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  • 5 Apr 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    PromoStandards facilitates the development and adoption of technology standards and oversees these standards for businesses and nonprofit organizations worldwide. When in place, these standards allow suppliers, distributors, and decorators to automatically send and receive information in real time, effectively scaling business transactions.

    This month, we’re highlighting PromoStandards member alphabroder, a leading supplier of imprintable apparel and accessories. Here, you’ll learn about alphabroder and how adopting PromoStandards integration helped move their transactions forward.


    Founded in 1919 and headquartered in Trevose, Pennsylvania, alphabroder carries over 6,500 styles from 60+ brands of classic and trending products. The company, formally known as Broder Bros., Co., offers a wide range of items, including t-shirts, drinkware, bags, journals, and more. Their customer base consists of promotional product distributors, athletic team dealers, screen printers, embroiderers, online retailers, and thousands of other businesses.

    PromoStandards’ Impact

    Prior to integrating PromoStandards, alphabroder had a suite of custom APIs and feeds that customers would integrate. While this generally worked well, educating customers on how to use these mechanisms was a persistent challenge. Additionally, there was no standard language for discussing decoration orders, decoration setup parameters, and available decoration options.

    PromoStandards has proven helpful for alphabroder. Customers already have a good idea of what’s involved regarding PromoStandards integrations, which means fewer back-and-forth conversations about what APIs mean and where to obtain certain data. As a result, integrations are completed much faster. In some cases, customers already have their PromoStandards integration set up!

    “PromoStandards has contributed greatly to standardizing integration conversations with our customers. It’s removed much of the discovery phase and allowed us to get straight into implementation,” said Aaron Anderson, Sr. Director of Software Engineering at alphabroder.

    Become a PromoStandards Member!

    At PromoStandards, we understand streamlining product development and management is necessary to keep up with growing demands and a complicated supply chain. That’s why our standards are free for anyone who needs to use them. We also offer resources for our members, helping them to create even more positive change for their businesses.

    Members can join events, chat with the entire PromoStandards community through our Slack channel, have full access to our directory of service providers, and more. To get started, join one of our membership levels today!

  • 15 Feb 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    PromoStandards is committed to improving supply chain and transactional efficiencies in the promotional products industry. The business was created in 2014 when a dedicated group of distributors, suppliers, and service providers created the first set of industry standards. Over the years, the number of standards grew, and PromoStandards became a nonprofit in 2019.

    In this member spotlight, we’re highlighting HALO Branded Solutions, one of the founding organizations of PromoStandards. HALO Branded Solutions is the largest promotional product distributor in the United States and has purchasing agreements with more than 250 of the world’s largest suppliers. This robust supplier network allows them to provide excellent pricing and value to their clients.

    Continue reading to learn more about HALO and how adopting PromoStandards integration helped move their transactions forward.

    HALO Branded Solutions

    Established in 1952 and headquartered in Sterling, Illinois, HALO Branded Solutions is the global leader in branded merchandise, company uniforms, and employee recognition and incentive solutions. With a team of over 1,800 members spread across 42 offices worldwide, HALO serves businesses of all sizes, from Fortune 500 companies to thousands of mid and small-size organizations.

    PromoStandards’ Impact

    Before integrating PromoStandards, HALO team members had frequent and repeated follow-up calls and emails with suppliers about order status and shipping information. With PromoStandards, this was significantly reduced, and the company experienced more timely communication between account executives and customers on order progress and shipment tracking information.

    “PromoStandards is a foundational element to our data integration strategy,” said Kevin Pollack, COO of HALO Branded Solutions. “We continue to build around and upon PromoStandards to streamline and standardize a wide variety of order-related processes. We see great value in expanding the use of PromoStandards in the future.”

    Make Your Business Even Better With PromoStandards

    PromoStandards makes it easy to communicate with others in the industry. Your business can also reduce the number of phone calls and emails received, thereby saving time and labor. With four membership levels, you can choose the one that works best for you. Join PromoStandards and start your journey!

  • 18 Jan 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Distributors, suppliers, service providers, and decorators drive the success and growth of the promotional product industry. PromoStandards is an organization where those entities can collaborate to create and integrate industry-changing order communication and management standards. In this member spotlight, we highlight Hit Promotional Products, a top industry supplier that provides premier design services with your favorite in-demand brands. Please keep reading for more on Hit and how PromoStandards has helped its business.

