Pelray
BBM

BBM eNews

 

Imports/Exports


Imports Mixed, Exports Down For The First 10 Months
Of 2021, Compared To The First 10 Months Of 2020


U.S. government trade figures for October 2021 indicated raw material imports were up in three categories outlined: broom and mop handles, brush backs and metal handles, compared to October 2020. For the first 10 months of 2021, raw material imports were up in the same three categories outlined: broom and mop handles, brush backs and metal handles, compared to the first 10 months of 2020.

Import totals for October 2021 were down in seven of the finished goods categories outlined: brooms of broom corn valued at more than 96 cents, brooms and brushes of vegetable material, hairbrushes, shaving brushes, paint rollers, paintbrushes and upright brooms, compared to October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, import totals were down in four categories outlined: brooms of broom corn valued at more than 96 cents, toothbrushes, shaving brushes and upright brooms, compared to the first 10 months of 2020.


– RAW MATERIAL IMPORTS –


Hog Bristle

The United States imported 5,225 kilograms of hog bristle in October 2021, down 46 percent from 9,725 kilograms imported in October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, 100,716 kilograms of hog bristle were imported, down 12 percent from 114,933 kilograms for the first 10 months of 2020.

China sent all the hog bristle to the United States during the first 10 months of 2021.

The average price per kilogram for October 2021 was $48.59, up 4 percent from $46.56 per kilogram for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price per kilogram was $50.78, up 69 percent from $30.10 for the first 10 months of 2020.

Broom And Mop Handles

The import total of broom and mop handles during October 2021 was 1.6 million, up 93 percent from 830,927 for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, 12.4 million broom and mop handles were imported, up 20 percent from 10.3 million for the first 10 months of 2020.

During the first 10 months of 2021, the United States received 7.1 million broom and mop handles from Honduras, 2.5 million from Brazil and 2 million from China.

The average price per handle for October 2021 was 72 cents, up 24 percent from 58 cents for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price per handle was 66 cents, down 11 percent from 74 cents for the first 10 months of 2020.


Brush Backs

October 2021 imports of brush backs totaled 332,035, up 5 percent from 315,505 for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, 3.9 million brush backs were imported, up 77 percent from 2.2 million for the first 10 months of 2020.

Canada exported 1.6 million brush backs during the first 10 months of 2021, while Sri Lanka sent 1.1 million.

The average price per brush back was 44 cents during October 2021, down 24 percent from 58 cents for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price was 47 cents, down 10 percent from 52 cents for the first 10 months of 2020.

Metal Handles

The import total of metal handles during October 2021 was 1.8 million, up 6 percent from 1.7 million for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, 19.2 million metal handles were imported, up 8 percent from 17.8 million for the first 10 months of 2020.

During the first 10 months of 2021, China sent 10.6 million metal handles to the United States, while Italy exported 5.3 million and Spain sent 3.1 million.

The average price per handle for October 2021 was 90 cents, down 6 percent from 96 cents for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price per handle was 96 cents, up 7 percent from 90 cents for the first 10 months of 2020.

– FINISHED GOODS IMPORTS –


Brooms Of Broom Corn Valued At More Than 96 Cents

The United States imported 462,954 brooms of broom corn valued at more than 96 cents per broom during October 2021, down 15 percent from 544,047 for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, 4.1 million brooms were imported, down 16 percent from 4.9 million for the first 10 months of 2020.

Mexico sent nearly all the brooms to the United States during the first 10 months
of 2021.

The average price per broom for October 2021 was $2.38, down 2 percent from $2.42 for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price per broom was $2.29, down 4 percent from $2.38 for the first 10 months of 2020.

Brooms & Brushes Of Vegetable Material

The import total of brooms and brushes of vegetable material during October 2021 was 234,179, down 29 percent from 331,791 brooms and brushes imported during October 2020. For the first 10 months of 2021, 2 million brooms and brushes were imported, the same as for the first 10 months of 2020.

