Group & Industry News
02

Copied from the IS ThinkTank:

As many of you know, our RDC program, which is operated through our partner Essendant, continues to be one of the groups most vital instruments ever developed. Many have tried their best to emulate it, but none with any measureable success. As the RDC Committee Chairperson and a member of the Board of Directors, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continued support. I also wanted to let you know that the RDC committee, in conjunction with the Board has been hard at work, doing our best to understand the changing mix of products, market conditions, which includes our Big Box competitors as well as how Amazon is impacting our space. Some of the trend change has enabled a “re-alignment” of product, which has in turn, significantly increased the number of Facility, Safety & Breakroom product offerings. I will say that the current RDC product mix is probably the most robust ever.

Our RDC is only as effective as we allow it to be. It’s important that we continue to do our best and provide as much support as we can. Disappointingly, the overall volume has dropped over the last few years. Some of it can certainly be attributed to consolidation of dealers, but unfortunately some of it can also be attributed to dealers re-directing their direct buy purchases back into the wholesale channel for various reasons. Some of those may be meeting volume requirements to earn a free trip to someplace you’ve never been, or your wholesale rep may have come in with some aggressive rebates & pricing that may be tied to volume. I get it. But I’m going to ask all of you to consider something; where were these terrific offers prior to the RDC? Will they still be here if the RDC model were to cease to exist? No one is going to control our own destinies better than us. As a matter of fact, many of us are still here because we had the foresight to see and embrace this very model. I can’t tell you how often dealers tell me that they couldn’t imagine what it would be like to operate without the RDC.  

To that point, we recently had a Top to Top meeting with Essendant executives to discuss some enhancements that we would like to see come forward in the near future, as well as to bring to light some logistical concerns that pop up from time to time. We will keep you posted on what develops.

Here’s where you come in. If you are experiencing any delivery delays or fill issues coming out of your RDC facilities that seem to be consistent, please reach out to Ty Blankenbaker blankenbaker@independentstationers.coop, to me directly jkudler@crest-op.com , or any of your Board reps.

Also, please don’t hesitate to share some great wins that you may have had that might not have occurred if you didn’t have the RDC to help make it happen!! Your fellow dealers may find it very helpful, not to mention encouraging. I know that here at Legacy Office Solutions, we win every day because we take full advantage of what the RDC has to offer.

I want to wish all of you a happy & healthy New Year and continued success.

Jordan E. Kudler, President, Legacy Office Solutions

T. 212-271-2065 F. 718-784-4048

jkudler@crest-op.com

If you are not on the IS ThinkTank, it’s a great communication tool for IS members to share ideas or ask a question, dealer-to-dealer. Contact Cora for an invitation to join in, lienemann@independentstationers.coop