VOW Offers Re-Sellers Chance To Secure 'Continuous and Guaranteed' Additional Revenue Stream

VOW has responded to feedback from resellers across the UK by enabling them to offer customers an expert workplace recycling service.

The leading business products and facilities supplies wholesaler, a member of the EVO Group, has broadened its offering by teaming up with national market-leading specialists GreensafeIT, one of the UK’s most highly accredited asset disposers.

VOW’s move means resellers can now offer end-users professional, safe, responsible removal, recycling and disposal of potentially hazardous waste – principally batteries, fluorescent lamps and electronic or electrical equipment. This is accompanied by a fully approved audit trail for added customer security.  

The service complies with all law and regulation, including utilising the correct documentation, and will meet the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into force next year.  

GreensafeIT operates battery collections within industry-leading timescales. It removes the risk for customers of the serious issues that can be caused by factors such as leakages, short-circuiting or water ingress when batteries are recycled.

For fluorescent lamps, the company offers next business day deliveries and collections of the secure containers it provides. Its service includes the safe storage of hazardous waste streams, such as the mercury within fluorescent tubes, one droplet of which would contaminate 30,000 litres of water beyond a safe drinking level. There is also a fully compliant and safe transport solution, with treatment being available for all chemistries, meaning every type of lamp can be recycled.  

GreensafeIT’s electronic or electrical equipment recycling service covers numerous items needing a plug or battery, including TVs, kettles, vacuums, computers, printers and smoke detectors. Customers simply rent or buy containers and arrange for them to be exchanged when full, or schedule palletised collections.     

Announcing the partnership, VOW managing director Adrian Butler said: “It’s a key element of our strategy that we work with resellers to enhance their sales and incomes wherever we can.

“Their feedback to us had clearly indicated the demand for a professional workplace recycling service and this development shows how responsive we try to be to them. Resellers finding a market for this addition will generate a continuous and guaranteed extra revenue stream.

“This widespread wish for a specialist workplace recycling service isn’t surprising, as legal and environmental compliance is an ever-changing area that can already cause headaches for any business.”

The alliance with GreensafeIT also makes a series of additional options available to VOW resellers on a project basis. These include: onsite services, such as data erasure and media shredding, involving items including hard disk drives, CDs and USB flash drives; the secure, safe and controlled removal of IT and telecommunications equipment during office relocations; and a portable appliance testing service for IT equipment and peripherals, delivered by National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers-certified engineers.

Also available on a one-off basis are: IT recycling, encompassing personal computer disposal and remarketing; onsite data erasure; and configuration and bonded storage.

Resellers wanting to take advantage of GreensafeIT services should contact their VOW account managers.


VOW Recognised For Its Strong Partnership At Office Friendly Deler Association Festival

VOW is “delighted” to have been awarded the Wholesaler of the Year accolade at the Office Friendly dealer association Entrepreneurs Festival.

The award was presented at the Rio Carnival-themed gala dinner, following a day of presentations, interactive sessions and an exhibition at the event, held at the Belfry Hotel & Resort, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands.

Martin Weedall, VOW’s sales director, commented: “We are extremely delighted and proud to have won the Wholesaler of the Year award and say a big ‘thank-you’ to all of the Office Friendly members who continue to support VOW. This is a real testament to the hard work of the VOW team.”

He added that VOW wanted to say “a big ‘congratulations’” to all the other worthy winners on the night.

Office Friendly’s managing director Julie Hawley commented: “This is a new award and represents a change in the market, with dealers having more choice for supply.

“VOW continuously works in partnership with the Office Friendly members throughout the year, with a backdrop of difficult market conditions. They have developed a new exclusive portfolio of products and engaged additional expertise in growth areas, to the support the members with their customers.”

VOW focused its stand at the festival` on its exclusive brands and presented a TV to Aaron Fenwick, from RAO Stationers, in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, who won the challenge it staged there.


