Suttle Straus - Ted Straus, President and CEO
Tell us a little bit about your company.
Suttle Straus was founded in 1910 and is in its 4th generation of leadership with 200 team members. We are a marketing service provider offering web, sheet-fed, color digital and wide format printing as well as fulfillment services. Direct mail and printing account for about 60% of our revenue base. We have our own creative team that does everything from completing corporate communications to digital media. We try and bundle services and lead with our e-commerce platform that aligns well with retailers, franchises, and organizations with a distributed sales network which changes the conversation from “we are a printer” to a complete sales model for the customer.
When did you first hear about GAA and when did you join?
We were one of the original members so there is a lot of history with GAA.
How has your experience been since joining?
Our experience has been very positive. I find John and the GAA team to be very proactive with communications. It’s very clear that they are consistently in contact with the vendors and suppliers that we use. They are staying out on the forefront making sure that there are very attractive bundles to leverage the buying power for members. I participate in the annual meetings each year and find a lot of value with the speakers.
What programs are you seeing the most savings on?
The programs that we are seeing the most benefit from are the Verso paper programs and Fuji and Kodak. We are also taking advantage of the recycling program.
Do GAA programs overlap with some of your existing vendor programs?
There has been the rare instance where were able to negotiate more favorable pricing outside of GAA but more often than not, it’s in addition to GAA programs. Conflict is definitely not something we find with the programs. There may be the rare occasion when a vendor is aware of our GAA membership and through pricing negotiations we may occasionally have to circumvent GAA. But normally we negotiate with the vendors and if there is a GAA program in place it’s an add on. When vendors do an across the board price increase, the price increase is generally reduced for GAA members. For example, if Fuji announces an 8% increase in plates, our increase has been half of that due to membership.
Have you experienced problems with vendors?
It has been very positive working with GAA vendors. We always have good communications and haven't experienced any surprises or issues with negotiations.
In your opinion, what makes GAA unique?
For me it starts with leadership. GAA is extremely well-run, proactive and well-respected by vendors which certainly is traced back to John who maintains a lot of integrity and trust with members of the organizations. GAA has communications "down-pat". It isn’t like you become a member and it goes to the background. GAA consistently puts out communications to members on changes, developments, and industry trends. The information is very relevant.
Words of Wisdom to someone looking to join
Anybody considering GAA membership would be joining a group of members that are first class and would be associating themselves with very good company. They are a great resource. It speaks to the way GAA is run as a no-nonsense, transparent buying group that provide benefits for companies like us.