During the first 10 months of 2021, Sri Lanka exported 1.1 million brooms and brushes to the United States.

The average price per unit for October 2021 was 64 cents, down 38 percent from $1.04 for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price per unit was 99 cents, down 2 percent from $1.01 for the first 10 months of 2020.

Toothbrushes

The United States imported 79.1 million toothbrushes in October 2021, up
9 percent from 72.5 million imported in October 2020. During the first 10 months
of 2021, 782.1 million toothbrushes were imported, down 2 percent from 796 million for the first 10 months of 2020.

China sent 568.4 million toothbrushes to the United States during the first 10 months of 2021.

The average price per toothbrush for October 2021 was 30 cents, up 1 cent from the average price for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price per toothbrush was 28 cents, up 8 percent from 26 cents for the first 10 months of 2020.

Hairbrushes

October 2021 imports of hairbrushes totaled 4.9 million, down 44 percent from
8.7 million for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, 49.7 million hairbrushes were imported, up 20 percent from 41.4 million for the first 10 months of 2020.

China sent 42.8 million hairbrushes to the United States during the first 10 months of 2021.

The average price per hairbrush was 24 cents during October 2021, the same as for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price per hairbrush was 22 cents, down 12 percent from 25 cents for the first 10 months of 2020.

Shaving Brushes

The United States imported 4.4 million shaving brushes in October 2021, down 10 percent from 4.9 million imported in October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, 56 million shaving brushes were imported, down 11 percent from 63.2 million for the first 10 months of 2020.

China sent 43.6 million shaving brushes to the United States during the first 10 months of 2021.

The average price per shaving brush for October 2021 was 17 cents, up 21 percent from 14 cents for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price per brush was 12 cents, up 20 percent from 10 cents for the first 10 months of 2020.


Paint Rollers

The import total of paint rollers during October 2021 was 6.4 million, down 33 percent from 9.5 million for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, 74.6 million paint rollers were imported, up 3 percent from 72.2 million for the first 10 months of 2020.

China sent 52.9 million paint rollers to the United States during the first 10 months of 2021.

The average price per paint roller for October 2021 was 52 cents, up 8 percent from 48 cents for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price per paint roller was 47 cents, the same as for the first 10 months of 2020.

Paintbrushes

U.S. companies imported 24.4 million paintbrushes during October 2021, down 5 percent from 25.6 million for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, 279.1 million paintbrushes were imported, up 13 percent from 246.7 million for the first 10 months of 2020.

China shipped 256.9 million paintbrushes to the United States during the first 10 months of 2021.

The average price per paintbrush for October 2021 was 34 cents, down 15 percent from 40 cents for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price per paintbrush was 32 cents, down 9 percent from 35 cents for the first 10 months of 2020.

Upright Brooms

The total import of upright brooms for October 2021 was 1.5 million, down 17 percent from 1.8 million for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, 16.7 million upright brooms were imported, down less than 1 percent from 16.8 million for the first 10 months of 2020.

China sent 14 million upright brooms to the United States during the first 10 months of 2021.

The average price per broom for October 2021 was $1.52, down 12 percent from $1.73 for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price per broom was $1.47, up 7 percent from $1.38 for the first 10 months of 2020.



– EXPORTS –

Export totals for October 2021 were down in three categories outlined: brooms and brushes of vegetable materials, shaving brushes and artist brushes, compared to October 2020. For the first 10 months of 2021, export totals were also down in three categories outlined: toothbrushes, shaving brushes and artist brushes, compared to the first 10 months of 2020.

Brooms & Brushes Of Vegetable Materials

The United States exported 10,288 dozen brooms and brushes of vegetable materials during October 2021, down 34 percent from 15,544 dozen for October 2020. For the first 10 months of 2021, 78,133 dozen brooms and brushes were exported, up 25 percent from 62,707 dozen for the first 10 months of 2020.

