Spicers spices up clients’ and suppliers’ lives

Scenario: You get up in the morning with the sniffles, grab a tissue and blow your nose. Before you go to work, you put some school supplies (pads, loose-leaf binder paper, markers, etc.) into a corrugated box, pack it with tape and mail it to your son who’s living on campus. You drive off to work and notice your neighbour “wrapping” his car for the winter.

When you arrive at work, you see a huge new sign in the company parking lot welcoming guests. You’re early, so you relax for 15 minutes with your favourite novel. As work begins, you first clean the presses, then wash your hands. It’s just another working day, right?

Question: What’s so unique about the above?

Consider this: Every product  that I mentioned, I mean everything, could have originated at Spicers – the tissue you used to blow your nose, the school supplies, cardboard box, packing tape, car wrap, parking lot sign, novel, press cleaner and hand wash. Fact is, we’d likely need dozens of more pages to detail all of Spicers’ product lines.

And you thought Spicers was just a paper company!

Well, if there was ever any lingering doubts as to this paper giant’s diversification and commitment to its Canadian clients and suppliers, they were quickly dispelled at two recent Open Houses Oct. 14 in Kitchener and Oct. 17 in Toronto. The events, which drew over 1,000 clients and suppliers, were themed “It’s a Jungle Out There” (i.e. paper jungle) and featured sprawling warehouses elaborately decorated in a jungle motif, complete with vegetation, rising mist, jungle animals (relax, they weren’t real) and even a well-physiqued Tarzan, Jane and Witch Doctor mingling with guests.

I was lucky enough to attend the Toronto Open House and I can tell you that the food was amazing and the band (The Detroit Women) was definitely high-energy. But more than that, the camaraderie was everywhere and very noticeable from the moment you stepped into the 100,000 square-foot warehouse.

Our guests distinguished by their flowery, multi-coloured “jungle” shirts and omni-present smiles, were more than accommodating. What I also liked was that virtually everyone was there – from vice presidents to salespeople to receptionists. It’s always nice to put a face to the people you talk with almost every week. This was a first-class event, to be sure – and one of the industry’s largest.

The new reality: Expertise, service and exceptional product range spell bottom-line success

“Gone are the days of just selling paper to printers  – it‘s simply not good enough in today’s market,” says Gary Pearson, Spicers Sales Manager. He should know, having seen technology grow by leaps and bounds in his 40-plus years in the printing industry.

“Today you have to be solutions-oriented. You must have expertise in more than just paper products. You need to go into a business and find out your client’s production needs, all of them, whether they be paper, imaging, packaging, graphic supplies or anything required for the facility. This service is not only essential, it’s expected.

We recognize a printer’s need to streamline procurement and trim waste, so we make available an unsurpassed and diverse range of products, supported by a team of knowledgeable technical specialists,” he adds.

That commitment to staff training is reflected in the fact that the company invests a minimum of 2% of its payroll back into employee education and development. The net result is a knowledgeable team of technical and business consultants offering innovative solutions to boost a printer’s bottom line.

As far as products, to say that Spicers local inventories are deep, is somewhat of an understaterment. In fact, the company has just been added to the PaperlinX family, a worldwide organization that employs over 10,000 people in 30 countries. This gives Spicers access to a tremendous range of exclusive products. So its slogan, “world of resources always within reach” is more apt today than it ever was.

What this means for printers is that you can place one order, receive one shipment, file one invoice and cut one cheque for virtually every product you use in your shop – not just the world’s finest papers, but business imaging products, graphics supplies, packaging systems, office products, maintenance and cleaning products, even personal care and health products. The byword here is definitely one-stop shopping.
Imagine it! A paper company that also sells cleaning products! Lucky for them – I couldn’t imagine cleaning up that massive warehouse after that wild party . . . oooops, Open House!

For more information, please visit www.spicers.ca.


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.