Norwood & BIC CEO Discusses Wentworth's Departure and the Company's Plans Going Forward
Following last week's announcement that Quenten Wentworth was leaving his position as vice president and general manager for Norwood & BIC Graphic North America, Promo Marketing spoke with Nicolas Paillot, CEO of BIC Advertising and Promotional Products (BIC APP), about the effect the news would have on the company.
Paillot explained, first and foremost, that Wentworth's departure would not impact promotional products distributors. "We have a solid, well-experienced, cross-functional team in place managing on a day-to-day basis and I am confident in their abilities," he said. "Lori Bauer, Dave Saracino, Mike McMillan, Kelly Rezansoff, just to name a few—they all have a long history with Norwood or BIC Graphic and are industry veterans."
BIC APP, which formed when BIC acquired Norwood Promotional Products in 2009, is one of the largest companies in the promotional products industry, ranking No. 3 in last year's Top Suppliers list with a combined revenue of $410,000,000. According to Paillot, Wentworth's departure was not related to the integration of the two companies, and he anticipates no further management changes.
"Our North American management team is in place," he explained. "They are a close-knit team, working cross-functionally with ease and comfort. All of them have a long history in the industry, coming either from Norwood or BIC Graphic. This experience is invaluable as we have accomplished the integration and now move forward with fine-tuning our processes to be more customer-centric."
There are no immediate plans to replace Wentworth, who joined the company in April 2010. Instead, Paillot will increase his focus on the North American market going forward. "I find the increased direct contact with our customers very satisfying," he said. "To hear from them first-hand what works and what doesn't—and develop programs to suit their needs."
After two years of adjustments, the integration between Norwood and BIC Graphic is almost finished, explained Paillot. Changes include reorganizing and consolidating the Norwood manufacturing facilities, which center their writing instrument business in Tampa, Fla.; their calendar and paper products in Sleepy Eye, Minn.; and hard goods in Red Wing, Minn. The manufacturing sites have seen significant upgrades in imprinting technologies, warehousing and infrastructure. "Our Red Wing site now has the most comprehensive and diverse assortment of imprinting capabilities in the industry," he said. "Having just visited the site again last week, I am always impressed by the skilled team and technology we have there."