    About Hit Promotional Products

    Hit Promotional Products (Hit) is a family-owned business—a leader in the promotional products industry for over 50 years and ranks among the top five suppliers in the U.S. As a PromoStandards Advisory Supplier member, the company holds two spots on our 2024 Board of Directors and a spot as a 2024 Executive Committee member-at-large.

    The supplier is headquartered in Largo, Florida, and operates production facilities across four states: Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Hit’s collective production space, totaling 1.4 million sq. ft., and 3,000 team members allow the company to produce more than 3,500 orders daily, with about $200 million worth of inventory on the ground, water, or on order at any given time.

    Throughout its years of operation, Hit has continuously evolved to meet the demands of changing times and customer needs. Today, customers can expect a supplier that:

    • operates with a personal touch,
    • offers an extensive inventory of big-name brands,
    • provides top-rate imprinting and decorations, and
    • honors its commitment to sustainability.

    PromoStandards’ Impact

    “PromoStandards has changed the way we do business internally. Serving up data for order status, tracking, invoice, (etc.), nearly in real-time and at scale has allowed Hit to upgrade systems and build robust internal business processes,” said Raj Mukherjee, CIO at Hit Promotional Products. “It [PromoStandards] has become key to our customer sales cycle.”

    Before adopting PromoStandards’ industry standards, Hit faced the challenge of integrating with distributors on a case-by-case basis to communicate and manage inventory, invoices, orders, and products. As any supplier in the industry will confirm, specializing their communications systems for each distributor is tedious, time-consuming, and increases the risk of clerical errors and miscommunication.

    Hit Promotional Products sits among the list of fellow distributors, suppliers, and service providers collaborating to create the first industry standards before PromoStandards’ official founding in 2019. Since then, the company has maintained its leading position in PromoStandards development and integration. Benefits that Hit has observed with PromoStandards integration include:

    • Fewer Phone Calls – prompt and accurate order status and shipment notifications
    • Streamlined Order Management – efficient and simplified integration with distributors

    Drive the Industry as a PromoStandards Member!

    At PromoStandards, we aim to develop, improve, drive the adoption of, and facilitate the integration of promotional product industry communication standards. Our members comprise an extensive community of distributors, suppliers, service providers, and decorators who, by integrating our standards, can send and receive order information in real time. Join PromoStandards today by selecting one of our four membership levels so you can streamline your operations and scale your business.

  • 4 Jan 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    PromoStandards started back in 2014 when a group of highly committed industry technology leaders rolled up their sleeves to create the first set of industry standards from the ground up.

    “Working in a cramped conference room with fellow executives from the industry's most prominent companies was an exhilarating and incredibly productive experience,” said PromoStandards Chair Eric Alessi. “These are some of my fondest memories of collaborating in the industry.”

    The industry, what we expect from technology, and PromoStandards have changed over the course of a decade. As 2023 comes to a close, Alessi reflects on how PromoStandards has evolved.

    Our Volunteers

    While many board members maintain a hands-on approach, there has been a notable increase in dedicated volunteers who generously contribute their time and expertise for the betterment of the industry. This influx lightens the load for board members and fosters a more united and cooperative approach toward achieving progress.

    Our Focus

    The board is still laser-focused on our mission to facilitate the development and adoption of open interoperability standards. We continue to create new standards, and now we’re at a place where we can update these standards. Order Status 2.0.0 and Order Shipment Notification 2.0.0 are new versions of standards that were released in 2023.

    Our Future

    PromoStandards has firmly established itself as the industry standard for digital integration. We’re looking to the future to prepare for what’s next and continue to care for the standards and community we’ve built.

    We are ready to journey into the next decade and hope you join us.

    Here’s to a great year in 2024 and the years that lie ahead!

  • 28 Dec 2023 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    PromoStandards is a community, and those who become members have access to important information and proven service providers. In this member spotlight, we’ll cover Antera Software USA, Inc., a service provider that runs promotional product software for distributors, suppliers, and printers. Here’s an in-depth look into who Antera Software is and how adopting PromoStandards integration helped move their transactions forward.

    Antera Software

    Antera Software, founded in 2010 and headquartered in Plano, Texas, specializes in creating and implementing custom software solutions that target challenges faced by promotional products and print industries. Its flagship cloud-based software, Advance, is used by industry professionals worldwide to automate their workflows and manage businesses effectively.

