Today’s screed is about offshore and nearshore sourcing, so take heed!


Five decades of business experience can give you a load of wisdom along with a fair amount of scar tissue and I have both.  We learn by doing and doing is often characterized by a process of “error…. correct, error… correct”.  Nowhere is this truer nor is there an area with more potential pitfalls than the process of trying to save money by direct, offshore sourcing of goods and services.


For Benchmark Displays, manufacturing many of our stock and custom acrylic displays and brochure holders in Mexico and China over the past 30 years has contributed in large measure to our success, while at the same time, teaching us some valuable lessons along the way.  In today’s globalized world, every consumer knows that many of the products they purchase are manufactured elsewhere and imported into the U.S.  Similarly, purchasing people use the Internet and can either search for, or are deluged with email solicitations from abroad that promise quality products at bargain basement prices.  All is not gold that glitters!


Here are some of the challenges we have faced and surmounted in order to consistently deliver sparkling, custom POP plexi displays, as well as counter top and wall mounted promotional literature racks from China and Mexico:


1.      Language Differences- Every Shenzhen factory that desires to export has an English speaking staff person to facilitate and communicate with foreign customers and prospects.  Her name is really Liang, but you know her as “Heather”.  She studied English online or in night school and is about 40-75% fluent for 50% of your online or Skype discussions.  But, beyond that peril, you definitely don’t want to use an idiomatic language or English jargon in communicating a job spec or you will find yourself so far up the misunderstood language tree you won’t be able to see the ground.  And, finally, don’t even think about using an online, free, translator program unless you are OK with everyone in Guangdong enjoying a good laugh at your expense.  We have and use in-house native language speakers for our communication, making sure all hands are on board every time.


2.     Cultural Differences-Mexico, Our experience has been that most of our dear employees are initially more interested in their friends, their family, all religious holidays and what’s up for the weekend than they understand the principles of hourly pay, product quality, productivity, career advancement, on-time delivery and dependability.  We patiently trained and recycled countless employees and ultimately re-invented our management style to eventually get the model right.  Now, for Benchmark, everything is perfect.  For you, on your own, not so much!


3.       Time Zone Differences- The right time for you is not necessarily the right time for Maria or Heather, or vice versa.  Seems like an easy one to adapt to, that is if you don’t mind getting on the phone or e-mailing with China after 5 PM at your local cocktail hour, when they are stirring their first cup of tea at the office.  Or, you can set the alarm and call at 5 AM if you thought of something important and don’t think it’s an imposition calling them just before lights out in the apartment, possibly to their dismay.



Out of blog space for today.  More offshore drama to be continued soon…..

Published in Benchmark Blog
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 00:00

Effectiveness of Retail POP Displays

Retail POP displays have a dramatic and significant impact on purchase decisions. Nearly 70% of all purchase decisions are made impulsively, immediately after viewing promotional ads or POP Displays in stores. In order to display items, businesses can use stand-alone displays, counter top displays, hanging signs or posters and even electronic displays.

Effectiveness of Retail POP Displays

Retail POP displays aim to attract the impulse buyers who base their buying decisions on the various promos, display details and offers made by the retailers, dealers or manufacturers. Giant pictures of products, attractive displays about product usage, benefits, promotional gifts accompanying products and any other important information, attract buyers.

Countless manufacturers and retailers are vying for the attention of consumers; therefore, you need to have products designed in attractive colors, designs and cutouts. Additionally, the products need to be displayed to appeal to consumers. Retail POP displays are very useful and should be custom designed and used creatively.

Benefits of Custom POP displays

• Designed to your product needs and specifications.
• Easily Update Product Literature and merchandising with insert panels.
• Allow you to display your product in a unique way.
• Make your product stand out from the competition.
• Increase Brand Awareness
• Increase sales and profits.

Maximize the effectiveness of your retail POP displays and have them designed and manufactured by a professional company. Professional point of purchase display designers will not only understand your requirements but also analyze the customer behavior for particular products. Custom POP displays are designed, keeping in mind the size of the store, the location and the space available for the display.

You can find a wide variety of uniquely designed point of purchase displays made from various materials such as wood, plastic and metal at .

