Sales-Reps
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Sales Representation

Having deep and wide account relationships with all the major players, Highlands is well-respected in the industry.

Let us use our experience to build insight and strategy directly into your brand. With our laser focus on meeting the consumer’s needs, we’ll bring you sales and support using technology, marketing aids, and the best reseller list in the industry. Working together, we’ll develop streamlined strategies that benefit both resellers and distributors to demonstrate value and quickly penetrate the market.
Articles
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Highlands Announces an Expanded Partnership with KFI Seating

April 6, 2018

Highlands is pleased to announce they will now be representing KFI Seating in the Office Products Channel. KFI is a manufacturer of tables and chairs, which fit the needs of many institutions: commercial, hospitality, education, government and healthcare. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, all KFI products are assembled in the USA. KFI invests their efforts in speed, service, and design, with a heavy emphasis on the need for a great customer experience and community involvement. 

“KFI has had great success working with Highlands on strategic e-commerce accounts. We have been impressed with the professional sales approach, strategic thinking, marketing and most importantly, relationships with key accounts. That being said, we are excited to now work with the entire Highlands family,” says Chris Smith, President and Owner of KFI Seating.

Bob O’Gara, CEO of Highlands, adds “We have been very impressed by the repositioning of KFI by Chris Smith and Scott Williamson, COO and Owner of KFI Seating. Their emphasis on affordable design is what many customer segments require today. This is the perfect time to extend our relationship.” 

For more information on KFI Seating, please visit KFI.com.
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Bridget Kress Joins Highlands as Account Manager for Central US

March 14, 2018

Highlands is pleased to announce that Bridget Kress, the newest addition to the Highlands team, has joined the Central Region as Account Manager covering the Illinois and Wisconsin markets.


“Bridget brings to Highlands valuable, high level sales experience in the Business Products and Jan San industries,” says Mike Douglas, VP of Sales for the Central and West, at Highlands. “Previous positions with R3 and Newell Brands as Business Development Director and Key Accounts Manager, along with a well-earned reputation as one of the top professionals in the marketplace make her a great addition to the Highlands team.”



Bill Hammond

Bill Hammond Recently Joined Highlands as Account Manager in the Northeast Region

March 9, 2018

Highlands is very pleased to announce that Bill Hammond has joined the Northeast Region team as Account Manager covering the DC, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia territory. 

“Bill comes to us with nearly ten years of experience in the Office Products industry,” says Chris Merkel, District Manager for the Northeast, at Highlands. “He has served in a variety of B2B, B2C and Omni-channel capacities, including managing Office Product rep agencies and dealers in the Northeast; direct HQ responsibility for Staples Contract/Commercial, Delivery/.Com and Quill business; as well as serving in Office Product related trade marketing, digital marketing and e-commerce capacities. Possessing a unique blend of direct sales experience, combined with a proven background in e-commerce, Bill makes an outstanding addition to our organization.”

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Highlands Announces a Partnership with The Bugatti Group

March 6, 2018

For over 75 years, The Bugatti Group has been offering hand-crafted, high quality, durable goods. Their product line includes suitcases, travel bags, computer bags, briefcases, and handbags. The Bugatti Group manufactures and distributes goods under multiple brand names: Celine Dion, Joanel, Mouflon, Stebco, Bond Street, and Bugatti. 

Gordon Christiansen, COO and SVP of Marketing at Highlands says, “Bugatti Group has some fantastic brands and is a great partner for Highlands.  The combination of Bugatti’s innovation and Highlands’ sales and marketing infrastructure is very powerful.  Not only will Highlands be able to strengthen Bugatti’s presence in the office channel but we look forward to working with them online and in other channels as opportunities arise.”

“Business is the delicate balance between execution, innovation, and fun, you have to love what you do.  The fit between Highlands and Bugatti group is seamless, we consider them our business partners and are very excited for all future projects and our continued mutual growth,” adds Andrew Hattem, CEO at The Bugatti Group Inc.

For more information on the Bugatti Group, please visit http://www.bugattigrp.com.