    Advance offers a comprehensive suite of operational and financial management capabilities, incorporating cutting-edge CRM technology and integrated modules. One of its key features is its Open API technology, which allows for seamless integration with third-party products and common accounting systems, such as QuickBooks.

    PromoStandards’ Impact

    Before integrating PromoStandards, Antera Software faced the industry-specific challenge of inconsistent information. Many of their customers were unhappy with the out-of-date data. To come up with a common way to integrate, employees of Antera Software talked with promotional product suppliers and distributors to come up with a common way to integrate. It was these people who mentioned PromoStandards.

    Antera Software utilizes all PromoStandards endpoints in Advance. This allows customers to collaborate effectively on orders and exchange data, documents, and information in real-time, resulting in tremendous time savings. What’s more, distributors have the ability to see live inventory levels and place orders electronically. Changes made automatically update on the platform.

    “PromoStandards has allowed our customers to grow exponentially. The accuracy and speed of information from PromoStandards have allowed them to increase their volume of business with fewer employees,” said Rick Peters, CEO of Antera Software USA, Inc.

    Become a PromoStandards Member!

    At PromoStandards, we make it easy to communicate with others in your industry. Find suppliers, distributors, and decorators and send and receive information to them in real-time. With four membership levels, you can choose the one that works best for you. Join PromoStandards and start your journey!

  • 14 Dec 2023 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    PromoStandards is inherently forward-thinking. With a commitment to leveraging established open standards and developing new technologies, the organization actively strives to enhance the efficiency of the promotional products industry. Our proven success serves as a testament to our mission and approach.

    This month, PromoStandards Chair Eric Alessi reflects on how PromoStandards understands and meets industry needs.

    PromoStandards’ Survey

    To better understand the top needs of the industry, PromoStandards surveyed its members in the summer of 2023. Amongst its members are the most progressive and successful companies in the industry.

    Survey results did not disappoint. The data, full of valuable insights, is indispensable in confirming our success and determining what we need to do to move forward.

    Our Progress

    In November 2023, the analysis of the survey served as a foundation for discussions at the Board’s Annual Planning Meeting in Tampa, Florida. It provided clarity for our path moving forward.

    The meeting kicked off with a timeline illustrating our progress. PromoStandards started in 2015 as a group of progressive companies committed to the industry, became a nonprofit in 2019, and held its first official in-person board meeting and membership meeting in 2020.

    Like the standards developed, PromoStandards has iterated and grown. The organization went from a version 1.0 organization at its inception to version 2.0 with official meetings. Now, PromoStandards is at the cusp of 3.0 as it continues to refine and expand its standards based on industry feedback.

    Know Your Starting Point

    Anyone who’s traveled knows that to understand where you are going, you need to understand where you’ve been. Otherwise, it's difficult to determine if you're on the right track.

    The starting point serves as a reference throughout your journey, allowing you to gauge the distance covered so far and forecast the time it will take to reach the next milestone.

    Looking back, it’s amazing what PromoStandards has accomplished. It’s been a remarkable journey. Our future looks equally amazing. There are more great things to come.

    Travel to the Tech Summit

    Make it a point to travel to the 2024 Tech Summit. It features three days of education tracts. Attendees will learn about PromoStandards integrations and industry-relevant technology, and have ample opportunity to network with industry peers.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

  • 30 Nov 2023 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    OS, which stands for Order Status, is among the most widely adopted PromoStandards endpoints. It’s often one of the first pieces of information that suppliers integrate.

    When suppliers integrate OS, distributors can easily see how far along the order is and when they should expect it to be delivered. This means distributors no longer have to call or email them to know where the order stands!

    PromoStandards is excited to share that it has released OS 2.0.0. In this article, we’re sharing the changes this updated version brings and what this means for you!

    The Changes Made With OS 2.0.0

    OS 2.0.0 was co-authored by Stephen Luisser and Raj Mukherjee from Hit Promotional Products under the collaboration and oversight of the Standards Committee in 2023. OS 1.0.0, the second standard PromoStandards released in 2015, was co-authored by Jon Norris and Eric Shonebarger.

    The upgrade came about to effectively communicate different issues that can occur throughout the lifecycle of an order. Its key features enhance order processing, streamline issue resolution, and improve communication with suppliers.