Published in Benchmark Blog

boot displaysWhen Michael Reher, Director of Marketing, Benchmark Displays, answered an inbound call one busy sales afternoon he spoke to a Texas gentleman who was looking for a unique POP display. The gentleman, Fielding Hickley, Jet Marketing and Advertising explained that he had a client who wanted a brochure holder that resembled boots. Hickley had found Benchmark through searches for custom displays and custom acrylic displays.

Julio Tapia, Customer Service Manager, at Benchmark Displays went straight to work on a creative design and adaptation of the brochure holder, a Benchmark staple and product trademark of Benchmark’s Taymar Plastic Displays. Because of Julio’s dedication to customer service and his creative vision, he designed a display and produced a prototype for Jet Marketing and Advertising. Their client loved it!

The Victoria Convention & Visitors Bureau, Victoria, Texas is proud to invite visitors and instructs them to “Bring Your Boots!” In Victoria, you will find something for every style. That is what Benchmark Displays did for Jet, created a stylish boot themed brochure holder.

Currently the boot displays are being placed on counters and concierge desks in hotels throughout the Victoria region. The boot displays are being filled with Visitor Guides, Golfing Guides, Shopping Guides, a Museum information card, and a coupon booklet that has coupons for different stores and restaurants around Victoria. The displays gave the Victoria Convention and Visitors Bureau an opportunity to place all the material in one convenient, recognizable, branded place at all the hotels in Victoria. When a guests asks the Hotel employees "What is there to do?" "Where is a good place to eat?" "Where can I shop?", the hotel employee now has the tools to answer these questions, and provide guests with all the information they could need, inevitably driving visitors to the shops, restaurants, events and activities of Victoria.

The custom brochure holder was part of the larger “Bring Your Boots” Campaign orchestrated by Jet, which garnished their team a prestigious 2011 Golden Addy for the POP Display.

“It is always exciting to see our custom displays in action, showcasing client products and materials”, said Joanne Frohman, President of Benchmark. “It is even more exciting when one of our displays receives an Award.”

The custom brochure holder was designed to sandwich the brochure pockets between two large cowboy boots giving the impression that the two boots were holding the brochures. There are six pockets, tiered-three high to hold rack cards and informational brochures.

Benchmark’s capability to produce custom displays is exemplified in everything they produce. Jet Marketing and Advertising chose Benchmark for their customer service, creativity, cost and timely delivery schedule.

Published in Benchmark Blog
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 00:00

Brochure Holders Provide Excellent ROI

Today’s economy and retail market place has forced business to be vigilant about capital and marketing investments. Choosing the most purposeful and cost effective method of  either displaying product or disseminating marketing information is imperative to a business investment.

Brochure holders are a great organizational tool to enhance the marketing strategy of any business. A brochure holder is an extension of your marketing and sales team to display important information about your goods and services to consumers. Customers can easily and without intimidation take your literature to learn more about your business, services or product.

Brochure holders are made of many different types of materials. There are floor stands, counter top and wall or window mountable holders. Many businesses use wire, metal or acrylic holders. Stores, medical offices and especially food outlets like to use economical and environmentally friendly holders made of  cardboard or plastic. Ultimately, your choice depends of  what provides you the most visibility and suits your branding.

As I have said before, choosing a display should be specific to your needs and where you are going to locate the display is important. Consider the longevity of your display. Will you keep and use your display for a year or more, then consider materials that are more rugged. Will your display be temporary or in an environment where it may be damaged easily or possibly taken, choose a disposable material. You will want to consider all possibilities, such as, will the display be on a counter, hanging on an entrance door, placed on a retail end-cap or free standing on a floor. Your brochure holder and literature needs to be attractive and eye-catching to consumers. You will attract more takers and traffic with quality brochure holders that include your branding.

Versatile holders, also known as convertible brochure holders allow you a variety of ways to be used. You can place convertible holders on counter tops or walls, eliminating your need to buy several different styles of holders that a designed for specific use. There are holders with multiple pockets, business card holders and combination literature frame and brochure holders.

There are a variety of brochure holders available online for both large quantity wholesale purchases and smaller end-user retail purchases. Most all brochure holders can be imprinted with your branding, depending on the quantity desired. If you have a non-standard size piece of literature, you will want a custom designed display. Take time to research what is available before making your purchase. Most customers find working with a display company with outstanding customer service benefits the bottom line. Remember all of  the points previously mentioned and you will receive a beneficial return on your investment.

Published in Benchmark Blog
Click here to buy stock displays wholesale!