"Last night I went to the Ash City Wine Party at the Bellagio. First and foremost, they were wonderful hosts and throw a very classy party. I highly recommend being invited next year.
At the party were hundreds of distributors inter-mingling. I was fortunate enough to sit with a family from Texas who started their business 35 years ago selling binders to corporate America.
They wanted to take the time to learn as a family about what made me successful and what I was doing in the industry that was making me unique and valuable. We took the time to share ideas and contacts that would make each other’s business better and committed to stay in touch.
This, to me, is the benefit of Expo. The opportunity to meet suppliers and distributors alike who have different client bases, different business models and different experiences and share and learn from each other."
"Thank you for taking the time to write and explain the issues we face in our industry."
"Gary thank you for the update this really helps us and our customers as I pass on all your letters to them."
We appreciated receiving your valuable insights into the global dynamics/realties of the apparel market. Those thoughts from your letter will be shared with our Sales Associates at the end of this week.
Thanks for keeping us in your loop!"
"I do sincerely appreciate reading your reports on what is happening in the Clothing Industry in Asia and how Ash City is reacting to it and working to give us the best quality and the best price with consistency."
Just wanted to take a moment to let you know how much I personally enjoy reading your updates. They are factual, relevant, informative, to-the-point and educational. I use them to educate my own clients in turn, as we are all part of the same supply chain.
As far as I am concerned, these updates are a prime example of your company's ability to communicate which sets the standard in the Canadian industry - please keep up the good work."
I want to thank you very much for the information that you send out. This is both very informative and much required information for us in the industry. I have been a long time Ash City client and this is just one of the reasons why I find it very beneficial to purchase product from your company."
It's nice to see that you logically think ahead and forecast with an informed eye; well stated letter.
I appreciate your letters, and it definitely makes me a more knowledgeable sales person. I have used the information from your letters to explain the market place to my clients, making me even more valuable to them as an advisor, not just an order-taker. I find the information extends way beyond just wearables, and into the world market and politics as well.
"Hello, Mr. Hurvitz,
Just a quick note to express our appreciation for your efforts to keep distributors well informed relative to matters that effect us all. Having current and accurate information regarding these various issues, will allow us to improve our dialogue with customers and assist them in their planning both short and long term.
Escalating prices and the the availability of inventory have a tremendous impact on our ability to carry out responsibilities efficiently and effectively on a daily basis. We appreciate Ash City's aggressive inventory positioning and your candid discussion of future price increases. The old adage that informed customers make wise decisions is perhaps even more appropriate in the context of today's economic landscape.
"Another well written insight for your clients, as relates to the Wearable market in Canada and the U.S. I visualize you writing this on a laptop during the long flights home.
I fully appreciate the huge task of operating Ash City, and I have great respect for you and your capabilities."
It is always so interesting to read your newsletter and to be kept informed of the problems we are facing and to be able to explain to customers in an educated way - exactly what is happening and why we must accept the price increases.
I appreciate all the hard work and negotiation you put into providing a great product and the best possible prices."
"I know I can always count on Ash City for value, fashion and customer service."
"I love selling your garments - they are some of the best in the business.
I ordered a couple of micro fleece zips and lightweight water resistant jackets for my trip to Alaska a few years ago and those well worn samples are still shown to customers to let them see the durability of the garments.
I show Ash City all the time because it is such a good quality brand."
- Diane Added Incentives
"During my table top shows I have been beginning each presentation with our custom program presentation start to finish. In every case customers are blown away with what Ash City has done. In reference to having all styles now available to create, it is exactly what is needed to start the online presentation. The online garment creator has been bullet proof. I can't count how many requests I have sent in and every time it is flawless. On top of that Melanie and Dee have the pricing to the customer most times the same day which is awesome. While I am tooting horns, I sent a request to Paul asking the process for adding this feature to a customers website and before I was done the presentation Paul had already responded with a in depth answer which took care of all the customers questions! This type of attention to detail from every facet of Ash City is really making us look professional in the field and showing off our commitment to being the industry leader that we are in apparel!
Thank you Ash City and all involved with this program it is mind blowing for our customers!!!"
I thought I would take the time to email you to let you know that I took a call from Mr. Robert Friday of Heppner Friday Inc. this afternoon.
While Robert originally wanted to personally speak to Garry, he was more than willing (and happy) to allow me the honour to hear what he wanted Garry to know so that I can reiterate it back to him and anyone else I thought should be made aware of his call.
Based on my conversation with him, from what I was able to gather and understand, Heppner Friday Inc. use to deal with Ash City quite a bit some time ago. Apparently, 5-6 years ago (approximately), there was some form of a misunderstanding between both our companies that strained our working relationship.