VOW Becomes Sole UK Distributor For World-Leading Data Encryption Solutions Provider

VOW is helping resellers address increasing end-user concerns about data security after becoming the sole UK distributor for a range of global market-leading solutions.

The major business products and facilities supplies wholesaler has signed a ground-breaking agreement to provide – and offer exclusive pricing on – customised portable USB and data encryption solutions developed by Swedish-based company CTWO Products.

CTWO’s security division offers hardware and software-based encryption, portable software security, USB anti-malware and keyboard protection, plus other products and services, including a password rescue option.

The organisation’s Safexs encryption range offers qualities such as speed, ultra-portability, strong military grade encryption, cross-platform support and a unique hybrid engine. The  range is used globally by Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions and healthcare organisations, plus local and national governments. Its secure USB drives are the only ones approved for use within the National Health Service.  

In addition to the Safexs range, CTWO provides USB, mobile, and computer offerings. Its other USB items include memory devices and own-design solutions, while its mobile range encompasses phone accessories, sound products, chargers and shells. CTWO’s computer goods include iPad and notebook accessories, plus mice.

Announcing the new relationship, Gilly Blackburn, VOW’s category director for technology products, said: “We’re delighted to have concluded this deal with CTWO, the leading manufacturer of its type in the world. It’s exciting that we can now add the group’s outstanding solutions to our existing product range, which already numbered 24,000 items, and featured a comprehensive range of data encryption solutions, including offerings meeting the US government’s Federal Information Processing Standard.

“We’re sure there’ll be significant demand for CTWO items from our resellers, on behalf of end-users increasingly looking to protect confidential and commercially-sensitive data, in this era when features such as denial-of-service and malware attacks are, sadly, all-too-common.”    

CTWO products provided by VOW will all comply with the General Data Processing Regulation, which takes effect next year.

James Baker, Vice-President of Sales & Marketing, CTWO, said: “We’re thrilled to have concluded this arrangement with the UK and Ireland’s largest business products and facilities supplies wholesaler. VOW’s scope and expertise is unsurpassed in its sector and the company offers access to an unrivalled list of high-quality resellers. We’re now looking forward to a long and successful partnership with the organisation.”   

Founded in 2003, CTWO Products is based in Malmo and has offices in Shenzhen, China, in addition to the UK.


Re-Sellers React Very Positively To Latest Venture Training Day

VOW says it has received very positive reactions to its latest training day from the resellers who attended.

The leading business products and facilities supplies wholesaler hosted the event, for members of its VOW Venture enhanced partner accreditation programme, at the Village Hotel Club, Solihull, West Midlands and almost 50 delegates attended.

Speakers included Anthony Stears, a leading expert on helping businesses improve customer service and increase sales via the phone, known as the Telephone Assassin, who delivered a three-hour workshop.

The day also featured Debbie Nice, VOW’s facilities supplies category director, delivering a presentation about this market.  VOW recently announced it had seen a 10 per cent increase in facilities supplies sales during the first half of 2017, after investing £500,000 in this part of its business.    

Four of the company’s suppliers also ran product training sessions at the Solihull gathering aimed at equipping the resellers with useful sales hints and tips: intelligent sound solution provider Jabra; business machine, record storage equipment and office accessory manufacturer Fellowes; personal and health care product specialist Kimberly Clark; and cleaning and related product manufacturer Robert Scott.

Anthony Stears’ session aimed to change the way attendees thought about telephone communication and motivate them to drive sales for their companies. It covered etiquette, obtaining permission to speak, call structure and techniques to retain control of conversations, among other topics.

The appearance followed Anthony’s delivery of workshops at similar VOW events in Leeds and London during April and May, which were hugely well-received.

Commenting on the Solihull event, attendee Sue Williams, of Hereford-based A4 Office Products, said: “The location was very central and the day’s format thoroughly enjoyable. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a course with VOW to anyone in the industry.”

