BMI Microsoft Dynamics NAV / Navision Blog

Garvey's Office Products Anniversary

Posted by Craig Greitzer on May 12, 2016 5:17:50 PM

Ninety Years and Counting for IL Dealer Garvey’s Office Products

(Reprinted with permission from the Independent Dealer e-zine)

 

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The Garvey family (from left to right): Kevin Garvey, Bernie Garvey Jr., Sheila Gartland, Ken Garvey, Bernie Garvey Sr. and Dan Garvey.

 

It was champagne time in Niles, Illinois last month, as Bernie Garvey and his team at Garvey’s Office Products celebrated their 90th year of service to the Chicago-area business community.

 

The dealership was founded in 1926 as Schiller & Schmidt by two printing sales reps. In 1954, Bernard Garvey, Sr. came on board as a sales rep and 12 years later, he bought the company.

 

Fast forward to today and Garvey’s is a thriving $40 million business, with some 90 employees operating out of an 85,000 sq. ft. distribution center in Niles and a product mix that covers the full spectrum of office needs from office supplies and furniture to breakroom supplies, document finishing, promotional products and more.

 

The company today is in the safe hands of the second generation of the Garvey family, with Bernie serving as president; one brother, Ken, running inside sales and larger accounts; two other brothers, Kevin and Dan, in outside sales, and sister, Sheila Gartland, handling marketing and IT.

 

The dealership has been enjoying a good year so far, Bernie reports, with furniture sales particularly strong and new business coming from a number of larger accounts that had previously been in the hands of big box competitors.

 

Our congratulations to the Garvey family and the entire Garvey team. Here’s to the next 90 years!

 

Garvey's uses BMI OP Revelation Software to run their dealership.  Click here to learn more about BMI Software.

 

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Topics: Navision, Dynamics NAV, OP Revelation, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, E-Commerce, BMI Software, BMI OP Revelation, Office Products

Understanding The Importance Of E-Commerce And Digital Capabilities In Your Business

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Sep 16, 2015 1:21:47 PM

Essendant’s Girisha Chandraraj explains why the OP industry must update and evolve e-commerce and digital capabilities.

The shift to the digital marketplace is a key factor driving workplace purchases as almost 70% of transactions with independent dealers are made online, a number that will likely continue to grow.

To compete and succeed in the online marketplace, independent dealers, resellers and distributors must focus on updating their digital capabilities and evolving their e-commerce solutions to drive growth and new opportunity. 

Trends guiding the user experience

According to an Essendant survey of end users, 89% of customers have purchased products online for personal use in the past 12 months. Although individuals are increasingly comfortable shopping online for their personal lives, the B2C arena currently has an impressive array of digital capabilities that the B2B world has yet to effectively utilize.

It may be another decade until B2B catches up to the current state of B2C, but there are several areas dealers and distributors can and should focus on now. First, the customer does not clearly distinguish between a B2B and B2C user experience – he or she will expect B2B sites to provide a similarly gratifying, convenient online shopping experience as the B2C sites they use for personal purchases.

Next, there are three primary digital capabilities, or key pillars, that are necessary for success in the B2B online marketplace: search, merchandising and marketing. While not particularly complicated from an e-commerce standpoint, a number of resellers are lagging in these areas and quickly losing ground to competitors.

Looking ahead, resellers should also recognize the role that mobile devices play in digital purchasing as 71% of Americans currently own a smartphone and the influence of mobile purchases continues to grow. Resellers that are not prepared to adapt in three to five years may miss out on significant revenue opportunities.

Steps to optimize the user experience

In order to optimize the user experience, resellers should address the following topics:

  • Determine your capabilities and resources. Are you able to rely on internal resources or will you need to utilize the capabilities and skills of your partners?
  • Evaluate the platform you’re on. Are you using independent or third-party vendors, such as ECi or BMI? This will determine the tools and capabilities that are available to you and what you may need to add or enhance to evolve your digital offering.
  • Ensure you have the necessary tools to help you compete. At Essendant, we have a series of tools that can aid across all of the key pillars (search, merchandising and marketing) and capture a wide variety of metrics to enable an optimal digital presence. These metrics allow dealers to better understand areas of weakness or potential opportunities to drive additional growth.
  • Engage partners in optimizing tools for your categories and customer base. Partners can aid in maintaining content, testing your site, making sure marketing triggers are launching and making sure emails that go out are triggered against the right events (first purchase, sign up, etc).

The expansion of digital technologies and e-commerce capabilities presents dealers and distributors with an important opportunity that will likely have a significant impact on business in years to come.

By choosing to embrace these technologies, specifically focusing on the key pillars of search, merchandising and marketing, resellers will be able to adapt to the demands of the modern customer and ensure success in the digital marketplace. 

Girisha Chandraraj is the Chief Digital Officer at Essendant.

