Office Renovation and a New Physical Address

Office Renovation and a New Physical Address

Office Renovation and a New Physical Address

  • Office renovation
  • “Post pandemic” - how it has impacted LPS, our clients and our vendors
  • Launch of the new LPS Website - preparations and things we are asking you to do
  • Promotions and new employees. Erik Bennett is now VP of Sales & Marketing and a full partner
  • Holly Bingham is now a full-time employee

Office Renovation and a New Physical Address

Our sister company ScanStore originally moved into our current office space in 2005.  The building, located in downtown Knoxville next to the TVA Towers and Market Square, was owned by TVA.  The building was bought by the City of Knoxville in 2021.  The Knoxville Public Building Authority began a series of long-needed renovations that resulted in our moving into new offices as well as a change to our physical address:  505 Summer Place, STE SP 378, Knoxville, TN  37902-2807.  Our mailing and remittance address remains unchanged:  P.O. Box 548, Knoxville, TN  37901-0548.

This new space will allow us to work in a more collaborative environment that is, we are proud to say, much more environmentally friendly.

Doing Business “Post Pandemic”

The Covid-19 pandemic has reshaped all our lives in many ways.  As a company, we are working three days a week remotely and trying to limit the number of people in our offices at any one time.  I am proud that our team has adapted so well to remote operations.  Will we ever return to five days a week at the office?  Most likely we won’t.  And there is no reason to if we are getting the job done and improving each day.

We are well aware that many of you, our clients, have had significant challenges brought on by the pandemic.  One of our biggest mutual challenges is the number of changes in personnel that have happened over the last couple of years.

One of our biggest challenges is when the key person we work with at a client location leaves that position.  This either results in a replacement who, in all likelihood is unfamiliar with LPS and accustomed to purchasing from Fisher or VWR or, the position goes unfilled with the purchasing responsibilities passed down to the end users or the lab manager.  With the ability to travel and visit labs restricted by Covid, our ability to transfer benefits of doing business with LPS on to the new buyers is limited.

Our hope is that as the travel restrictions ease, that if you are one of these buyers who is in a new position and you have never heard of LPS, we can get the opportunity to offer our value proposition that your predecessors found so appealing.

Supply Chain Situation

There is good news on this front.  With a few exceptions (one being, incredibly, Parafilm) most vendors are back to routine shipping schedules now.  Will this last?

The biggest threat we see now is that China is undergoing a wave of Covid infections due to the sudden loosening of restrictions. This could end up with personnel shortages and slow production.  Fingers crossed.

Vendor Price Increases for 2023

We have received 2023 Distributor price files from the vast majority of our vendors.  In general, most vendors' price increases were within the rate of inflation (8.7%) however that is still a big number compared with the 2 - 3% increases customary in prior years.

Some of our suppliers who source a lot from China have actually had slight decreases.  Before you get too excited, these decreases were selective and modest.  However this does indicate that the mid-year price increases were in some cases guesses that prices would continue to rise.  When things stabilized they pulled some of these back because of competition.

We buy a lot of products for you through other distributors.  When a distributor represents thousands of suppliers, getting them all to get their price files in makes cat herding seem trivial.  Don’t expect vendor price stability until late in Q2 which means your prices may be impacted as well.

Preparation for the Launch of the new LPS Website

LPS will soon be launching a new and improved website.  Our current website was built on a Magento 1.0 platform.  Magento was sold and the new owners have vastly improved this already robust platform used by many other major distributors like Thomas Scientific and Midland Scientific.  We have been working towards this launch for much of 2022 and are happy to announce that our launch should be very soon.

Streamlining our Client Portfolios

Nobody likes clutter whether it is in your garage, closet or back yard.  Since LPS will celebrate its 10th anniversary on February 22, 2023, many of our client catalogs contain a lot of what can only be defined as “clutter”.  For example:

  • Items that were one-time purchases such as capital equipment
  • Items that were sourced for you but you decided to buy a different product
  • Items that were sourced multiple times (i.e. duplicates)
  • Items that you used to buy but you don’t buy any longer
  • Items that you used to buy from LPS but you now buy from someone else

You will soon receive an email with an attached Excel spreadsheet. On this sheet you will be provided with the following information:

  1. The items you have ordered from LPS in any year from 2018 thru 2022 and their dollar amount
  2. The items that are in your portfolio but have not been ordered in the past five years
  3. The items in your portfolio that you have ordered in one of the past years but did not order in 2022

We will be recommending that items in category #2 be archived.  Archiving will keep these in our systems but they will no longer display on your Private Catalog on our website.

We will be asking if you still purchase items you used to buy from us.  If yes, please choose a reason in a drop down list for why you no longer order this item from LPS.

This information will also be available in Google Sheets if you prefer.  Look for it prior to January 19th in your email.

Erik Bennett Promotion

It is with great pride and pleasure that I welcome Erik Bennett as a partner and board member.  His new title is Vice President of Sales & Marketing and he now sits on our board.

Many of you deal with Erik on a daily basis and know how dedicated he is to serving our clients and customers quickly and efficiently.  In my many years of hiring and training people who are new to this industry, I can say without reservation that Erik has come further, faster than anyone.  Congratulations on earning this partnership, Erik!

Welcome Holly Bingham to the Team

Our newest full-time employee is Holly Bingham.  Holly works in many capacities behind the scenes including invoicing, managing order acknowledgements and vendor invoicing as well as customer invoicing.

Holly “learned the ropes” from her significant other, Erik Bennett.  Holly worked as a contractor during 2022 and has done an outstanding job.  Welcome Holly as our newest employee.

Summary

While Covid-19 has changed our lives in so many ways, one thing it has not changed is the LPS commitment to customer service that is well beyond the expected.

We remain a Knoxville based family business that is focused on service and saving you money.

We look forward to an even higher level of service in 2023.

Thank you again for your business.