Meeting in the Park – With a Twist

In this guest blog post, Joe Morgan shares what we’re learning and how our team is connecting during COVID-19. Use our 15 ideas method for your own business!

In this guest blog post, Joe Morgan, RELYCO Senior Advisor, shares what we’re learning and how our team is connecting during COVID-19.

Many of us have met in the park throughout our lives. When we were kids, we might have been playing sports or just hanging and talking with friends. We arrived with an expectation that we would have fun with our friends and maybe even meet some new kids. As we moved toward adulthood, our park trips may have been for a different purpose; however, we still found joy in the open spaces, the conversations and observations of others enjoying this unique open air time together.

With this simple goal in mind, a group of RELYCO team members met in a NH park last month to discuss the changes that are happening around us. The intention was clear: the COVID-19 crisis had taken us away from the office and we needed to see each other, share lunch together and talk about our learnings, both personally and for the future of the business.

Henry Law Park
Henry Law Park, Dover, NH

So, what did we take away from the time together?

1. We created a safe environment in the park.
Masks where appropriate and safe distance was maintained.

2. Our conversations were fantastic.
In-depth stories with lots of humor.

3. We asked for 15 ideas
This was based on a podcast by Simon Sinek, where he referenced that a friend of his suggested asking each employee to bring 15 ideas forward within 48 hours. The point being that 3-5 ideas would likely overlap quite a bit, but having 15 would really push the edges of thinking. 

When we met in the park, we actually talked about over 100 ideas while subsequently putting them in several different basket categories – literally. (We had baskets in the middle of our circle of chairs.) Here were the categories:

CategoryPercentage of Ideas
Are you kidding me
(Sometimes an idea just isn’t good)
5%
Investable
(So good that I would invest my own money)
10%
Great idea and let’s go
(On the mark and let’s do it)
60%
Wow, I like it
(Great concept, but needs some research)
25%

4. The COVID-19 crisis has changed how we interact, what we expect from each other and how we view the simplest things in our lives. It has also created new opportunities for many individuals/companies. The themes from our dialogue produced some really great perspectives that validated and expanded our thinking about:

  • Solutions for the home – working from home, teaching from home, dining from home, etc
  • Safety and health – back to work protocol, messaging and signage
  • eCommerce – expanding RELYCO’s online presence with new products
  • Messaging to our customers – increasing frequency through a variety of channels

Final thoughts

We need each other more than ever. Simple connections can bring smiles, help adapt during this crazy time and validate that we are not alone.

How Surveying Our Customers Led to New Opportunities During COVID-19

Like many companies, COVID-19 changed our business. In order to adapt and quickly respond to the needs of our customers, we did a survey. We’re sharing our findings and the actions we took.

Like many companies, COVID-19 changed our business. Beyond the obvious and immediate changes – shifting the majority of our staff to a work-from-home model and implementing new health and safety practices for the staff that needed to remain on-site – we also shifted our 2020 plans and priorities. The ability to adapt and quickly pivot became critical.

Wildly reliable through good times and bad

One of the ways that we achieve our “wildly reliable” mission is through open communication and the relationships we build with our customers and vendors. We leaned on that foundation as the reality of the pandemic set in; our instinct was to reach out to customers to check-in and see how they were doing. During these conversations, we swapped stories about homeschooling our kids, we listened to fears about vulnerable family members and we empathized with the lack of certainty about the future.

Oftentimes, the conversations would turn to their business’s challenges and needs. In some cases, the needs described were easily solved by a product we already offered and we could share that solution.


EXAMPLE: 
Customer need: safety signage that can be easily sanitized
Existing solution: REVLAR synthetic paper


Occasionally, customers would mention a challenge that we didn’t have an immediate solution for, like face shields or OSHA compliant floor graphics.

Learning from our customers

In order to get a more clear picture of the demand for these products within our own customer base, we decided to conduct a survey. (Disclaimer: This survey was a small sample size and wasn’t designed to answer questions about any industry. We conducted it to learn more about our own customers.) We began collecting data in mid-May, when many states had stay-at-home orders in place. Much has changed since then, but many things have not. The results are interesting and worth sharing.

Industries Surveyed


The majority of responses came from businesses like print shops, distributors and manufacturers, which were deemed essential and remained open during shutdowns.

As a result, these responses primarily came from companies that remained open and on-site. “Have not closed” was the most common phrase in response to the open-ended question: “What steps are you taking to reopen (or reconfigure) your business to ensure safety?” In the word cloud below, you’ll notice other top mentioned tactics included social distancing measures, face masks and more frequent cleaning.