The United States sent 39,599 dozen brooms and brushes to Canada during the first 10 months of 2021.

The average price per dozen brooms and brushes was $29.86 in October 2021, down less than one percent from $29.93 for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price per dozen brooms and brushes was $32.80, down 8 percent from $35.82 per dozen for the first 10 months of 2020.

Toothbrushes

During October 2021, the United States exported 7.7 million toothbrushes, up 26 percent from 6.1 million for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, 79.1 million toothbrushes were exported, down 10 percent from 87.8 million for the first 10 months of 2020.

The United States exported 17.7 million toothbrushes to Canada, 14.3 million to Poland and 13.5 million to Germany during the first 10 months of 2021.

The average price per toothbrush for October 2021 was 86 cents, down 30 percent from $1.22 for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price per brush was 86 cents, up 4 percent from 83 cents for the first 10 months of 2020.

Shaving Brushes

The United States exported 888,952 shaving brushes during October 2021, down 56 percent from 2 million for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, 13 million shaving brushes were exported, down 10 percent from 14.5 million for the first 10 months of 2020.

During the first 10 months of 2021, the United States exported 6.2 million shaving brushes to Mexico.

The average price per shaving brush for October 2021 was $1.44, up 38 percent from $1.04 for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price per shaving brush was $1.03, up 10 percent from 94 cents for the first 10 months of 2020.

Artist Brushes

October 2021 exports of artist brushes totaled 412,817, down 41 percent from 699,588 for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, 4.5 million artist brushes were exported, down 30 percent from 6.4 million for the first 10 months of 2020.

Canada received 3.5 million artist brushes from the United States during the first 10 months of 2021.

The average price per artist brush was $3.67 during October 2021, up 66 percent from $2.21 for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price per artist brush was $3.92, up 35 percent from $2.91 for the first 10 months of 2020.


Paintbrushes

The export total of paintbrushes during October 2021 was 257,007, up 184 percent from 90,578 for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, 2.3 million paintbrushes were exported, up 77 percent from 1.3 million for the first 10 months of 2020.

Canada imported 1.4 million paintbrushes from the United States during the first 10 months of 2021.

The average price per paintbrush for October 2021 was $4.58, down 65 percent from $13.10 for October 2020. During the first 10 months of 2021, the average price per paintbrush was $6.07, down 27 percent from $8.37 for the first 10 months of 2020.

 

October 2021

October 2021 Export Chart

Click here for the entire October 2021
Import/Export Statistics.



 


Imports/Exports

 

There are many ways current and potential customers come into contact with a company. Known as “touchpoints,” these are interactions between businesses and people.

Properly recognizing, and understanding, key touchpoints can help improve a company’s chances of success, according to Anne Obarski, founder and CEO of Merchandise Concepts (merchandiseconcepts.com).

Obarski discussed “Customer Touchpoints — What You Need To Know About Delivering Consistent And Enviable Customer Service,” focusing her presentation on the importance of touchpoints.


Schaefer

Anne Obarski

She explained that: “Clients can stop doing business with a company due to one mistake, one blunt conversation or one slow response — and they may never tell you the reason. A ‘touchpoint score’ is the result of experiences people have as they interact with a company. Those ‘scores’ inevitably create a ‘report card’ in each person’s mind, about the company.”

Business owners/representatives, she added, should regularly “slip on the shoes of their customers,” and look at the ROI (return on investment) of specific programs that their companies have adopted, with the intention of better pleasing clients. That includes reviewing how a company is marketed, what products and services are being offered, and the performance of a company’s employees — those who strategically deliver a “contagious” experience, every day. All of that can influence and improve the touchpoint experience.

Obarski highlighted nine specific customer touchpoints, although, she added, there are many more possible. Of the nine, Obarski focused the most on: marketing and staff. The other seven touchpoints she listed, in no particular order, were: referrals/social group, office/store, billing/invoicing, phone, media, events and internet/social media.

