Displaying your Brand: Increase Awareness with Custom Fixtures

pexels-photo-212286With all the products and services American Solutions for Business offers to our customers, it’s important to think bigger than just print or promotional products. Our team of skilled experts and supply chain partners equips us with the proper resources to manage almost every facet of your business. One of our newest and quickly-expanding areas is in the retail market, specifically focusing on point-of-sale and retail fixtures.

A recent success story in this market involves American account managers, Cathy Armando and Sarah Thomas, a sales team in Dallas, Texas, who provided retail solutions for their new client, Kubota. Cathy and Sarah began building their relationship with Kubota in early 2017, initially focusing on promotional products and apparel. However, they soon expanded the conversation to include fixtures and displays. From their extensive experience consulting with large companies, they uncovered important pain-points Kubota was experiencing – quality, logistical challenges and pricing pressures from their dealer network.

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Our retail specialists got involved, diving deep into the customers’ challenges, goals and projections to manage the conversations and process around fixtures and displays. Sarah and Cathy continue to manage the promo and apparel program, while overseeing the retail side from a high level. By allowing all players involved to manage their areas of expertise, it allows these programs to be successful and efficient.

Because of our experience, research and pricing, we are now in full production to service their 1,200 North American dealers.

American Solutions for Business is committed to helping our customers succeed through creative solutions, comprehensive tools and unlimited resources. Visit http://www.americanbus.com to learn more or click here to find a sales associate near you!

Promotional Products Work!

Regardless of the industry you’re a part of, chances are that promotional products have played an important role in your marketing efforts. Often, when one considers “promotional products”, they think of a cheap trinket with a logo imprinted on it – something that will inevitably and quickly end up in the trash. The truth is that a promotional product is so much more. It can be almost any branded item, covering any budget with no limitations to the creativity and strategy involved. A promotional product provides a lasting impression that tells your unique brand story in a way that no television, radio or magazine ad can. To help share this message, the entire ad specialties industry has dedicated May 14-18, 2018 as Promotional Products Work Week. Check out some of our favorite examples of successful promotional campaigns!

“I Brought You a Souvenir”  PromoWorksWeek_1

After an expanded media outreach campaign brought increasing numbers of visitors to its state and national parks, the Utah Office of Tourism needed to provide quality branded merchandise to meet demand. American Solutions For Business was chosen for the project, and has since created a custom apparel line and a selection of more than 50 promotional products to sell through an online portal and by vendors throughout the state. With the expanded reach that the internet provides, the online store is filling orders for buyers as far away as Europe and China. The branded merchandise enhances the tourist experience and provides a keepsake that will remind them of the great memories made in Utah, long after they are home.

Blissful Bowties
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As part of its annual foundation fundraiser, a hospital approached American Solution for Business for promotional ideas. The hospital had recently launched “Bow Tie Tuesday” as part of a morale booster, and it had been a big hit with staff and patients. Adhering to that concept, American provided several different custom-designed bowties to be sold to doctors to raise money for the foundation. Both patterns have repeatedly sold out. The combination of a fun, unique product and custom print made this promotion a smashing success!

Retail TherapyPromoWorksWeek_4

American Solutions for Business was responsible for finding fashionable, flattering and comfortable uniforms for an essential oil retail store. Since the employees were mostly women, it was important that they had branded apparel that looked good on everyone – and avoid the basic polo. American provided them with an array of styles, colors and fabrics to fit their exact needs. Now, they can breathe easy and relax with their new wardrobe!

Heavy Duty eCommerce PromoWorksWeek_3

A large manufacturer of heavy duty trucks and equipment needed to automate ordering, printing, distribution & billing of their calendar program. With a specific budget, they required 60,000 calendars consisting of 475 individual orders and ship-to locations and another 245 custom imprints. Using American’s technology and billing resources, Senior Account Executive, Dick Brimmer, created a program where the customer could easily order and proof calendars online.  550 dealer locations were set up with individual accounts, so that billing was simple. By clearly understanding the customer’s needs as well as American’s eCommerce capabilities, Dick simplified this calendar program  time, money and resources.