    OS 2.0.0 Fields

    Here are the 8 fields it contains!

    • Fields wsVersion, id, password, and referenceNumber remain the same.
    • To create cleaner-looking code, the data type for queryType was changed from INT (integer) to faucet string.
    • More guidance was given to statusTimeStamp. For instance, it’s recommended to use UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), a 24-hour time standard, to eliminate time-zone issues.
    • There are two new fields. returnissueDetailType shows details of the issues on an order and returnProductDetail shows which items are part of the order status.

    What This Means for You

    There are several noticeable enhancements this upgrade brings. People can:

    • clearly see what is on hold and why.
    • implement advanced search functionality.
    • access the contact information for suppliers.
    • have streamlined communication channels with dedicated fields for essential communications, proof approvals, and order audits.
    • make order splitting, in which suppliers split one purchase order into multiple orders, a more seamless experience.
    • tailor the amount of information they’d like to retrieve.

    What People Are Saying

    "The ability to communicate and resolve issues between distributors and suppliers is the next evolution of the standards,” said Steven Stanley, CTO at ePromos Promotional Products and PromoStandards board member.

    Raj Mukherjee, CIO at Hit Promotional Products, said, "Order Status 2.0.0 will push the boundaries of communication between suppliers, distributors, and service providers.”

    Make Your Business Better With PromoStandards

    Industries cannot rely on email threads and phone-tag to complete simple tasks and get the answers they need. That’s where PromoStandards comes in! We have a proven vision of optimizing our supply chain and transforming it through open standards and digital integration.

    Our endpoints can be and are utilized by the promotional products industry and other industries around the world. There are endpoints for Inventory, Invoices, Media, Order Status, Product Compliance, Product Configuration, Product Data, Purchase Orders, and Ship Notices. To get started, simply join PromoStandards to access all the information you need!

  • 26 Oct 2023 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    PromoStandards is a community, and those who become members have access to important information and proven service providers. In this member spotlight, we’ll cover Geiger, the world's largest privately held and family-owned promotional products distributor. Here’s an in-depth look into who Geiger is and how adopting PromoStandards integration helped move their transactions forward.


    Geiger is a fifth-generation business founded in 1878 when brothers Andrew and Jacob took over their father’s print shop in Newark, New Jersey. Over 140 years later, the family still serves on the Board of Directors, while Jo-an Lantz became the first non-family President and CEO in 2019.

    Geiger has been headquartered in Lewiston, Maine since 1955. In 2018, the company acquired BTC Group in London. As GeigerBTC Group, the two firms strengthened their global reach by reducing shipping time and costs for their customers in North America and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

    Today, Geiger has offices throughout the US and Europe and is affiliated with more than 450 independent sales representatives.

    PromoStandards’ Impact

    Before integrating PromoStandards, Geiger faced industry-specific challenges, primarily the cumbersome process of obtaining order updates and product data from suppliers. This involved manual efforts, which led to individual phone calls, extended response times, and error-prone interactions.

    There had to be a better way, and as such, Geiger became one of the founders of PromoStandards.

    PromoStandards has significantly transformed Geiger, enabling them to deliver more value quickly and focus more on enhancing customer service and providing brand inspiration.

    Geiger is in the process of modernizing its tech stack and is well into its digital transformation journey. Automation plays a huge part in this, and PromoStandards will have a big role in the company’s future state.

    “The concept of PromoStandards is truly outstanding!” said Becci Cayer, Corporate e-Commerce Manager at Geiger. “It offers tremendous benefits to both suppliers and distributors through seamless electronic data exchange. The remarkable progress that PromoStandards has already made is a testament to these advantages.”

    Cayer continued, “While there is still much ground to cover in terms of data standardization, PromoStandards is at the forefront, diligently pioneering efforts to enhance and simplify the promotional products industry.”

    Become a PromoStandards Member!

    At PromoStandards, we make it easy to communicate with others in your industry. Find suppliers, distributors, and decorators and send and receive information to them in real time. With four membership levels, you can choose the one that works best for you. Join PromoStandards and start your journey!

  • 12 Oct 2023 9:03 AM | Anonymous
    In last month’s Letter From the Chair, PromoStandards Chair Eric Alessi shared the age-old saying, “It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey.” It is a philosophy hundreds of companies follow, creating an enjoyable trip by aiming to make each step they take toward their end goals successful.

