3 Promo Products for Snowy Weather!

As summer fades into fall, it’s time to start thinking ahead to your winter automotive marketing plans. Preparing for the seasonal changes and deciding what winter promo products to include in your marketing plan will set you apart from your competition. Here are 3 perfect winter promotions to get you started on developing your winter marketing plan.

Fold down ice scraper with frizzy bag – This must-have winter accessory extends for extra reaching and detaches for easy storage. The microfiber bag can also be used for cleaning your dashboard or windows and is machine washable.

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Hoppy Bear Claw Scraper – This item is simple and perfectly priced to be a great handout item for customers and potential customers. It’s likely to stay in your customer’s vehicle year round boosting the impression power!
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Chopper Mittens – Full grain cowhide keeps the wind and snow out and 100% polyester lining provides extra warmth to these durable mittens. Customers will be happy to have warm, toasty fingers in the cold winter months!
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American has special pricing on the three perfect winter promotions above. Talk to your ASB sales associate today about these and other great winter promotional items. To find your local associate, click here.

Document Security – Ensuring you’re protected

Sensitive Data Protection, Poor Security

As technology continues to rapidly advance, so must our security efforts. Although much of our information is digital, there’s still a staggering amount of data being shared via print. American Solutions for Business has thousands of clients, and keeping them safe will always be a top priority. That’s why we work closely with print security experts to ensure that we are providing state-of-the-art products and technology.

One of our top print security consultants is Tony Orsello, General Manager of Northstar in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota and General Manager of Ennis Princeton in Princeton, Illinois. He’s been in the industry for 28 years and works closely with local government, the FBI and the United States Secret Service to confirm the latest security practices are being upheld in our industry.

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“Security is important in printed items because fraud continues to be a billion dollar industry. The bad guys continue to find ways to alter, duplicate and even clone documents because there is money in it. In some cases it’s about identity or breeder documents which are used for travel documents that can and have been used within terror groups.

Protecting documents needs to be done taking a layered approach, meaning there isn’t just one bulletproof security feature that can be used to protect a document. Depending on the document a person is attempting to protect, several features need to be considered. In short, the bad guys don’t want to work hard so they tend to pick on weak targets. Therefore, if a document has layers of security built into it, the bad guys often won’t bother with it.

I would certainly stress the need to understand how the document is going to be used and what type of fraud the end user is experiencing. From there, we can make an informed decision on the necessary security features that can help protect the personal data.”

Being at the forefront of security prevention, Tony always has a sneak peek at what’s next in this industry.

  • Document design – “We’re starting to use more intricate boarders and backgrounds, which are more difficult to duplicate on copiers and scanners.
  • Change in the substrate – “People are moving away from intaglio printing (engraved/textured printing) to having a secure thread embedded into the paper, very similar to our US currency.”
  • Using more covert security features – “We use special techniques that aren’t visible to the naked eye, but with the use of a black light for example, a hidden message will appear that authenticate a document. We are also in the beginning stages of developing the use of QR codes to help track and trace documents.”

To learn more about document security, contact your American sales representative or find one near you

Beverage Company – Success Story

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CLIENT: Beverage Company

MARKET: Retail

SITUATION: Our customer switched to Zebra RW420 printers, which is a mobile printer that required different paper rolls than previously used.

SOLUTION: American worked with the software company in charge of manufacturing the printers and got to work on the specs. After testing various degrees of thickness and quality, we found the right product for the customer’s new equipment. When providing the sample of thermal paper for the customer to approve, we created a proof with their logo printed on one side. They loved the idea of having a branded roll rather than blank.

SUCCESS: As a commitment to serving our customers, we’re happy to adapt with their changing needs. As the beverage company’s employees needed to become more mobile, we wanted to ensure that their branding would go with them. By printing their logo on one side of the paper, the product transformed from a commodity to an extension of their marketing efforts. The customer experienced a seamless transition and American took the opportunity to further enhance the beverage company’s publicity.

AMERICAN SOLUTIONS: Print & Document Solutions and Marketing Solutions

5 Gift Ideas for Your Technicians!

Mechanic with a wrench

Automotive technicians are some of the most hard working folks in a dealership. Their daily tasks are labor intensive and require vast knowledge and mechanical inclination. Finding and keeping great technicians is very important to any dealership. One of the most effective ways to retain your employees is to show them how appreciated and vital they are though a gifting or rewards program.

At American Solutions for Business, we offer an endless variety of gift ideas for your valued employee. Here are some great gifts for your automotive technicians:

1. Rox Box Cyclone Bluetooth Speaker – This small, water resistant speak packs BIG sound with Bluetooth connectivity. It’s the perfect item for technicians to use while working on vehicles at work, while outdoors at home, or out on the boat. It comes equipped with a handy clip in 4 colors and can be imprinted with your dealership logo.

