Benchmark Blog

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 18:14

Employee Rewards and Incentives

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Great employees are the backbone of any business.  Apathetic and unmotivated employees can suck the life out of the sales transactions they perform.  On the flip side, happy, engaged employees pass on their enthusiasm to their customers.  As a result, customers are more likely to become engaged and be repeat customers, if they are served by enthusiastic employees.  It stands to reason then, that happy employees boost the company's bottom line.  So, what are some ways that companies can retain content staff?

"You've done an amazing job", "keep up the good work", "bravo"... Praise, recognition, a pat on the back.  We all crave positive feedback when we put forth extra effort, and it's especially nice to hear from your employer when you have gone above and beyond.  Meaningful rewards and recognition provide an effective way of raising morale and encouraging higher levels of performance.  So how can you recognize an outstanding achievement?

 

First things first.  When you see that someone has done something exemplary, acknowledge it right away.  Don't be arbitrary or random in your responses.  If they put forth extra effort to complete a task ahead of schedule or went the extra mile to land a big contract, let them know.. How?

1) Perhaps through a staff appreciation program.  You can award points for reaching certain milestones or achievements, and points can be redeemed for privileges.

2) Another way is through employee recognition plaques or awards.  It gives employees something tangible they can put on their desk or on a shelf in their office.  It serves as a daily reminder that they did a great job and you took note: (see benchmarkdisplays/showcase) for some ideas..

3) Make it a team effort.  Post a "kudos" in the company newsletter, and ask employees to submit the name of a peer they would like to nominate.

 

These are just a few suggestions.. stay tuned for more....

 

Wednesday, 01 April 2015 20:10

Vinyl POS Marketing Products

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Another year is rolling right by.

 

So, it's time again for us to extol the many virtues of Benchmark's vinyl, retail environment, POS marketing products in all their understated but vital-to-success glory.

Virtually every multi -store, retail chain regardless of its specific merchandising mode, uses these inexpensive but purposely intrusive little shelf talkers, sign holders and brochure holders to virtually grab customers (and promote products!) as they navigate the aisles.  

What distinguishes Benchmark vinyl products from the herd is our outrageously low prices and ability to make and ship these displays with hyper-speed, even in very large quantities.

We purchase clear, rigid vinyl sheets in all the needed gauges in container loads from the extruder in China.  We have the cutting dies on hand for hundreds of sizes and styles while making tooling for custom items in-house.  Then, we use proprietary, multi-function, heating, bending and gluing machines to produce finished products in a fraction of the time and labor cost of our competitors.

We do this at our partner fabrication facility just south of San Diego, California in Baja California.

Whether you have an immediate need for our vinyl products or just want a cost comparison on something you purchased at an earlier time, check out our website at Benchmarkvinyl.com and send us an inquiry or give our friendly and experienced customer service staff here at our corporate offices in Palm Desert, California a call 800-600-2810.  The proof is in the April pudding!

What we have done with some success as a business strategy at Benchmark Displays is immerse ourselves in the attitudes, and  cultures of Mexico, and China, the countries  we have come to rely upon as manufacturing partners.  The reason for this is practical, not philosophical or philanthropic, as we design, engineer and source products  with relatively high labor content for our U.S. customer base.  The internet and the world wide web have combined to shrink the world in a virtual way so that global sourcing seems not a possibility but one of today’s mandates for business survival.

For example, this week, starting on February 19, China begins its annual New Year Celebration.  Revolving on 12 year astrological/zodiac, animal, cycles, this year is the year of Yang or the Goat.  Two point eight billion Chinese migrants, office and factory workers and executives are on their way home to the cities and villages from which they came to be with family and friends. 

While here we revel in the luxury of a few four day Holiday weekends per year, the Chinese economy is entirely shut down and on vacation for anywhere from one to three weeks, with two being the average.  Having visited China factories regularly for 25 years in connection with our work, we know to carefully plan for the heavy production backlog in the month before and then during the holiday, when there will be a complete shutdown of production and most business communication.

However, come March 1st , it’s business open once again, and with a renewed emphasis and urgency.  Our special facility is with “on the ground”, competent and ethical, English speaking colleagues with a shared commitment to consistently exceed customer expectations.  The commissions we earn for our services are inconsequential when measured against the assurance and insurance we provide our clientele that they will receive exactly what they ordered and when it is scheduled to be delivered.

 

Factory visits, QC audits and onsite coordination of first time orders are a routine part of our service.  We produce prototypes and pre-production samples and bring them home in the overhead bin of our flight to save valuable time, when appropriate at no extra charge in an effort to distinguish and differentiate our service.  You and or your engineers can accompany us on these long flights, sleep on hard beds and enjoy the various delicacies at the traditional meal with factory management, or leave it to us.  We have adapted to this and all the other unfamiliar cultural aspects, which believe it or not, are an important aspect of the successful import business relationship.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015 23:24

Custom Chamber of Commerce Plaques

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Chambers represent the interests of businesses, and advocate on behalf of the business community.  How many recognized members do you have in your chamber?  As a small business owner, having begun our journey 30 years ago, we share your passion for promoting the creation and development of local businesses.


 

Whether it’s corporate awards or custom designed association club member plaques, Benchmark Displays have proudly served as the leading custom plaque provider for numerous chambers across the country.

As we roll into 2015, let us help you to acknowledge and recognize your members, commitment and dedication to your community.  If your organization needs a new design or a new quote for a previous plaque order, Benchmark is capable of providing quality pieces in a variety of materials such as wood or acrylic. 

Call us today!

 

We have had several clients contact us recently to inquire about utilizing wire or metal in their new product displays.  I thought I would share some of the potential benefits to using this material.  Wire displays can be used for POP displays, magazine and literature racks, card displays, etc.  The point of purchase product display landscape worldwide, like display merchandising in general, is evolving at hyper-speed as new materials and processes emerge. As our clientele of designers, and display users across all the industries we serviced became more aware and conscious of the need to be responsible stewards of the environment, we realized that while plastic products can and are recycled, other materials like paperboard and metal are easier and more amenable to reprocess for additional and economical re-use cycles.

So, Benchmark today offers recycled vinyl products for retail merchandising, paperboard displays for products and brochures, and most recently, attractive and budget-conscious wire displays of all shapes, colors and sizes for semi permanent use on the counters and floors of convenience stores and thousands of other self-service retail environments across the nation.

Wire displays by their nature are very labor intensive to make.  So, while Benchmark has capable manufacturing partnerships with domestic and Mexican producers, it primarily relies on its China-based manufacturers for elaborate or large quantity applications.  And, to capture the maximum product cost advantage of production in Asia, we are also adept at developing designs that are modular in concept, ship flat to reduce transportation cost but are quick and easy to assemble.

Wire displays are often designed with headers to accept "slide in" printed, seasonal promotional ads.  Or since silk screen printing in China costs a fraction of U.S. domestic rates, multi-color, multi-location imprints are practical and can enhance the product presentation and impact of the display at POP. 

Benchmark's matchless value proposition includes all of the above benefits plus design service, prototyping, short-run capabilities for quick turn product launches followed by less expensive volume production and fulfillment services.

Add the peace-of-mind that comes from dealing with a friendly, English speaking, US. based company that warrants and guarantees 100% product satisfaction while being able to communicate during compatible time zones for conducting business, and you have an unbeatable win-win production.

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