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Topics: OP Revelation, mobile e-commerce, E-Commerce, BMI

Bob Aiken Named Permanent CEO Of Essendant

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Jul 23, 2015 12:30:56 PM

Essendant Inc. (NASDAQ: ESND), a leading supplier of workplace essentials, today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Robert B. Aiken Jr., president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Mr. Aiken, who has been serving as interim president and CEO since May 2015, also will continue as an Essendant Board member.

"Since stepping in as interim president and CEO, Bob has been immersed in the company's strategy and has clearly demonstrated he is the right leader to guide the company to deliver superior results," said Charles K. Crovitz, chairman of Essendant's Board of Directors. "The Board is confident in Bob's ability to work closely with our strong management team, committed employees, and business partners to execute Essendant's strategy and drive shareholder value."

"The opportunity to lead Essendant for the past several months has further strengthened my confidence in our future potential and I am delighted to lead the company going forward," said Robert B. Aiken Jr., president and chief executive officer of Essendant. "I look forward to working with our team as we continue to build Essendant into the fastest and most convenient solution for workplace essentials. We have the right strategy in place and remain committed to delivering value for our customers, and sustained profitable growth and value for shareholders."

The entire BMI team wishes to congratulate Bob and we look forward to servicing our mutual customers with our OP Revelation software powered by Microsoft Dynamics NAV / Navision.

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Topics: Navision, Dynamics NAV, OP Revelation, Essendant, United Stationers

United Rebrands As Essendant

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Jul 21, 2015 10:19:42 AM

United Stationers, a 93-year-old office-product company, is rebranding as Essendant, which combines "essentials" and "ascending" to reflect a unified brand.

"There are two main elements driving the need to rebrand," said Diane Hund, VP-marketing at Essendant. "First, our core brand name at one time really captured the essence of what we did -- a provider of stationers' materials. We even had an envelope as part of our logo at one time."  However, she said, "That core name doesn't really capture what we do today."

Ms. Hund noted that over the past several years, United Stationers has acquired companies and diversified its portfolio to include office furniture, tech products, business software, janitorial products and automotive products. "Today, traditional stationers' supplies are closer to 60% of our business, as opposed to 100% [when the company first got started]," Ms. Hund said.

"Now we go to market under a whole portfolio of brands," she said, pointing to brands including Azerty computer products; ORS Nasco welding equipment; and Medco automotive supplies. "We wanted to bring all the brands under one umbrella and ultimately make it easier for our customers to do business with us."

In coming up with a new name for the company, United Stationers first looked at its existing brand names and realized, "None of the brands really capture the essence of what we do. We didn't want the company to be defined by an existing product," Ms. Hund said. "We are an essential component of what companies do, so we wanted 'essentials' to be part of the name. We also wanted to focus on the fact that we are a growth-oriented company, so 'ascending' became the second vital component."

United Stationers worked with its agency partner Gyro on creating an image of a pinnacle in both the logo and in the ad campaign.

"In the logo, the 'A' is in the shape of a pinnacle -- it's a mark to show upward movement, to represent 'ascending,'" said Doug Kamp, executive creative director at Gyro Chicago. "The pinnacle became one of the key graphic elements in the work itself."

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In one ad, a lightbulb is shown with the filament in the shape of a pinnacle, and in another ad, a flock of birds flies in the shape of a pinnacle. The campaign also includes an online video, in which people gather in the shape of a pinnacle.

Print ads are running in publications including OPI (Office Products International), Sanitary Maintenance and Internet Retailer. Online ads are running on OPI.net and other sites. The campaign also includes a seven-story digital billboard and marquee at NASDAQ headquarters in Times Square.

BMI's relationship with Essendant is stronger than ever and we are working on multiple new and exciting projects that will benefit OP Revelation dealers.

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Topics: OP Revelation, Office Products Software, Office Product Dealer Software

SP Richards Advantage Business Conference Wrap-up

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Jun 29, 2015 1:02:29 PM

Had a great time at the SP Richards 2015 conference in Las Vegas.  Our seminar on Mobile E-Commerce was well attended and had an enthusiastic audience.  Thank you SPR for the great room and AV setup.

Saw lots of customers and friends and some great speakers including Jeremy Gutsche. http://www.jeremygutsche.com/

Show day was exciting.  Lots of traffic and we discussed our OP Revelation Software for Office Product Dealers with many dealers from all over the United States.

Big message from SPR this year was that dealers should be selling other lines, Jan/San, Safety, Breakroom, etc and that it should be at least 15-20% of your gross sales.  We couldn't agree more with margins on office products being what they are.  

Some pictures from the show floor:

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BMI Seminar Sign

SP Richards Show Floor

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Topics: OP Revelation, Office Products Software, Office Product Dealer Software, SP Richards

SP Richards Advantage Business Conference

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Jun 22, 2015 9:46:00 AM

Happy to be at the SP Richards Advantage Business Conference in Las Vegas.  Looking forward to the opening general session this morning.  Have already seen lots of friends and everyone seems pumped up for the next few days.  We're doing a session Tuesday at 1 on the new SPR functionality that we have integrated into our web platform and will also be showing our e-commerce solution for mobile/smartphone devices.  This session will be in Grand 104/105.  On Wed we'll be exhibiting in booth 653 from 10:30 to 4:00.  Hope to see you over the next few days.