    PromoStandards specializes in offering the services your organization needs to enjoy its journey. Read on to learn more!

    What Makes a Trip Enjoyable?

    As a supplier, enjoyment comes from meeting our customer's needs while reducing transactional friction and costs. Implementing proper communication protocols enhances digital integration, allowing suppliers to mitigate time-consuming and costly obstacles for trading partners throughout the procure-to-pay lifecycle.

    Both the supplier and trading partners benefit from accurate data and pricing with:

    •    Lightning-Fast Processing Time and
    •    Fewer Wasted Resources,
    •    Reduced Labor Costs and
    •    Without Unwelcome Surprises.

    How would we describe this journey? One word: “Enjoyable.”

    PromoStandards & Mapping Journeys for Suppliers and Trading Partners

    Exciting developments are happening in the custom products arena, especially when you throw service providers into the mix!

    From an integration perspective, suppliers are learning that their market is opening to smaller trading partners. In the past, there was no way a supplier would consider integrating with a small transactional customer. They simply were unable to justify the cost and labor.

    Even if the costs and labor were justifiable, the reality was that the distributor needed more resources to implement and maintain integration with the supplier. But PromoStandards has changed all of that!

    We offer an ecosystem that levels the playing field for all industry professionals in the most productive ways, improving individual businesses while doing the same for our industry.

    Suppliers, their trading partners, and service providers can experience enjoyable journeys and have fun watching their colleagues’ own as we all work to take the custom products industry to the next level. Now that’s a trip!

    PromoStandards Is Your Travel Guide!

    Think of PromoStandards as your reliable travel agent and state-of-the-art navigation system. When you start your journey with us, you start and stay on the right path. If you are ready to answer the call but need help figuring out where to start, you are right where you need to be.

    Do not hold yourself back by thinking you are too small or cannot afford to take your organization to the next level. PromoStandards has the path forward.

    We all have to start our digital journey somewhere. And there is no time like the present!

    To view the perks of non-members and the various PromoStandards membership levels and to access their applications, please visit https://promostandards.org/membership-application.

    Are you ready for a trip? Make it a point to travel to the 2024 Tech Summit.

  • 28 Sep 2023 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    PromoStandards is a community, and those who become members have access to important information and proven service providers. In this member spotlight, we’ll cover SnugZ USA, the award-winning supplier. Here’s an in-depth look into who SnugZ USA is and how adopting PromoStandards integration helped move their transactions forward.

    SnugZ USA

    Since 1989, SnugZ has always been committed to providing an exceptional customer experience and producing high-quality products for their customers. The business in West Jordan, Utah, started in a dusty, cramped attic with 5 friends crafting eyewear retainers.

    Now, they have over 1,000 employees and have a wide range of promotional products, including op-selling lanyards, GMP-certified personal care items, hand-crafted Traverse leather goods, and exclusive Thermos® brand gear.

    Before PromoStandards

    Before implementing PromoStandards, SnugZ USA was facing what they thought were normal everyday issues. There were crazy costs associated with order entry, and the company experienced difficulty in:

    • providing accuracy in order entry,
    • having accurate inventory numbers,
    • communicating product changes to partners in a timely manner, and
    • communicating tracking and other status information to partners in a timely manner.

    PromoStandards’ Impact

    PromoStandards gave them the necessary tools to overcome these issues and others.

    In March 2015, SnugZ USA was approached by a large distributor who wanted them to use the Inventory endpoint.

    Since implementing PromoStandards, SnugZ USA has seen an increase in orders, and they are faster at entering orders and communicating with partners.

    PromoStandards also inspired them to step back and look at their own processes, procedures, and ways they stored and used data. This cleanup of data has proven to be beneficial to their business.

    “PromoStandards has changed the entire way we think about and manage our product data,” said Rosanne Webster, CIO of SnugZ USA. “Before PromoStandards, we managed product data through spreadsheets, manually updating information for search engines, our website, and customer data. Now, we’ve built an entire module within our ERP system to house this.”

    Become a PromoStandards Member!

    At PromoStandards, we make it easy to communicate with others in your industry. Find suppliers, distributors, and decorators and send and receive information to them in real time. With four membership levels, you can choose the one that works best for you. Join PromoStandards and start your journey!

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