Unique UniformingPromoWorksWeek_5

American Solutions for Business was working with a large client in the service industry with extensive uniform program needs. To stand out from the competition and build brand awareness, American recommended custom uniforms. The fabric was dyed prior to cutting and sewing the patterns so they could meet the exact PMS colors. The ordering process required meticulous attention to detail, since uniforms were required for over 800 employees in sizes ranging from XS to 6XT. The first order was for 4,000 uniforms, and a repeat order has already been placed!

For more ideas, or to learn more about American Solutions for Business, visit www.americanbus.com.

I’m An Owner – Success Stories

Employee ownership is something that sets American Solutions for Business apart in our industry. In 2001, our founder & CEO, Larry Zavadil, sold this company to its employees in order to maintain its integrity, traditions and success. To this day, Larry remains at the heart of American as the CEO. For our hundreds of employees and sales associates who benefit, this ownership means many things.

Glenn Leonard
Name: Glenn Leonard
Location: Corona, CA
Joined: 2002

Why you love American: I have the freedom to manage my life on a daily basis.

What employee ownership means to you: It means that I can choose the type of business I want to pursue, and I get to sell the way I want to sell. Plus, ESOP allows for improved profits and earnings!

Miriah CassidyName: Miriah Cassidy
Location: Glenwood, MN
Joined: 2008

Why you love American: I love that everyone can make a difference! Ideas are valued and creativity is encouraged. I feel important and that I’m valued.

What employee ownership means to you: It means that we are rewarded for actions that drive the company in a positive way. Plus, the decisions we make today create a better tomorrow for our families.

Ron AderholdName: Ron Aderhold
Location: Mint Hill
Joined: 2017

Why you love American: I love American because of the people I get to work with every day. The diversity, exchange of ideas and awesome support I get from every department at corporate is so refreshing.

What employee ownership means to you: employee ownership is a strong internal motivation to deliver superior customer service for our clients and friends. The fact that we are all business owners gives us the power to help others discover and deliver our customers’ needs!  

To learn more about American, visit our website or find an American associate near you! 

Financial Literacy: Ongoing Learning & Resources

pexels-photo-908288In many parts of the country, the school year is just winding down as we get into May and June. While classes may take a hiatus, financial education remains in full swing at American. We want to remind everyone that educating (or reeducating) yourself is a 24/7 job. The best part – we are here to help!

No matter our age, experience or title, we could all brush up on basic tips – like what to do about retirement funds (seriously, start saving sooner than later!).

You can rely on American Solutions for Business to have what banks and credit unions need to educate customers and members on smart spending and saving habits. From coloring books which teach a child to count coins to investment tips for long-term goals, American can help you find the right pieces that fit your campaign and needs. Click Here for a few ideas.

With American’s technology, print collateral, promotional products, money handling supplies and more, we help our customers build community relationships by assisting with school-based programs or adult education classes. This outreach fills a need for those seeking guidance and advice – and even opens some doors to those in lower income brackets. In fact, the federal government felt so strongly about supporting the financial health of each institution’s membership, the Community Reinvestment Act was created in 1977 which:

  • Prohibits denying or increasing the cost of banking to residents of racially defined neighborhoods, and
  • Encourages efforts to meet the credit needs of all community members, including residents of low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

The U.S. Department of Treasury regularly audits institutions on these efforts, ensuring compliance and new outreach opportunities. And although an evaluation can be nerve-wracking, ASB’s Financial Markets Team can help with an assessment of current activities, creation of a marketing plan, and regular progress updates and reporting – all formulated to generate more leads and happy customers!

Our American Financial Market Solutions Team serves the specific needs of financial institutions – from money handling supplies to online strategies of customer acquisition and retention. Our total program solution can provide significant savings on non-interest expenses like marketing, materials management and distribution, resulting in cost center accountability and overall budget maintenance, freeing up funds to help with your specific strategic goals. Find out more at www.ASBFinancialSolutions.com.

Family Matters – Jorunn, Kari & Bill

American Solutions for Business has always been a family-oriented company with many family teams consisting of parents, children, spouses and siblings. We celebrate every sales team because we know the strength that comes with these dynamics. Families work as a unit and share valuable knowledge to take care of our customers.

