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IBPI Celebrates 20 Years of Service

29 Mar, 2007 By: Editorial Staff imageSource

IBPI Celebrates 20 Years of Service

Twenty years ago, a dedicated group of independent office equipment dealers
from across the United States gathered to find a way they could work together to
leverage their collective buying power and strengthen their position in an
increasingly challenging market. Today, the organization they founded,
International Business Products, Inc., has grown to become the industry’s
leading dealer buying group, with 220 members in 50 states and collective annual
sales volume of $2.2 billion.

"While none of our members could have anticipated the dramatic changes that
have transformed the office equipment industry over the past twenty years, IBPI
has given them the ability to take those changes and convert them into new
growth opportunities," commented Randy Horshok, IBPI executive director for the
past eight years.

IBPI is very much a dealer-driven organization, and the volunteers who have
served on their Board of Directors throughout the years have helped ensure that
their programs will provide exceptional value and support for members. In the
past few years, lBPI has looked beyond the copier to find products and services
that would provide savings to their members.  They have added vendors that have
a variety of related offerings: software,  transportation, sales leads, and
others, which allow members to expand their offerings to their clients for more
value-added services.  Dealers still face many challenges each day in our
industry: competition, OEM relationships, the concerns of internal/external
perceptions of the  market.

The big evolution from analog to digital to color has presented various
challenges and opportunities. In addition, print solutions have become a growing
arena, and keeping abreast of the various offerings and needs or print
management products and services is a current project for IBPI.

Increased buying power is one of the strongest benefits IBPI offers,
including exclusive, member-only discounts from more than 20 different vendors.
Members can benefit from special pricing, sometimes as much as 30 percent beyond
end-column on purchases of copier parts, accessories and supplies, marketing
support, leasing programs, equipment repair and exchange services and more.
Additionally, IBPI provides members annual rebate dividends every year that are
intended to enhance the value of their membership still further—collectively, 
over $700,000 in the past four years, according to Horshok. These year-end
rebates are based upon the total and individual member purchase amounts.

Independent dealer members are appreciative of what the organization
provides. "We have been a member of IBPI for 20 years, and have received at
least 10 times our return on investment every year," commented Vin Thompson,
president of Command Business Systems in Davenport, Iowa, and a charter member
of the organization.

But while the massive buying power IBPI offers members to enjoy represents a
key strategic resource for members, that’s only part of the story. "For many of
our members, the opportunities to exchange ideas and information with their
fellow dealers,  and learn from each other,  are just as valuable as any special
savings offered," notes Horshok.

Given the organization’s purchasing power and the ongoing leadership its
dealer volunteer officers have provided, it’s not hard to account for IBPI’s
growth over the past twenty years. "2006 was a great year for IBPI, and all
indications point to a continued strong momentum going forward," reports
Horshok. "We have developed a model that gives members all the benefits of
mega-corporation buying power while still allowing them to maintain their
independence as entrepreneurs, and they couldn’t be happier!"

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