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Baker & Taylor develops value-added services to connect content producers with customers in addition to developing new programs that lower costs in the supply chain.  

By Janice Hoppe

As one of the world’s leading suppliers of physical and digital books and media, Baker & Taylor prides itself not only on the content it distributes, but also on its ability to offer value-added services that make it easy for content suppliers and customers to do business with each other. “Over the past three years we have invested, on average, $20 million a year in both B2B and B2C platforms,” Executive Vice President of Merchandising David Cully says. “The idea there is to connect our content providers with businesses and the ultimate customers.”

Charlotte, N.C.-based Baker & Taylor was founded in 1828 – the same year literary giants like Leo Tolstoy and Jules Verne were born – to bind and publish books. Later, Baker & Taylor began distributing books, making sure the written word made its way onto library and store shelves, and ultimately into readers’ hands.

Today, Baker & Taylor is one of the world’s largest distributors of books and entertainment products with about 24,000 suppliers. It serves 14,000 retail customers, 10,200 public libraries and 7,500 schools. “I think we are one of the world’s largest suppliers of books and value-added services specifically to retailers,” Cully notes. “One-third of our retail business is international and our international business is growing rapidly based on the proliferation of the English language as a language of professional disciplines, education and consumers.”

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2 GreenBedroomThe Timeless family of companies delivers products that exceed clients’ expectations.

By Alan Dorich

Quality is not a goal but a way of life at the Timeless family of companies, Director of Marketing Angela Owen says. “That quality comes from a driven team of individuals with an unwavering commitment to high performance and creating products that exceed expectations,” she says.

Based in Watertown, N.Y., Owen notes that the start of the Timeless story began in 1999, when one of its customers approached its current owner and CEO, Lisa Weber, about a struggling ready-made frame business.

Weber had always wanted to own her own business, but she had some hesitancy. “Not only was the company located in a geographic area where manufacturing companies were closing, the wall frame business was an unfamiliar industry and competitive obstacles such as import products were a serious consideration,” Lisa stated.

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MCS 1 Format 13x19

Leading wall and poster frame provider MCS Industries prides itself on a low turnover rate that is the result of it creating a flexible and empowering culture for its employees.

By Jim Harris

There are a number of reasons why MCS Industries has grown to become a market leader. In the eyes of its owner and top executives, the main explanation for the company’s success is simple.

 “We have a very tenured, solid and hardworking base of employees who’ve been with us a long time, understand this business and are very caring and conscientious about what they do,” President Josh MacNeel says.

MCS enjoys extremely low turnover. “We don’t have people leaving us for other jobs – that’s almost unheard of here,” he adds. “We do add new talent – principally in engineering and design – each year, but for us it's about building and developing the people and experience we have here." 

The company builds its positive culture by empowering all level of its staff. “Our people become akin to small business owners of whatever their jobs are,” MacNeel says. “Their sense of fulfillment in what they do is important to us.”

InsertsEast

Inserts East serves its retailer customers with advertising inserts made with state-of-the-art production.

By Chris Petersen

Even in today’s digital age, the printed word remains an effective way for advertisers to get their messages to consumers, and New Jersey-based Inserts East Inc. continues to lead the way in that regard. President and CEO Nick Maiale says business is booming for the company despite the rise of digital media, and that’s due in large part to the company’s ability to do more for its customers than the average printer. With its strong base of experience and knowledge, as well as its state-of-the-art technology, Inserts East won’t be stopping the presses anytime soon.

Maiale’s father, Gino, was president of the company for manyyears, when it was known as Able Printing. In 1988, GinoMaiale left the company to found his own print brokerage company. But when he received word in 1996 that Able Printing was about to be sold off and moved to Long Island, N.Y., Gino and Nick Maiale stepped in and purchased the company. Renaming the company Inserts East, theMaiales expanded its capabilities and added new equipment.

perroneandsons

Perrone and Sons is establishing lasting relationships with vendors and customers to make itself indispensable to the New Orleans culinary scene.

By Tim O’Connor

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005, the historic storm wiped out much of the city and left businesses inoperable for weeks, even months. One of them was Perrone and Sons LLC., a specialty food wholesaler that was without power for a month following the storm. John Perrone III, son of owner John Perrone Jr., had to leave college for a few semesters to help the family business recover.

Perrone and Sons took the lessons learned during the Katrina disaster and applied them to the construction of its new distribution and production facility in 2013. The 30,000-square-foot building uses the same reinforced roofing as the renovated Mercedes-Benz Superdome and onsite generators keep the building powered during blackouts, such as when Hurricane Isaac hit in 2012. Vice President of Sales Rusty Perrone says the company now has confidence it can continue operating in the aftermath of any storm. “We’ll be one of the last to be turned off if there is a hurricane,” he says.

US Yarn Gildan

By owning every step of the manufacturing process, Gildan ensures the consistency retailers and customers want.

By Tim O’Connor

Office culture has become much more relaxed over the last decade, at least when it comes to dress codes. T-shirts and jeans are now regularly sighted among cubicles and every day may as well be casual Friday for many companies. Some may lament the loss of formality, but the cultural shift is good business for clothing maker Gildan. The company’s high-quality T-shirts are now a part of many people’s daily lives as consumer amass a collection of Gildan-made clothing from retailers, concerts and 5K runs. “Everybody now understands that Gildan is a T-shirt leader,” Vice President of Marketing for Gildan’s Branded Apparel division, Rob Packard says.

Gildan’s path to becoming one of the largest clothing apparel companies in the world began in 1984. The Chamandy family operated a children’s clothing business in Montreal when they decided to start producing their own textiles to lower cost. By the early 1990s, the company entered the screen-print market by manufacturing plain T-shirts that could be printed on. Today, Gildan is a publically owned company with CEO Glenn Chamandy, one of the founders and still CEO of the company.

Pine Valley Foods has nurtured a loyal following of consumers that turn to the company’s cookie dough when they need a sweet treat. “If they have the opportunity to buy it again, they do,” CEO Joseph P. Giildenzopf says, noting that 95 percent of the company’s sales are repeat. 

This is thanks to the company’s “very exceptional staff of hardworking people,” he says. “They give a good deal of time and energy to the company. We make a really good product that people like.”

Based in West Monroe, La., Pine Valley manufactures dough and related products, including cakes. Giildenzopf founded the company in 1998, after working for a similar firm that he had originally founded and sold.

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