**Perhaps Scott, the sales rep for this account, may have more history and could shed some light on the specifics.
Having said that, Robert is extremely excited to once again be working and doing more business with Ash City thanks to one of our customer service representatives!!
Fazil attitude, coupled with his enthusiasm & excitement about Ash City, as well as his impressive product knowledge left such an impression on Robert that he felt he needed to call and let Garry know this.
To quote Robert, "In today's world, everyone is so quick to point out all the negatives and all the flaws about someone or something BUT they never take the time to point out any of the good!"
If I may, on a personal note, it felt great (as an employee) to not only hear (first hand) Robert sing Fazil's praises, but to also hear how this one specific conversation made the world of difference to him... so much so that he not only called... BUT is also excited to do more business with us in the future”
“Ash City is leading the industry in both the hard good and apparel sectors with a very robust collection of marketing tools”
- Conrad Franey, Chief Marketing Officer, Gateway CDI
"I want to convey to you a couple of comments about the amazing & efficient service Amy rendered to me on Friday Jan. 11. During the last few weeks I placed several orders taking advantage of Ash City's Closeout Sale & although I received O K service from a few of your customer service reps, I still experienced some problems with shipments being sent to wrong addresses. Another request I had was for an inventory list for 3 products--this took a few days & came with difficult to "understand/read" info. My last call to Ash City on Friday, I was introduced to Amy & within one half hour she had taken care of all my concerns.
Amy should be commended for giving that excellent customer service that customers should receive all the time.
Thanks you for your time & regards,"
- Jim Clarke-White Eagle Marketing
Just a quick note to say thanks for the insight on what is going on in the industry. These issues face all of my vendors and not just Ash City. Seems as though the price increases and/or shortages has caught many of us by surprise. But having some knowledge of the why’s makes it easier to talk to the customer and explain what we are facing.
- Mark Hoop-T-Dudes Inc.
"Terrific newsletter, thank you, Sir!
We have been hearing of the skyrocketing prices of cotton and other materials for some time, your personal experience and suggestions as to how to handle clients is greatly appreciated.
We love your products, and plan to make 2011 the year we finally land some clients we’ve wanted for some time – and get them into Ash if not already using it; or becoming their new Ash City distributor if they already use your fine products.
Another note, we just spent last week at Expo (along with 20,000 others!) As always, the Customer Service of your floor reps was outstanding. Last year, as well as this year, we spent time in another supplier booth, looking at apparel we wanted to get information on – despite seeing several uniformed employees of that company milling about, including at least two in very close range that could not possibly have missed us – not a single person offered help. We wandered over to Ash (which was MUCH busier), but as soon as we walked in we had offers of help. Not pushy, not overbearing, just helpful when and as we needed, and letting us browse if that is what we preferred.
As always, we enjoyed seeing Ed, our local rep; and another gal, whose name I did not get, regrettably, was full of lots of great ideas for custom options.
A study in contrast between Ash City, and the “other” supplier who apparently didn’t want our business. Kudos to you for employing great principles and people."
- Mary Golden Promotional Products
"Beautifully explained Gary, and well done. It makes it so much easier to deal with price increases, when you take the time to explain the reasoning behind them. I was impressed with your first letter, and I think your continued letters are meaningful and helpful. Although I realize that you send them to all your clients, they come across as personal and caring.
As always, we remain committed and loyal to you and ASH City.
It is going to be a good year."
"I just wanted to thank you for your informative and proactive letter regarding the price increases in apparel. We have been hearing about it – as well as seeing it happen – however your letter written from a personal experience, with insider detail, and a perspective that was greatly appreciated.
I plan on saving this letter in case clients don’t understand why apparel keeps increasing in cost. I can simply show them this and it speaks volumes.
- Wendy Simantel
"This is very helpful information. The better informed I am as a distributor – the better I can educate my customers. No one likes to hear that prices are increasing so rapidly on ANY product, however when I can substantiate the price increases – makes it a much smoother conversation with customers and seems to ease the pain slightly.
- Cathy Houston
How’s that for a Subject line…”Thank You”. Not often does a Supplier send out a letter warning on price increases and a Distributor says “Thank You.”
Not that I’m thanking you for the impending price increase, but rather how forward and direct your letter was. You are correct this will allow us the time to educate our clients as to what is happening. This also allows us to price program products correctly for 2011 so that we are not necessarily overpricing early in the year and under pricing later in the year."
- Dave, Maxim Advertising
Thank you for leading the charge to educate distributors on the harsh realities of rising prices and inventory limitations of overseas product.
As suppliers, we all need to make a firm commitment to take an active role in this process to educate distributors to ensure they manage the expectations of their clients, the end-users. Managing these expectations is critical to the success of individual suppliers and the industry as a whole as we move forward into 2011."
