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  • Cover Story: Navigating the New Competitive Landscape
  • The Winner’s Circle: Good Things Happening to Independents
  • Secrets of Success: Butler Business Products, Houston
Plus, Industry news; NOPA updates; Janet Collins on leadership issues in family business; Troy Harrison on getting your sales message out there; Marisa Pensa on how to avoid the Winnie-the-Pooh syndrome; and more.


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Who are the new owners of INDEPENDENT DEALER (ID)?

OPI (Office Products International – www.opi.net) began in 1991 as a publication for the international office products industry. It has since developed into the global business products industry’s go-to hub for essential resources, news, analysis, information and networking. OPI delivers business-critical information through its flagship magazine, website, supplements, apps, events and other resources that include industry research, marketing, dealer sales training and recruitment. For the past eight years, OPI has partnered with S.P. Richards to deliver the annual North American Office Products Awards. OPI’s CEO Steve Hilleard is well known in the industry and is the second longest-serving executive committee member of the National Business Products Council for City of Hope.
 

Why is OPI acquiring ID?

ID’s publisher is seeking a retirement solution and is looking to reduce his workload. He approached OPI as the most appropriate acquirer for the publication that he founded. Whilst competitors of sorts, OPI and ID have enjoyed a healthy working relationship for a number of years.
 

How will a UK-based owner be able to cover the U.S. office products market effectively?

OPI has already been covering the U.S. office products industry very effectively for more than 25 years. It launched when there were several print magazines serving the U.S. office products market and today is the only surviving specialist industry print publication.
 

Will you be attending all the main U.S. industry events and/or have journalists based in the country?

OPI already attends most U.S. office products industry events. ID will have its own publisher attending events in the country and has its own pool of experienced journalists, some of whom are based in the U.S. and who will also cover shows etc. In addition, as part of the handover agreement, Simon De Groot will stay on at ID as a consultant for a period of two years.
 

Are you now going to use UK spelling and expressions?

No.
 

What differences will I notice in the content of ID?

Initially, you will not notice any difference. Our intention is to conduct a reader survey in the coming weeks to enable us to better understand what the publication’s audience of dealers, vendors and service providers would like to see in terms of a potential editorial refresh. Will I be able to influence the content or make suggestions? Absolutely. We welcome regular feedback and suggestions from our readers. There will be dedicated Facebook and LinkedIn pages for ID where readers can provide input. We will also look to create an Advisory Committee for ID, similar to the one that already advises on OPI editorial content.
 

Will I now have to pay to receive ID?

No. The business model will remain unchanged.
 

Will there be a printed version of ID, like there is with OPI?

It is unlikely that there will be a regular printed version of ID magazine. However, if the results of the reader survey suggest there is a desire for a printed version – and vendors are able to support a printed version with advertising funds – then it is something we will carefully consider.
 

Will ID remain a monthly publication?

Yes, we have no plans to change the publication frequency.
 

Will I be able to read ID content on my smartphone?

You should already be able to read the PDF format version of ID on your smartphone. A dedicated ID app is also being considered.
 

Will there now be an ID website that is updated regularly?

The ID website will undergo a refresh in 2018, and this may include more regular content being published online.
 

Will ID still be the official publication of NOPA?

We very much hope so!
 

What is the mission statement of ID? Will it have the same goals under the new ownership?

ID’s mission to support, inform and promote the independent business products and workplace solutions reseller channel will remain unchanged.
 

Will ID remain focused on the U.S. market?

Absolutely.
 

Do you plan to merge ID into OPI from a content/editorial perspective?

Almost certainly not; the two publications have different objectives, separate journalists and, to some extent, target different audiences. If there are articles written by OPI that we feel are relevant to the ID readership, then it is possible that they may appear in ID, but this is not something that we plan to do routinely.
 

If I’m an ID subscriber, will I now be able to get a discount on my OPI subscription?

The two publications are being run independently and we do not see any need to discount OPI, which is established as a premium product.
 

Who should I now contact at ID?

The new publisher and editor Rowan McIntyre can be contacted during regular business hours until 5pm Eastern Standard Time.
Email: rowan@idealercentral.com    |    Tel: (703) 531 8507

Simon De Groot will be staying on in a consultative role until the end of 2019. He will be available during regular business hours until 5pm Eastern Standard Time.
Email: simon@idealercentral.com    |    Tel: (703) 379 8583

As Simon gradually reduces his workload, responsibility for advertising will be assumed by Chris Turness who, as VP of Sales for North America at OPI, will be familiar to many vendors. He can be contacted via email: chris@idealercentral.com
 

Will my advertisement be billed in U.S. dollars?

Yes. Invoices are payable by bank transfer or check into a USD account.
 

If I already advertise in ID, will I be eligible for a discount for advertising in OPI – and vice versa?

Any such requests will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

©2018 Office Products International Ltd.  |  Steve Hilleard  |  (847) 721-1556  |  steve@idealercentral.com