This year’s NAOPA People’s Choice Award was presented yesterday at SP Richards’ ABC conference in Orlando, Florida.
It went to a company which is showing time and again that it is eminently possible to continue to innovate in a commoditised market.
ACCO Brands’ Quartet Glass Dry-Erase Desktop Computer Pad struck a chord with ABC delegates (and US OPI readers in the run-up to the event) and was the runaway winner of the final vendor award which was announced at the end of the Business Solutions Expo. This computer pad is ideal for quickly capturing ideas and jotting down daily tasks.
Having had the chance to see and try out the product during the Expo, dealers could clearly see its potential revenue opportunities. Damon Holst, Associate Product Manager at Quartet, said: “This is a product that we believe is really new to the market. It helps people maximize their productivity and importantly does not use too much desk space. Our intention was to solve a problem and it seems to have resonated with people which gives us great confidence.”
The remaining NAOPAs – for Professional and Young Executive of the Year, and Industry Achievement – will be awarded during tomorrow night’s closing Gala Evening of the ABC.
Yesterday’s General Session set the scene for this year’s ABC event and sought to address the varied challenges and threats that independent dealers and indeed the industry as a whole face.
Everybody is aware of and talks about the biggest elephant in the room – Amazon – but that threat certainly shouldn’t be seen in isolation, said SP Richards EVP of Operations Jim O’Brien when he opened the event.
Touching on a number of issues, including creating a higher value proposition with more services and expanded product ranges, and better margin management through proprietary brands and more efficiently using transactional data, O’Brien said: “Something in our model has to change for all parts of the channel because the current model is not sustainable.”
He called for better collaboration between the generations, companies, and channel partners.
“None of us can reach the full potential of our business by working alone,” concluded SP Richards CEO Rick Toppin.