With banners, balloons and plenty of enthusiasm, supplier BIC Graphic welcomed editorial staff from several industry publications to Media Day at its headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, on September 28. Terry Ramsay, PPAI associate editor, attended the event which included presentations from the sales, marketing and manufacturing departments, and factory tours.

Among the presenters was Emmanuel Bruno, president of BIC Graphic, who welcomed the group and led a discussion about the company’s recent acquisition by private equity firm H.I.G. Capital and what it means for the future. “H.I.G. is knowledgeable about the promotional products industry and an excellent partner for BIC Graphic. As a stand-alone company, we are now more nimble, autonomous, and able to innovate,” he said.

Displaying his obvious passion for promotional products, Bruno outlined the current trends that are shaping the industry and how BIC Graphic is proactively responding. He pointed to demand for retail brands, customization, compliance, transparency in the order process, and speed to market as some of those trends. He said the company is also focusing on creating a flexible, digital workflow that improves service for distributors, and, ultimately, end users.  

The media members were treated to guided tours of BIC’s two manufacturing facilities, including a look at its proprietary robot automation and flex machines. The tours were led by employees in their work sites, rather than management, so that those who perform each function were able to demonstrate their areas of expertise and pride in their craft. The tours also included a look at customer relations and training, with an in-depth view at how each function supports the company vision.

As one of the largest suppliers of promotional products in the U.S. and with a strong presence in Canada, BIC Graphic is striving to extend its name recognition well beyond pens. In fact, it offers more than 15 product categories ranging from drinkware to golf accessories, all housed in vast nearby warehouses.

Bruno stressed that the company’s priority is to collaborate with distributors to develop creative solutions that add value to the end user. This fall, BIC Graphic is holding a series of distributor focus groups and surveys to learn firsthand where improvements can be made. “Ultimately, everything we can do to help the distributor is where we are going to invest,” he said.