- Doug, RO-EL
"Your info has been valuable for me personally and as I move forward with my fulfillment programs will advise my customers accordingly..all the best. I am beginning to rethink who I will be using in the future and why(suppliers)."
- David President, carte blanche promotional products inc.
Good to see you being Proactive instead of reactive.
The info helps all of us.
I have worked with your Company for over 15 years and have great respect for the Company and you for everything you do.
A class act that I am always proud to support and promote."
- Gerry, Oakville Marketing
Thank you for taking the time to keep us up to speed on this important issue. Yes, there are many suppliers who have their heads in the sand. Very refreshing that you are hitting this issue head on. Keep it up!
There is nothing worse than quoting a job and not having the merchandise upon order. I'll make sure to give many options moving forward into the coming year.
I have been buying from Ash City for almost 15 years and quality is one thing that never waivers. Quality of products, customer service, prices etc. are all outstanding! It's a pleasure working with your company."
- Jacqui, Dobson's Corporate Branding
Thanks for all the extra support, education, and service ash city provides us as customers…….you guys are true professionals & nice people to work with. All your hard work and the extras are what keep us coming back and promoting the Ash City brand. Don't ever think those extras go unnoticed!"
- Michelle, EMB Designs
"THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THESE INSIGHTS--- more vendors should follow in your lead to update their clients!!!
Yeah for Ash City."
- Sheena, RESOURCE ONE, INC.
This is just a quick note to say Thank You for the email Report on your recent activity in Asia and how the economic changes will affect our Business in coming months. As a distributor, I particularly appreciate:
1) The realism you express. So often we in Sales want to emphasize the positive points only.
2) The time you are investing not only for Ash City, but for our Industry in Canada. In terms of time away and travel, gaining the knowledge is quite costly for you, I'm sure.
This kind of vision and commitment is yet another reason that I use Ash City as an Apparel Supplier more than others. Thank you, Garry."
- Michael, Key Innovations Inc.
As someone who has been in the industry for 14 years, I can tell you that the two letters we have received from you have been the most honest communications we have ever received from a supplier.
We deal with many of your competitors, and I can tell you that you are the only one we are receiving any communication from regarding these issues, and for this I thank you.
In all of my years, I have never experienced the kinds of stock shortages that we are experiencing now, and knew that the trouble in Asia had hit home when we began experiencing stock difficulties with Ash City. We could always depend on you to have deep stock, that is why we always present your products first when working with clients. We are as sorry as you that this is not always the case now.
In saying this, I want to let you know that your staff excel at handling these sometimes disappointing conversations. I do want to give particular thanks and praise to Alicia, who we work with often. She goes above and beyond to provide us with options and give us very honest answers about when stock will arrive to allow us to in turn give our clients a "good" date versus a maybe that we are experiencing with many others.
Your letters are not redundant. We are all burying our head in the sand, and hoping that it won't affect us. Upon receiving your first letter, and now your second, it has provided me with the knowledge I need to ensure that I am able to educate my client. You in turn are educating me. Thank you!"
- D'Costa Marketing
I suspect that most of the responses to your recent letter will come from distributor partners, but I wanted to let you know that I applaud your honesty and proactive approach. Your observations are precisely in keeping with ours and we are consequently employing many of the same strategies you are.
Education is the name of the game and you're doing a wonderful job of it."
- Alex, Debco Solutions
I just wanted to say thank you so much for including us (the reps) on this email. Normally, it goes to head office and it does make its way to us eventually. But it is nice to hear first hand from one of my preferred suppliers what is happening out there. It will make decision making a lot easier knowing what we know now.
I knew there was a reason why Ash City is always my first go-to line. Thanks again, Garry. Keep up the great work!"
- Linda Mah, Talbot Marketing
"I don't usually reply to open letters like the one you sent today but I just wanted to say thanks and good for you for being able to openly and accurately discuss a difficult topic. While the news you presented is not "good" it is far better to know what lies ahead and be able to prepare for it then be blind sided by unanticipated change. It is the type of information we need to stay on top of where the industry is headed and what we need to do to position ourselves (and our clients) for transition in 2011. I find that most people will respond at least reasonably to change, even price increase and potential stock shortage, if given suitable warnings; I certainly know that to be the case for our business.
Your honesty is appreciated and along with great service and a commitment to inventory its one of the reasons we value AC as a premium supplier."
- Patrick Jordan, Creative Embroidery
"Thank You" for a great format to get the word out to our customers about a very real and current reality that will affect everyone in 2011 & beyond.
Outstanding Letter !!!"