“Those are nine ways people can come into contact with a business, even if business leaders don’t realize contact has actually been made,” she said. “As a business leader, it’s important to recognize the touchpoints within a company. Individual companies can have different touchpoints.”

According to Obarski, the “glue” that holds all customer touchpoints together includes the words: know, try, like, trust, buy, repeat and refer. She noted the latter word in that list, “refer,” as in “referral,” is critical to finding new customers. Getting a referral, however, is usually achieved only after an existing customer “knows, tries, likes, trusts, and buys” from that company, and then “repeats” the process again and again.

TOUCHPOINT NO. 1:
MARKETING

One popular touchpoint most companies experience with people involves “marketing.” She added there is a common belief that marketers don’t sell products anymore, they sell relationships.

“Start watching TV commercials. Are they building relationships? You bet,” Obarski said. “The three goals for marketing are: connect, build trust and create a loyal following.”

Obarski discussed the various mediums available for marketing purposes. She added a financial commitment should be made to the marketing process, regardless of how the message is being carried out.

“If a company wants to have an efficient marketing strategy, that company has to spend money. That does not change with social media,” Obarski said. “No matter how a plan is carried out, three main questions must be addressed, and hopefully answered, by a company’s marketing program.”

They are:
• Why should I care?
• What’s in it for me?
• Why should I believe you?


“Those are the legs of a three-legged marketing stool,” she said. “It’s important to focus on what customers are seeing, thinking, feeling and doing, as it pertains to a company’s marketing program.”

Obarski added that the four words — seeing, thinking, feeling and doing — show action, key to reaching out to people in the marketing process.

Obarski also discussed the importance of understanding a marketing program’s ROI, how to avoid a disconnect that can occur between marketing strategy and its execution, and the importance of conducting a SWOT analysis — focusing on “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.”


TOUCHPOINT NO. 2:
STAFF

Hiring, training and retaining good employees is important for any company, especially as it relates to quality customer/staff interaction. In short, good employees provide an important touchpoint with customers. Keeping good employees is therefore critical, although not always easy.

For business owners, Obarski reiterated the importance of understanding proper employee motivation.

 

“Statistically, every third employee is looking for a new job, he/she just hasn’t told you, as the employer, yet. That is scary,” Obarski said. “It’s important those people conducting interviews know, and can convey to interviewees, five reasons great people would want to work in whatever industry involves your company.”

Once people are hired, company leadership is also critical to keeping good employees. Obarski added, “Employees don’t quit companies, they quit leaders.”

In order to improve leadership, she suggested company representatives develop a list focusing on “10 reasons why great people should want to work for us.”

Obarski added that building a good workplace culture is critical — one that allows employees to feel truly appreciated. It’s also important to remember that when it comes to interaction between employees and customers, first impressions count. In short, employees “are the company.” Therefore, being able to retain quality people within a company’s workforce remains critical to pleasing customers. On the flip side, employees who are not good ambassadors can do a lot of harm, especially when it comes to customer interaction.

“How productive are your employees? How are they at making a good first impression? How are they at representing your company?” Obarski asked.

Answering such questions can help determine the ability of a company to provide a strong touchpoint with customers, as it relates to customer/employee interaction.

 

Obarski also discussed what she referred to as “necessary skills” employees need to develop.

They are:
• Listening;
• Being engaged;
• Being a problem solver; and,
• Being empowered.


With “listening,” Obarski stressed the importance of truly comprehending what a person has to say, not just trying to figure out what to talk about next. It’s also important to make proper eye contact with people, and show “that you truly care” when it comes to building — and maintaining — solid relationships.

Being engaged refers to the act of employees showing customers that they will truly follow through on described needs, rather than conveying an image of “the lights are on, but nobody is home.”

When it comes to building customer relationships, Obarski added, being a problem solver is also a necessity.

“Until customers know your employees are good problem solvers your business may remain stagnant,” Obarski said.

It’s also important employees are empowered.