Zena Vaghela, of PBS Office, based in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, said she felt training like this should happen regularly.

She said: “We all tend to go through the motions after a while and it’s nice to have that jolt to bring you back to the energetic sales person you were when you started. All-in-all, I would be happy to do another training day like this.”

Commenting on Anthony Stears’ performance, James Wood, of Woodco Office E quipment, based in Boston, Lincolnshire, said: “He was amazing. He made things very simple and easy to understand. I walked away from his talk with new ideas and a new way of thinking about my approach to cold calling. I also got a few tips on what to say in some situations, which helped a lot.”

VOW commercial and marketing director Heather McManus said the regular VOW Venture training days were now well-established and would continue. She said they underlined the company’s commitment to helping resellers drive sales and increase revenue wherever possible.

She added: “The involvement of Anthony Stears this year has enabled us to offer product and sales training under one roof for the first time, arming attendees with all the tools they need to sell successfully, and the reaction from resellers has been excellent.

“We’re delighted with this and will continue to seek new ways to make the training days even more attractive to resellers in the future.”  


VOW Set For Southern Launch Of Already Successful First Office Furniture Range

VOW is to hold the southern launch of its already successful First office furniture range at the home of Europe’s champion rugby union club next week.

The leading business products and facilities supplies wholesaler will stage the event on Wednesday 11 October at Allianz Park, Hendon, north London, home of Saracens, the continent’s Champions Cup winners for the last two seasons.

Members of VOW Venture, the company’s enhanced partner accreditation programme, are eligible to attend the gathering.

First range now contains upwards of 170 products, aimed at providing an unbeatable combination of quality and value.  It includes office desking, storage and seating, plus items for reception, bistro and breakout areas.

The range includes a mix of commodity products, in a number of finishes, whose prices reflect its affordability principle.

VOW managing director Adrian Butler said: “We wanted to offer resellers a range covering almost all their needs, while providing unsurpassed standards of craftsmanship and pricing. We’ve launched First range now because we really feel we’ve achieved these aims.

“The early signs are that First range is proving hugely successful, as it’s accounting for an ever-higher proportion of our furniture sales. We’re now enhancing its elements on a quarterly basis.”

First range is reinforced by VOW’s service, which includes a uniquely late deadline of 4.30pm by which customers can place orders for next day delivery. The company also offers free carriage for orders worth over £250. In addition, the delivery and installation service – by trained, specialist furniture fitters – includes full packaging removal, product clean down and tutoring on the furniture’s functionality, if required.   

Resellers attending the southern launch will be able to touch and feel First range’s elements, see some new products for 2018 showcased and hear about VOW’s furniture strategy. The event will also feature a market update from Dan Wooler, managing director of Bristol-based furniture reseller TC Group, which operates the outsourcing service for VOW and online resellers.  

First range’s northern launch was held in Leeds during June. It was the initial event of its kind that VOW had staged and the company said it was delighted with results and feedback following the gathering, as 20 per cent of resellers attending placed immediate orders for the range’s products.    

Attendee Paul Green, of Grantham-based Alexander Green Office Interiors, said: “It was a great event that showed VOW are really listening and taking actions to improve. The new pricing structure and products make a real change and dealers would be foolish not to take a fresh look at VOW as a credible supplier of convenience furniture.”

Emily Edwards-Whitley, of ACS Business Supplies, based in Bingley, West Yorkshire, said: “I found the day really useful. Each session was fun, interactive and informative. We left really motivated and ready to take on this category.”     

VOW Venture members interested in attending the southern First range launch event should email marketing@voweurope.com.  


VOW Celebrates Being Only Wholesaler Shortlisted For Two Prizes In BOSS Awards

VOW has become the only wholesaler to have entries shortlisted for more than one prize in the annual award scheme operated by the British Office Supplies and Services Federation (BOSS).

The leading business products and facilities supplies wholesaler has become a finalist in the Initiative of the Year category for its Product Conveyor and seen its senior web designer Daniel Canetti shortlisted in the Emerging Professional of the Year award.