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Topics: OP Revelation, mobile e-commerce, SP Richards

Southwest School & Office Supply Goes Live

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Apr 20, 2015 12:45:15 PM

BMI is pleased to announce that Southwest School & Office Supply, located in Ontario, CA, has gone live with OP RevelationTM software from BMI on Monday April 13th, 2015. 

This is the culmination of many months of planning and hard work by the BMI and Southwest teams.  The result was an on-time and on-budget implementation of BMI's solution for Office Product dealers.

Based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, formerly Navision, BMI’s software will handle all customer service, supply chain, logistics and financial operations and also provides an integrated e-commerce platform for Southwest’s customers to place orders.

Sande Stickler, the Owner at Southwest, wrote a very nice handwritten card, at the end of the go-live week, with the following message:

To The Team at BMI,

The Southwest Team would like to thank you all for your patience and for working so well under the pressure and craziness of ourselves and our customers. You all were calm before our storm and the hours you labored to make our moving ahead resulted in a Great Success. Thank you all.

Southwest School & Office Supply was established in 1976 in a small space in Culver City, CA. Catering to the school supply market, they have grown to 3 locations and have become the largest, privately owned school supplier in the state of California. 

Congratulations to everyone at Southwest.

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Topics: Dynamics NAV, OP Revelation, Office Product Dealer Software

United Stationers and BMI Announce Collaboration Agreement

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Feb 23, 2015 8:40:13 PM

United Stationers Supply Co. (United) and Business Management International, Inc. (BMI) have agreed to terms for ongoing collaboration that will bring United’s enhanced digital services to BMI clients. Under the terms of the agreement, United will offer its advanced digital services to customers utilizing the BMI ecommerce solutions, helping resellers succeed selling online.

Included in the collaboration roadmap is the suite of digital capabilities that United offers, including SmartSearch™, Premium Product Relationships, SmartMerchandising™ and advanced analytics capabilities. These tools greatly enhance the online shopping experience for independent resellers’ customers. BMI and United will also work together to develop capabilities that connect shoppers with additional product suggestions based on previous shopping patterns, browsing or cart abandonment. These initiatives lay the foundation for future efforts to optimize digital merchandising and marketing performance.

We are pleased to solidify our collaboration with BMI" said Girisha Chandraraj, vice president, digital at United. "Working together, we will improve our dealers’ access to best-in-class search and cross-selling capabilities on BMI’s ecommerce platform while developing additional enhancements over time to help resellers simply sell more online." Harry Dochelli, senior vice president, sales and customer care added "Helping our customers win online is incredibly important to us, and this collaboration is a solid move toward meeting our goals. Our significant investments in digital capabilities can be more-easily integrated by many of our customers."

"BMI is proud to provide industry-relevant ecommerce solutions, and the addition of United’s enhanced digital services will be well received by our customers," said Larry Schiff, CEO of BMI. "We are very excited to work with United to roll out additional winning solutions to our mutual customers."

About United Stationers

United Stationers Inc. is a leading supplier of business essentials, with 2013 net sales of $5.1 billion. The company stocks a broad assortment of over 140,000 items, including technology products, traditional office products, janitorial and breakroom supplies, office furniture, and industrial supplies. The Company's network of 77 distribution centers allows it to deliver these products to approximately 25,000 reseller customers. This network, combined with United's breadth and depth of inventory, enables the Company to ship most products overnight to more than ninety percent of the U.S. and major cities in Mexico and Canada.

For more information, visit unitedstationers.com. United Stationers common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol USTR.

About BMI

Business Management International (BMI) was founded in 1987 as an ERP provider, specializing in emerging business software technology. BMI OP Revelation® is a software solution based on Microsoft technologies and was designed for Independent Office Product dealers. It was first released in 2006 and is based upon best practices and designed in conjunction with the most successful dealers in the Office Product distribution industry. BMI is a 5-time Microsoft "Inner Circle" award winner, which represents the top one percent of software solution providers worldwide. BMI will be releasing significant new functionality this year including mobile, advanced ecommerce capabilities, significant United Stationers proprietary functionality and new back office features.

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Topics: Navision, Dynamics NAV, OP Revelation, Office Products Software

Be A Truly Independent Office Products Dealer

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Aug 10, 2012 6:15:00 PM

Does your business system software allow you to be truly independent?  Can your e-commerce site feature products from any wholesaler or supplier?  OP Revelation from BMI allows you to be truly independent.  Products, from any source, can be imported and/or created and then ranked appropriately by you on your e-commerce site.

Don't tie yourself down to a single wholesaler.  Call today to find out how OP Revelation can help you be truly competitive and find out why our dealers are reporting explosive growth.

Topics: OP Revelation, Office Products Software

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