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Closing the Book on Vendor Presentations?

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. — If Dave Simendinger had his way, his suppliers would never come into his office with paper “books”—the presentations of his sales results, new product overviews and pricing—ever again.

Instead, the president of the Wesco Inc.’s Champlain Farms, a chain of 40 convenience stores based in South Burlington, Vt., suggests that they bring a $25 Chromecast wireless device, plug it into his flat-screen monitor and use their phones to conduct presentations.

Chromecast is a digital media player developed by Google. The device, an approximately three-inch “dongle” or flash drive, plays audio and video content on a high-definition television or display by directly streaming it via Wi-Fi from the Internet or a local network. Users select the media to play using mobile apps and web apps that support the Google Cast technology.

For a long time, Simendinger said, he has thought that the printing of these books, many on fine-quality paper, was simply product for landfills. He told CSP Daily News he expects a single booklet could cost $25 to make, and suppliers typically need several for one presentation.

Another concern is the data the books contain, he said. Suppliers often print Simendinger’s store data in those presentations, making the document sensitive and in need of shredding later.

“I had one supplier tell me you just saved us a million bucks,” he said. “The important thing is that it’s wireless. Anyone can plug [a laptop] into the TV, but with this, you can use your phone.”

A carpenter in his operation showed Simendinger how to use the device to show movies on a TV screen off of his phone. He soon got the idea to ask his suppliers to try the device and intends to request that they no longer bring paper presentations.

Versions of PowerPoint can work off of mobile phones, as well as laser pointers, drawing tools and video—all things paper can’t do.

With the NACS Show coming in October, he said suppliers will be eager to visit him with presentations covering their product lineup for 2016.

“I don’t see any downside,” he said.

Angel Abcede


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