Major suppliers stocking key ranges of promotional products such as pens, bags and electronic gadgets may not readily have available personnel with specialist knowledge for each product range. With this in mind, the Galpeg Associates were recently invited to Laltex to see their operation and meet the heads of each of the promotional product divisions of Laltex Promo, Bags HQ, Pencom and Source It.

Supplier selection is the key decision for distributors when placing orders, and traditionally price is the major influencing factor rather than the financial stability and longevity of the supplier and ethical trading policies of the company. Distributors rely greatly on the expertise and reliability of suppliers, especially if things do not run to plan.

Laltex Group was established in Hong Kong in 1948 as a trading firm for large importers in Europe, Africa and the Americas, and in 1962 a UK division of Laltex was set up as a general importer. Today, Laltex has a net worth in the region of £20 million in the UK alone and has further offices around the world.

The Associates were impressed to see the scale of the in-house print shop, boasting 20 machines across pad, screen, rotary screen and engraving processes. Forty members of staff are on hand to ensure that all orders from the large stock held on site are turned around within five days.

Wesley Dabbs, a Galpeg Associate said: ‘I didn’t realise the scope and size of the operation! Very impressed from all angles; great array of product mix.’ Richard Andrews commented: ‘It is evident that the staff are impassioned by the work they do.’

During the visit, all the Associates were invited to turn their hand to printing on various machines with varying degrees of success. Sid Yaseen, the most recent addition to the Associate programme said: ‘It was great to see all the various print methods and have the opportunity to print on to products. Sorry for breaking the machine!’

Paul Green, director of Galpeg, commented: ‘Whilst it is the Associate who selects the supplier for their orders, Galpeg will continue to encourage the selection of suppliers who meet a broad criteria of requirements, including quality certifications and a fully embedded Corporate Social Responsibility Policy.’