“The last thing (a current or potential customer) wants to hear when asking a question is, ‘I really don’t know. I’m going to have to ask my boss,’” Obarski said.

Through proper hiring and training, employees can be empowered to develop strong touchpoints with customers, leading to greater customer service opportunities.

“If there is somebody in mind who you are thinking of promoting, don’t you want that person to be good in all four of those areas?” Obarski asked. “It’s also important to think about the best ways to develop new staff members. What is your company’s training program like? Do you have an employee handbook? As an owner or manager, do you spend time with employees as they work with customers? Is there a mentor program in place for employees?”

It’s also important to recognize the value of “emotional intelligence,” which Obarski said involves the act of managing and expressing emotions in a positive way. She added that many of today’s business professionals feel the combination of “emotional intelligence” and “technical skills” is more important than IQ.

“Emotional intelligence can make you a better leader,” Obarski said.

Just as she did when discussing marketing’s influence on customer satisfaction, Obarski used the “seeing, thinking, feeling and doing” analogy to talk about employee development.

“When looking at your staff, what are you seeing, thinking, feeling and doing (about them)?” Obarski asked. “Also, when a client is working with one of your employees, is he/she thinking, ‘Where in the world did they hire that person?’”

Such analysis can lead to raising a company’s hiring standard. Obarski added the end-goal is to make more customers happy, which can often result in more referrals, leading to even more business.

And just as in marketing, conducting a SWOT analysis involving employees is beneficial, especially when looking for strengths and weaknesses.

“One of the biggest buzzwords in business right now is ‘transparency.’ It’s important to be transparent with employees and customers,” Obarski said. “As a business owner or manager, transparency means asking such questions as, ‘What are our weaknesses as a company? What am I not doing correctly as a boss?’

“Have coffee with some of your people and ask, ‘How could last week been better for you? How can I make this week better?’ Wouldn’t we all love to have a boss who asks those questions? In essence, (transparency) comes right back to you, as a leader.”

An advantage to having high-quality employees is that they allow company leaders to delegate more responsibilities, which helps those leaders find more time to seek out new business. Obarski also spoke on the benefits of a company operating as a “business of experience.”

“Many would say referring to holiday gift giving, ‘Don’t get me something I don’t need, but I would love an experience,’” she said.

Being a “business of experience” can improve customer touchpoints, including those involving service. That is opposite of a new term, found in different segments today, called skimpflation. It means, “Less service for the same price.”

“In today’s growing environment of skimpflation, what would it mean for a company to actually improve its customer service focus rather than reducing it? The answer, customers would be ‘over the moon,’” Obarski said.

She added that subpar customer service is often the result of miscommunications and misunderstandings among employees.

“It doesn’t take much for an employee to mess up customer service, leading to bad reviews,” Obarski said. “It’s therefore imperative that the lines of communication are open and clear, especially if it involves voice mail, email, text and other non-face-to-face communication. It’s vital that those people in charge of employees make sure all communications are clear and everyone knows what is going on.”

Employees should also know they will be held accountable as it relates to their responsibilities. Accountability can be addressed during the hiring process and employee performance reviews.

Another important step in building a strong touchpoint is knowing how to handle a problem when a customer is upset — something that happens in all businesses. Again, this is where proper employee training can save the day.

“Depending on how well an employee takes care of that upset customer, it can lead to better relationships in the long run, and future business activity,” Obarski said.

She also shared five key words to use when people with unsolved issues contact a new (to them) business, looking for better results than what they received from another company. Those words are: feel, felt, found, fix and follow-up.

“It’s not uncommon for a business to receive a call from somebody who says, ‘I used to be a customer with another company, but they messed up, so I’m calling you for help,’” Obarski said. “A good way to respond to that person would be, ‘Oh Mr. Smith, I know exactly how you feel. I have felt that way to. This is what I have found that helps, and this is how we can fix the issue for you.’”

The process focuses again on emotional intelligence — managing and expressing emotions in a positive way.