Our open-ended questions yielded responses that showed varying perspectives on this pandemic, which was no surprise. It suffices to say that attempting to strike a balance between economic impact and employee/customer safety was top of mind for most businesses.

In demand products

As we mentioned earlier, one of the main purposes of this survey was to gain some insight into the demand for products that we were most often hearing about in our anecdotal conversations with customers. Below are the responses to the question: “Does your company need any of the following to reopen?”

Survey Responses Products

From survey to action

These responses confirmed that we should do some research and approach our partners about face shields and floor graphics. (Our expertise with plastic paper and labels aligns us more with those products than you might initially think!) We were able to get them manufactured and now offer face shields and non-slip floor decals on our store. 

We also took the insight gained from this survey and created a COVID Response Catalog, which contains all of our safety solutions (and ideas for how to use them). Do you have any other suggestions for products or services we should offer? Let us know and flip through our COVID Response Catalog.

View RELYCO's COVID Response Catalog Now

How to Use Relyco’s Digital Catalog

Have you requested our digital catalog yet? If you want to see all the products we offer at a glance, the catalog is a great tool! In this post, we’ve included a video and written instructions to walk you through some of the catalog’s key features, so you can get the most of out of your experience.

Have you requested our digital catalog yet? If you want to see all the products we offer at a glance, the catalog is a great tool! In the video above, we briefly walk you through some of the catalog’s key features, so you can get the most of out of your experience.

Prefer to read instructions?

If you’re not into watching videos, that’s cool. We’ve written out the video’s highlights below.

First up, the obvious stuff: to flip from page to page, you’ll use the arrows on the right and left sides. You’ll notice that when you first get to a new page, some text and buttons may flash. Those flashing elements represent live links that are clickable.

Table of Contents: your new best friend

Table-of-Contents-Button

One of the buttons that you’ll see flashing on the left bottom corner of each page is a link back to the Table of Contents. Initially, you can use the table to quickly find and easily navigate to a specific product. Once you’re in the depths of the catalog, you can use the link back to the Table of Contents at any time. The catalog is organized into product categories, but with multiple pages for each category, we wanted to make sure you didn’t get lost! The Table of Contents page can serve as your home base.

You can also use the search feature in the upper right corner to look up products by either product name or item number. When you have just an item number, search is the fastest way to find the product.

How to order from the catalog

Once you’ve found the correct product, take a look at the specifications to determine that it will work with your printer. (Not sure? Contact us and ask!)

If the product is available on our online store, there will be a “shop now” button included with its listing in the catalog. Clicking the button will bring you right to its listing on our store, where you can select the quantity you’d like and move to the checkout screen. If you already have an account, just sign in and proceed as you normally would.

If this is your first time buying from us, you have the option to check out as a guest or to create an account. We recommend that you create an account because it will save your history – making your future orders much easier – and you’ll stay up-to-date with our promotions!

If you’re interested in becoming a reseller, please go to the top of the page where it says “become a reseller” and fill out that application. You will be required to provide a reseller or tax exempt certificate. Once you’re approved, you will receive reseller pricing.

Don’t bother to print, just save the link

You’re almost ready to spread your wings and explore our catalog on your own! There’s just one more thing. We will be updating this catalog regularly, so it’s best for you to save or bookmark the catalog link instead of downloading or printing out the catalog. This link will always be up-to-date.

Happy browsing!

Request a catalog

Announcing…Relyco’s Latest Addition: A Digital Catalog

We’re excited to introduce you to the newest member of our family! We spent 9 months creating, growing and nurturing it…and now we’re excited to share it with the world! Check out the video on this blog for our official announcement.

We’re excited to introduce you to the newest member of our family! We spent 9 months creating, growing and nurturing it…and now we’re excited to share it with the world! Check out the video above for our official announcement.

Okay, enough with the baby metaphor.

Why should you care about this catalog?

Our digital catalog provides a new way to check out our products and order directly. We created this catalog because we offer a huge variety of products, but we heard that many people didn’t know it! With this new catalog, you can see all that we have to offer at a glance.

Designed for all customers, even print shops!

If you work for a print shop, you know that offering fresh ideas to your customers can help you to stand out and gain more business. So you’re probably always on the lookout for new and exciting products and papers. Our digital catalog is designed to showcase all of our products so you can get a quick idea of our offerings, with the option to dive deeper if you’d like to. We know you’ll find some new products this way!

