John Strecker

Doors open wide for independent distributors probing this industry. To say that there have been a few changes within the independent channel in relation to the health-care industry would be a bit of an understatement. It is now well-known that in October of last year, American Solutions for Business, Glenwood, Minn., and International Business Solutions Alliance (IBSA), Bowling Green, Ky., pulled off a major coup by snagging Novation—the largest-volume group purchasing organization (GPO) in the health-care field. (Novation formerly contracted with major direct Moore Wallace, owned by RR Donnelley, Chicago, Ill.) This spells opportunity for manufacturers and independents affiliated with American Solutions for

Manufacturers discuss emerging markets and value-added applications. Spurred by the introduction of laser printers in the 1980s, laser labels continue to be a profitable product for distributors, with new applications and processes spawned regularly to meet end-users' demands. "Lasers are pretty hot right now," noted Melinda Fulton, marketing manager at Continental Datalabel, Elgin, Ill. As pin-fed labels have faded from their former preeminence, laser and thermal labels have taken over. Mike Evans, marketing service manager for Lancer Label, Omaha, Neb., a PrintXcel company, said that he has seen steady growth in stock laser label sales over the past three years. John Strecker, vice

The editorial staff at BFL&S apologizes for any inconvenience caused by four inaccurate DMIA listings that ran in our September issue. The correct listings for Data Papers, Datatel Resources, Data Label, Inc. and Dealer Label are as follows: Data Papers Booth 1116 On Exhibit: Checks; continuous forms; labels; unit sets; mailers Booth Personnel: Greg Hatches Phone: (800) 233-3032 Fax: (888) 546-2366 E-mail: Datatel Resources Corporation Booth 1011 On Exhibit: 50˝ jumbo rolls; long run custom forms; laser cut sheets; high color print with UV Booth Personnel: Allen Simon; Richard Kline; Ray Rudek Phone: (800) 245-2688 Fax: (724) 775-0688 E-mail: Data Label, Inc. Booth 516 On Exhibit: Stock & custom thermal; laser & EDP labels & tags; form/label combinations; bar

Distributors experience priceless benefits by offering two products as one. Although Form/Label combinations may not make up a large percentage of business for most distributors and manufacturers—some reporting total annual sales of 2 percent or less for these products—they are products that make sense to provide and promote. After all, the applications for form/label combinations are limitless, and the benefits; priceless. For instance, John Strecker, vice president of sales and marketing for Data Label, Terre Haute, Ind., said that some of the specific uses for form/label combinations include packing lists, order forms, invoices, statements, service reminders, returned goods forms, patient information forms, laboratory forms,

No matter where it will be used, there is a bar-coded product right for the job. Ever heard the one about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody? Well, there was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did. Bar codes are a lot like that. At one time bar codes were strictly the province of the very largest retailers. Today, they have become so woven into the fabric of daily life that most people hardly even notice them. So why do so few distributors actually offer them?

The ubiquitous bar code label is a necessity for distributors' portfolios. While bar-coded labels are a small segment of manufacturers' bottom lines, it is important that they are not overlooked by distributors. "Bar codes are a low percentage of overall sales, but their contribution to profit is higher," said John Shanley, president of Labels West, Woodinville, Wash. As interest in the product grows and equipment prices plummet, manufacturers are seeing a spike in on-demand bar coded labels. "Today a great deal of variable printing is done by the end-user," said John Strecker, vice president of sales and marketing for Data Label, Terre

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