our members informed about trends as well as issues relating to our industry.

The popular series of Executive Breakfast sessions, with excellent and relevant speakers, will continue in 2018.

Our hope and wish is that industry players recognise the value of a strong association and renew their support – we all know that “strength is in numbers”!

On this note, we wish all members and readers of the My Office newsletter a peaceful festive season – and a much better 2018! 

Hans Servas

Chairman

shop-sa holds AGM

shop-sa held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 26 October at the Bryanston Country Club in Johannesburg.

Chairman Hans Servas opened the meeting with a summary of the OPI report for 2016/2017, “A View From The
Top”, updating global events and trends in the office products and stationery industry.

The quorum was reached and there were a number of apologies. In his report, the chairman elaborated on the following:

  • Six board meetings were held during the year;
  • The main event in 2017 was the digitisation of the My Office magazine, and the launch of the official My Office News newsletter;
  • A breakfast session about the impact and role of digitisation, with Matt Brown of Digital Kung Fu was well attended; and
  • Finances are sound, although the association reported a small loss for the year.

Amendments to the Constitution were approved by the AGM .

Rob Matthews, owner of IT Online, gave a presentation on the growth and future of the digital publications. He delineated what My Office News does, which is connecting buyers and sellers through content. My Office intends to focus on janitorial (including facilities management).

The decision to go digital hinged off the declining print market and well as lower support from advertisers. The advantages of digital include: a reduction in cost; flexibility to change artwork; broader coverage; a faster speed to publish; and better metrics due to improved accuracy of delivery and statistics.

My Office offers weekly newsletters, crime alerts, press offices, a product source guide, Facebook and Twitter, and focuses on brand awareness. New products in the pipeline include a tech news letter, a hobby newsletter, Facebook management and digital communication.

A new board for 2017/18 was elected. The new board members are:
1. Hans Servas (Chairman)
2. Bill Bayley
3. Clive Heydenrych
4. Allan Thompson

Trotec celebrates 20 years

In a span of only 20 years, Trotec Laser has grown from a start-up to a world market leader in laser machines for cutting, marking and engraving: from humble beginnings in the former “Development and Research Container” to the very impressive Green Building Headquarters in Upper Austria.

As part of the Trodat Trotec Group, Trotec develops, manufactures and markets laser machines for marking, cutting and engraving, as well as engraving materials. As a leader in innovation, Trotec sets new standards in the laser segment; with an installed base of over 30,000 systems, Trotec now serves customers in more than 90 countries and employs more than 550 people worldwide.

Trotec was formed in 1997 from a research branch of Trodat – the world’s biggest manufacturer of stamps – and has since then become a world leader in the field of laser technology. In 2015, the sales volume of the Upper Austrian laser manufacturer exceeded € 100 million for the first time. Years before, as an almost visionary goal, the passing of this mark was defined as a goal for 2015, and it was reached precisely: exactly € 100.8 million in sales were ultimately achieved. In 2016, the latest completed financial year, Trotec increased sales by 9.1 %, to almost € 110 million.

Sales volume goal by 2020: € 200 million

The high growth rate continues in 2017, too. With a predicted sales increase of 20%, Trotec sets a major milestone for the sales volume goal in 2020. Dr. Andreas Penz, spokesman of Trotec’s management, commented on this: “This increase in sales seems incredibly high at first sight, but the laser business is an extremely dynamic one, and laser applications are now found in all major areas of life. For example in medical engineering. We manufacture stents with our laser machines. Or in the field of research, where laser applications are simply indispensable, for example in the development of the Mars Rover. Trotec laser technology plays an important role in industry and trade as well. The pivotal question is: Why do we make lasers? Answer: We make our customers successful, and this sustainable strategy allows us to grow overproportionately”, explains Penz.
The explicit goal for the future of Trotec Laser is to become the world’s number one in the laser segment and the market leader in the defined core markets.

20th anniversary celebrations
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary celebrations, Andreas Penz reviewed the past 20 years with milestones of development, supplemented with some personal insights and experiences. He proudly thanked the Trotec team for the tireless dedication and the distinctive team spirit at Trotec, which forms the basis of this success story: In record time from start-up to today’s world market leader in laser machines.

Global set-up
Trotec is present in over 90 countries with:
17 sales subsidiaries and more than 50 demo rooms
Distributor network with 113 partner companies

Trotec South Africa has a dedicated staff of 11 people, including Sales, Marketing and Technical support. We have a dedicated showroom in Sandton.
Under the umbrella of Trodat Trotec Holding GmbH, with the Trodat brand the group operates globally in the area of stamp production, and with the Trotec brand in the laser field: Trodat is the world’s largest stamp producer and Trotec the world market leader in laser engraving, cutting, and marking.

The Trodat Trotec Group currently (basis for figures: most recent completed financial year, 2016) generates a total sales volume of more than € 227.5 million and has approximately 1400 employees in some 40 subsidiaries. The Group is present in about 150 countries. The total export share amounts to more than 98 %.

Trodat Trotec South Africa has their headquarters conveniently located in Kramerville, Sandton just 50m from the M1 highway. Our dedicated showroom is set up so we are able to show you our machines and consumables at very short notice.

Trodat Trotec Holding is headquartered in Wels, Upper Austria, where also the most important production site for stamp production, including research and development, is located. Trotec’s production and distribution site is Marchtrenk, about 2 km (1¼ miles) from Wels.

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