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2. Magnet LED Work Light – This will be a handy tool for your technician at work or at home. Includes a 36 LED Filled work light with an output of 160 lumens and a .5 watt flashlight on the top. Available in red, grey, and blue.
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3. 5 Piece Deluxe BBQ Set – There aren’t many people who don’t enjoy a good barbecue! Elevate that experience even more with this stainless steel set. Your dealership logo can be engraved or place a “years of service” recognition message on the front of the case to show your appreciation and acknowledgement of their commitment.
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4. Bamboo Cheese Serving Set – Some technicians enjoy the finer things in life when they aren’t repairing vehicles. For those individuals, we have this great cheese serving set, perfect for entertaining friends and family.

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5. Picnic Backpack – With this handy 4 person picnic backpack, they can enjoy the outdoors for lunch or in their free time. It comes complete with a picnic blanket, flatware and dishes all secured snugly in its place.

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There are many great gifts to choose from to reward your hard working employees. To find out more and learn about using our convenient eCommerce platform to facilitate your employee gift program, talk to your ASB sales associate today! To find your local associate, click here.

Patient Boards-Improving Healthcare Communication

myh009.pngAs the healthcare industry continues to grow, our industry must do everything we can to accommodate and anticipate these changes. Technology and communication continue to become increasingly vital in this market, making patient boards a powerful tool in healthcare facilities.

Patient room boards are a communication tool for patients, families and caregivers to discuss care plans, and generally include sections for caregiver names, phone numbers, goals, pain management and discharge information. VividBoard Account Manager, Paula Morris, has been with the company for 6 years and has seen this transition unfold.

“Boards that feature changeable content are increasing in popularity,” explains Paula, “Our InHarmony Changeable Glassboards combines the permanence of a traditional graphic dry erase board with a removable messaging insert that can be updated whenever needed. When I started with Vividboard, everyone wanted the traditional custom dry erase board.  Now they want options—glass, changeability, frameless-to match their interior and their needs for patient communication.”
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Patient room boards have been proven to increase HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems – the first national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care.) scores by up to 6 points. With such a focus on improving patient satisfaction, hospitals are doing everything they can to make strides for improvement.

“Providing caregivers an easy-to-use tool allows proper communication with patients and makes everyone’s lives easier.When I first entered this industry, HCAHPS was not as prominent, but today, hospitals are taking action to improve those scores. Hospitals are very aware of their HCAHPS scores and the affect that has on their business, and will do anything they can to improve that. We are seeing a lot of consolidation of facilities and rebranding, efficiencies in buying and staffing, and investment in the physical layout of the environment.”

These changing priorities reflect the importance of the patient experience and overall satisfaction. In an industry that revolves around the end-user, it’s crucial that we can meet these needs and provide the best solutions possible.

Contact your American Sales Associate or find one near you to order your patient room boards and promotional healthcare products!

Trend Alert – Washable Uniform Suits!

Suits-01In an increasingly competitive market, many businesses are looking for ways to cut costs and improve their customer experience without compromising quality. The result is a growing trend in easy-care uniforms, more specifically, machine-washable suits. We continue to see them gain popularity in:

  • Financial institutions – tellers, brokers, general bank staff
  • Healthcare – administration, management
  • Hotels – valets, concierge, front desk
  • Casinos – dealers, managers
  • Restaurants – managers, bartenders, coat check, maitre d’
  • Transportation – airline staff, car rental, chauffeurs

“They offer a professional image, add confidence to the employees, and being home washable eliminates hassle and expense of dry cleaning,” suggests Dave Malek, who’s been in the industry for 20 years, the last five with Edwards Garment as Midwest territory sales manager. “Our core customers  have tested and used this product for over a year, and are very happy.  We have seen more interest from across all industries for possible new use, and it’s success is reflected in better than projected sales in this category.”

 

Sneak Peek: American’s New Automotive Promotions!

Hand with a car key.

September marks the debut of our new Automotive Promotions catalog! This catalog is a collection of over 50 automotive-inspired promotional items designed to bring awareness to your dealership brand. Our new Automotive Modular Display Systems are also featured, along with apparel and other display items perfect for any dealership event.

We developed our collection of automotive promotions with innovation, utility and staying power in mind. From gift items for new customers to products that can be resold in your dealership, branded with your logo, there is something for everyone!

Some of the items you’ll find in our catalog include:

A Complete Car Wash Kit – your customers want to keep their vehicles looking nice. Help them do just that with a car wash kit, branded with your dealership logo.
Car Wash KitCar Escape Tool – this life-saving tool includes a seatbelt cutter and hammer to easily break a vehicle window, allowing trapped occupants to escape.
window breaker.pngCar Emergency Kit – No driver should be without these essential safety items, including first aid kit, jumper cables, hang warmers and visibility triangle
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Trunk Organizer – keep items safe and in-place in your trunk with an expandable trunk organizer, great for any size vehicle
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To request a catalog or for more information about our Automotive Promotions, contact your local American Solutions for Business representative or find one by clicking here.