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Highlands and Zep Inc. to Expand Their Relationship Into the Hospitality and Multifamily Channel

February 12, 2018

Founded in 1937, Zep Inc. is a chemical goods company, which focuses on high-performance cleaning products. Their products are sold through distribution partners, along with the DIY and DIFM retail channels, to both consumers and professionals.

 “Over the past five years, Highlands has become a trusted partner for ZEP working in the office channel.  We, at Zep, believe that extending the partnership to include the Hospitality and Multifamily channels makes our partnership with Highlands even stronger and more strategic,” says Seth Raley, SVP and GM, Distribution and Sales Support at Zep.

CEO at Highlands, Bob O’Gara, says, “Adding Zep to the portfolio of brands Highlands represents to the Hospitality and Multifamily channels is a significant milestone in the establishment of Highlands as the premier national sales and marketing agency in these channels.”

 

For more information on Zep, Inc., please visit http://www.zepinc.com


clarke

Highlands to Represent Clarke, a Nilfisk brand, in the Janitorial/Sanitary Markets within the US

January 29, 2018

“Nilfisk is extremely excited to enter this new relationship with Highlands.  This partnership will allow Nilfisk to expand its reach to a broader market, providing access to our industry leading cleaning products for customers in segments where we have not had a strong presence in the past.  Highlands has enjoyed tremendous success and has a strong focus on the office product and hospitality markets, two segments that Nilfisk is targeting for growth.  We are committed to providing customers access to our products through the channels that best suit their business needs. We are confident that the Nilfisk/Highlands partnership affords customers in the office product and hospitality markets a unique solution to meet their facility cleaning needs,” says Jeff Van Essen, Strategic Account Director at Nilfisk.

Perry Luperini, Business Development Director at Highlands, adds, “We are excited to announce that Highlands has been awarded the contract to become the exclusive national representatives of Clarke Equipment for the Office Products and Hospitality Channels as of January 1, 2018. Clarke, part of the Nilfisk family, the world’s largest manufacturer of cleaning equipment sold in over 100 countries, provides solutions based products and services that enable sustainable cleaning worldwide to improve quality of life. We look forward to working with Clarke as a primary vendor in this important new category for the years to come.”

For a century, Clarke’s desire has been to offer and be the leading brand of floor cleaners, for the commercial, industrial, retail, education, hospitality and DIY markets. Clarke’s core features that distinguish them from the competition:
- Comprehensive offer
- Tailor-made solutions
- Market knowledge
- Value analysis, Product development
- Product and service reliability
- Brand 

Another meaningful offering of Clarke’s is their leading industry innovation. In 1956, Clarke developed the first battery powered walk-behind scrubber, followed by the first drum sander for the rental market in 1959, and in 1968, Clarke created the first ever carpet extractor. 

For more important information on Clarke, visit www.clarkeus.com

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Highlands to Represent ShurTech Brands, LLC in the US and Canadian Office Products Channels

January 15, 2018

Highlands, the multinational sales and marketing services agency, has announced they will be representing ShurTech Brands, a global marketer of (DIY) do-it-yourself and home & office professional and consumer products, in the United States and Canadian office products channels. For decades, the professionals at ShurTech have put their focus on creating brands which are highly respected in terms of quality, innovation, and marketing, by consumers and professionals.

In 2009, ShurTech Brands became a subsidiary of Shurtape Technologies, LLC, an industry leading producer of innovative adhesive tape products. This collaboration combined the well-known consumer brands: Duck®, T-Rex Tape®, FrogTape®, and Painter’s Mate Green® brands with Shurtape’s professional brands.
 
“ShurTech Brands is excited to have established a relationship with Highlands. Changes in the market require new approaches; consolidating representation across the US and Canada with Highlands drives significant efficiencies for ShurTech and allows for a much more strategic collaboration with our channel partners,” says Peter Fahrenkopf, Vice President of Household/Stationery & Canada Sales at ShurTech Brands.

Highlands VP of Sales, Mike Douglas added, “ShurTech is committed to growing market share with their leading, world class brands. This new partnership helps strengthen our presence and provide innovative solutions to our customers across the US and Canada”. 


