The Elephant in the Room
The way Lynn M. Rogge sees it, operating on price alone is the worst blunder a distributor can make. And with 50 years in the game, it's a safe bet that he knows a thing or two.
"If you get an order by price, there's a good chance you're going to lose it by price somewhere along the line," said Rogge, vice president distributor sales of Austell, Georgia-based PRINTSouth. "RFQs (requests for quotes) are the worst thing that could ever happen to a salesperson."
Doling out attractive prices surely will spark an interest. But, distributors looking to penetrate the jumbo roll sector must make a deeper commitment: finding a like-minded supplier partner. Start by establishing points of differentiation among the various providers.
Several factors have served PRINTSouth well. The company has a jumbo roll presence in four different areas: Tempe, Ariz.; Omaha, Neb.; Dallas; and Richmond, Va. All plants are climate-controlled ISO 9001:2000 certified facilities, and use inks that immediately dry. Furthermore, both sides of the web are vacuumed before and after printing and processing to remove any evidence of paper dust, which can damage laser printer components or cause allergic reactions in some people. Finally, all rolls are carefully inspected to avoid any flaws (e.g., breaks), and high-speed web cameras provide a real-time view of what is being printed to assure the best possible image quality.
Being recognized for quality also speaks to Datatel Resources Corporation's commitment to craft. Located in Monaca, Pa., the supplier continually invests in equipment and has documented procedures in place. Similar to its competition, Datatel Resources has installed video web monitoring systems. Zoom capabilities allow operators to watch for extraneous ink, which arguably is the number-one complaint from end-users or processing houses. Datatel Resources President Allen Simon believes this shouldn't happen if the job is being done right.