VOW’s Product Conveyor allows end-users to order goods from resellers as they become available throughout the year, though the company says its annual catalogue, containing thousands of items, still serves as a hugely useful sales tool and basis for informed purchasing decisions by resellers.

The highly streamlined Product Conveyor process, which took several months to develop, has removed catalogue-related launch barriers, such as production deadlines, and up to 78 days from an item’s launch lifecycle. There are now as few as 10 days between suppliers presenting goods to VOW and these becoming available to resellers.

VOW launched over 270 items via Product Conveyor in the first half of this year – an average of more than two per day – and expects to have added over 1,200 products to the by the of 2017.

Dan Canetti joined VOW less than two years ago with very little industry experience. However, he was recognised by his peers in 2016 as Support Employee of the Year for the entire EVO Group, of which VOW is a part, ahead of more than 1,000 other eligible staff. He was also promoted from executive to senior web designer.

Reacting to the two short-listings, VOW managing director Adrian Butler said: “We’re delighted at this recognition.

“The Product Conveyor is an industry game-changer, as it’s transformed the way the channel works. It’s broken the mould of the sector’s rigid traditional merchandising and annual catalogue cycle, replacing it with a much more contemporary and flexible model, ensuring that resellers can offer customers the right products at the right times.

“Dan’s shortlisting is also richly deserved, as he’s quickly made himself a pivotal part of our large organisation. In addition to extensive technical skills, he’s demonstrated excellent leadership, project management and other key aptitudes.”

Winners of this year’s BOSS Awards will be announced on 30 November at London’s Tower Guoman Hotel.

VOW’s double-shortlisting echoes its performance last year, when it was also the only wholesaler to be a finalist in two categories: it went on to win the Initiative of the Year prize for its VOW Venture enhanced partner accreditation programme and was shortlisted in the Catalogue of the Year section.


VOW Launches Unique Rewards Scheme For Re-Sellers In Enhanced Partner Accreditation Programme

VOW has become the UK’s first wholesaler to launch a continuous and comprehensive scheme with world-leading specialist consultancy Corporate Rewards incentivising resellers to buy business products and facilities supplies.

The ground-breaking initiative, open to members of the VOW Venture enhanced partner accreditation programme, will consist of various incentives and promotions during a year. All will involve points being awarded for purchases of relevant products over defined periods, with the highest scoring resellers winning valuable prizes.

VOW Venture Rewards, as the innovative scheme is called, has been accompanied by the launch of a bespoke portal, enabling participants to track their performances against targets in current initiatives and see announcements of incremental opportunities to earn extra points provided by suppliers sponsoring the promotions, for example.

The VOW Venture Rewards scheme consists initially of the current Heatwave, Whiteout and Discover incentives. Eligible resellers had to register for these by the end of July and the promotions run until December.   

Heatwave and Whiteout are for VOW Venture members based in the UK, while Discover is for those in Ireland.  

Each reseller registering for one of the three incentives is receiving a monthly target for purchases of goods supplied by VOW and manufactured by the sponsoring brands, throughout the promotion period. This goal represents a 10 per cent increase on the amount the reseller spent on equivalent products during the same period last year.

For every £1 or €1 the reseller spends over their target, they earn a point. The entrants in the three incentives with the most points at close of business on Christmas Eve will win prizes.

The Heatwave winners will experience three nights at the JW Marriott Resort & Spa, on an exclusive private island in a lagoon near Venice. The Whiteout participants will spend four nights at the Hotel La Chaudanne, in Méribel, one of the world’s finest skiing resorts. The successful Discover entrants will stay for three nights at the Puente Romano Golf & Spa Resort in Puerto Banus, Spain.

