Omaha Steaks International

New York State of Mind
May 6, 2008

During a Direct Marketing Association seminar last week, marketers alike tried to wrap their arms around just what New York state’s new Internet tax law means for their businesses. Jerry Cerasale, the seminar’s host and senior vice president of government affairs for the DMA, and the organization’s tax counsel, George Isaacson, provided the 85 members in attendance with answers on what this development means for their industry. Here’s a sampling of some of the tips, thoughts and observations gleaned from the event: * “This is very aggressive, nexus-expanding legislation,” Isaacson said, referring to the law which requires out-of-state online retailers to collect sales (or

Humanize the Shopping Experience
May 31, 2005

Catalogers need to continuously humanize customers’ shopping experiences despite an increase in technological advancements, said Todd Simon, senior vice president of $380 million-marketer Omaha Steaks, during his keynote address at the Annual Catalog Conference last week in Orlando. Simon offered several pointers for catalogers to improve and grow their businesses, including the following: If you sell a commodity, turn it into a brand. “We leveraged the regional quality of the beef we sell -- premium, grain-fed Midwestern beef in the heart of beef country USA in Omaha,” Simon said. The company adds value by incorporating a natural beef aging process that he said few beef

Freezing Out Fraudsters
April 1, 2005

Problem: Omaha Steaks wanted to prevent as many fraudulent orders as possible from shipping. Solution: Instituted a comprehensive fraud-protection program, and it hired fraud-prevention professionals. Results: Saves about $1 million annually from catching fraudulent orders before they ship and in credit card chargeback fees. Ron Eike, director of operations for food purveyor Omaha Steaks, called it his company’s “million dollar problem.” How to prevent fraudsters from using stolen credit cards and other illegal means to buy the company’s gourmet goods? Omaha Steaks established in the early 1990s a comprehensive fraud-protection program, which includes technological means of flagging suspect orders. It also

Omaha Steaks: Focus on Fulfillment
May 1, 2002

On the surface, it’s a typical American success story: an immigrant family fleeing religious persecution arrives in the United States and starts a business; 85 years later it’s not only successful, but still family-owned and operated. Today Omaha Steaks is a meat dynasty, making the merchandising and fulfillment challenges it faced from the beginning uniquely significant. How it continues to survive those challenges highlights strategies for other catalogers hoping to conquer the perishables market. On-site Processing Omaha Steaks enjoys the advantage of processing most of its own product offerings. The company sources its—literally—raw material mainly from Midwestern producers, and then ages, trims and

Upselling on the Phone
May 1, 1999

The underlying philosophy of Omaha Steaks’ successsful telemarketing operation is: “I don’t have the right to determine when you’re done buying.” And that’s a good way to look at upselling on the phone. Instead of thinking of it as pushing extra product at your customers, present it as a customer service, suggests Ron Bruggeman, director of sales at Omaha Steaks International, a cataloger and direct marketer that operates its own call center. For inbound telemarketing operations, Bruggeman says that means almost every caller is a prospect. He explains, “It makes sense: You have a captive audience of people who