Jorunn Fleck Scheiderich and Kari Fleck Gutstein are a mother-daughter team, who recently welcomed Jorunn’s husband, Bill Scheiderich to their office. Jorunn joined American 6 years ago after working in our industry as a supplier. After bringing Kari onto the team 3 years ago, Bill joined to help with the office work. Bill is partially retired and jokes that Jorunn offered him an annual salary of $1 to come on board. The team lives in Chicago, Illinois, and together, is a wildly creative force of energy and success.

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Why you love working with your family:

Jorunn – Speaking from experience, it is so different than being employed by an independent distributorship. Bringing Kari on board and later Bill after his retirement from finance in corporate America has been the best ever! Kari is 10 times smarter than I ever was. She is social media and all things I am not. I have a solid print background and I love it when she is here and hears me talk with customers about how to solve this need or that problem and I can tell she is just soaking it up. She has inherited my work ethic and I rejoice in what she is building up – all by herself! Since she immediately became the “Promotional Products Queen” in this office, I now ask her for ideas and help on the promo side. We really have a great Yin-and-Yang. Best of all, one day, she will take over my customers. They are already excited over the fact that I am making transitional plans, and that they are not going to be left hanging when I retire. Having Bill as our back office support is great too – it frees me from doing a lot of running around and allows me to take care of customers. He is so easy going and will run over all of God’s creation just to take care of our customers!

Kari – I love working with my family! As a complete newbie to this business, I was extremely fortunate that I had my mom as a resource. Sharing an office with her has made our relationship better than ever, which is precisely the opposite of what I had feared. She is such an inspiration and an incredible role model. We laugh A LOT and every day we have together is such a blessing.

Bill – I love being around both Jorunn and Kari. We interact very well and we have a good time together. I surely have gained a new appreciation for how hard they both work.

 

What are some challenges (and how have you overcome them)?

Jorunn – Well…they don’t arise very often, but we had a recent situation where I was pushing Kari to contact one of her newer customers, and she was reluctant to make that call. Finally, she ran out of excuses, so she made the call. Even though it went to voicemail, the customer ended up calling back almost immediately and had nothing but praise and excitement for Kari. She got off the phone and said, “Mom, thank you for nagging me to call this customer”. Haha – maybe this is my newest fondest memory!

Kari – Challenges? I can’t think of much in terms of the family perspective. However, sometimes it’s a challenge to encourage the veterans to try something new!

Bill – Challenges come and go…mostly it evolves around some customers who do not think they need to pay for their received goods. Jorunn would like for me learn her order program, so that will be my next challenge. Since they are so busy sometimes, it is a little frustrating not getting the information from either of them as to a specific customer, but we work around it. I also make sure that Jorunn’s coffee cup is always full!

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What is your fondest memory working with your family?

Jorunn – It is everything! There are so many. Maybe the first time Kari and I went to the ASI show in Orlando…she made me do crazy things in some of the booths so that she could capture videos. Also, I was really proud when she was presented with her BASI pin by Tim Andrews for completing all the requirements for her ASI Bachelor’s degree, just one year after she started working here.

Kari – Traveling with my mom to attend various meetings. I never realized how much fun she is to be around! If it weren’t for her, I would never be invited to some of these meetings and they are always amazing. We also make good roommates! I remember her goofing around and being silly and now I know where I get it from!

Bill – I liked helping set up Jorunn and Kari’s office to make it work for them. And, the trips that we have taken as part of the job are always memorable. I enjoy getting to meet people from the home office, attending the seminars and associated events. We even had our own Holiday party here with Kari and her husband… we played cards and had more fun than some of the holiday parties I used to attend from my previous company.

 

Why should others consider working with their family?

Jorunn – If you have self-motivated family members, I really recommend bringing them into the business. However, they must understand that learning this business is not for the faint of heart and that a lot of effort will be spent before the big payoff. Our customers value that we are the “ASB Dream Team”, a family unit that is part of a large company with so many resources. Plus, at the day-to-day, local level – having the hand holding and encouragement is something that I think you can only get from your mom, dad or someone close! Nothing is easy, and I think that Kari totally understands that in order to succeed, she needs to work harder and smarter than our competition, and she is really doing a great job. We have so many special moments together that we would have never had, if it weren’t for our situation. All three of us are closer than ever!