Sponsors of the three incentives include 3M, Acco, Alba, Bic, Brother, Dahle, Durable, Energizer, ExaClair, Hamelin, Henkel, Muggi, Nestlé Professional, Newell Brands, Philips, Q-Connect Toners, Schneider, Securit, VOW Interiors and all VOW’s exclusive brands.

Heather McManus, VOW’s Commercial and Marketing Director, said: “It’s a key part of our corporate strategy that we work with our resellers to help them increase sales and grow their businesses. We’re therefore delighted to be announcing our unique VOW Venture Rewards scheme, which will further incentivise them to do just this, through a series of original and enjoyable promotions throughout the year.

“We’ve also launched the scheme because we wanted to reward our VOW Venture Partners who perform outstandingly and whose contribution to our business we value so highly.”

Corporate Rewards, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, works with some of the world’s leading businesses to create award-winning recognition, motivation, incentive and event programmes. The company’s clients include Microsoft, Red Bull, Pirelli, Honeywell and Hewlett Packard Enterprise plus other household names in industries such as information technology, manufacturing, finance, automotive, retail and fast-moving consumer goods.   


VOW Warns Re-Sellers About Grey Stocks Of Q-Connect Products In UK Market

VOW is warning resellers that grey stock of the Q-Connect private label range of low-cost office essentials has reached the UK market.

The leading business products and facilities supplies wholesaler has said that only a small amount of the grey stock, which is being sold at reduced prices, is relevant to the domestic market and it believes some of the goods on offer are at least two years old.  

Q-Connect products are aimed at providing a high quality, attractively-priced alternative to brand name office essentials. Established in 1998, the range comprises 70 product groups and over 5,000 lines – including business machines, writing implements and computer consumables – all conforming to the highest EU standards.

The range’s products are available exclusively through members of INTERACTION, the Belgian-based alliance of wholesalers and distributors from more than 20 European countries, which developed and owns the Q-Connect brand.

VOW is the sole wholesaler based in the UK or Republic of Ireland authorised to sell Q-Connect products, as its parent, EVO Group, is the only INTERACTION member located in either country.

Andrew Stacey, marketing and merchandise director with EVO Group, said: “The grey stock has come from a Dutch reseller and it’s therefore unsurprising that only a limited number of its lines are relevant to the UK market.

“The reseller concerned also left INTERACTION some time ago and therefore has no access to the current Q-Connect range. This explains why a significant percentage of the grey stock is toner products that we believe are over two years old. These can be identified easily, as they use the European KF code, rather than the VOW one.”

Andrew said EVO Group had spoken to INTERACTION and were confident there was no more grey stock to come. He also believed measures now in place would ensure a similar episode did not occur in the future.       

He said: “We’d ask resellers to bear in mind that the only wholesaler based in the UK authorised to sell Q-Connect products is VOW.  We can supply from the whole range, with everything we provide being up-to-date and fully relevant to the British market. I’d add that neither we nor INTERACTION have any intention of changing these arrangements.”

Resellers with queries about, or wanting to order items from, the Q-Connect range can contact their VOW Account Manager for further information.


VOW Grows Facilities Supplies Sales By 10 Per Cent Following £500,000 Investment

VOW is reporting facilities supplies sales 10 per cent higher than last year after investing £500,000 in that part of its business during 2017.

The leading business product and facilities supplies wholesaler said some of the money has been used to recruit additional personnel, including two specialist business development managers, who work directly with resellers to increase their product sales.

VOW says the investment has also enabled it to improve marketing support for resellers, offer a more complete product range, deepen its stock holding to aid availability, and instil a better understanding of the facilities supplies marketplace among staff across its business and in the reseller community.       

The company now offers over 5,000 facilities supplies products, in areas such as catering, janitorial supplies, premises management and health and safety compliance, and has direct relationships with over 100 major manufacturers.

VOW says its most popular facilities supplies lines so far this year have been mainly in the cleaning and catering categories. They include hygiene and janitorial products, such as chemicals, mops, buckets, cloths and wipes. Also in-demand have been white goods, beverage and vending machines, cups, cutlery, napkins, sugar and drinks, such as tea, coffee, cola, water and fruit juices.       