Packaging Perks- Increasing Sales & Customer Experience

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In this sales-driven industry, we’re constantly striving to go above and beyond to provide our customers with the best end product possible. It’s often easy to forget the importance of details – especially packaging. At American, we work with industry experts to ensure our resources, trends and practices are up-to-date. Our packaging consultant, Jeremy Miller, has been in sales for the last five years with Global Link Sourcing and worked in a packaging plant during college. His experience and professional relationships have helped develop his unique perspective in the field.

“Packaging is the face of your brand at many different levels,” explains Jeremy, “It serves several functions such as protection, storage and marketing. Truly great packaging takes all functions into consideration to create the best possible experience for end users as well as the companies using the packaging. Apple was one of the first companies that understood the potential  power of packaging.”

Jeremy suggests contacting your packaging supplier during the beginning phase of a project so that packaging is developed in conjunction with the product to ensure the best possible outcome. Some points to consider include:

  • project timeline
  • packaging budget
  • customer experience opening the packaging
  • product protection
  • retail/online environment
  • shipping/palletizing/distribution of the product
  • medical or FDA regulations
  • reusable packaging

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“Naturally, companies and its employees tend to focus on the actual product because that is what the company is based on. They often stick with what is comfortable. However, over the last several years, we’ve seen some really strong growth with companies and sales teams that are willing to approach their existing customers with new/additional product offerings. Many companies and marketing departments now understand that their packaging and marketing materials are an extension of the product and their brand.”

To learn more about American’s packaging solutions, contact your American Account Representative or find one near you!

Managing Successful Healthcare Programs

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The progress of our company is deeply rooted in the success of each and every one of our 600 sales associates located across the U.S. In order to help these remote account managers, we operate a team of over 200 home office employees to support and provide resources to the field. This includes everything from acquisitions, assistance with RFPs, operations management, building eCommerce websites, billing, marketing materials, idea generation and more. The best part is that these resources are already included in our splits, which are still the highest in the industry. This model allows our sales team to focus on what they do best – focusing on the needs of our customers.

One of our largest vertical markets we service is healthcare. This is not only due to the rising need for these facilities, but because of our talented and committed team of sales associates who manage them. Here are a few we’d like to highlight:

Germano, TomF.jpgTom Germano
Tom has been working with his healthcare customer for the last year, focusing on promotional products and apparel, and is in the process of adding scrubs and Under Armour to the program. ACES has become a valuable tool for this program, allowing the online ordering process to be streamlined, making it easier to manage and provide excellent customer service. “I enjoy working with this client!  The work they do for children is amazing and being even a small part of that that process is rewarding,” explains Tom. With help from American’s management team, he was able to elevate the relationship with his healthcare contact to eventually gain their trust and business. Tom says, “American has also been able to sponsor several events, which has been extremely beneficial in building our client relationship and loyalty. Working with the corporate and Tallahassee office has certainly helped build a solid foundation for continued success.”

eBraxtonBraxton Yorita
With a relationship spanning over 15 years with his customer, Braxton has developed a strong connection with his healthcare customer that goes far beyond just business. In order to win them over, he focused on building trust, being proactive and positioning himself as an expert in the field. Now, Braxton provides them with print services, stationary, business cards, kitting, labels, promotional products, apparel and more. According to Braxton, our eCommerce technology has helped their customers order more efficiently and provides backend reporting. “I’ve had great support and resources from both our corporate and island teams,” explains Braxton, “This program requires a combined effort to be successful and grow.”

Guglielmi, robbin 3652Robbin Guglielmi
Being a part of the WCPC group helped Robbin secure the business with her healthcare customer in December of 2014. Since then, she’s been providing them with print solutions. While there have been challenges such as customer employee turnover and marketing efforts, she has faced them with a strategic and patient approach in order to get the job done. “I’m glad they’ve on-boarded a new Director of Materials, who is very happy with the savings we have implemented and has provided referrals into all departments for new business,” Robbin says, “I’m excited to see what opportunities are in store with this customer!”

Interested in learning more about our programs? Visit our website or find an American Sales Associate near you!

Preparing a Spooktacular Halloween Event!

Many may not know that a dealership can be a great venue for Halloween fun and a great way to increase public exposure. Hosting a Trick-Or-Treating bazaar inside your dealership  or business provides a safe, fun environment for children to enjoy the holiday and introduce parents to friendly sales staff and new vehicles for sale.

Your Halloween event can be simple or extravagant and include activities such as:

  • kids trick-or-treat between the various departments (you could take this opportunity to talk to parents or hand out flyers/information with the candy)
  • put skeletons in display vehicles driver’s seats
  • Halloween-themed games and prizes
  • haunted maze for the children

Whichever style event you choose to host, there are essential items to make your dealership Halloween event a success:

  1. Logo’d treat bags: kids will need a safe place to keep all of their goodies!

2. Sugar-free treats: every parent will thank you for adding some variety to their children’s Halloween haul!

3. Safety gear: when your Halloween event patrons venture out into the community after visiting your dealership, they will be visible and safe with these handy safety lights.

Halloween will be here soon – it’s time to begin planning your Halloween event by talking to your ASB sales associate today! To find your local associate click here.