Merchandising Mavens

Lyn Bimey

In late summer, Pipedream Products launched a series of two-day instructional seminars designed to give its distribution partners the training and tools they need to effectively merchandise and market its award-winning brands.

Over the course of a weekend, Williams Trading Company was the first of many distributors to graduate the two-day training course, which combined business, education, and pleasure. PDU has now trained the majority of top distributors, including Eldorado, Honey’s Place, ECN and Nalpac, which awarded Pipedream with the “Best Manufacturing Training Program” accolade.

By providing these seminars, we hope to strengthen our existing relationships with our distributors and give them the tools they need to effectively build relationships with the stores and online retailers they do business with.

The honor was presented to Pipedream by Nalpac CEO Ralph Caplan, along with the rest of his team.

“This is a very high honor, I’m completely overwhelmed,” said Pipedream CEO Nick Orlandino. “Our companies have had close to a 40-year relationship and to be recognized for all of our efforts really means a lot to me. I want to personally thank Ralph and his entire team for the honors.”

Distributors traveled to sunny So Cal, where they were treated to a fun-filled weekend that included an inside look at the way Pipedream operates, from shipping and receiving to day-today operations.

“By providing these seminars, we hope to strengthen our existing relationships with our distributors and give them the tools they need to effectively build relationships with the stores and online retailers they do business with,” Pipedream CEO Nick Orlandino said. “Our Pipedream University 2-day seminar offers extensive product training, merchandising strategies, marketing goals, and a special tutorial on using our new Planogrammer software.”

Pipedream’s sales and merchandising specialists are on hand during the PDU training to offer their expert knowledge and advice.

In one of his presentations, Pipedream vice president of sales Steve Sav exhibited selling points and examples of planogram do’s and don’ts.

“We have a weekly fill rate of 95 percent,” Sav said. “We’re never out of stock and we’re constantly promoting our new releases in trade publications that retailers are seeing.”

During the event, a tutorial and hands-on training on Pipedream’s new exclusive Planogrammer merchandising software was provided. Featuring the voice of Pipedream Brand Ambassador Cheryl Flangel, 12 Planogrammer FAQ videos are available online that explain the different functionalities of the program.

Flangel, as well as Pipedream Visual Merchandiser Briana Honz and account executive Liz Plascencia offered feedback and said they all will attend future PDU trainings as well, given that they are not out on the field.

What makes PDU unique from having a Pipedream representative visit and offer guidance on-site is the controlled environment, the Williams Trading team concurred, adding that Pipedream’s refreshing take on merchandising encourages selling by the wall instead of by products or specific programs.

In true Pipedream fashion, PDU attendees are treated to fun, food and festivities in beautiful Southern California — when class wasn’t in session. After the two-day event, senior account manager Daniel M Shaw, sales account executive Ron Kohls, and marketing and promotions coordinator Kelly Szwed of Williams Trading shared their excitement.

“Thank you to the Pipedream team for a fantastic weekend,” says Shaw. “Being the new guy, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they put me at ease and made learning fun. I feel more confident and comfortable talking to customers about Pipedream’s brands with the knowledge shared with us.”

“I can see Pipedream is the leader out there,” Kohls says. “The Pipedream crew has their A-game on! I just want to say thanks again and that (PDU) is going to be very helpful to our team.”

“The experience was amazing and I had a wonderful time,” Taggart said. “It was very educational and the Pipedream staff is so gracious. I was so impressed by the daily operations from the warehouse to the photo shoots. I will never forget this experience.”

“I want to thank the group at Pipedream Products, they are an amazing bunch of people,” Szwed says. “Thanks so much for the laughs, the fun, and of course, the great training. They are all an amazing bunch!”

Additional positive feedback was provided by ECN.

“I want to thank Pipedream’s entire crew for a great weekend,” ECN sales executive Rick Sicurella said. “The combination of PDU, Pipedream’s professionalism and hospitality were once again way over the top. Nobody does it like Pipedream!”

East Coast News Sales Manager Alan Mandell said, “I want to thank Pipedream for a class A job! I find Pipedream to be one of the most proactive and creative companies in the industry.”

For more information about PDU, contact a Pipedream sales executive or email


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