Rest assured, this catalog will always be kept updated with current products, so you can rely on it. Simply save the link!

Request a catalog

Relyco: International Company Gives Local Love

Relyco wraps gifts for local families

They definitely know their paper, but this Dover-based company also specializes in heart: the strong kind.

Continuing a tradition that began in 2004, Relyco has once again partnered with Woodman Park School to provide holiday gifts for local children in need; seventy-seven children from 33 families at last count.

You see, when the holidays roll around, Relyco doesn’t just provide for its family, they provide for a broader family—one whose members are identified by the local elementary school nurse. These are families who might not have everything—or even anything—they want or need.

While Relyco employees give back year-round, the need is especially keen around the holidays when the weather gets colder and it seems everyone’s spirits warm up for celebration.

CEO Mike Steinberg remarked, “This is an annual holiday tradition that all our employees’ look forward to, and put hours of effort into making successful. Funded through voluntary payroll donations and company matched, employees shop, wrap, and coordinate pick-up and delivery in time for Christmas.”

Relyco President Bruce Steinberg says, “We are supporting a range of families from those who need just a little extra help to families who have no home in which to celebrate Christmas. By providing gifts we are helping families celebrate without taking on an additional financial burden.”

Since 2004, Relyco estimates they have shopped for more than 350 children, and the need doesn’t stop there. Companies interested in participating in the 2016 Shopping Program are encouraged to contact Relyco at their 121 Broadway Corporate Office in Dover, N.H.

So, while Relyco is a global provider of business printing and payment solutions, it is also a good neighbor right close to home.

Reflections from GRAPH EXPO 15: The Relyco Team Weighs In

The Relyco team put together a list of our experiences from GRAPH EXPO 15 that reinforce one overarching takeaway: print is alive and well.

Relyco Graph Expo 2015 Earlier this month, the Relyco team attended Graph Expo 15 in Chicago. We loved meeting all the attendees and exhibitors who help keep the print industry thriving. Once home, we created a list of our experiences from the show that, together, reinforce one overarching takeaway: print is alive and well, and will be for a while:

“The market is growing in the digital space, and this was very clear at Graph Expo this year. Every year that I attend the show and speak to our customers, they tell me how thankful they are to have us to rely on for their specialty paper needs. It doesn’t get much better than that.”Bruce Steinberg, President

“My big take-away is that print shops, as well as OEM’s are starting to realize that they need to differentiate themselves from the pack by their application or vertical expertise.  That’s a huge shift from (for example) 3  years ago when they would call us and tell us they needed something but had no idea why or what for.”Joni van Gelder, Partner Sales Manager

“I realized that the print was very much alive and growing, due to the positive energy and excitement of young graphic designers and college students visiting our booth and sharing their plans to eventually start their own print business. I also had more conversations about the importance of sustainability in the print industry than expected – something that is very important in the eyes of the future generations of print.”Julia Kuziomko, Marketing Manager

Specialty papers were top of mind for many attendees. From direct consumers and in-plants, to printers, print shops and OEMs alike, they all expressed the need to be more versatile and offer unique applications that set them apart from the competition with products that not only will work in their digital printers, but get their customer’s creative “juices flowing” to think more outside the box. One specific product that captured the attention of OEM’s offering gold, white and clear inks was vibrant colored waterproof paper.” – Brenda Chaisson, Partner Sales Manager

People are looking for ways to help solve their customers challenges through innovative and different solutions. While print shop and in-plant managers are price conscious, they seemed more concerned about being different and creating ROI for their customers. The conversation centered around how they can show their prospective customers something new and how to leverage specialty paper to fully optimize their printer investment.” – Jonathan Neill, VP Sales & Marketing

 

Want to get your hands on the specialty paper everyone’s talking about?




Paper Substrates: Get Your Industry-Specific Sample Kit



GRAPH EXPO 15: Proof that Print Has a Strong Pulse

If, before you attended GRAPH EXPO 15, you had any doubts about whether or not the print industry was in a dead zone you certainly got your answer.

Relyco Graph Expo 2015If you had any doubts about whether or not the print industry was in a dead zone, you certainly got your answer at GRAPH EXPO 15. And it wasn’t just from Ricoh’s aggressive “Print is More Alive Than Ever” campaign.

The show attracted thousands of attendees from all over the world, and when you add in the 550+ exhibitors, that’s a lot people who have print flowing through their veins.

The Pulse of Print at Graph Expo 15

But you can’t just look at the number of people who filled the McCormick Place to get a pulse on the print industry.

