Voices From the Top
This year we thought we would open our questions to the rest of the top 50, as opposed to limiting it to just the top 10. After all, there's no reason to deny the insights of a fast-rising company or the experiences of a high-ranking industry veteran. Below is a brief selection of what they had to say.
How do you expect the growing global economy to affect your company?
"I believe new business in the future will be awarded globally. We believe as much as one-quarter of our 2011 revenue will come from international markets and expect that number to keep going up." - Eric D. Belcher, President and CEO, InnerWorkings
"Many of the Fortune 500 companies are striving to develop a consistent brand message and marketing strategy globally. Additionally, the use of promotional products is increasing outside of the U.S. New opportunities are emerging in many different countries. As such, companies are looking for a partner that has a global supply chain network to develop and distribute product in many different countries." - Rich Witaszak, Vice President and General Manager, Staples Promotional Products
"More transparency in global sourcing supply chain, and with it an expectation for more stringent compliance at all levels—factory compliance, labor compliance, and continued emphasis on product safety. Our clients are asking for provenance of all types of products—Sunrise is committed to being an industry leader in product safety and compliance." - Mitch Mounger, CEO of Sunrise Identity
"It's not just the 'growing' global economy—it's the 'ever changing' global economy—and it will continue to lead to:
- Price Compression—It's as easy to shop worldwide markets for promotional products now as it is to order a pair of boots from L.L. Bean.
- Sourcing Issues—As commodities run up in various world markets we will continue to experience challenges in consistent costs and reliable sources. You saw cotton jump in 2010, oil in early 2011 (which will affect nylon and plastic components). What will be next is hard to say but rest assured it will be something.
- The China Syndrome—China is dramatically shifting its focus from low technology manufacturing to high tech. Apple alone employs over 800,000 people in China (400,000 in one plant). They have learned that it requires just as much labor to make a circuit board for Apple as it does to make a key tag. This has and will continue to put pressure on other markets for the production of promotional products. Africa, Bangladesh and numerous other developing market economies simply aren't ready yet to take the workload and deliver consistently and reliably."
Jerry Mulligan, Vice President Sales/Business Development, Chamberlain Marketing Group