Heres-what-I-see

Here’s what I see

August 28, 2017

Like everyone, my professional life is surrounded by emails, texts, meeting requests, tweets, blogs, newsletters, not to mention phone calls from robots, making travel plans, political solicitations, fundraisers, marketing flyers, market research, and Mom.  It’s truly hard to know what’s an important message or what’s not.  Even your refrigerator can send you information, so it’s easy to understand how important opportunities can get overlooked.  

The dealers I support go through the same challenges every day.  Compounding matters, they exist in a highly competitive marketplace from local and global players, online retailers, and others expanding into their space.   This is the backdrop, and why my dealers are looking to manufacturers and rep groups to bring an edge, something new and exciting that can generate growth.  

This means meetings - lots of meetings.  Unfortunately, rather than present new growth opportunities, most only offer newer versions of what they already have.  Dealers kindly sit through their 20th lunch and learn of the month, eat yet another turkey sandwich, and fully intend to “get back with them soon.”  Even presentations can taste like spam.

I take a different approach.

To me, relevant category insight and high-quality, innovative products are vital to selling a solution.  Add-in deep experience and an ability to relate to their challenges and the requirements of the end-user customer, and you now have their trust.  When I bring my satchel of information and solutions to a meeting, dealers know we’ll create many viable options that will move the needle.  As I see it, the solution had been there the whole time -- it’s just the formula had not yet been revealed.  By working collaboratively, we always find something the dealers’ salespeople can present that appears truly customized to them. 

Best yet, this approach makes people look forward to our meetings. Whether it’s purchasing, the sales manager, field reps, or the owner, all pay attention as they know I won’t waste their time with unimportant topics or opportunities.  That’s half the battle.  Part marketer, part salesperson, part scientist.  Consultative expertise coupled with great brands, an expansive product line, and marketing savvy can unearth fantastic opportunity.  And let’s face it, if my dealers are selling more and I helped them do that, I am proud, satisfied, and rewarded.

Laughter and lifelong friendships help too.  

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Angie Tuerck
Account Manager
ThePromiseOfUpselling

The Promise of Upselling

April 19, 2017

For some time, the traditional OP industry has been bifurcating.  Non-traditional suppliers are enjoying incremental volume, reasonable profitability, and a new market with new customers.  Traditional main line OP suppliers, on the other hand, are finding it treacherous.  Too many competitors, customer RFQ’s, and apathy among dealers add up to an increasingly challenging channel. 
 
As Highlands was conceived in the traditional OP space, it’s painful to witness so much dysfunction.  While there are some shining examples of growth and success, the entire channel is under duress.  The most frustrating part is that everyone resorts to the same bag of tricks - dropping price and further lowering cost of goods.  That just takes everyone down. 

How did we get here?  Generally, large resellers have had the most influence on category health, and many have changed their SOPs with merchandising wielding a larger influence.  Couple that with a lack of product/brand differentiation and oversupply in many categories, and we find ourselves awash in mediocrity.  Unless we can sell more volume to offset the lower cost, this is a zero-sum gain.  Consolidation may create opportunity for the strongest to sell more into a declining market, but let’s be clear it’s a declining market especially if your product is dependent on paper.  To regain footing, we must dramatically change how we do business.  We have no choice.  

As I see it, the only way out is a focus on upselling.  If we can’t sell more units, we must make units sold more valuable.  To do that, we need to alter our story and how we target the consumer.  Identifying consumer needs, building a compelling value proposition against that need and then properly targeting that consumer must be at the heart of any program. 

At Highlands, we work across the leadership of our largest partners to push this message - and it’s working.  It’s requires us to be extremely proficient in back-end program structure because that’s where the value lies.  We also help refocus product lines to illustrate the benefit of bundled solutions and efficient product assortment.  We help them leverage data - theirs and the reseller’s - to show both what they’re missing.  We help them to embrace online solutions, not shy away.  We help grant access to field sales to create cross-selling and upselling opportunities.

It’s time to re-build profitability and influence.  The programs we’re implementing are doing just that.  Working the traditional market with new approaches, while encouraging the players to do things differently, will work.  We’re seeing it work.

Bob_Ogara

Bob O'Gara
CEO