The strong pulse comes from the excitement on a young print shop owner’s face when she holds synthetic paper in her hands for the first time and is inspired to offer her customers new and exciting durable applications.

The strong pulse comes from young graphic designers who have a dream of opening up their own print shop and are looking for ways to differentiate themselves with unique specialty papers that their clients will love.

And the pulse comes from seasoned print professionals who are developing new ways for printers to source the right media for specific applications.

 

If you are looking for new ways to get your blood pumping about print, grab one of our industry-specific sample kits filled with printed samples of specialty paper applications that aim to inspire.

Paper Substrates: Get Your Industry-Specific Sample Kit


New Business Printing & Payment Services Website: Help Us Help You!

We’ve redone both our main site and our e-commerce site to streamline your experience. And you can help us make your experience even better. Click to find out how.

Relyco Website MainWhaddya think? We’ve redone both our main website and our online store to make it easier for you to shop on relyco.com. So what’s new?

Solution-Based User Experience

For starters, we’ve reorganized our homepage to offer solutions based on your industry, making it easier than ever to find the Relyco products and services you need. Just select your vertical from the “doors” on the homepage to find Relyco solutions tailored to your needs.

Don’t see your industry? Check out the “solutions” drop-down menu for a full list of our industry-based solutions.

Better Product Resources

We’ve also made it easier to find your favorite Relyco products. From specialty printing paper to business checks and software solutions, our “products” menu lets you conduct in-depth research, find product resources, and read client testimonials.

Ready to shop? Click the “buy now” button on any product page to browse to the listing on our e-commerce store.

Streamlined Shopping

Our e-commerce store was ready for a major update. We’ve reorganized your favorite products with an intuitive drop-down menu for streamlined shopping, and implemented easy site-wide search functionality for when you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Create an account to check out fast, save multiple shipping addresses, and track orders.

Informational Blog Posts

Finally, we’re writing posts to solve your challenges. Want to know how to print multipart carbonless forms with your laser printer? What about how to design your pressure seal forms for maximum opens? Or how to increase sales without increasing overhead?

Subscribe to our blog for answers to all your business printing and payment questions.

Personalized Outreach: Help Us Help You

Want discounts on your favorite products and suggestions relevant to your needs delivered right to your inbox? Click below to tell us a little more about yourself. By letting us know your interests, you’re helping us provide you with the information you really need and filtering out the rest.
Help Us Help You!

When a Cold Winter’s Day Impacts Your Laser Printer

Static electricity is a common problem on cold winter days when the humidity is low. Check out these tips to fight static and keep your laser printer running in tip-top shape!

When temperatures drop and the air is dry, you get static electricity, which is the nemesis of technology and equipment. While it may be fun to shuffle across the carpet and shock your friend on the ear, this same static electric shock can wreak havoc on your laser printers and digital copiers – affecting printer runnability and print quality.

How do you know if there is a problem?

Static electricity is a common problem on cold winter days when the humidity is low. If your laser printer is producing streaky outputs, you may have a static issue. In order to make the toner stick to the paper, laser printers charge the paper with particles. If the paper has too much static electricity, the particle transfer can be disrupted, which can result in streaking and even paper jamming.

Consider these options to ensure optimal performance:

  1. To prevent problems (paper delivery, sheet alignment, toner adhesion) relating to static electricity, the most important factor is relative humidity. Keep the relative humidity of the printing environment above 50 percent humidity. To do this, install a humidifier or talk to your HVAC technician.
  2. To help clear your paper of static electricity, you can hold a stack of paper firmly in one hand and fan it out a few times with the thumb and index finger of your other hand.  Do this a few times and then immediately place the stack of paper into the printer. If it’s a large commercial printer or you’re doing a big job, you can also use a paper jogger to automate this process.Skip ahead to the 2-minute mark in the video below to see what correct paper fanning looks like:


  1. When new shipments of products (pressure seal forms, carbonless laser paper, synthetic papers) arrive for use in your laser printer or copier, allow the product to acclimate to your print room environment. This will also help alleviate any additional static conditions.
  2. Where and how you store your paper also matters. You should store your paper products in an area with moderate humidity for best results. This will help keep the paper static free.
  3. Make sure your equipment is grounded. This helps your equipment to better handle a static charge and overcome related issues.

If you need more advice and info on how Relyco can help, call us at 800-777-7359 or contact us.

*This blog post was originally published in March 2011 and it was updated on May 29, 2019.