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Management And Training

Diversification Is The Way Of The Future

September 19, 2010
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Companies can no longer get by using the same tried and true methods of marketing and self-promotion.

With new companies popping up every day, it''s easy to get lost in the shuffle.

These days a company needs to make sure that their name and what they can offer is always in the forefront of the consumer''s mind.

In today''s troubled economy, businesses are struggling to stay afloat and remain relevant.

One way to achieve a level of relevance is by raising brand awareness.

If consumers know more about your product and your company, they are more likely to pick you and to continue to do so.

But, how do you remain one step ahead and a cut above the competition?

The name of the game is diversification.

It is no longer enough for a company to rest on its laurels and just get by with what they have always offered; you need to become a jack of all trades.

Much like a stock portfolio, your company wants to diversify its holdings or its assets. You want to be able to offer more.

One such company that has recognized and embraced the need for diversity is Staples. Their name is highly recognizable — think "that was easy" — but even a big name like Staples can recognize the need to evolve their business practices.

Staples now offers a business-to-business (B2B) division, Staples Advantage, which offers a "one source" stop for business services, including facilities, furniture, promotional products, print services and technology.

"They already trust Staples for office supplies [so] it''s a natural fit for Staples to supply products to maintain their facility," explains Lisa Hamblet, vice president of Staples Facility Solutions.

Staples Facility Solutions is able to offer a wide assortment of janitorial and cleaning supplies and exclusive eco-conscious cleaners to promote health and wellness.

Many businesses are already looking for ways to streamline costs, and if your company can service all of their needs, there will be little incentive to purchase from one distributor for office supplies and a different distributor for cleaning and maintenance supplies.

Facility managers no longer want to get their supplies piecemeal, but rather at lower prices and with the guarantee of support.

Be the distributor in the position to offer this support and your relevance increases.

Be The One-stop Solution

In today''s economy, saving money is important. It is equally important for any distributor, big or small, to have their customers'' financial situation always in mind.

If a distributor can not only supply a business but help the business streamline old processes and find ways to reduce labor time and costs, the distributor has suddenly become invaluable.

"Facilities today are under tremendous pressure to control spending and improve efficiency. In short, they are expected to do more with less. Staples can combine ordering, deliveries and reporting to make it easier for our customers," Hamblet elaborates.

Gone are the days when companies can sit back and get by on what they have always done. The way business is done is changing every day.

The companies that can recognize this trend and adapt will have a place in the marketplace of the future: They will have diversified.

A company that can help with product selection, usage and training is priceless.

These days, you cannot simply distribute products, but instead need to become a support system to maintain these products.

Companies are looking for knowledgeable sales representatives that don''t just push a product but know the product inside and out.

They''re looking to educate their employees on how to properly use their products.

If your company can offer the whole package — products, training and support — the more valuable you become to your customer.

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