Adam Noble, managing director of the Derby-based national business services provider Irongate Group, said: “There’s been a step change from VOW this year in the facilities supplies area, a really important growth category for Irongate. They’ve clearly introduced increased price flexibility and seem to have really listened to their customers over broadening the range of products they offer.”  

Explaining the reasons for the £500,000 investment, VOW managing director Adrian Butler said: “We knew that our resellers were making purchases of facilities supplies products from providers other than us. We also realised we could help resellers increase revenue, through supplying an enhanced level of expertise in areas such as sales and merchandising, and improve efficiency, by enabling them to make multiple purchases on single orders. I’m pleased to say this decision is proving successful.”

Adrian said a major contributor to the performance was VOW’s high-quality overall service, based on a consultative approach.

He said: “Our next day delivery contrasts with many of our competitors only supplying in three to five days and, alongside the rest of our service, this means we now offer a genuinely stockless solution, avoiding resellers having to buy in bulk. In addition, we provide thorough training and marketing support to resellers and deliver an after-sales service that’s second-to-none.”

Adrian added that VOW’s exclusive 2Work range of cleaning products, designed to provide superior solutions at affordable prices, was another key reason for the success.

VOW’s support for some resellers this year has included using their purchase ledgers to help them optimise pricing structures and therefore attract more revenue. VOW says it would encourage other resellers to partner with it in this way.

Adrian said: “The £500,000 investment and enhancements following it reflect the fact that our strategic vision includes adding real value for our resellers and helping them to grow their businesses.”

Facilities supplies and sales training is available to resellers in VOW Venture, the company’s enhanced partner accreditation programme. The next such event is being held on 13 September at the Village Hotel Club, Solihull, West Midlands. Resellers can discover more details by emailing marketing@voweurope.com.  

Resellers wanting more information about, or to order, VOW facilities supplies products should call the sales office on 0844 980 8000 or speak to their account manager.


VOW Encourages Re-Sellers To Act Quickly If They Want To Win Luxury Breaks In Italy Or France

VOW is encouraging eligible resellers to register quickly for an incentive and take their pick of a luxury break in Italy or France if successful.

The leading business products and facilities supplies wholesaler has reiterated that the registration deadline for this year’s Heatwave and Whiteout incentive, which offer these prizes, falls on 31 July. The incentive is open to all UK-based resellers in the company’s VOW Venture enhanced partner accreditation programme.    

Each reseller registering for one of the trips will receive a monthly target spend for the period until December on goods supplied by VOW and manufactured by the sponsoring brands. These include 3M, Acco, Bic, Durable, Energizer, ExaClair, Hamelin, Henkel, Newell Brands, Alba, Dahle, Muggi, Schneider, Securit, Q-Connect Toners, VOW Interiors and all VOW’s exclusive brands.

This target will represent a 10 per cent increase on the amount the reseller spent buying equivalent products during the same period last year.

For every £1 the reseller spends over their target, they earn a point. The 38 entrants across the two elements with the most points at close of business on Christmas Eve will go on the trips.

The Heatwave winners will experience three nights at the JW Marriott Resort & Spa, on an exclusive private island in a lagoon near Venice. The Whiteout participants will spend four nights at the Hotel La Chaudanne, in Méribel, one of the world’s finest skiing resorts.

Heather McManus, VOW commercial and marketing director, said: “Our unique Heatwave and Whiteout incentive trips continue to go from strength to strength. Last year, the number of Heatwave and Whiteout participants rose by over 40 per cent. Resellers increased sales of the participating brands by up to 35 per cent during the incentive period.     

“The early signs are that this year’s delegates will be even more successful and we’d urge VOW Venture members who haven’t yet registered to do so before it’s too late.”

Eligible resellers can register for the incentive at www.ventureincentive.co.uk.