Entry #5: 3 Keys to Becoming a Strategic Supplier

We’ve developed three key principles that have positioned us as strategic suppliers for large corporations. We believe they transcend the printing industry and are universal:

  1. Be a financially stable growth business that reinvests profits in the business.
  2. Continuously find ways to reduce overhead and manufacturing costs – allowing you to pass on “true” savings to customers – not just lowering prices to “buy” work.
  3. Develop a growth and development plan that’s followed, revised, updated and implemented – not just talked about.

Why?  Because these are the attributes of a vibrant and growing firm Fortune 1000’s can trust and depend on.

There’s a real cost to Fortune 1000’s every time they bring on a new vendor.  Sticking to our “3 Keys” allows Fortune 1000’s to reduce their vendor turnover while gaining the savings that come from partnering with a progressive, growing firm.

One example of a specific tactic we’ve deployed for many years is our Spotlight Advantage Program where we incorporate several paper-buying programs that generate customer savings of 15% – 30%.   The program uses an “account aggregate volume” approach to purchasing paper (paper often accounts for 35%-50% of overall project cost) thereby allowing us to provide locked-in savings for our customers based on the volume of their annual printing spend with us.  We use the committed volumes as leverage to negotiate better purchase prices with specific paper mills and brands.

This type of program does several things:

  1. Maintains brand consistency by unifying the brands of paper used within a corporate account,
  2. Provides real customer savings by reducing paper costs,
  3. Allows for accurate reporting, from paper suppliers/mills/print vendor, to our customer to determine program usage levels,
  4. Allows Corporate to control overall spend by limiting their buyers to purchase only paper from the program – allowing our customers to control paper use to recycled paper, specific brands, etc.

There is no substitute for a well run business, and abiding by these “3 Keys” will position your SBE as a Strategic Supplier for the Fortune 1000.

Your feedback is most appreciated!

Dave Cady | Puritan Press, Inc.
Major Mail | Capital Offset
C – 508 847-1155 | www.puritanpress.com
T – 603 889-4500 | 800 635-6302
F – 603 889-6551

April 2012: The Supplier Spotlight Monthly SBE Contest.

Sponsored by Supplier-Connection – An initiative of major US companies committed to spending more with US-based small businesses.


About Dan Gallo

I'm a small business lifer, starting/running businesses since I sold seeds door-to-door as a kid in The Bronx. I've played guitar and enjoyed baseball since I was 5 (born a NY Yankees fan). Just prior to marrying Kim in 1983 I became a Christian. We have two sons; Daniel's a musician & social media expert with a smart, insightful sense of humor, and Adam who recently graduated from Brooklyn College double majoring in Creative Writing/Literature and Anthropology. Adam now works in the non-profit sector. Since 2002 one thing we love to do together is go on service/missions trips to Belize. We've collectively spent 60+ weeks in Belize with this missions organization http://twaw.org. I started my 1st company in January 1985, and been self-employed ever since. I sold my last company, Mentor Communications Group, in '04. After 2 years w/ the acquiring company I started The Allasso Group, LLC doing Small Business Consulting, Fund Raising/Capital Raise-up Campaigns, Sales Strategy, Outsourced Sales Agency work, & Digital Marketing Programs (Social Media, SEM, etc.) since April 2006. Notable projects: Hired as Small Business Advocate and Social Media Director for IBM's "Supplier-Connection" - Feb '11-Dec '13. Hired as COO to help turn-around late stage start-up software company myVRM. Jul12-Dec '13 Hired as CEO of CoupleWise.com, a Digital Health2.0 app, to write business plan, raise seed capital, & completely redesign and relaunch the app. Aug '16 I won a Finalist spot for MassChallenge UK's 2016 fall cohort in London from Sept thru Nov. Started Oct15 - Current. I enjoy helping turn-around struggling small businesses, and launching new business ventures. Feel free to contact me with opportunities.
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