A Letter from The President
2016 is finished and in the books. The last 6 months for us has been focused on integrating our acquisition of Xertrex Canada and moving to new cloud-based accounting system. There have been some bumps along the way, but we feel pretty comfortable that everything is running smoothly now. In 2017 we will be focused on growth.
Although our traditional filing business is dropping off by 2-5% a year there are still opportunities out there. We will be providing you with sales material and sales leads to help you sell commercial labels. We are also increasing our range of folder products you can sell. I like to think of it as getting a bigger piece of a shrinking pie.
Peter Carpenter President
NON-TRADITIONAL FILING OPPORTUNITIES
We all know that we can sell folders to doctors, banks, and insurance companies, but have you ever thought about car dealerships, or landscaping companies, or tax preparation firms? We have dealers bring us jobs for customers I would never have considered.
Service files at a car dealership are a good place for a custom folder. It gives the customer an extra connection when the service tech pulls out a folder with your name on it and all the information related to your vehicle. The whole history is right there and it gives you confidence the dealer knows your car and you should keep coming back for the highest level of service.
Tax prep firms are good because they give the folder to the customer so you get one folder for every tax return they do. Again, it is a marketing tool for the tax firms. They do everything online but when the customer leaves they are taking a folder with all their slips and a copy of their return. It is one more reason for them to come back to the same firm the next year.
TFF worked with a landscaping company to solve a problem they had. Their high-priced managers would go to a property and come up with a price to manage the maintenance of the shrubs and gardens. When the crews showed up to do the work they were very inconsistent. The work was not always done the same way and they struggled to get the job done in the time the managers had allocated for the job. The solution was to build a docket pocket that could go from manager, to office, to site with the workers. The costing became more accurate as the manager actually had to write down what equipment should be used for each part of the job and how long it should take. The workers now had goal times for each part of the job and could report back in detail if the timelines were off. Our part in all this was to design a tough folder that would survive multiple trips to job sites and install a clip that would keep everything in place for the life of the job.
Each of these are opportunities to use your problem-solving abilities to help businesses be more efficient and serve their customer base better.
2017 will be the year we try to get our website right. I chose to farm out the website work in 2016 because we were very busy with our new accounting system. It was a complete flop. All I learned was not to do that again. Emily will take over the design and implementation of our website this year. She will be building it to support dealers so any feedback you can give her will be helpful. Our goal is to have a dealer login section where you can find information on costing and retail pricing for various label stocks. There will also be a docket section where you can see all your past jobs including pictures.
We want this to be your website so please give Emily lots of feedback.
MARKETING PLAN - COMMERCIAL LABELS
In 2017 we want to make selling commercial labels easier for everyone. In speaking with dealers, we have heard you would like support material. Suggestions include: label sample packets, spec sheets on various common label stocks, promo sheets for each dealer to use as handouts, and a pricing sheet giving approximate retail pricing with dealer discounts.
Emily will be working to put these things together over the next few months. This is new to her, so again any feedback will be helpful. Our digital press gives us great capabilities for producing promotional pieces individualized for each dealer. If you have an idea for something you can use let us know. We will be happy to work with each of you to help get the idea of digitally produced labels out to your customer.
I am very pleased that Emily agreed to join The Folder Factory/GoToLabel in December. She is taking on a position in dealer support marketing. This is an area that I have been a little weak on over the years. We have focused on production and gone with the theory that if you build it correctly, the orders will come. That has actually worked out well for us, but over the past couple years we have tried moving the business in a new direction and a new plan is required. We will continue to manufacture a great product and deliver on time, done right the first time, and Emily will help you sell into new markets.
Emily will be looking for feedback from everyone on wish lists for marketing. There is no right way to market products, so any idea is worth consideration.
Emily has a business degree and a few years’ experience working in Alberta as an office manager for a company in the oil patch. She did grow up in the folder business and is quickly learning about the label business.
She will be successful by making you successful, so please let her know what you need.
This year was very stable for pricing. Although we had a few things that went up in price our main raw materials stayed the same and the exchange rate has been fairly consistent. This year will see a 2% increase on 90% of our items. We will be sending each of you a new price list for March 1st.
We will have some major increases on a few of our label series because of the decreased volume for those systems. In order to maintain the inventory on these lines there will be a 30-50% increase on these items. It is the only way it makes sense for us to continue to offer these lines.
If they are items you sell regularly, make sure your customers know a large increase is coming. That way they can stock up before the increase.
WHO TO TALK TO AND HOW TO FIND THEM
Moncton, NB Ron Leblanc is in charge and he will give you prompt accurate quotes on folders. He supervises a dedicated team of 20 employees who are committed to making sure your orders are shipped on time to your customer and that they are as ordered. Every month we are working with dealers to build custom folders that help solve unique problems. Please feel free to contact us with any idea for a folder that will make your customer email@example.com OR 506-859-8219 firstname.lastname@example.org OR 905-940-2311 email@example.com OR 905-940-2311 firstname.lastname@example.org OR 204-697-8246 email@example.com OR 204-697-8246 x105 firstname.lastname@example.org
Toronto, ON We no longer have a warehouse and production facility in Toronto. We have a streamlined sales office where Guzin and Alpita make sure all your orders get processed efficiently. With everyone working from the cloud they have all your order details at their fingertips.
Winnipeg, MB All label production is now done in Winnipeg with John Devlin looking after sales and Allyson making sure your orders are processed efficiently. Anything to do with labels will be handled from Winnipeg. We have 9 staff who are dedicated to making your customers happy.