You have an amazing challenge ahead of you as do we your customers in the promotional products industry. The professional communication you offer and your commitment to excellence is apparent and appreciated. I for one am becoming more and more committed to Ash city and appreciate all you do on our behalf.
I would be remiss if I did not tell you how much we miss our dear friend Norm out here in California, however that being said John is doing a great job on your behalf. He seems to get that he has a fiduciary commitment to both of us and works very hard on both our behalf’s.
Thanks again for all you do and hope to have a great 2011 together."
"The Presentation Builder is awesome!"
- Les, Recognition Express
"As a new rep to the promotional products world, things can be very overwhelming. Gener helped me with a very low volume quote and I felt the time and attention he gave me worthy of my comments. He was courteous, patient and extremely helpful. In addition to helping me find product, he was able to get me registered, logged in, and provided a very helpful tutorial of how to use the site. Thanks to Gener, I have created a flyer for a customer that is professional and should get me in the door as a trusted advisor."
- Roberta, The Cooley Group Inc.
"Gener went above and beyond yesterday when I called to inquire about some items that were on back order. Without boring you with the details of the order itself, you should know he was courteous, helpful, engaging, and a total delight. He displayed outstanding customer service that is so rare, I am taking the time out of my busy day to inform you of what you probably already know --- that Gener is an asset to your Customer Service Team and to Ash City as a whole. You can bet I will be back with more business in the future based on the positive experience I had with Gener!"
- Bryce, Proforma Communications Group
“ Thank you. The site is very well done. Our clients appreciate your initiative of the French web site”
- Stéphane, PG Tex Inc.
"I just wanted to say thank you to everyone at Ash City for the exceptional: customer service, account service and special services I’ve received thus far. You’ve simplified my business, by being our ONE source for most orders. I am more productive because of this, so thank you! Looking forward to doing more business with you now and in the future."
- Anthony, Creative Garment Solutions
"Fabulous and unbeatable record of achievement. If only the rest of the industry worked towards such excellence. Your ARE the ONE."
- Lorne, Sales Dynamics Inc.
"Oftentimes people are quick to deliver negative feedback. However I wanted to let you know how very pleasant and cordial Amy was with me and that she took the time and offered great service. I just could not stress enough how pleased and appreciative I am with Amy’s assistance and service today."
- Patty Davis, US Safetygear Inc.
"A JOB WELL DONE The www.stylesac.com website is brilliant and my customer loved it!"
Buffalo Promotions gives Ash City 5 stars for overall satisfaction, product quality, communications and delivery.
- Buffalo Promotions
“Ash City's attention to detail is impressive and they definitely set the standard in the industry!” Read more…
"I LOVE this!!! Just made a donation – thank you for matching it!"
"I wanted to take a moment to tell you what a pleasure it has been to work with Rachelle on our PO #1155. We normally work with Michael but since he was out of town, we had the opportunity to work with Rachelle. She is very professional, friendly and customer service oriented! Excellent job by Rachelle!"
"I spoke with Brenda today regarding an order I had a problem with. She was a GREAT help and fixed the problem for me without any hassle! She exercised great customer service and had a very positive attitude. What a great Customer Service REP, the best I have worked with in a while! You are very lucky to have her on your team! Thank You!"
"Just to let you know that I was extremely satisfied with the way Novelette handled my account. What a pleasure people who respond promptly to e-mails!"
"Sandra is a "keeper." She has been helping us to understand the sequence of ordering product from Ash City. It gets a bit confusing with different contacts and how they relate to the ordering process. Sandra is certainly public relations minded and that is a big plus for Ash City. She goes the extra distance to keep orders on track and that can be critical when we have special needs and instructions. Sandra: An asset for Ash City."
"Tanya was a great help and did everything possible to meet my needs. She gave me several options if something wasn’t available and recommended items if I wasn’t too sure about something. Excellent job!"
"Elizabeth, I wanted to tell you how helpful Pam was in getting a picture of the back of one of your men’s jackets for me! She was absolutely great. Thank you"
"This is to let you know that I received excellent customer service from Kyla in regards to my questions today. She did an excellent job."
"Fantastic Company to work with. Outstanding Customer Service, product quality and communication. A pleasure to work with!"
- Member of the Proforma network
"I just wanted to let you know that Kyla is consistently a pleasure to deal with on the phone. Good natured, efficient and helpful."
"I’ve been working with Tanya all day on a small sample order that had gone astray. She has been so on top of things that I just wanted to drop a note your way and tell you how much I appreciate her."
"I would like to thank Curtis for his quick reply to my email this morning. It really helps when you can get some fast valuable answers and a pdf with the information included. Makes my work easier."
"Kudos on your friendly, efficient and well trained staff! I look forward to doing lots of business with your company!"