B-to-B Goes 'Plug and Play'
By Alicia Orr Suman
Cataloger/manufacturer United Receptacle supports its distribution sales network by creating and producing ready-to-use catalog layouts.
You're flipping through a 500-page catalog for a major player in the janitorial and sanitation (jan/san) supplies market sector when you happen upon a section displaying waste containers. The catalog carries a host of well-known brands — including wastebaskets, can liners and other products made by United Receptacle.
What you may not realize is that the other company's catalog that you're viewing actually features page layouts, photos and graphic designs produced not by that catalog, but by manufacturer and distributor United Receptacle.
In addition to producing its own catalog each year to showcase its full product line, United Receptacle also helps many of its business-to-business (b-to-b) partners create pages for their catalogs. United provides ready-to-use catalog layouts of its merchandise, explains Andrew Lesh, market/product manager for United Receptacle.
United is a manufacturer and cataloger of waste containers, smokers' urns and planters. It targets the jan/san supply market, as well as vertical markets such as the office products industry, hospitality, scientific/medical, school equipment and other commercial applications.
The company started out more than 85 years ago in Brooklyn, N.Y., making metal cabinets. It later segued into the manufacturing of World War II ammunition boxes and metal kitchen cabinetry, and eventually made the waste receptacle business its primary focus, relocating to Pottsville, Pa., in 1956.
In 1970, the company was sold and subsequently purchased by Sam Weiss and Milton Greenberg, who retired in 1982.
The Weiss family still runs the family business. In 2003, after 28 years with United, Richard Weiss succeeded his father Sam as president and CEO.
Today United offers 900 products in its catalog, with a total of more than 10,000 varietals considering all color options, as well as personalization choices such as logo decals. Its largest market is the aforementioned jan/san industry, and its best-selling product type is outdoor waste receptacles. A significant portion of its customers sell via mail-order catalogs.