“The follow-up is the last part of the process, but one many company leaders fail to properly do, although it’s very important,” Obarski said. “Call that person later in the day, or soon thereafter, and see how well the steps your company took have worked. The follow-up is extremely important.”

THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO CONNECT

Although she highlighted nine customer touchpoints during her presentation, Obarski stressed the real number can be much higher, depending on the company.

“There may be some businesses that can identify 150 touchpoints or more,” she said. High touchpoint scores, Obarski added, greatly improve the chances of happier customers. The end-result is often repeat business and increased referrals. Understanding touchpoints also help company leaders better focus on ROIs and the overall quality of their customers’ experiences.

“How much is your company spending to make sure good customer experiences are taking place? How well do you know your customers? What are your customers seeing, thinking, feeling and doing, in regard to your company?” Obarski asked. “Those are all important questions that deserve special focus from company leaders and employees.”






Industry News

Jack Bellenoit
CSD International And HRS Trading

 

John (Jack) Raymond Bellenoit, 72, of Chicopee, MA, formerly of Worcester, MA, died February 11, 2021.

Known to those close to him as “Jack,” he was born in Worcester, MA, to Raymond “Benny” and Lorraine “Bunny” Bellenoit. He was the eldest of five children.

He is survived by his wife, Rachel Bellenoit, of Chicopee, MA, and his three children, Hayden Bellenoit and his wife, Sara Vakhshouri, and their two young children of Severna Park, MD; Ross Bellenoit of Philadelphia, PA; Simone Bellenoit of Chicopee, MA; his sister, Elaine Brazeau of Woodstock, CT; and brothers, James Bellenoit of Carlisle, PA; Robert Bellenoit of Longmeadow, MA; and David Bellenoit of Douglas, MA. He is also survived by several nephews and nieces and their children.

Donelson

 

He graduated from Assumption College, MA, with a degree in foreign affairs and economics. He later earned an MBA in business administration from Western New England College. He entered the Peace Corps after graduating from Assumption College, and was assigned to El Salvador between 1970 and 1971, where he traveled by horse from village to village organizing villagers for incoming Peace Corp volunteers who would install running water in their villages. He spent many nights sleeping in a hammock and eating fresh mangoes from villagers’ trees.

On April 9, 1972, he married Rachel Martin in St. Anne Academy’s Chapel in Marlboro, MA. They settled in western Massachusetts, where he worked as a bilingual social worker with the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare. He moved into the business world and worked for the Spaulding Corporation, and then Stanhome in Westfield, as a marketing manager for the Caribbean and Latin America. He then worked for CSD International, in Shelburne Falls, as manager of international sales and administration. He founded his own filament export business, HRS Trading, and spent much of the past decade teaching international marketing and production management at Westfield State University, along with several other local community and four-year colleges. His business took him around the world, especially to Latin and South America, and he maintained a lifelong interest in the cultures and peoples of the region. He was fluent in French, Spanish and Portuguese. John’s children often joked that their father worked for the CIA due to his overseas business trips. John's penchant for European automobiles and driving only “properly made cars” became legend within his extended family, along with the love of his 25-year-old VW Jetta diesel, and of old non-computerized Saabs and Volvos.

John enjoyed, above all, the warm company of his family, friends, golf, tennis, and good food and drink. He lived life to the fullest. The Grise Funeral Home handled arrangements. For online condolences, visit www.GriseFH.com.

 


Industry News


Nexstep Has Phone Number Change


Nexstep has announnced a phone number change, and requests that users update records. The change is effective Immediately. The new number is 1-800-322-5703.

• Contact Customer Service at Extension 1;
• Contact Russ Casto, customer service specialist,
for assistance with new/existing orders and general inquiries; and,
• Contact Jeanie Teske, customer service manager, for assistance with orders delivered, backorder status and freight/product issues.

For more information, visit www.ocedarcommercial.com.



 

Calendar