Kari – Because it’s the BEST!!! We work hard, we play hard!

Bill – As a family, it is great to grow the business together and to know that I am making a difference in their day. I like helping them and I enjoy Kari’s enthusiasm and having her around us. The family bond is so strong. There’s comfort in knowing that some day, when Jorunn decides to phase out of this, her customers will be well served through Kari.

 

We’re proud to maintain a company culture that cultivates success and collaboration to support our sales associates and customers. To learn more about American Solutions for Business, visit our website or contact a sales associate near you!

Employee Ownership – Success Stories

Employee ownership is something that sets American Solutions for Business apart in our industry. In 2001, our founder & CEO, Larry Zavadil, sold this company to its employees in order to maintain its integrity, traditions and success. To this day, Larry remains at the heart of American as the CEO. For our hundreds of employees and sales associates who benefit, this ownership means many things.

Pete Niciphor

Name: Pete Niciphor
Location: Richmond, VA
Joined: 2015

Why you love American: We can do it all! From A to Z, we have the resources, support and expertise to succeed.

What employee ownership means to you: I can control my own destiny!

Maureen Solverson.jpgName: Maureen Solverson
Location: Rockford, IL
Joined: 2014

Why you love American: I love the people here – it feels like a family!

What employee ownership means to you: I’m building something that I can be proud of. I own it!

Christine Fischer.jpgName: Christine Fischer
Location: Glenwood, MN
Joined: 2015

Why you love American: The American family is so supportive! It’s an exciting industry, and this company values my input – it’s exciting!

What employee ownership means to you: It means I get to help make decisions that will benefit all American employees.

To learn more about American, visit our website or find an American associate near you! 

Dealership Solutions – Generate More Revenue Today

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American Solutions for Business is a top-rated supplier of print and promotional materials, and we offer laser focus on your specific needs with our dedicated vertical market teams. Our automotive team has been providing a cost-effective, one-stop-shop to dealerships and other businesses in the automotive industry for nearly 20 years to customers across the country. Our sales associates are knowledgeable in the world of print and promo and through many years of experience are tuned in to the unique needs of the automotive industry.

From packaged goods like key tags and dispatch numbers to custom products such as license plate inserts, printed materials, direct mail and apparel, American helps dealerships operate their daily business and reach their target market with effective, consistent messages, all while providing significant savings. By facilitating an environment of collaboration and problem solving, we have developed partnerships with over 5,000 automotive customers and counting. These partnerships are built on the tenants of customer service, product quality and cost-effective solutions.

With the recent downward trend in new car sales forecasted to continue, our team has looked for ways to diversify our offering and move towards becoming a revenue-generating partner for the dealership. “We’re looking for new solutions that allow us to help dealerships generate more gross with each vehicle sale by adding unique solutions to our vast product offering,” says Jason Gange, Director of Automotive Sales at American. “This initiative has lead to new offerings for the Finance & Insurance Department at dealerships and has elevated American to become a revenue-generating partner for the dealerships we serve.”

Those products include an Appearance Protection program, Identity Theft Protection program and other timely, attractive products that enhance the dealership’s F&I product offering for their customers and increase vehicle gross. “It’s really exciting to have the opportunity to provide significant savings to dealerships on products they need to operate and promote their business, but to also offer solutions that help dealerships recapture some of the lost revenue due to decreased vehicle sales nationally,” Jason continues. Our automotive specialists have established initiatives to add more revenue-generating solutions to the product offering throughout 2018 and beyond. “This initiative will help to strengthen the relationship with our customers and help associates develop new relationships as well.”

In addition to new revenue generating solutions, we are also promoting the utilization of our ACES eCommerce platform as a budget control solution for dealerships. “There are so many features and tools available to help dealerships control spending, forecast budgets and keep branding consistent, it is a great enhancement to the personalized customer service that dealerships receive from our sales associates.”

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American is your one-stop-shop for cost-effective solutions and revenue generating programs. You can preview our automotive eCommerce platform and diverse product offering by visiting www.asbautomotivesolutions.com. To connect with your local American sales associate, click here!